The Circuit Court of South Carolina is divided into a civil court (Court of Common Pleas) and a criminal court (Court of General Sessions). Together, Charleston and Berkeley Counties form the 9th Judicial Circuit of the state's 16 circuits. Forty-six circuit judges rotate among the 16 circuits. The judges are elected by the General Assembly for six-year terms and the state government pays their salaries.
Funds to operate these courts and the offices for three Berkeley County resident judges are provided by County Council as required by state law. Administrative support is provided by the Clerk of Court's Office.
The uniform statewide Family Court System was established by statute in 1976 and follows the territorial boundaries of the 16 judicial circuits. The 52 Family Court judges rotate within this circuit. Family Court judges are elected to four-year terms by the General Assembly, and their salaries are paid by the state government. County Council provides funds to operate Family Court while the Clerk of Court's Office provides administrative support.