Civil Cases, Hearings & Trials

Civil Cases

In civil cases, the Circuit Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the General District Court over claims from $4,500 to $25,000 and exclusive original jurisdiction over almost all claims exceeding $25,000. The Circuit Court also has jurisdiction over divorce cases, disputes concerning wills and estates, and controversies involving real property.

The most often mentioned civil claim is a claim for compensation as the result of someone's negligence in causing an automobile accident. Other types of civil claims heard in the Circuit Courts are:
  • Breach of contract
  • Landlord-tenant
  • Product liability
  • Slander

Civil Hearings

Appointments for hearings on civil matters are scheduled through the Judge's Assistant who may be reached at 757-564-2300.

Civil Trials

Counsel and pro se parties are required to file a Praecipe requesting that the Court set the matter for trial. After the Praecipe is filed, the Judge will forward a letter to all counsel and unrepresented parties requesting that they coordinate their available dates and contact the Judge's Assistant by telephone at 757-564-2300 to set the trial date.

Other Civil Common Case Types:

  • Divorces
  • Expungements
  • Garnishment
  • Guardian/Conservator
  • Name Change - Adult: file where you are a resident, must have criminal history report with stamp from Virginia State Police and proof of prior name changes such as marriage license/court order.
  • Name Change - Minor: file where child is a resident and must be signed by mother and father of child (if father's name is not on birth certificate, he MUST still sign the application), proof of any prior name change such as court order and certified copy of birth certificate.
Praecipe is not required to set these matters for trial. 

Legal Assistance

Need legal assistance? Contact Virginia Access to Justice Commission for Free Self-Help (English) (Spanish)


Williamsburg Legal Aid at 757-220-6837.