Greenwood Municipal Court – Greenwood, SC

Oct 26, 2021

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

Greenwood Municipal Court INformation

Court: Greenwood Municipal Court
Address: “Municipal Building 520 Monument Street, Room 201, PO Box 40, Greenwood, SC 29648”
Phone: 864-942-8458

City: Greenwood
County: Greenwood
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Greenwood Municipal Court?

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

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 family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Greenwood, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the lowest level 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 serve their people or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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

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

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

Magistrates 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 defendants 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 mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court 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 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.

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 Greenwood, SC

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1000 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 crimes in municipal courts 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Greenwood Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person 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.

Questions ABOUT the Greenwood Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Greenwood, 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 area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Greenwood, 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 Greenwood 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 sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.