Magistrates are county judges that are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor upon the advice and consent of the South Carolina Senate.
Magistrates serve the county in which they are appointed and exercise county wide jurisdiction.
York County is divided into five geographical areas called townships. There is one Judge for each of the townships. The Townships are: (office location in parenthesis): Bethel-Kings Mountain (Clover), Broad River-Bullocks Creek (Hickory Grove), Catawba-Ebenezer (Rock Hill), Fort Mill (Fort Mill), York-Bethesda (York).
Magistrates preside over civil, criminal and traffic cases, consider petitions for restraining orders, issue search and arrest warrants and conduct bond hearings, preliminary hearings, bench trials and jury trials.
Magistrate Courts exercise jurisdiction in civil cases when the amount in controversy does not exceed $7,500 per side. Civil lawsuits may be filed in the Township in which at least one defendant resides or where the most substantial part of the cause of action arose.
In addition to the Magistrate Court’s located in the Townships, there is also a Bond Court located at the Moss Justice Center inside of the York County Detention Center. The Bond Court is open for business 365 days a year for 24 hours a day and a Judge is on duty at all times.