New magistrate a homegrown addition to the court system

Published 4:42 pm Monday, December 18, 2017


Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons Jr. has appointed Patricia Daniels to replace retiring Magistrate Jasper Mills. Mills served the county in that role for 33 years.

“Ms. Daniels is an experienced and dedicated employee in the Beaufort County Judicial system. She has the knowledge, experience and strong work ethic to be a tremendous asset to the Magistrates Office here in Beaufort County.  I am sure she will move swiftly and easily into her role and am happy to appoint her to this position,” Sermons stated in a press release.

Daniels comes to the role through the county system. She was first introduced to the courts when she was a student at Beaufort County Community College, according to Beaufort County Clerk of Court Marty Paramore. A tour of the courthouse later, Paramore had a new employee.

“At this particular time, we had an opening, so I asked if anyone was interested in working in the Clerk’s office and only one student (Patricia) raised her hand,” Paramore wrote in an email. “She came to work in my office a couple weeks later and was a great addition.”

Four years later, she’d achieved the position of Deputy Clerk of Superior Court, earned her associate’s degree in criminal justice technology at BCCC, then went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from North Carolina Wesleyan College.

CHANCE OPPORTUNITY: A courthouse tour led to a job in the Beaufort County Clerk of Court’s office. Here, Daniel is pictured with her Beaufort County Community College class on that fateful day, along with Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons Jr. and Beaufort County Clerk of Court Marty Paramore (right). (BCCC)

“Having once been a student at our local community college, I think that it is so awesome that it all started that day when those students came to tour the courthouse,” Paramore said.

Though the move isn’t very far — just down a floor in the courthouse — Daniels’ job at the courthouse will be dramatically different.

“The mission of the Magistrate is to protect and preserve the rights and liberties of all of the people, as guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States and North Carolina, by providing a fair, independent and accessible forum the just, timely and economical resolution of their legal affairs,” according to NC Magistrates Association mission statement.

Magistrates provide an unbiased study of charges and complaints by law enforcement or citizens and decide what action needs to be taken if a crime has been committed. They are responsible for issuing arrest warrants, search warrants, civil warrants and subpoenas, deciding whether someone should be charged with driving while impaired, set bail and decide money damages in small claims court, among other duties, according to the association’s website.

“We will miss Patricia in the Clerk’s office, but we are happy for her, and it does not seem sad when we know she will be right downstairs in the Magistrates office and no doubt running small claims court in the near future alongside of some of her old work mates in the Clerk’s office,” Paramore wrote.