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Sheriff's Office - Charleston County, South Carolina
Civil Process
Judgments / Executions

In case of an Emergency dial 911



Lt. D. Maddock

Phone: (843) 958-2106

Sgt. A. Palmer
Phone: (843) 958-2107





Sheriffs in South Carolina have two important functions concerning the administration of justice: enforcing both criminal laws and civil laws. Criminal law enforcement is more easily recognized by the public. But enforcement of civil law is also their responsibility. This enforcement is specified both in statutory law and in "Common Law", which are decisions handed down by the courts.


The primary purpose of the service of process is to give a defendant notice that a legal proceeding has been instituted against them and to afford them the opportunity to defend against it. The process advises the defendant of the nature of the action brought against them and also vests jurisdiction in the court that issued the process. Process is the means by which a court obtains jurisdiction in a cause to settle controversies involved therein and to enforce its orders against parties involved. The sheriff is mandated by South Carolina law to serve the process of the court:

Service of process, orders and notices; . . ."

"The sheriff or his regular deputy, on the
delivery thereof to him, shall serve, execute
and return every process, rule, order or notice
issued by any court of record in this state
or by other competent authority.... "


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Office Hours


8:30 AM  to  5:00 PM
Monday  through 
The office is closed on all county holidays.





100 Broad Street
Suite 381
Charleston, SC   29401
Phone:   843-958-2100  (During regular business hours)
Fax:       843-958-2116




Service of Civil Process

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office is pleased to assist with the service of your legal documents. You may bring them to our office personally or you may mail them to the following address:

100 Broad Street
Suite 381
Charleston, SC 29401


Phone: (843) 958-2111 or (843) 958-2115  (During regular business hours)

Fax:      (843) 958-2128

Please ensure that the following guidelines are met when the documents are forwarded to our office:

  • Ensure the paperwork to be served is within the jurisdiction of the Charleston County Sheriff's Office

  • The documents contain the proper signatures

  • The documents have been filed with the Clerk of Court

  • The Clerk of Court's stamp appears on the document

  • The Sheriff's Office is provided with the name and address of the party(s) to be served

  • The Sheriff's Office is provided with instructions for returning the affidavit

  • The appropriate fee is included

  • A self addressed stamped return envelope.


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Various Types of Civil Process Served By the Sheriff's Office


(but not limited to)


Summons and Complaint

Notice of Hearing

Restraining Order


Subpoena Duces Tecum

Habeas Corpus

Rule to Show Cause

Rule Nisi

Mechanic's Lien


Claim and Delivery

Writ of Execution

Writ of Assistance

Writ of Ejectment

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The fees the Charleston County Sheriff's Office collects for the service of process are set forth by 23-19-10 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, 1976, as amended.



Arbitration papers




Summons and Complaint


Subpoena with additional papers


Any other type paper


Mechanic's Lien




Claim and Delivery


Writ of Assistance


Orders of seizure


Writ of Ejectment (Evictions)



To expedite the return of the Affidavit of Service please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.


Questions can be directed to Sgt. Palmer at (843) 958-2107 or apalmer@charlestoncounty.org during regular business hours.



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Judgments / Executions



Please ensure that the following guidelines are met when the execution is forwarded to our office:

  • The execution contains the proper signatures

  • The execution has been filed with the Charleston County Clerk of Court's Office

  • The Clerk of Court's stamp appears on the document

  • The Assumed Cost form is enclosed

  • The appropriate fee is included

  • To expedite the return of your affidavit of service, please enclose a self addressed stamped envelope


Property to be levied upon must be in the EXACT name of the defendant as it appears on the Judgment/Execution.

After you obtain your Judgment it should immediately be filed with the Clerk of Court.

Small Claims Judgments have a thirty (30) day appeal period.

Common Pleas Judgments cannot be enforced until the expiration of ten (10) days after it's entry.


Twenty five dollar ($25) non-refundable filing fee.

The completion of an Assume Cost form.

Judgments / Executions are worked in the order they are received by the Sheriff's Office.

A courtesy letter is mailed to the defendant recommending that our office be contacted within ten (10) days for instructions on satisfying the Judgment. The defendant is also advised that in accordance with South Carolina law, it is incumbent upon the Sheriff to seek payment in full. Failing to pay the Judgment may result in seizure of the defendant's property. Seized property is sold at public auction to satisfy the Judgment.


A determination is made to see if the defendant has titled assets that are subject to levy.

The property must be in the EXACT name of the defendant as it appears on the Judgment/Execution.


Personal property must have adequate equity in order for it to be levied upon.

The Plaintiff is responsible for all lawfully incurred expenses pertaining to the levy. This includes, but is not limited to, towing, storage and advertisement.


The Plaintiff is required to place a deposit of $800 with the Sheriff's office prior to the seizure of automobiles, boats, etc. If multiple or large vehicles are being seized, this amount will be adjusted accordingly. The current deposit for real estate is $550. The Sheriff's Office must receive this deposit prior to the levy process.  All costs incurred by the plaintiff is added to the collection of the case.


Every effort is made by the Sheriff's Office to bring closure to cases within sixty (60) days. However, due to the volume of Judgments received by the Sheriff's Office, cases involving the levy of real estate or other unusual circumstances may not be concluded within sixty (60) days.


Any questions may be directed to Sgt. A. Palmer at the same number and email address as apalmer@charlestoncounty.org. During regular business hours.



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How do I...


Check the Status of an execution files with the Sheriff's Office?

A:  You are welcome to contact our office during regular business hours at (843) 958-2110 or by email clipka@charlestoncounty.org


Proceed with an execution where the defendant has filed bankruptcy?


A:  Contact the defendant's attorney and attempt to be added as a creditor.  If they will not add you to the bankruptcy proceedings, your only option is to wait for the outcome of the bankruptcy hearing.


Obtain a judgment against someone?


A:  You can file for a Small Claims Court hearing if the amount is under $7,500.00 by contacting:


Judge Henry W. Guerard

995 Morrison Drive

Charleston, SC 29403-4237

(843) 724-6720


Judge James A. Turner

4045 Bridgeview Drive - Room B146

North Charleston, SC 29405-7464

(843) 202-6650


     If the amount is over $7,500.00, you can file for a Common Pleas hearing through the Clerk of Court's Office.


Calculate the interest that is due on my case?


A:  If your case was rendered prior to 01-01-01 your interest is awarded at 14%.  After this date to July 15, 2005, your interest was awarded at 12%.  The formula for calculating this interest is:

Take the original amount of the judgment -------------------------------------------


Multiply it by the interest rate (12% or 14%)------------------------------------------

X         12%





Divide this figure by 365 (days in a year)

/           365



Total of interest per day


You should then need to total up the number of days since the judgment was rendered and multiply that number by $1.64.  This will give you the total due.

Annually, the interest rate is adjusted by the Order of the South Carolina Supreme Court to reflect the current interest rate set by legislation and the banking industry.  You may contact the Judgment and Execution Office for the correct interest rate.


File a case in another county?

A:  You must first file the execution in the Clerk of Court's Office in the county where you are attempting to execute the case.  You can then file it with the respected Sheriff's Office for execution.


Collect from someone who has left the state?


A:  You would need to file the execution in the county that they are currently residing in unless they still have property located within the jurisdiction of the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.


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Other Links
Ninth Judicial Circuit
South Carolina Bar Association (public area)
Charleston County Clerk of Court
Charleston County Master in Equity
Charleston County Register Mesne Conveyance Office
Charleston County, South Carolina




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