About the Orangeburg County Regional Magistrate
There are approximately 300 magistrates in South Carolina, each serving the county for which he or she is appointed. They are appointed by the Governor upon the advice and consent of the Senate for four year terms and until their successor is appointed and qualified.
Magistrates have criminal trial jurisdiction over all offenses which are subject to the penalty of a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both. Magistrates may also hear cases transferred from general sessions, the penalty for which does not exceed one year imprisonment or a fine for $5,000, or both, upon petition by the solicitor and agreement by the defendant.
Generally, magistrates have civil jurisdiction when the amount in controversy does not exceed $7,500. Magistrates hear civil cases concerning:
- Defaulted credit payments
- Landlord-tenant disputes
- Magistrate sales
- Money owed to others
- Property wrongfully withheld from the rightful owner
- Restraining orders
In addition, magistrates are responsible for setting bail, conducting preliminary hearings, and issuing arrest and search warrants. Unlike circuit courts and probate courts, magistrate courts are not courts of record. Proceedings in magistrate’s court are summary.
In addition to the Central Region Magistrate Office, Orangeburg County has three regional offices:
- Central Region Traffic Court Office located in Orangeburg
- Eastern Region Magistrate Office located in Holly Hill
- Western Region Magistrate Office located in Neeses
Court is held in each of these offices.
The following courts are located at the Central Region Office:
- Bond Court
- Criminal Domestic Violence Court
- Jury Trial Court
- Preliminary Hearing Court
- Traffic Court
Traffic Court hears all traffic cases for:
- County Law Enforcement Agencies
- South Carolina Highway Patrol
- South Carolina Transport Police
Instructions for the date, time, and location for you to appear for court are on your ticket. All cases for the listed agencies are heard in the Central Office.
Citizens may pay traffic tickets with cash, money orders, certified checks, or online with credit cards. Personal checks are not accepted. If mailing fines, send a money order or certified checks, do not mail cash.
A Free Guide to the Magistrate’s Court (PDF) has been prepared by the South Carolina (SC) Bar’s Young lawyer’s Division. It offers answers to frequently asked questions.
Search the Orangeburg County First Judicial Circuit: