A. The Clerk of Court's staff is not permitted to give legal advice nor can we assist you in preparing court filings. If you need help, you should consult an attorney. While you are permitted to represent yourself, self-represented litigants are held to the same standards as attorneys. You must follow and be knowledgeable of all the appropriate rules of court, statutes, and case law that apply to your case.
A. The Clerk of Court is prohibited from referring you to an attorney. You can contact the South Carolina Bar which has a Lawyer Referral Service. Defendants in criminal proceedings are entitled to have counsel appointed at government expense if they are financially unable to obtain adequate representation by private counsel. The Charleston County Public Defender's Office provides legal representation to low income citizens charged with serious crimes, and represents juvenile defendants charged with crimes in Family Court. However, there is no right to free legal assistance in civil proceedings. In some cases, such as DSS Abuse and neglect cases, indigent defendants may qualify for a court-appointed attorney. The Affidavit of Indigency and Application for Legal Counsel is available on the SC Judicial Department website.
A. Generally, documents and exhibits filed in General Sessions, Common Pleas, and Family Court are available for viewing upon request in person during normal business hours. Copies may be obtained in person or by mail. There is a per page fee and a fee for certification if you need an official copy with a raised seal. Most case filings in the Court of Common Pleas are available free of charge on the Circuit Court Search tab of this website. However, some documents or cases are not available for public viewing because they are sealed by court order or are confidential by the nature of the action. Juvenile files, Abuse and Neglect files, and Grand Jury materials are confidential, meaning access is restricted to certain individuals. Adoptions and Termination of Parental Rights files are sealed and may only be accessed by court order.
There is a fee of $0.11 per page for copies and $1.00 for certification. Please make cashier's check or money order payable to Charleston County Clerk of Court.
Requests for court records must include a specific case number and the names of the parties involved. Requests can be made in person or by mail to the appropriate court at the address below.
Clerk of Court/Common Pleas, 100 Broad Street, Suite 106, Charleston SC 29401
Clerk of Court/General Sessions, 100 Broad Street, Suite 106, Charleston SC 29401
Clerk of Court/Family Court, 100 Broad Street, Suite 143, Charleston SC 29401
A. The Circuit Court Search and Family Court Search tabs of this website provide basic information on the specific cases such as filing data, party information, document indexes, and event data (Juvenile, Abuse and Neglect, Adoption, and Termination of Parental Rights cases are not available online).
If you have further questions, you should check with your attorney or the agency that is managing your case, i.e. Solicitor, Public Defender, Department of Social Services.
A. Section 26-1-50 of the SC Code of Law requires that every notary public shall, within fifteen days after he has been commissioned, exhibit his commission to the clerk of the court of the county in which he resides and be enrolled by the clerk. You may enroll your notary between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except County holidays. The enrollment fee is $10.00 payable in cash or by credit card. You must bring your original notary certificate and a photo id.
A. Cash, money order, cashier's check and credit cards are accepted. Cashier's checks should be made payable to, "Clerk of Court."
A. In Circuit Court we accept Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover are accepted in person only. A $1.00 non-refundable portal fee and a 1.7% convenience fee will be added to the total by SCGOV. Credit cards may not be used for posting a cash bond.
A. Contact the court listed on the ticket or contact the arresting agency.
A. SLED CATCH
A. No. Voter registration in Charleston County is handled by the Board of Elections and Voter Registration.
A. Individuals claiming to be court officers or law enforcement officers may contact you stating a warrant has been issued for your failure to appear for jury duty. These individuals will also try to verify your personal information and/or tell you that the warrant can be taken care of by paying a fine with your credit card or by obtaining a pre-paid debit card.
Do not give out any sensitive personal information. Court officials will not ask for confidential information or money over the phone. If you believe you have been a victim of a jury scam, contact your local police agency to file a report about the incident.
A. Filing fees are set by South Carolina Court Administration. Parties initiating a civil action in the Court of Common Pleas are required to pay the appropriate fee at the time the case is filed. As of July 1, 2004, the fee is $150.00 for most civil actions; a fee of $10.00 is assessed for the filing of a Lis Pendens.
A. Generally, when the amount or value of property in dispute is less than $7,500.00, the matter is filed and heard in Small Claims Court. If the amount in dispute is more than $7,500.00, the matter is filed and heard in the Court of Common Pleas.
A. The Clerk of Court does not directly provide case information to credit bureaus or any other companies. However, all public records are available for any interested party to research. Public records in civil cases are available via public access computer terminals in our offices or through the court search features available on this website.
A. Bankruptcy proceedings are an action of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina.
A. The Court of Common Pleas hears civil and criminal appeals from Small Claims, Magistrates and Municipal Courts, as well as, some administrative agencies. There is a $150.00 filing fee for civil appeals. Appeals are scheduled as nonjury matters.
A. If you feel like you are the victim of a crime, you should contact the nearest police department in your area.
A. You have the absolute right to represent yourself. If you intend to represent yourself, the Court will advise you of the general dangers of self-representation.
Resources if you plan to hire an attorney:
A. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may be screened for a court appointed lawyer at the Public Defender’s Office, 101 Meeting St. 5th floor, Charleston from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM – Monday through Friday.
A. All questions regarding expungements should be directed to the Expungement Coordinator for the 9th Circuit Solicitor's Office at (843)958-1900.
A. Ended General Sessions cases are appealed to the Supreme Court of South Carolina.
A. Surety Bond:
Personal Recognizance Bond:
Cash Percentage in Lieu of Bonds:
A. When the conditions established for the underlying bond have been met, and the individual is released without further liability, an application for the return of the deposit may be made with the Clerk of Court.
A. Payments can be made in person or mailed to:
Charleston County Clerk of Court
100 Broad Street Suite 106
Charleston SC 29401
Payments must indicate the defendant's name and case number.
A. SLED CATCH
A. Per the Administrative Order signed by The Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, The Chief Administrative Judge for General Sessions has control of scheduling all General Sessions cases in Charleston County.
A. You can find information about your case at www.courtplus.org.
A. No, you do not need to set up an account to see information about your case and CourtPlus is free to use.
A. Initial Appearance is held in the Jury Assembly Room on the 2nd floor at the Charleston Judicial Center located at 100 Broad Street Charleston, SC 29401. Defendants are required to attend Initial Appearance unless they are represented by an attorney who has filed a Notice of Appearance with the Clerk's Office.
A. No, defendants in custody at the Charleston County Detention Center will not be transported for Initial Appearance.
A. Per the Administrative Order, the Motion Cover Page is to be used for all Motions filed with the Clerk of Court except Rule 5, Discovery, or Brady Motions.
A. There will be a Docket Meeting held every Tuesday prior to a scheduled Trial Week. You may attend in person or via the chat room.
A. A proposed scheduling orders need to be submitted via e-mail to GSDocket@charlestoncounty.org for the Judge's signature.
A. File a Motion to Rescind Bench Warrant with the Clerk of Court and the Clerk or Court will respond within three business days of filing to advise the status of the Bench Warrant.
A. Pleas are scheduled after a Plea Acknowledgement sheet is submitted to the Clerk's Office.
A. Requests for a Date Certain trial must be submitted via e-mail to GSDocket@chartlestoncounty.org.
A. Effective Tuesday, April 2, 2019, citizens currently making support payments to the Charleston County Clerk of Court will make payments to the South Carolina State Disbursement Unit and mailed to:
South Carolina State Disbursement Unit
P.O. Box 100302
Columbia, SC 29202-3302
Note: The State Disbursement Unit will accept personal checks.
If you have questions about when or how to make payments to the State Disbursement Unit, please contact the SDU customer service center at 1-800-768-5858. Agents are available M-F, 8:30am-5:00pm excluding holidays.
For more information for Customers Paying Support and the options available to make payments, visit https://dss.sc.gov/child-support/state-disbursement-unit/.
Note: Payments made to the SDU will be applied according to federal guidelines.
A. You may come to our downtown office with a picture ID to check on payments or get a printout. You may also access your last five payments up until April 1, 2019 by calling (843) 202-6888. For payments made after April 1, call the State Disbursement Unit at 1-800-768-5858.
A. No. Purge payments are specifically court-ordered payments that MUST be made at the Judicial Center in Family Court at 100 Broad St. Make sure you tell the clerk that this is a PURGE payment.
A. If your case is through DSS, contact them regarding a review for an increase. If not, you will have to file a new case using Form SCCA431 and pay a $150 filing fee. If you have had a substantial change of circumstances and would like the court to consider reducing your obligation, you must file a new case and pay a $150 filing fee. In both cases, it is advisable to seek the advice of an attorney.
The following website may be helpful in modifying your child support: http://www.modifychildsupportsc.com.
A. Generally, documents filed in Family Court are available for viewing upon request in person during normal business hours. Copies may be obtained in person or by mail. Requests for court records should include a specific case number, if known, and the names of the parties involved.
Send your request to the Family Court along with a money order for $10.00. Include as much information as possible with your request such as full names of both parties, the approximate month and year, if known, etc.
100 Broad Street, Suite 143
Charleston SC 29401
A. You may stop paying child support when you have a signed order from a family court judge ending your responsibility to pay child support. If your child has emancipated (ref SC Code Ann. § 63-3-530(17)), you must provide proof of emancipation such as a birth certificate, marriage license, graduation commencement program, etc.
A. An order of protection may be issued in Family Court granting temporary alimony, child support, child custody, and possession of your home. The order may also order no contact between the parties. The purpose is to give the plaintiff time to initiate additional legal action, such as divorce or separation. A restraining order is issued by a Magistrate Court judge against a non-family member for situations involving abuse, harassment, or stalking. Please see our page on this topic on this website here.
A. All of these types of actions can be a complex and difficult legal process, especially if they are contested. It is recommended that you talk with an attorney before taking any action. If you choose to represent yourself, you will be held to the same standards as attorneys. You must follow and be knowledgeable of all the appropriate Rules of Court, statutes, and case law that apply to your case. If you are filing for a simple divorce, the South Carolina Supreme Court has approved a "Self-Represented Litigant Simple Divorce Packet". This, and any other Court Administration approved forms, can be found at www.sccourts.org. Other resources for legal services are the South Carolina Bar's Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-868-2284 and the South Carolina Legal Aid Telephone Intake Service at 1-888-346-5592.
A. In the case of a name change for a minor child, it is recommended that you consult an attorney. If you choose to represent yourself, you will be held to the same standards as attorneys. You must follow and be knowledgeable of all the appropriate Rules of Court, statutes, and case law that apply to your case. All the requirements for a name change are found at SC Code Ann. § 15-49-10. You must file a case with the Family Court and pay a $150 filing fee. The following documents must be provided:
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