Sullivans Island Municipal Court – Sullivan’s Island, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Sullivans Island Municipal Court INformation

Court: Sullivans Island Municipal Court
Address: “2050-B Middle Street, PO Box 427, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482”
Phone: 843-883-5734

City: Sullivan’s Island
County: Charleston
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Sullivans Island Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Sullivans Island 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 service their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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 Sullivan’s Island?

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 handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time period.

Judges 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 suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a 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 most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, 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.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Sullivan’s Island, 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 Sullivans Island Municipal Court. 

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

Sullivans Island Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Sullivans Island Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Sullivan’s Island, 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Sullivans Island Municipal Court have?

The number 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 they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.