• Public Defender

    Search Our Website:

    Public Defender

    Jack Howle mug
    Jack D. Howle, Jr.
    Third Circuit Chief
    Public Defender

    judicialcenter1
    Located 1st Floor
    Judicial Center
    Sumter County Judicial Center
    215 N Harvin St, Room 151
    PO Box 98
    Sumter, SC 29150
    Phone: 803-774-6137
    Fax: 803-436-2423

    Email the 3rd Circuit

    Hours of Operation
    Monday - Friday
    8:30 - 5:00

    South Carolina's public defender system is based on the state's 16 judicial circuits. Each judicial circuit has a Circuit Public Defender who has full responsibility for the administration of public defender services in each of the counties within the circuit. Circuit Public Defenders are appointed to the position for four year terms by the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense upon nomination to the position by a Selection Panel consisting of attorneys representing each of the counties within the circuit. Circuit Public Defenders are employees of the State of South Carolina. Funding for each circuit comes from the State of South Carolina and from each of the counties within a circuit. The circuit public defender system replaced a system of non-profit defender corporations with the passage of the South Carolina Indigent Defense Act of 2007.

    General Information

    The Third Judicial Circuit includes, Clarendon, Lee, Sumter & Williamsburg Counties.  The Third Circuit Public Defender Office, a strictly administrative office is located in the Administering County of Sumter and can be contacted using the information above. Many aspects of representation throughout the Third Circuit are not uniform and specific information can be obtained for each individual county by clicking on the County links below.

    In order to be represented by a Public Defender you must complete an Application for Counsel; this application will allow you to list the appropriate financial information required to determine if you are considered “indigent” by the Federal Government. Application processing and location varies by County so please review the procedures outlined under the County link (listed below) where you were charged to apply.

    All public defender offices within the Third Circuit have strict privacy policies and will only speak with Defendants directly. We do understand that at times family members or friends would like to know the current status of a case or charge; however, the Defendants are always kept informed and can pass this information along at their discretion. If available, public information regarding both General Session cases and Magistrate/Summary Court cases can be viewed via the SC Judicial Department’s Case Records search by clicking on this link. http://www.sccourts.org/caseSearch/