The Civil Division of General District Court has jurisdiction for claims up to $25,000 for the return of personal property, debts or damages owed, and for landlord/tenant disputes. The Civil Division is located on the second floor, of Building 10. Hours of operation are Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. with telephone operators on duty from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The mailing address is Virginia Beach General District Court, Civil Division, 2425 Nimmo Parkway, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-9057. For more information please visit the Court's website at ww.vbgov.com/courts. You may also visit Virginia's Judicial System website, www.courts.state.va.us, for case information and disposition inquiries.
The jurisdiction of a court is the power of that court to hear and decide a particular type of case. The General District Court, Civil Division, has:
- Exclusive original jurisdiction for most claims of $5,000 or less.
- Concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Court for claims when the amount is more than $4,500 and less than or equal to $25,000.
The most common types of civil claims are for the return of personal property, debts or damages owed, and landlord/tenant disputes. A detailed description of the Court's civil jurisdiction is set out in Virginia Code, §16.1-77.
Small Claims Court:
The General District Court has established a Small Claims Court pursuant to Virginia Code, §16.1-122.1) The Small Claims Court has jurisdiction over civil cases in which the plaintiff is seeking a money judgment not to exceed $5,000, exclusive of interest. (Virginia Code, §16.1-122.2) The Virginia Judicial System website provides detailed information on Small Claims Court procedures.
Case preparation is extremely important!
Be prepared for trial on your first court date if the "trial on return date" box is checked on the front of your civil court papers.
Have your witnesses subpoenaed and present on your trial date and have your exhibits ready. Exhibits are physical evidence which may include documents, photographs, drawings, repair estimates, etc.
If you are claiming damages, have two copies of your itemized list of damages ready to present to the Court. Each item should be numbered, one under the other. The dollar amount claimed should be written beside each item's description. (Use Form DC 422 on www.courts.state.va.us
In order to win, you must prove the other side breached its legal duty. Examples of legal duties include:
- A duty to use ordinary care
- A duty to use workman like care
- A duty to perform pursuant to an agreement or contract
- A duty to follow a statutory requirement
Cost to file Civil papers:
The cost to file civil papers such as Motions, Third Party Motions, Warrant in Debt, Unlawful Detainer and Warrant in Detinue are determined by the amount in controversy. Your cost is $44.00 plus a $12.00 fee for each person served.
- For a debt (other than rent) owed:
Complete a Warrant in Debt form and set the court date 30 to 45 calendar days from date of filing. The form is available at the Clerk's Office or by mail. File with Clerk's Office either by mail or in person.
- For rent owed:
Complete a Summons for Unlawful Detainer form available at the Clerk's Office or by mail. Set the court date 18 to 21 days from date of completion and file with Clerk's Office.
Writ of Possession:
After judgment has been awarded for possession of the premises, you may request a Writ of Possession from the Clerk's Office after the 10-day appeal period has expired.
The cost of a Writ of Possession is $37.00 for the first defendant and $12.00 for each additional defendant.
Judgment - collection methods:
Once the Court has awarded judgment, there are several ways to attempt to collect your judgment through the Court system. The four most common methods are:
The court process in which you garnishee the debtor's wages or bank account;
- Abstract of Judgment:
You may place a lien on the debtor's real estate by recording an abstract of judgment in the circuit court where the real estate is located
You may put a lien on the debtor's personal property for a sheriff's sale; or
- Debtor Interrogatories:
The court process in which you summons the debtor to appear before the court or a commissioner to answer questions about his/her estate.
Once the judgment has been paid, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff/creditor to notify the Court in writing.
Copies of Civil Division records:
- Final Disposition - To obtain copies of a final disposition, please submit $2.00 per case. If you would like copies of additional documents from the case file, the fee is an additional fifty-cents ($.50) per page.
- Prior to Disposition - For copies of the case documents prior to the court date or final disposition, the fee is $1.00 per page for the first two pages and fifty-cents ($.50) for each page thereafter.
Case Management Screen - A fee of fifty-cents ($.50) is charged for a copy of our Case Management screen.
Submit your request to: Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
We accept checks and money orders drawn on a Virginia bank. Checks are to made payable to "Virginia Beach General District Court."
Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your request. Also include the following information:
- Defendant's full name or Plaintiff's full name
- Case Type
- Case Number
- Court Date
Allow approximately two weeks for research and mailing of the requested documents.
Note: The Virginia Supreme Court provides online access to Virginia Courts Case Information. You may search either by name, case number, or hearing date.
A request for a continuance must be made in person on your original court date. Or, you may request a continuance in writing no less than 2 business days prior to the court date. Please refer to the Continuances page for further information.
Other Civil information:
- Docket Numbers or Type of Service:
If you need docket numbers or the type of service made on the defendant, you will be able to get this information on your court date.
Or, you may look up a case's status and disposition information on the "Virginia Courts Case Information" web site, sponsored by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Virginia Supreme Court. Cases may be searched using name, case number, or hearing date.
- Paperwork Submitted
Note the style of the case and the upcoming court date on any paperwork you submit to the Court. This information will be sufficient to allow the staff to locate your file.
The Civil Division is open between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except when the General District Court is closed.
Civil Division - Telephone and fax numbers: Office Number 385-4277 Fax Number 385-5682
Sheriff's role in the civil process:
The web site for the Virginia Beach Sheriff offers information on their role in the civil process:
The Levy Booklet (pdf 22k) details the "Steps to collecting your money after judgment has been obtained by use of the Writ of Fieri Facias."
The Eviction Booklet (pdf 22k) covers the "Writ of Possession in Unlawful Detainer" which is a court order authorizing the Sheriff to remove a person and his belongings from the premises and to return possession to the landlord.