Magistrate Court

Department Functions

There are two Magistrate Courts in Hampton County, one located in Varnville, SC and one in Estill, SC. Magistrates generally have criminal trial jurisdiction over all offenses subject to the penalty of a fine, as set by statute, but generally, not exceeding $500.00 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both. In addition, they are responsible for setting bail, conducting preliminary hearings, and issuing arrest and search warrants. Magistrates have civil jurisdiction when the amount in controversy does not exceed $7,500.

(Hampton Central Criminal Domestic Violence Court is now held in 14th Judicial District Circuit Court)

Forms and Procedures to:

Related Links:

Jury Trials / Jury Duty

All defendants have a right to a jury trial when requested. One must direct a jury trial request to the Magistrate that is scheduled to hear the case. Each court has a scheduled time to conduct jury trials and will contact all parties involved as to the date and time of their jury selection and trial.

Courtroom Appearance

Children are not allowed in court unless they are witnesses in a particular case.  The Dress Code is strictly enforced: No shorts (Men or Women), No White T-Shirts; No Tank Tops or Spaghetti Straps. No Sheer Clothing, Pants must be pulled up (No sagging); No Tube Tops; No Hats, Caps, Wraps or "Do-rags"; No Flip Flops (Sandals are permitted).  If ANY of these items are worn to Court the individual will not be allowed in the Courtroom and the case will go forward.


Temperature checks, masks and social distancing are required when entering the Law Enforcement Center. The Court will limit the number of people in the Court at a time. Defendants & victims will be called one at a time and will wait in their cars until the case is called. Court staff, all law enforcement officers, attorneys and all persons will wear masks upon entering the court. Sanitizing products are available in the courtroom.