Abbeville County Magistrate Court
21 Old Calhoun Falls Road
Abbeville, South Carolina 29620
Phone: (864) 446-6500, ext. 2438
Fax: (864) 446-6555
Court Administration Staff
Traffic/Criminal Court Clerk
(864) 446-6500, ext. 2435
(864) 446-6500, ext. 2436
(864) 446-6500, ext. 2438
Chief Magistrate: Susan Gladden
Magistrates: Carolyn Brownlee & Tiffani Mitchum
Weekend Magistrates: Robert Devore & Phil Ray
The Abbeville County Magistrate Court strives to treat all persons having business in the court equally and fairly, regardless of race, creed, or stature. The court administers justice effectively, equally and mercifully, while following and upholding the laws of the United States of America, the State of South Carolina, and the ordinances of Abbeville County.
You are strongly encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney in any legal matter. If you move forward without an attorney, it may negatively affect your legal rights. Please be advised the magistrate cannot discuss specific details about your case or give you advice. The court staff will assist you in preparing your court forms. A link to pertinent forms can be found here:
LOCATION AND HOURS
The court is located at the Abbeville County Law Enforcement Center, 21 Old Calhoun Falls Rd., Abbeville, SC. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30am until 5:00pm. Bond Court hours are 9:00am and 4:30pm, daily.
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. In some specific cases punishment can be more (State assessments will be added to the fine imposed).
You must appear in court at the specified date and time on your ticket or bond. Payment of your fine before your court date does not forfeit your right to request a trial in writing, or appear in court on your scheduled appearance date. If you do not wish to contest your case, you may pay your fine on-line using the following web address:
If you wish to mail your bond rather than appear in court, mail a money order, cashier’s check or bank certified check payable to Abbeville Magistrate Court, P.O. Box 1156, Abbeville, SC 29620. Do not mail cash or personal checks. Be sure to enclose a copy of the ticket or include the ticket case number on the money order. The payment must be received by the court on or before the court date. The posting of bond does not affect your right to appear in court or to request a jury trial, provided the jury trial request is made in writing before your court appearance date. If you fail to post bond or personally appear in court for a traffic case on the assigned court date, your home state motor vehicle division will be notified and your driver’s license may be subject to suspension until the matter is cleared with the trial court.
Failure to appear in court or post bond in criminal cases may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.
Magistrates conduct Preliminary Hearings in matters of the General Sessions Court jurisdiction. A Preliminary Hearing is a hearing to determine if the State can show there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the crime with which he is charged. A defendant will receive from the Bond Court Judge a form to request the hearing. The defendant or his attorney must return the form to the court within ten (10) days to qualify for the hearing. The Preliminary Hearing is an administrative inquiry and not an adversary hearing.
CIVIL COURT (SMALL CLAIMS)
Magistrates have civil jurisdiction when the amount in controversy does not exceed $7,500 and may include such matters as summons and complaint, landlord/tenant actions, trespass, sales of abandoned property and claim and delivery.
If your claim is against a person, file your lawsuit in the county where the person lives. If your claim is against a company, file your lawsuit in the county where the company has its principal place of business. You may also file your lawsuit in the county where the most substantial part of the cause of action arose. If your claim is greater than $7,500, then you should file your lawsuit in Circuit Court.
RESTRAINING ORDERS (HARASSMENT/STALKING)
Magistrates issue restraining orders in matters concerning harassment or stalking. Restraining Orders are civil in nature and require the filing of a complaint listing verified reasons a restraining order is needed. After the complaint is filed, the magistrate will issue a summons, requiring all parties and their witnesses to be present for a hearing to determine whether to issue the restraining order. There is no filing fee for a restraining order; however, the non-prevailing party must pay court costs in the amount of $55.00.
Jurors in Magistrate Court are randomly selected by computer from the voter registration roll of the county. All jurors must complete the information form and return it promptly to the magistrate’s office. When summoned, all jurors are required to report for service at the Magistrate Court, 21 Old Calhoun Falls Rd, Abbeville, SC, unless they have been excused by the presiding judge. Jurors are paid $15.00 for each day of service. If you think you may qualify for exemption from juror service, please call the magistrate’s office for further instructions. Some valid exemptions/excuses include: age, child care, physical/mental conditions, and some occupations may delay your service to another term. Failure to report for juror service is contempt of court.
Dress appropriately for the Magistrate’s courtroom. Inappropriate dress would include hats, tank tops, shorts, or T-shirts. Please do not bring telephones, pagers, or any noise making devices or electronics into the courtroom. Absolutely no weapons are allowed in the building and you will be searched by electronic scanning devices.