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Probate Court
Probate Judge Debora Faulkner
Debora A. Faulkner
Greenville County Probate Judge

Judge Debora A. Faulkner is serving her sixth consecutive term as Probate Judge, having first been elected to office in 1998. She served as the part time Associate Probate Judge for the Hon. Diane Smock from 1996-1998.

Prior to her judicial service, Judge Faulkner practiced law for 13 years. She graduated Magna Cum Laude/Phi Beta Kappa from the University of South Carolina in 1979. In May, 1982, she received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University Of South Carolina School Of Law; and, was admitted to the S. C. Bar in November, 1982. She has been admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court Fourth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Her memberships in professional organizations include the county, state and American Bar associations; the S. C. Probate Judges Association, NAELA, the National College of Probate Judges, and the Greenville Estate Planning Study Group.

She has held and continues to hold leadership positions in her profession, including past president of the S.C. Association of Probate Judges, state representative to the National College of Probate Judges and has been guest lecturer on Probate Court at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

By appointment of the Chief Justice of the S. C. Supreme Court, she serves on the S.C. Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Conduct, the S.C. Judicial Council, the Probate Court Advisory Committee to the Supreme Court, and the S.C. Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Judge Faulkner has been published in various S. C. Bar Publications and other professional magazines. As chairperson of the S.C. Supreme Court Task Force on State Courts and the Elderly, she oversaw an in depth study and comprehensive report detailing how the court system can be more responsive to seniors. The report was accepted nationally as a resource for state courts faced with the growing elderly population.

The Probate Court under her leadership has been innovative in promoting public education, protecting incapacitated adults, and providing a user-friendly Probate Court. She instituted classes on estate administration, developed a national award winning website, along with numerous step-by-step brochures on how to use the services of the Court. Judge Faulkner launched a Volunteer Court Monitoring program to allow for the Court to more effectively monitor the ongoing health and safety of individuals under the jurisdiction of the Court. Additionally, an online complaint process was designed and implemented to allow early Court intervention should the need arise. Finally, Judge Faulkner implemented systems designed to notify the Court if an individual who has been declared to be incapacitated by the Probate Court is the subject of an abuse or neglect proceeding in Family Court or is an applicant for a marriage license.

Judge Faulkner designed and oversaw the implementation of the PAWS system allowing free online access for Attorneys to all probate court filings. This has resulted in significant savings in time and costs. For this innovation, her office was recognized by the Greenville County Bar. In the marriage license division, Judge Faulkner oversaw the implementation of bi-lingual marriage license information in order to be responsive to Hispanic and Latino communities.

Judge Faulkner has received numerous awards including an Award from the S. C. Attorney General’s Office for her work on behalf of South Carolina’s Senior citizens; and, the Scales of Justice Award for her innovative work in educating the public, lawyers and legal support staff on probate practice and procedures.

She is a graduate of Leadership Greenville, Class XXVI and Furman University's Riley Institute for Diversity. She received the Paul Harris Fellow award for her community work from Rotary International. She is a board member on the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum Board and on the Greenville Technical College Paralegal Advisory Board.



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