Probate Court

The Probate Court provides the following services:

  • Estates of decedents, including the contest of wills, and determination of heirs and successors of decedents and estates of protected persons;
  • Protection of minors, except the jurisdiction over the care, custody, and control of the persons of minors is governed by Section 62-5-201 and incapacitated persons;
  • Trusts inter vivos or testamentary, including the appointment of successor trustees;
  • The issuance of marriage licenses, in form as provided by the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health and Environmental Control; record, index, and dispose of copies of marriage certificates; and issue certified copies of the licenses and certificates;
  • The performance of the duties of the clerk of the circuit and family courts of the county in which the probate court is held when there is a vacancy in the office of clerk of court;
  • Involuntary commitment of persons suffering from mental illness, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug addiction, and active pulmonary tuberculosis.

Please Note:
All new probate estates require an appointment. All questions related to current probate will need to be done by appointment as well. Clients can call our office and set up appointments with a caseworker, to have case issues resolved.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Oconee County Probate Court is to serve all people with respect, dignity, and compassion through a responsive South Carolina Judicial System.

Our records are now available online:

To start a search for an Estate or to request a copy of a Marriage License, please visit the SC Probate Website.

Please Note:
1) Marriage Licenses only date back until 1988 for our online records. If you need a copy for one that is before this time period, you will need to visit our office or mail a request in.
2) On the estates it says document not available for all proceedings because we are currently not offering online image documents at this moment in time. This is just an index. If you need copies of certain documents from a file, you will still need to visit our office to obtain them.

Can I Meet With The Judge?

Dear Friends,
First, I would like to express to you my sincere sympathy in the loss of your loved one. As a former funeral director, I realize the many responsibilities placed on those "left behind" in this trying time. My staff and I are here to assist you and we will make sure your experience here will be as simple and painless as possible.

"I voted for you and now I need your help. Can I meet with you about my case?" I hear that quite often and many times I am not able to discuss your case with you. I would like to take this opportunity to explain why.

The Canons of Judicial Ethics govern how Judges preside over cases. One of the canons is the following:

"A Judge shall not initiate, permit or consider... communications made to the Judge outside the presence of the parties concerning a pending or impending proceeding..."

As such, I am not allowed to communicate with anyone individually about a pending case or about a matter that could be a case to be heard in my court. This is to ensure fairness and impartiality to all involved. Therefore, if you are not able to meet with me, it is because I am to remain impartial without any outside influences whatsoever. Everyone involved has a right to a fair and impartial hearing.

In closing, my staff and I cannot give legal advice. However, often times we may encourage clients to seek the advice of an attorney. There are many attorneys in our area that practice probate law. Your attorney can intercede for you and you alone. He or she can explain to you the legal remedies that are available. If you need help choosing an attorney, you can call the South Carolina Bar Attorney Referral Service at 1-800-868-2284 or go to If you are unable to afford an attorney, you can call the South Carolina Bar's Pro Bono Program at 1-888-346-5592 to see if you qualify for legal assistance at a free or reduced rate.

Again, my staff and I are here to serve you. Thank you for your kind support and understanding.

Very truly yours,
Kenneth E. Johns, Jr.
Probate Judge of Oconee County

Our Mission

It is the mission of Oconee County to provide our current and future citizens and visitors quality services while protecting our communities, heritage, environment and natural resources, in an ever-changing world.


Oconee County – A diverse, growing, safe, vibrant community guided by rural traditions and shaped by natural beauty; where employment, education and recreation offer a rich quality of life for all generations, both today and tomorrow.


  • Pay Taxes - 864-638-4162
  • Tax Notices - 864-638-4158
  • Real Estate - 864-638-4150
  • Building Codes - 864-718-1005
  • Court House - 864-638-4280
  • Other Inquiries - 864-638-4244
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  • 415 S. Pine St. Walhalla, SC 29691