Cowpens Municipal Court – Cowpens, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Cowpens Municipal Court INformation

Court: Cowpens Municipal Court
Address: “5332 Main Street, PO Box 1399, Cowpens, SC 29330”
Phone: 864-463-3201

City: Cowpens
County: Spartanburg
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Cowpens Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Cowpens Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Cowpens, South Carolina

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

This can be done to better help their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Cowpens?

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 popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer 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: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Cowpens, 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 100% accurate for the Cowpens Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1k or one year in 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Cowpens Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that an individual 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 required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Cowpens Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Cowpens, South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town 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 Cowpens, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Cowpens 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 term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.