Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 3. Actions

§ 8.01-195.4. Jurisdiction of claims under this article; right to jury trial; service on Commonwealth or locality; amending amount of claim.

The general district courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear, determine, and render judgment on any claim against the Commonwealth or any transportation district cognizable under this article when the amount of the claim does not exceed $4,500, exclusive of interest and any attorney fees. Jurisdiction shall be concurrent with the circuit courts when the amount of the claim exceeds $4,500 but does not exceed $50,000, exclusive of interest and such attorney fees. Jurisdiction of claims when the amount exceeds $50,000 shall be limited to the circuit courts of the Commonwealth. The parties to any such action in the circuit courts shall be entitled to a trial by jury.

While a matter is pending in a general district court or a circuit court, upon motion of the plaintiff seeking to increase or decrease the amount of the claim, the court shall order transfer of the matter to the general district court or circuit court that has jurisdiction over the amended amount of the claim without requiring that the case first be dismissed or that the plaintiff suffer a nonsuit, and the tolling of the applicable statutes of limitations governing the pending matter shall be unaffected by the transfer. Where such a matter is pending, if the plaintiff is seeking to increase or decrease the amount of the claim to an amount wherein the general district court and the circuit court would have concurrent jurisdiction, the court shall transfer the matter to either the general district court or the circuit court, as directed by the plaintiff, provided that such court otherwise has jurisdiction over the matter. Except for good cause shown, no such order of transfer shall issue unless the motion to amend and transfer is made at least 10 days before trial. The plaintiff shall pay filing and other fees as otherwise provided by law to the clerk of the court to which the case is transferred, and such clerk shall process the claim as if it were a new civil action. The plaintiff shall prepare and present the order of transfer to the transferring court for entry, after which time the case shall be removed from the pending docket of the transferring court and the order of transfer placed among its records. The plaintiff shall provide a certified copy of the transfer order to the receiving court.

In all actions against the Commonwealth commenced pursuant to this article, the Commonwealth shall be a proper party defendant, and service of process shall be made on the Attorney General. The notice of claim shall be filed pursuant to § 8.01-195.6 on the Director of the Division of Risk Management or the Attorney General. In all such actions against a transportation district, the district shall be a proper party and service of process and notices shall be made on the chairman of the commission of the transportation district.

1981, c. 449; 1984, c. 698; 1986, c. 584; 1987, cc. 567, 674; 1989, cc. 121, 337; 1991, c. 23; 1992, cc. 111, 796; 2002, c. 645; 2005, c. 144; 2011, cc. 14, 702; 2019, c. 787; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 199.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.