Ridgeway Municipal Court – Ridgeway, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Ridgeway Municipal Court INformation

Court: Ridgeway Municipal Court
Address: “170 South Dogwood Avenue, PO Box 24, Ridgeway, SC 29130”
Phone: 803-337-2213

City: Ridgeway
County: Fairfield
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the Ridgeway Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Ridgeway Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ridgeway, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the U.S.. 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 people or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could 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 establishes a misdemeanor 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Ridgeway?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 assist for a specific time period.

Magistrates administer 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 secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Ridgeway, 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 Ridgeway Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Ridgeway 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 matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Ridgeway Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Ridgeway, South Carolina?

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

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

Depending on the scope 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Ridgeway 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 courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every period to maintain their licenses.