Gaffney Municipal Court – Gaffney, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Gaffney Municipal Court INformation

Court: Gaffney Municipal Court
Address: “201 North Limestone Street, PO Box 2109, Gaffney, SC 29342”
Phone: 864-487-8524

City: Gaffney
County: Cherokee
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the Gaffney Municipal Court?

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

On the other hand, the role 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’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Gaffney, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 service their population or to save money on costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors 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 Gaffney?

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. 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 members to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges manage 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 police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Gaffney, SC

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Gaffney Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Gaffney Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Gaffney Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Gaffney, South Carolina?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Gaffney, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Gaffney 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 courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.