Civil cases that arise from disputes between individuals, entities or groups are heard in the Circuit Court. Typical civil cases stem from breach of contract or tort issues where monetary damages are sought. Not all civil cases are associated with a breach of contract or tort having a monetary damage. Examples of these cases include:
- Appointments of church trustees and encumbrance or conveyance of church property
- Name changes
- Partition of real estate
- Will and estate matters
The Circuit Court also serves as the appellate court in civil cases appealed from the General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, typically child support, custody and visitation matters.
The Circuit Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the General District Court in civil cases where the monetary claim is at least $4,500 and not more that $25,000. Civil matters involving more that $25,000 are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Circuit Court.
Civil cases relating to domestic relations such as divorce and annulment matters are heard exclusively in the Circuit Court. Domestic relations matters involving child support, custody and visitation may originate in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and not the Circuit Court, depending on the factors involved in the case.
When a civil case is filed in the Circuit Court, the Complainant is responsible for making sure that all pleadings are prepared in accordance with the Rules of the Supreme Court and the Code of Virginia. The Circuit Court does not provide pleading forms for use by parties in civil suits. It is therefore strongly recommended that pro se parties seek the services of an attorney when filing an action in the Circuit Court.
Please note that clerk's office staff are strictly prohibited by law from providing legal advice.
The Supreme Court of Virginia has a civil filing fee calculation system. Please be aware that there are frequent changes to the civil filing fee schedule. If you have specific questions about the calculations or if the case type is not listed, please contact the civil division of this court for further information.
A Cover Sheet for Filing Civil Actions (PDF) (form CC-1416) is required by this court.