Summary Court Judges (Magistrates) have countywide jurisdiction over traffic, criminal, and civil matters that fall within the guidelines of magistrate level cases.

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Department Functions

The Summary Courts are under the guidance of the South Carolina Court Administration. Magistrates are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor upon the advice and consent of the Senate.

Each county has a chief magistrate appointed by the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Magistrates generally have criminal trial jurisdiction over all offenses subject to the penalty of a fine, as set by statute, but generally, not exceeding $500.00 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both. Assessments and court costs may be added to the fine.

In addition, they are responsible for setting bail, conducting preliminary hearings, and issuing arrest and search warrants.

Magistrates have civil jurisdiction when the amount in controversy does not exceed $7,500.

Magistrate civil jurisdiction include such matters as Summons and Complaints (Small Claims), landlord/tenant actions, sales of abandoned property, and Claim and Delivery.

Additionally, magistrates may also issue Restraining Orders under the Harassment and Stalking statute as well as Emergency Orders of Protection when Family Court is not in session.

These services are provided by magistrates in different areas of the county for the convenience of the citizens.

For these services, citizens would see the magistrate in the area in which the person lives that they are attempting to take to court. For an arrest warrant the public would need to contact their local law enforcement agency.

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MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Tuesday, October 4, 2022) – Berkeley County Government is hosting an in-house job fair for open County positions on Thursday, October 6, 2022 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.…

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Jenna Ley JamisonSep 30, 2022

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Jenna Ley JamisonSep 29, 2022

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, September 29, 2022) – Berkeley County will move from OPCON 3 to OPCON 2 at 6 a.m. on Friday, September 30, partially activating its Emergency Operations Center (EOC).…

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Jenna Ley JamisonSep 28, 2022

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Wednesday, September 28, 2022) – Berkeley County is under a Hurricane Watch and Tropical Storm Warning as Hurricane Ian inches closer to South Carolina. A watch does NOT mean…

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