CHESTER — Brian Gibbons was sworn in Monday as the resident Circuit Court Judge for the 6th Judicial Circuit, representing Chester, Lancaster, and Fairfield counties.
Gibbons, 46, who had been the 6th Circuit Family Court judge for the past seven years, replaces Judge Brooks Goldsmith. Goldsmith retired at the end of last month, but will still hear some cases as a retired judge. Goldsmith will preside over the term of criminal court that starts Monday in Chester.
In circuit court Gibbons will handle criminal and civil cases. Although he is the sole resident judge for the 6th Circuit, all circuit judges have statewide jurisdiction and Gibbons will at times travel to other counties.
Legislators elect judges in South Carolina. Other Family Court judges from around the state will handle the Family Court cases in the 6th Circuit until a special election by the legislature in late 2013 or early 2013, said Sue Carpenter, Chester County clerk of court.
Gibbons has a few weeks of training with other judges, but will require less time for training because of his experience on the Family Court bench. The swearing in was handled in an official court hearing in the historic Chester County Courthouse, with S.C. Court of Appeals Justice Paul Short presiding and administering the oath of office.
Short, of Chester, was the 6th Circuit judge before his election to the court of appeals.
Before becoming a judge Gibbons was a partner of the Chester law firm of Hamilton, Delleney and Gibbons. State Rep. Greg Delleney, R-Chester, who spoke at Monday’s swearing in, is Gibbons’ former law partner.
Andrew Dys • 803-329-4065