Estreatment process to be executed when defendant does not appear on surety bond.

Bench Warrant

Please be advised that effective April 1, 2013, if a defendant fails to appear for trial after proper notice or the defendant otherwise fails to comply with the conditions of his or her release, the defendant's bond may be estreated by a City of Charleston Municipal Court Judge. A bench warrant will be issued and a copy of the bench warrant will be made available to the surety for pickup at the City of Charleston Municipal Court within seven days of it being issued. If the bondsman fails to surrender the defendant or place a hold on the defendant's release from any institution or facility within 90 days of the issuance of the bench warrant, the bond will be forfeited.

A summons will be issued for the bondsman and insurance company to appear and show cause why estreatment should not be confirmed. If the bondsman or surety fails to appear the Court can consider judgment in their absence in accordance with South Carolina law. Also, please be advised that the surety is obligated to remain on the Defendant's bond until the final disposition of the case.

Further Information

If you have any questions regarding the City of Charleston Municipal Court bond estreament process, please do not hesitate to contact the bond estreatment clerk at 843-724-7460. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thank you.