Walhalla Municipal Court – Walhalla, 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 found at the county or city level.

Walhalla Municipal Court INformation

Court: Walhalla Municipal Court
Address: “101 East Main Street, Walhalla, SC 29691”
Phone: 864-638-4341

City: Walhalla
County: Oconee
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Walhalla Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like Walhalla Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Walhalla, 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 assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge 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

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

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k 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 Walhalla, SC

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

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

Walhalla Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Walhalla Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Walhalla, South Carolina?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Walhalla, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Walhalla Municipal Court have?

The number 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 the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing material every period to maintain their credentials.