It is the mission of the Oconee County Summary Court to strive for excellent customer service and to treat all parties appearing before the court with the highest degree of respect and courtesy. Should you feel that we have failed in this regard, please contact the office of Chief Magistrate M. Todd Simmons at (864) 888-1460.
Magistrates issue warrants, set bonds and hear criminal, traffic and civil cases, as well as preliminary hearings. The courts are not to be confused with the local municipal courts.
Magistrate Courts in Oconee County handle such types of civil matters as Evictions and Landlord/Tenant disputes, Summons and Complaint actions, Claim and Delivery actions and public sales of abandoned property. Each Magistrate’s Court, sometimes referred to as “Small Claims Court” have countywide jurisdiction involving disputed amounts of less than $7500.00. Civil matters involving amounts greater than $7500.00 must be heard in the Court of Common Pleas.
Additionally, Magistrates may also issue Bench Warrants, emergency Orders of Protection when Family Court is not in session and Restraining Orders under the Harassment and Stalking Statute.
Additionally, the Magistrate Courts handle most types of criminal cases that fall within their jurisdiction. Generally the criminal jurisdiction involves cases with a maximum fine of $500.00 and/or 30 days in jail. Court costs and assessments may be added to this $500.00 fine. In some specific cases, punishment may exceed this maximum. Persons appearing in Magistrate’s Court are entitled to a trial by Judge or a jury trial after one has been properly requested. Magistrates are empowered to summon juries and conduct jury trials.
When appearing for court, please 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. Telephones should be left in your vehicle. ABSOLUTELY NO WEAPONS ARE TO BE BROUGHT INTO THE BUILDING. You may be subject to search or scanning devices. Children should be left at home with a caregiver and not brought to court.
Traffic tickets may be paid with money orders or certified checks, made payable to the court, or with cash. The Courts do not accept personal checks.