West Pelzer Municipal Court – West Pelzer, SC

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.

West Pelzer Municipal Court INformation

Court: West Pelzer Municipal Court
Address: “30 W Main Street, West Pelzer, SC 29669”
Phone: 864-947-6297

City: West Pelzer
County: Anderson
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the West Pelzer Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like West Pelzer Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in West Pelzer, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the lowest level 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 service their citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 West Pelzer?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time.

Magistrates 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 scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries 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 tricky. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to be present 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 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in West Pelzer, SC

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1000 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 crimes in municipal courthouses 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.

West Pelzer 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 case they have in front of 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 West Pelzer Municipal Court

What is municipal court in West Pelzer, South Carolina?

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

What does the municipal court handle in West Pelzer, 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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the West Pelzer 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 court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.