Municipal Court

The City of Charleston Municipal  Court will return to its regular schedule of hearing non-jury matters on Monday, June 8, 2020.

Due to the social distancing guidelines related to COVID-19, the Municipal Court has implemented the following new courtroom procedures: 

  • Defendants MUST check in with a Bailiff at the designated table located in the DMV space, giving their name and cellphone number. Defendants will only enter the courtroom at their designated time for court.
  • Unless someone is instructed to enter the courtroom, they will remain in the designated area until courtroom personnel either phone or text them in reference to their case.
  • Witnesses/Victims should remain outside the courtroom until called by courtroom personnel.
  • NO ONE WHO IS COUGHING, FEVERISH OR ILL MAY ENTER THE COURTROOM.
  • This courtroom will be opened to those with ongoing judicial proceedings ONLY. If individuals are not a party to a case, they will remain outside the courtroom building for health reasons.
  • If defendants have children, they will be instructed to see court personnel for further instructions. The judge will be informed of these cases and they will be handled first.
  • Defendants must wear a mask or face covering during court proceedings, unless the Judge allows them to remove it.
  • A limited supply of masks will be available. If a defendant does not have a mask, their case will be continued (one time) and they will receive written notice of their new court date prior to leaving the courthouse.
  • All defendants and/or parties to a case will be instructed to sit on the benches marked X. There will be courtroom personnel to ensure defendants are seated in designated areas.
  • Defendant will sit at the table or stand closest to the podium near the jury box: Plaintiff/Prosecution sits at the table farthest from the jury box.
  • Defendants will not APPROACH THE BENCH OR GO BEYOND COUNSEL TABLES WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE COURT.
  • Door props will be used for the hallway doors that lead to the courtrooms (on each floor). This will reduce door handling.
  • VIOLATORS OF THESE PROCEDURES WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE AND MAY BE HELD IN CONTEMPT OF COURT.
  • Cases will be grouped together per Officer.
  • Only Traffic and Criminal Bench Trials will be scheduled at this time.
  • No Jury Trial cases will be scheduled until further directives are received from Court Administration.

Responsibilities

The Municipal Court Division is responsible for the management and proper administration of all facets of the City’s Municipal Court operations in support of the City’s Chief Municipal Judge and other municipal judges who serve the Municipal Court.

The Municipal Court Division provides:

  • Administrative support to the judicial arm of the court.
  • Case docketing.
  • Case management.
  • Alternative sentence monitoring.
  • Court fines collection.
  • Court fine and case load reporting.

Protecting the Rights of Citizens

Municipal Court judges and staff ensure citizens and users of the court receive efficient, fair and impartial justice, regardless of individual circumstances and background, in order to protect each citizen’s right to due process under the laws of our country and state.