Summerton Municipal Court – Summerton, SC

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Summerton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Summerton Municipal Court
Address: “Summerton Town Hall 10 Main Street, PO Box 279, Summerton, SC 29148”
Phone: 803-485-2525 ext. 104

City: Summerton
County: Clarendon
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the Summerton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Summerton 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 law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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 felonies and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Summerton, 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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

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

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, 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 managed in the municipal court in Summerton?

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 often known as 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 manage hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty anyways 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 show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Summerton, 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 100% accurate for the Summerton Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Summerton Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may 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 type of charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Summerton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Summerton, 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 location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Summerton, 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Summerton 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 they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.