There are over 200 municipal courts in South Carolina. They handle only criminal cases where the fine cannot exceed $200, and the jail term can be no more than 30 days. Court costs will be added to the amount of the fine. Court costs are extra costs which must be paid in addition to the fines or jail terms. Municipal courts can also issue arrest or search warrants and conduct bond hearings and preliminary hearings for major criminal cases, which are to be tried later in General Sessions Court.

Since municipal courts have jurisdiction to handle only criminal matters, they cannot help you if you want property returned or if someone owes you money and refuses to pay. Civil cases involving $7,500 or less, as well as any landlord/tenant problem, may be handled in the County Magistrate's Court. You may wish to read Finding the appropriate magistrate or Magistrates Small Claims Court.

This information was prepared to give you some general information on the law. It is not intended as legal advice about any particular problem. If you have questions about the law you should consult a lawyer. If you do not know a lawyer, you can call the South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The number is 799-7100.