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Any case which could be heard in Circuit Court without a jury can be referred to a Master-in-Equity. Anyone who files a civil case and waives their right to a jury trial can also ask to have their case referred to a Master-in-Equity. Each case heard by a Master is assigned by the South Carolina Circuit Court using the procedural device known as an Order of Reference.
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Each Master must be an attorney with at least eight years of experience, be at least 32 years old, a resident of the state for the previous five years and found qualified by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission.