|NON - EMERGENCY NUMBERS|
|Emergency Medical Services . . . . . .||202-6700|
|Charleston City Police Dept . . . . . . .||577-7434|
|North Charleston Police Dept. . . . . .||554-5700|
|Folly Beach Police Dept . . . . . . . . . .||588-2433|
|Isle of Palms Police Dept. . . . . . . . . .||886-6522|
|Mt. Pleasant Police Dept. . . . . . . . . .||884-4176|
|Charleston County Sheriff . . . . . . . .||202-1700|
|Sullivans Island Police Dept . . . . . . . .||883-3931|
|Hanahan Police Dept . . . . . . . . . . . .||747-5711|
RESTRAINING ORDERS -- HARASSMENT, STALKING, OR NON-FAMILIAL ABUSE
If you are not in immediate danger but believe yourself to be in need of protection, you can apply for a restraining order. Restraining Orders may be obtained from a Magistrates' Court. You should contact the Magistrate for the area in which the offender lives. For a complete list of Magistrates' Courts and their locations, click here to link to the directory of Magistrates' Courts.
Magistrates deal with cases of harassment, stalking, or abuse by a person who is not a member of your family. However, if you are uncertain whether or not your situation is "domestic" (for instance, a boyfriend-girlfriend situation, or a situation involving persons who cohabitate or share community property) you should check with Family Court or Magistrates' Courts for information on where you ought to file your case.
Cases for Restraining Orders must involve at least 2 incidents of harassment, stalking, or other threatening situations, and they must have occurred within the last 90 days. There is no filing fee. You will also be asked to fill out a complaint and motion. A hearing date will be set for 5 to 15 days from the date you file your paperwork in the Magistrates' Court. This gives the court time to arrange for the papers to be served on the person named as the Defendant. Complaints will be served by a Sheriff's Deputy or a constable. The defendant must be served before the hearing can take place. A Magistrates' Restraining Order is good for a period of six months from the date of the hearing. These restraining orders can be renewed after the six month period, but you will need to request another hearing from the court in order for this renewal to be granted. If an immediate restraining order is required it can be issued and remain valid until the time of the "show cause" hearing.
A violation of either a restraining order or a temporary restraining order is a criminal offense, and if such an order is violated, you can contact the Magistrates' Court and request that the Magistrate issue an arrest warrant.
IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC ABUSE, OR BELIEVE YOURSELF AT RISK
If you are not in immediate danger but believe yourself to be in need of protection and the offender is either a member of your family or someone with which you cohabitate, you may wish to file a Domestic Abuse case. Cases involving Domestic Abuse are filed in Family Court.
For emergency assistance, counseling services, legal advocacy, and information regarding your situation, the following offices and agencies may be able to help.
SUSPECTED ABUSE OF OTHERS
If you are witness to a crime, you should call 911 or contact one of the local law enforcement agencies listed at the top of this page. If you have not actually witnessed a crime, but have good reason to suspect that a child or adult has been the victim of abuse or neglect, you may wish to contact the South Carolina Department of Social Services. DSS has local offices in Charleston; the number for DSS Protective Services is 953-9422.
Adults: The mission of Adult Protective Services is to protect the health and welfare of elderly and disabled adults. Adult Protective Services are provided to individuals 18 years of age or older who are victims of actual or potential abuse, neglect, or exploitation. DSS is authorized, by the Omnibus Adult Protection Act of the South Carolina Code of Laws, to investigate all reports. DSS also provides services to meet the adults' basic needs and to ensure their safety.
Children: Persons who come to the attention of the Department of Social Services in need of protective services are those who are potentially abusive of their children or who are suspected of having abused or neglected their children. DSS caseworkers assess reports of child abuse/neglect to determine their validity. This includes determining whether the child is "at risk" of being abused or neglected and determining the family's need for support services.
OBSCENE OR HARASSING PHONE CALLS
Obscene or harassing phone calls should always be reported to your local police department. For further assistance in dealing with such calls, please contact your service provider.