Come to the jury selection prepared to stay most of the day. (You may want to bring a good book to fill in time gaps.) You will be given instructions for the remainder of the week by the court and expected to return promptly as needed.
You will be paid $10 for each day that you are required to appear. Be prepared to turn in the mileage from your home to the court for which you will be paid at a current mileage rate.
Normally, the court will recess for meals.
Dress appropriately for the courtroom. Inappropriate dress would include: hats, tank tops, shorts, flip-flops, etc.
Do Not Bring Telephones, Pagers, or any other noise making electronics, ABSOLUTELY NO WEAPONS ARE TO BE BROUGHT INTO THE BUILDING. You may be subject to search or scanning devices.
Magistrates are appointed to four-year terms by the governor and have senate approval. All Summary courts are under the guidance of South Carolina Court Administration. Each county has a chief magistrate appointed by the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. Judge Leila Foster is Chief Magistrate in Greenville County.
Magistrates issue warrants, set bonds and hear criminal, traffic, and civil cases, as well as preliminary hearings and transfer cases for Greenville County. These courts are not to be confused with the local municipal courts.
Traffic tickets may be paid with money orders, or certified checks, made payable to the court, or cash. They will not accept personal checks. Traffic cases initiated by the SC Highway Patrol and Greenville Counties Sheriff deputies are heard in the following courts:
Generally the criminal jurisdiction involves cases with a maximum fine of $500 and or 30 days in jail. Assessments and court costs may be added to this $500 fine. In some specific cases punishment can be more.
The civil jurisdiction is limited to amounts less than $7500 and may include such matters as summons and complaint, landlord/tenant actions, trespass, sales of abandoned property and claim and delivery.
Persons appearing in Magistrate court are entitled to a jury trial after one has been properly requested. Magistrates are empowered to summon juries and conduct jury trials.
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