Central Municipal Court – Central, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Central Municipal Court INformation

Court: Central Municipal Court
Address: “1067 West Main Street, PO Box 549, Central, SC 29630”
Phone: 864-639-6381 ext. 121

City: Central
County: Pickens
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Central Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Central Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Central, South Carolina

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

This can be done to better help their population or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges 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 Central?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Central, SC

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1k 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Central Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Central Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Central, South Carolina?

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

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

Depending on the size 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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Central Municipal Court have?

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

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 retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.