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Municipal Court

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    judgemims
   Municipal Judge Henry J. Mims hears cases
every Wednesday at the city's court complex.

Greer Municipal Court is in session every Wednesday at the city’s Police and Court Complex to hear traffic and misdemeanor criminal cases carrying a maximum fine and sentence of $500 plus court costs or 30 days in jail, plus certain other cases as authorized by the legislature.

In addition to arraignments held twice daily (every day of the week), the facility is also the site of: General Sessions Preliminary Hearings for Greenville County charges (held monthly to determine if probable cause exists for charges); jury trials held four weeks per year; and pretrial conferences held four to five days per year.

The Department of Motor Vehicles uses the city facility every Monday and Tuesday to conduct regional administrative hearings, while Greenville County Magistrate Judge Robert F. Simms uses the courtroom or hearing room 8.5 days per month.

The courtroom is also used occasionally by the Greer Police Department for such activities as mock trial training.

The court staff enjoyed a productive year in 2011, with 6,571 cases filed and 6,574 disposed. They also processed 744 bench warrants of 908 issued.

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Municipal court brought all alternative sentencing programs and payment plans in-house in 2011 instead of being outsourced to a private company.

Programs for drug counseling, random drug testing, criminal domestic violence counseling, MADD Victim Impact Panel, GED/Diploma, payment plans, electronic monitoring, tracking weekend jail time, and any other alternative sentencing program ordered by the judge are now set up and tracked by Greer Municipal Court personnel.

Random drug testing and drug counseling programs have been established through the Spartanburg Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (SADAC), which visits the court complex every Wednesday for orientation to their programs and to conduct random drug testing on defendants referred from the municipal court..

In cooperation with the local counseling group “Family: You Can’t Beat Them,” municipal court staff members have been able to establish a location within the city for domestic violence and anger management counseling.

In cooperation with the Greer  Police Department and community outreach supervisor Sgt. Chad Richardson, municipal court established a program for community service workers who assist with everyday operations of the city as well as assisting with festivals, downtown events, Cops for Tots and any other tasks deemed appropriate by Sgt. Richardson.

benchwarrantsThe staff was tasked with continuous maintenance of record retention schedules, bench warrant requests, conditional discharge files, program files, time payment files, NRVC’s and disposed files.

The department continued specialized training for staff.  Suzette Kimmons, Collette Botelho and Connie Hypes completed victim service provider training as required by a new law.  This will be an annual requirement.

Internal training was also a priority for the staff in 2011.   Members completed training in bloodborne pathogens, sexual harassment, the use of fire extinguishers, and reviewed the department’s emergency action plan.

Also, all judges maintained continuing legal education hours, including necessary criminal domestic violence training.

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Other highlights for the department in 2011 were: refining the expungement procedure; expanding the list of interpreters for the court at no additional cost to the city; and, as ordered by South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal, scheduled court dates for all DUI cases pending trial in order to comply with new guidelines.

Kirsten Pressley, the City of Greer’s Clerk of Court, was named president of the Municipal Court Administration Association which focuses on fostering and developing interest in sound court administration, encouraging the most advanced technologies in the field of court administration, and disseminating information and exchanging ideas among its members.