Columbia Homeless Court

What charges are considered? How do I know if I am eligible?

The Solicitor’s Office will consider any offense that occurs in the City of Columbia, Richland County that carries no more than 30 days.

Offenses that are not eligible for consideration include: Criminal Domestic Violence (CDV), Assault and Battery 3rd Degree, and Driving Under the Influence.

The Solicitor’s Office will consider bench warrants resulting from any offense that occurs in the City of Columbia, Richland County that carries no more than 30 days.

A Homeless Court participant must be homeless, formerly homeless or facing homelessness as a result of the pending or past charges or bench warrants.

Any eligible participant must be able to prove to the Solicitor’s Office that they are receiving treatment or have received treatment and are transitioning out of homelessness.

The Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office has the sole discretion to admit or deny participation in Homeless Court. No individual will be allowed to participate in Homeless Court without the authorization and consent of the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

What should I expect at the Columbia Homeless Court?

The Homeless Court is a formal proceeding with judge, solicitor, attorney for the Homeless Court participant, bailiff, treatment providers, and court administration. Although the proceeding is formal, Homeless Court is held outside of a traditional court room at the Columbia homeless shelter. Therefore, the program is brought to Homeless Court participants to help them resolve their matters quickly and in a setting that makes the participant feel comfortable.

What treatment providers are currently involved in the Columbia Homeless Court?

Alston Wilkes
Columbia Area Mental Health Center
Dorn VA Homeless Services
Insights Educational and Treatment Service, Inc.
Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc.(MIRCI)
Midlands Housing Alliance
United Way
Columbia Housing Authority

Does a Homeless Court participant receive a lawyer?

Provided that a homeless court applicant meets the criteria and is selected for participation, the applicant will be assigned an attorney to help manage the case, with either the Public Defender’s office or a pro bono attorney.

Where is the Homeless Court held?

Columbia Homeless Court is held in the day room auditorium of Transitions Homeless Shelter located at 2025 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201. The contact number for Transitions is (803) 708-4861.

How do I obtain an application for Homeless Court?

The best way to obtain an application and learn more about Homeless Court is to contact a local Columbia service provider. In addition, the United Way offers a free service call number, 211, for more information about the Columbia Homeless Court.

What is the Columbia Homeless Court?

The Columbia Homeless Court is a voluntary program created to help individuals who are either currently homeless or homeless at the time charged with a criminal offense that falls within the criteria for Homeless Court participation. The purpose of the Homeless Court is to encourage participants to receive and complete treatment and rehabilitation programs in exchange for the possibility of dismissal of the fines associated with a criminal offense and, in some cases, the dismissal of an offense.

How was the Columbia Homeless Court created?

The Homeless Court was created on September 23, 2014 by Order of the Supreme Court of South Carolina, as an alternative court for South Carolina residents. The Order grants the Columbia City Court with the authority to preside over cases for eligible Homeless Court participants.

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