Arcadia Lakes Municipal Court – Columbia, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Arcadia Lakes Municipal Court INformation

Court: Arcadia Lakes Municipal Court
Address: “6605 Arcadia Woods Road, Columbia, SC 29206”
Phone: 803-782-2807

City: Columbia
County: Richland
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the Arcadia Lakes Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Arcadia Lakes Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Columbia, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their people or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Columbia?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Columbia, SC

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Arcadia Lakes Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1000 or one year in local jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Arcadia Lakes Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Arcadia Lakes Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Columbia, South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Columbia, South Carolina?

Depending on the area of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Arcadia Lakes Municipal Court have?

The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in South Carolina?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of continuing material every period to maintain their licenses.