Union Municipal Court – Union, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Union Municipal Court INformation

Court: Union Municipal Court
Address: “101 Sharpe Avenue, PO Box 987, Union, SC 29379”
Phone: 864-429-1701

City: Union
County: Union
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Union 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 Union 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 divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Union, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the United States. 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 citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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 Union?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 help for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions 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 scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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 is issued when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to be present 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 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 show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Union, SC

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 courts 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Union 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 an individual might need to depend on the matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Union Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Union, South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city 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 Union, 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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Union 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 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 evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their licenses.