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.

Latest News

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Berkeley County Announces Candidate Filing Info. for 2022 General Election

Berkeley County Announces Candidate Filing Info. for 2022 General Election

Jenna Ley JamisonMar 7, 20222 min read

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Monday, March 7, 2022) – Any candidate who is seeking a political party’s nomination for a local, state or federal seat in the 2022 General Election may file for…

Berkeley County Government Offices Closing Early on Friday, January 21

Berkeley County Government Offices Closing Early on Friday, January 21

Jenna Ley JamisonJan 20, 2022

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, January 20, 2022) – All Berkeley County Government Offices, the Courthouse, the County Landfill and all County Convenience Centers will be closing at 3 p.m. on Friday, January…

Berkeley County Government Offices, Courthouse Closing at 2 p.m. TODAY, March 18

Berkeley County Government Offices, Courthouse Closing at 2 p.m. TODAY, March 18

Jenna Ley JamisonMar 18, 2021

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, March 18, 2021) – All Berkeley County Government Offices and the Courthouse will close at 2 p.m. today, Thursday, March 18 due to the threat of severe weather.…

Court Operations to Resume Normal Scheduling September 21

Court Operations to Resume Normal Scheduling September 21

Jenna Ley JamisonSep 16, 2020

Starting Monday, September 21, 2020, South Carolina court operations will resume normal scheduling and docket management, including in-person hearings in Circuit Court and Family Court, as well as General Sessions and Common Pleas…

Berkeley County Offices Closing at 2 p.m.

Berkeley County Offices Closing at 2 p.m.

hmoldenhauerAug 3, 2020

MONCKS CORNER, S.C.- (August 3, 2020) — All Berkeley County Offices will close at 2 p.m. Monday, August 3 due to Tropical Storm Isaias. This closure includes the Berkeley County Courthouse, Libraries, Animal…

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