OCSO - Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office & Sheriff Leroy Ravenell
Frequently Asked Questions

You may find answers to many common questions posed to Sheriff's Office staff on this page. Topics included in this FAQ are as follows:

Copper Laws

South Carolina's new nonferrous metal bill, Act Number 68, took effect August 17, 2011. Act Number 242 took effect December 15, 2012 deleting previously issued 48 hour permits.

Q. What is the weight limit for transportation?

A. A permit is needed to transport more than 25 pounds of non ferrous metals.

Q. What are your procedures for the permit?

A. To obtain a permit valid for 24 months, you must provide us with information about yourself and the vehicle that you will be using to transport the nonferrous metal. Permits can be obtained in person at 1032 Chestnut Street, Orangeburg. All permit applications are taken between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM.

Q. Where should I go to get the permit?

A. The law requires you to obtain the permit from the county in which you reside. You may use the permit to transport metal to other counties.

Q. How many times a year can I get a temporary permit?

A. Act Number 242 eliminated temporary permits. All permits are now issued for 24 months.

Q. What happens if I get stopped while transporting the metal?

A. Give the officer your permit paperwork or your permit number.

Q. I am a business owner, how does the law affect me?

A. A licensed business owner whose work regularly includes transportation of nonferrous metal are exempt from this law.

Tenant/Landlord Issues

Q. How much notice must be given before either the landlord or the tenant can end the rental agreement?

A. If your agreement is written, the amount of notice should be stated in that document. If you have an oral agreement, either the landlord or the tenant may end the rental agreement by giving proper notice to the other party. Proper notice is seven days if you rent by the week and 30 days if you rent by the month. The notice must be in writing.

Q. What happens to the security deposit if the landlord sells the place you are renting?

A. You have a right to have your security deposit returned to you when the rental agreement ends.

Q. I can't afford to have my water turned on right now. Can I be forced to move out?

A. Yes. It is illegal to live in unsanitary conditions and not having working plumbing is considered one of those conditions.

Q. If I have not paid my rent, can the landlord take any of my property?

A. The landlord must first appear before a magistrate, the magistrate must issue a distress warrant, and then you can be served with the distress warrant. The distress warrant allows the landlord to hold your property although some property cannot be taken.

If you are served with a distress warrant, you should consult a lawyer immediately. If you move out and leave some property, the landlord still has to obtain permission from the court to hold and sell your property.

Q. Can my landlord evict me for complaining about the condition of my apartment?

A. It is illegal for a landlord to retaliate on a tenant for complaining.

Q. Can my landlord evict me if I am criminally convicted for breaking the law in my home?

A. The landlord has the authority to remove someone from their property if criminally convicted of an act that takes place in their home. It is illegal to use your home to commit a crime or allow your family or anyone else to commit a crime in your home.

Q. Can the landlord refuse to make repairs if I'm late or behind in paying rent?

A. The landlord must comply with requirements of state and local buildings and housing codes which generally require the property to be kept in good repair. The landlord is responsible for providing what is known as essential services to the rental units. With few exceptions, the landlord must provide sanitary plumbing or sewer services and electrical and gas connections, used for heating, hot water or cooking. The landlord must also maintain a reasonably good and safe working order of all appliances supplied or required to be supplied by him.

Q. What can the landlord do if I damage his property?

A. The landlord can send you a written notice that the damage must be repaired within 14 days. If you do not have the repairs made within 14 days, the landlord may enter the apartment and make the repairs and may also petition the court to evict you.

Q. Does the law help me if I have been discrimiinated against in renting an apartment?

A. If you feel you have been discriminated against, you should call the Housing Discrimination Hotline. The toll-free number is 1-800-424-8590.

Q. Is there any limit to how much rent I can be charged?

A. There is no rent control in South Carolina unless you live in housing where your rent is based on your income.

Criminal Warrants

Q. Why does the process of serving a warrant take such a long time?

A. Service of warrant is dependant on the ability of law enforcement to locate the defendant. Usually defendants move several times without leaving a forwarding address, thus prolonging the time it takes to locate them and serve the warrant.

Q. When a person is locked up on a warrant, how long does it take before they go before a bond court judge?

A. The judicial system requires that after incarceration a defendant must appear before a judge to hear their charges in 24 hours.

Q. How far does OCSO travel for extradition of a warrant?

A. There is no limitation. Extradition is determined based on the type of warrant and charges for individual.

Q. If an individual that has an active warrant with OCSO and lives in another county, can OCSO make an arrest?

A. Yes, with the assistance of that county's sheriff's office or department. Another option is if a magistrate from the other county countersigns the warrant.

Desk Sergeant

Q. Can I come in or call to have an incident report completed?

A. Yes, the desk sergeant is available from 8:30 AM until 5 PM at 1520 Ellis Avenue building to take an incident report.

Q. What type of crimes can I report to the desk sergeant?

A. The desk sergeant can take all reports of any type. If your report requires follow up investigation, it will be forwarded to the appropriate division.

Q. Can the desk sergeant document my incident if I had property damage?

A. If there is any property damage or evidence needs to be collected, it is best to call dispatch at (803) 534-3550 for a deputy to respond to your location.

Retrieving a Vehicle from Impound

Q. My vehicle was towed, when can I retrieve it?

A. If your vehicle was seized, a notice of the seizure will be given to the registered owner and the vehicle will not be released to the owner.

Vehicles that are brought in because they were involved in a criminal act or towed because they were abandoned will be released to the REGISTERED owner only with a valid picture identification. However, they will not be released to the owner until the vehicle is cleared through investigations. There are special cases that a vehicle can be released to another individual.

If a vehicle is towed in for any reason, the tow bill must be paid in cash before it can be released.

Vehicle Auctions

Q. My car is in the Sheriff's Office impound lot, will I be notified before it is sold at auction?

A. All registered owners and lien holders of a vehicle must be notified via certified mail giving them 60 days to get the vehicle or it is subject to be sold at public auction. We will advertise an auction in the Times and Democrat 14 days prior to the sale and post the list of vehicles to be sold in the Sheriff's Office at 1520 Ellis Avenue and the County Court House. We do allow owners to retrieve their vehicles up to the day before the auction at 5:00 PM.

Q. How does the auction work?

A. On the day of the sale, the gates open at 8am and the sale begins at 9am. Every one that wishes to bid must register with the auctioneer before 9am; there is no charge for that.

We do not accept personal checks to make a purchase during the auction. Cash ONLY. Local businesses may pay with a business check.

If you purchase a vehicle at the auction, we request that you retrieve the vehicle the same day. However, if arrangements can be made specifically for those individuals who purchase multiple vehicles.

Directed Patrol

Directed Patrol is a service of the Sheriff's Office to citizens and business owners for a limited period of time.

Residents who have recently experienced an incident in their home or business may request an officer to check their home daily for not more than seven (7) days.

There are certain criteria that must be met prior to a home or business being placed on the directed patrol service.

Please contact the Sheriff's Office at (803) 533-5827 for more information or to inquire about this service for your property.

Orders of Protection

Q. Where can I go to request an order of protection?

A. The order must be filed in the Clerk of Court’s Office in the county in which the abuse occurred, where you live, where the person who committed the abuse lives, or where the parties resided together.

Q. What information do I have to provide?

A. For people living in a household, you must indicate specific time, place, details of the abuse, and other facts and circumstances.

Q. Who does the order protect and from what?

A. The order protects the abused person or persons from being abused, threatened to be abused, or molested. The order prevents any communication or attempts to communicate. As well as entering or attempting to enter the petitioner's home; job; school, college, or university; or other location as the court may order.

Q. How long is the term of the order?

A. Not less than 6 months, not more than one year. However, the order of protection can be ended by an order of dismissal and may be extended or terminated by either party. An order issued by a magistrate expires as provided under the terms of the order or upon issuance of a subsequent order by family court.

Family court may modify the terms of any domestic abuse order.

Q. What happens if the order of protection is violated?

A. 30 days in jail or a fine of $200 or may constitute contempt of court punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $500.

Q. The person I need an order against doesn't live with me. Who is considered a household member?

A. Household member means spouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common, or a male and female who are cohabiting or have formerly cohabited.

Q. How do I obtain an order of protection during non-business hours or when Family Court is not in session?

A. A magistrate can issue an order whenever the family court in his/her county is not in session. A person requesting an order of protection should not be required to go into an adjoining county's family court to petition for an order of protection.

Detention Center

The County of Orangeburg operates the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center. The Detention Center can be reached at 803-539-2091.

Bond Procedures

All questions regarding bond procedures should be directed to Orangeburg County's Regional Magistrate Court.