Group calls for investigation into Charleston County land court rulings

Updated: Oct. 12, 2020 at 2:55 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Tri-County chapter of National Action Network called for an investigation Friday after members say they received complaints about processes and procedures with the Charleston County Master-in-Equity Office.

The Master is a judge who makes decisions about land and property cases.

The Charleston County website states the Master hears most foreclosure cases and a substantial number of civil, non-jury matters as well. It is the only South Carolina court in which no action may be initiated; each case heard by a Master is assigned by the S.C. Circuit Court, using the procedural device known as an Order of Reference, the site states.

NAN members say they have received several complaints about land and property being foreclosed unlawfully.

During the investigation, the chapter says it found people of color were dealing with these illegal rulings three times more often.

Pastor Thomas Dixon says they will seek justice.

“In the same offices where they have not mattered, with the same attorneys that have taken advantaged of them," Pastor Thomas Dixon said at a Friday news conference. "From here forward black voices will matter to the point of taking of them to the same courts and making them matter.”

NAN plans to march to the Charleston county Master-in Equity’s Office on Tuesday.

Charleston County spokesman Shawn Smetana said Monday that the Master in Equity’s Office is unaware of any request for information from the National Action Network.

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