Probate judge faces election campaign

Judge Debora Faulkner faces challenger Chad Groover in the race for Greenville County probate judge. Faulkner is the Democratic nominee on the ballot and Groover is the Republican nominee. Greenville County’s probate court is the state’s largest and busiest. The probate judge is the only voter-elected judge in South Carolina. Faulkner took office in 1999 and has not had a challenger since. Probate judges have jurisdiction over marriage licenses, deceased estates, guardianships of the incompetent, conservators of estates of minors and incompetents, minor settlements under $25,000, and involuntary commitments in facilities for the mentally ill and/or chemical dependent branch, according to the South Carolina Judicial branch. They also have exclusive jurisdiction over trusts and concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts over powers of attorney, depending on the industry. “If an elderly person’s checking account is searched, we need to be able to stop our activities and freeze those accounts by issuing a court order, we’re doing and issuing that warrant. So we have to respond quickly to emergencies and be able to handle routine cases,” Faulkner said. “Whoever walks in the door is treated fairly and with respect, and I’ve been doing that for 23 years.” Faulkner said she has those full support of nearly all members of the Greenville County Bar Association. Among her accomplishments was the creation of a free service that allows attorneys to log into a case management system, thereby saving their clients’ money. She said her focus is on ensuring that the court is efficient, and also wants it to be a place where people feel comfortable.”I promise to continue to make service to you my top priority and to continue to develop and use technology to ensure that we are the most efficient and service oriented court, but I will not use technology so much that we ve the single relating – a personal experience that some people prefer to technology, and which will always be my top priority to make sure everyone who walks through the door gets the service they need,” she said. Groover is a probate attorney in Greenville. He is a managing shareholder at Upstate Elder Law. Before that, he spent time in Washington working with lawmakers. “I was an attorney for the Senate Judiciary Committee in DC,” he said. “I worked for (Sen.) Chuck Grassley from Iowa. I was his attorney for crimes, advice and supervision, so I made sure the government up there in the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security and the FBI was doing their job properly, and if you weren’t, you asked why. Such good government flows in my veins. Groover said he was concerned about court and public access and involvement. “We want a court that is efficient, transparent and close to the citizen, and as a probate judge I can help ensure that that is the case.” Election day is Tuesday 8 November.

Judge Debora Faulkner faces challenger Chad Groover in the race for Greenville County probate judge.

Faulkner is the Democratic nominee on the ballot and Groover is the Republican nominee.

Greenville County’s probate court is the state’s largest and busiest. The probate judge is the only voter-elected judge in South Carolina.

Faulkner took office in 1999 and has not had a challenger since.

Probate judges have jurisdiction over marriage licenses, deceased estates, guardianships of the incompetent, conservators of estates of minors and incompetents, minor settlements under $25,000, and involuntary commitments in facilities for the mentally ill and/or chemical dependent branch, according to the South Carolina Judicial branch. They also have exclusive jurisdiction over trusts and concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts over powers of attorney, depending on the industry.

“If an elderly person’s checking account is searched, we need to be able to stop our activities and freeze those accounts by issuing a court order, we’re doing and issuing that warrant. So we have to respond quickly to emergencies and be able to handle routine cases,” Faulkner said. “Whoever walks in the door is treated fairly and with respect, and I’ve been doing that for 23 years.”

Faulkner said she has the full support of almost every member of the Greenville County Bar.

Among other things, she has built a free service that allows lawyers to log into a case management system, thereby saving their clients’ money.

She said she is focused on making sure the court is efficient and also wants it to be a place where people feel comfortable.

“I promise to continue to make service to them my top priority and to continue to develop and use technology to ensure we are the most efficient and service-oriented court, but I will not use technology so much that we lose the singles – a personal experience that some people prefer to technology, and which will always be my top priority to make sure everyone who walks through the door gets the service they need,” she said.

Groover is a probate attorney in Greenville. He is a managing shareholder at Upstate Elder Law.

Before that, he spent time in Washington working with lawmakers.

“I was an attorney for the Senate Judiciary Committee in DC,” he said. “I worked for (Sen.) Chuck Grassley from Iowa. I was his attorney for crimes, advice and supervision, so I made sure the government up there in the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security and the FBI was doing their job properly, and if you weren’t, you asked why. Such good government flows in my veins.

Groover said he was concerned about court and public access and involvement.

“We want a court that is efficient, transparent and close to the citizen, and as a probate judge I can help ensure that is the case.”

Election day is Tuesday November 8th.

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