Virginia state court system
Understanding how the system of Virginia state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.
Virginia Courts Overview
To make your work easier, start searching for court records in Virginia by simply going to courts by county.
The trial court system of Virginia State consists of Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts, General District Courts, and Circuit Courts.
Virginia Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction to handle all cases, but usually handle only the cases that other courts have no jurisdiction over.
Criminal cases that Circuit Courts hear include lesser-included offenses and felonies, and misdemeanors charged by a grand jury indictment in Circuit Courts.
Typical civil cases that Circuit Courts hear include general civil claims with less than $4500 in dispute, exclusive of attorney fees and interest. Virginia Circuit Courts have limited jurisdiction over general civil claims with more than $25,000 in dispute. In addition, Circuit Courts also handle emergency protective orders, the probate of wills, property disputes, adoptions, and divorce cases.
General District Courts
Virginia General District Courts have jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases. Typical criminal cases that General District Courts hear include misdemeanors, preliminary hearings in felony cases, traffic infractions, and ordinance violations.
General District Courts have limited jurisdiction over many general civil claims with less than $4500 in dispute, exclusive of attorney fees and interest. Circuit Courts share jurisdiction with General District Courts over claims with less than $25000 but more than $4500, exclusive of attorney fees and interest.
Each General District Court has a Small Claims Division for handling cases that involve property or money claims of up to $5000. Each General District Court has a Small Claims Division for handling cases involving property or money claims up to $5000.
These courts also handle civil cases with no financial limits, including unlawful entry or detainer, attachment, protective orders, Freedom of Information Act disputes, and the petition of personal property.
They share jurisdiction for adult mental commitment proceedings with Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts. In many Virginia independent cities and counties, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts and General District Courts are usually structured into a “combined” court with one clerk.
Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts
Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts have limited jurisdiction over some criminal cases, juvenile cases, and most domestic relations cases excluding divorce.
Cases that Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts generally hear include child visitation, child custody, parentage, child support, protective orders, emancipation, mental health cases that involve minors, children in need of supervision, termination of parental rights, child abuse and neglect, judicial consent for a child to mental procedures, and certain juvenile offenses like traffic offenses.
Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts can also handle certain types of criminal offenses involving harm to a child or involving family members.
The Official Website of Virginia County
Virginia Beach City of Virginia Beach
Norfolk City of Norfolk, Virginia – Official Website
Chesapeake City of Chesapeake, Virginia
Richmond City of Richmond, Virginia
Newport News Newport News, VA – Official Website Visit the official home page of Newport News, Virginia. Find free events, conduct business online and view our open data for your research needs.
Alexandria City of Alexandria, VA The official government Web site of the City of Alexandria.
Hampton Hampton, VA – Official Website
Roanoke Roanoke, VA | Official Website
Portsmouth Portsmouth, VA | Official Website
Suffolk Suffolk, VA | Official Website
Lynchburg City of Lynchburg, Virginia |
Harrisonburg Harrisonburg City Public Schools
Charlottesville City of Charlottesville
Danville Danville, VA – Official Website
Manassas Manassas, VA – Official Site | Official Website
Fairfax County Fairfax County Homepage | Fairfax County Fairfax County, Virginia – Fairfax County Government, Virginia
Prince William County Prince William County Government
Loudoun County Loudoun County, VA – Official Website Welcome to the official Loudoun County, Virginia government website.
Chesterfield County Chesterfield County, VA | Official Website
Henrico County Henrico County, Virginia
Arlington County Official Website of Arlington County Virginia Government Arlington County Virginia official government homepage and website.
Stafford County Stafford County, VA – Official Website
Spotsylvania County Welcome to Spotsylvania County, VA
Hanover County Hanover County, VA | Official Website
Albemarle County Albemarle County, Virginia – Official Web Site
Roanoke County Roanoke County, VA – Official Website Official Home Page for Roanoke County Virginia, Community Strategic Plan
Montgomery County Montgomery County
Augusta County Augusta County, VA
James City County James City County, VA | Official Website
Fauquier County Fauquier County, VA
Rockingham County Rockingham County, VA – Official Website
York County York County, VA | Official Website
Pittsylvania County Pittsylvania County, VA – Official Website
Frederick County Frederick County
Henry County Henry County Virginia
Washington County Washington County – It's where you want to be
Campbell Countyt Campbell County, VA | Official Website
Franklin County Franklin County
Culpeper County Culpeper County
Tazewell County Government – Tazewell County, Virginia
Wise County Welcome to Wise County, Virginia! – “The Safest Place On Earth”
Halifax County Halifax County
Pulaski County Pulaski County Virginia
Shenandoah County Shenandoah County Virginia
Gloucester County Gloucester County, VA | Official Website
Accomack County Accomack County
Smyth County Smyth County
Prince George County Welcome to Prince George County, VA
Mecklenburg County Mecklenburg County, Virginia Mecklenburg County, Virginia – Home
Amherst County Amherst County, Virginia The official website of Amherst County, Virginia