Elgin Municipal Court – Elgin, SC

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Elgin Municipal Court INformation

Court: Elgin Municipal Court
Address: “2469 Main Street, PO Box 277, Elgin, SC 29045”
Phone: 803-438-2362

City: Elgin
County: Kershaw
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Elgin Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Elgin Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the purpose 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Elgin, 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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes 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 Elgin?

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

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a 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 matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance 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 Elgin, SC

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor 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 offenses in municipal courthouses 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.

Elgin Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court 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 case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Elgin Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Elgin, 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 charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Elgin, 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 Elgin 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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.