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With the development of automation in distribution systems, distribution supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and many automated meter reading (AMR) systems have been installed on distribution systems. Also distribution management system (DMS) have advanced and include more sophisticated analysis tools. The combination of these developments is providing a platform for development of distribution system state estimation (DSE). A branch-current-based three-phase state estimation algorithm for distribution systems has been developed and tested. This method chooses the magnitude and phase angle of the branch current as the state variables. Because of the limited number of real-time measurements in the distribution system, the state estimator can not acquire enough real-time measurements for convergence, so pseudo-measurements are necessary for distribution system state estimator. The load estimated at every node from the AMR systems is used as a pseudo-measurement for the state estimator. The algorithm has been tested on three IEEE radial test feeders. In addition to this new strategy for DSE, another issue is meter-placement. This topic includes the type of measurement as well as the location of the measurement. Our results show the impact of these two issues on accuracy. Several general meter rules based on this analysis are outlined.