South Carolina v. Gwinn

The Attorney General petitioned the Supreme Court to review two municipal courts' rulings addressing whether the Attorney General has the authority to prosecute criminal cases in magistrate and municipal courts. The first case involved Defendant Paul Gwinn who was charged with Criminal Domestic Violence (CDV). When the case was called for trial, Gwinn made a motion that the Attorney General could not prosecute the case because the municipal court was not a court of record, citing S.C. Const. art. V, sec. 24 (2009). The municipal court found that the Attorney General could prosecute the case. The second case involved the prosecution of Defendant Michael Long, also charged with CDV. Long moved to disqualify the Attorney General's office from prosecuting the case, arguing that the Attorney General is authorized to prosecute cases only in courts of record. The court granted the motion, ruling that the Attorney General did not have the authority to prosecute the case under art. V, sec. 24. Upon review, the Supreme Court held that art. V, sec. 24 does not prevent the Attorney General from prosecuting cases in summary courts. The Court therefore affirmed the trial court in Gwinn's case, and reversed the trial court in Long's case. View "South Carolina v. Gwinn" on Justia Law