Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 16.1. Courts Not of Record
Chapter 4.1. District Courts
12/2/2022

Article 5. Financing of the District System.

§ 16.1-69.44. Salaries of judges.

Each district court judge shall be paid by the Commonwealth an annual salary which shall be fixed in the general appropriation acts and set at an amount equal to ninety percent of the annual salary fixed by state law for judges of the circuit courts.

Each substitute judge of a district court shall receive for his services a per diem compensation of $200 except when such judge sits pursuant to the provisions of Title 37.2, in which case compensation shall be limited to that provided in § 37.2-804. The judge replaced may certify that the substitute judge is entitled to $100 if the substitute judge acted in his official capacity for less than a full court docket or served less than four hours. A full-time judge elected to an initial term after January 1, 1974, shall also be prohibited from engaging in the practice of law.

1972, c. 708; 1973, c. 546; 1974, c. 612; 1976, cc. 374, 459, 667; 1979, c. 445; 1980, c. 536; 1984, c. 570; 1993, c. 327; 1999, c. 730.

§ 16.1-69.45. Salaries of clerks and personnel.

The Committee on District Courts shall fix the salaries for the clerks and personnel of the district courts. Any county or city may supplement the salaries of the clerks and other personnel of the district court wholly out of local funds. However, no supplements may be paid to full-time district court judges or substitute judges. The Commonwealth shall assume the cost of any supplement being paid to a district court employee on January 1, 1980.

1972, c. 708; 1973, c. 546; 1975, c. 334; 1976, c. 667; 1980, c. 613; 2008, cc. 349, 804; 2012, c. 62.

§ 16.1-69.46. How salaries payable.

All salaries determined according to the provisions of §§ 16.1-69.44 and 16.1-69.45 and any salary payment required by § 16.1-69.37 shall be payable by the Commonwealth, except any supplements paid to district court employees. All annual salaries shall be paid in semimonthly installments within the limits fixed by the Committee.

1972, c. 708; 1973, c. 546; 2008, cc. 349, 804; 2018, c. 164.

§ 16.1-69.47. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1980, c. 194.

§ 16.1-69.47:1. Travel expenses of judges and clerks; how paid.

Any judge or clerk traveling more than five miles from the courthouse in the city or county in which he resides on court business shall be entitled to reimbursement by the Commonwealth for such of his actual expenses as are necessarily and ordinarily incidental to such travel. If conveyance is by public transportation, reimbursement shall be at the actual cost thereof. If conveyance is by private transportation, reimbursement shall be at the rate established for members of the General Assembly.

1973, c. 546; 1975, c. 334; 1978, c. 404.

§ 16.1-69.48. Fees and fines.

A. All fees collected by the judge, substitute judge, clerk or employees, but not including fees belonging to officers other than the judge, clerk or employees, of a general district court or juvenile and domestic relations district court shall be paid promptly to the clerk of the circuit court who shall pay the same into the state treasury. Fees collected for services of the attorney for the Commonwealth shall be paid by the clerk of the circuit court, one-half of such fee shall be paid into the treasury of the county or city in which the offense for which warrant issued was committed, and the other one-half of such fees shall be paid by such clerk on his monthly remittance into the state treasury.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, fines collected for violations of city, town or county ordinances shall be paid promptly to the clerk of the circuit court who shall tender such collected fines on a monthly basis directly to the city, town or county whose ordinance has been violated and not to the state treasury. All fines collected for violations of the laws of the Commonwealth shall be paid promptly to the clerk of the circuit court who shall pay the same into the state treasury.

C. The word "fees" as used in this section shall include all moneys from every source, exclusive of monthly bank charges, and except collections for child support or support for a spouse or parent, including by way of illustration, but not limited to, the fees collected pursuant to §§ 15.2-1627.3, 16.1-69.48:1, 18.2-268.1 through 18.2-268.12, 18.2-271.1, 19.2-163, 19.2-368.18, 29.1-551, 46.2-383, 46.2-1135, 46.2-1137 and 46.2-1138.1.

1972, c. 708; 1973, c. 546; 1976, c. 465; 1977, c. 385; 1978, c. 611; 2006, c. 305; 2016, c. 244.

§ 16.1-69.48:1. Fixed fee for misdemeanors, traffic infractions and other violations in district court; additional fees to be added.

A. Assessment of the fees provided for in this section shall be based on (i) an appearance for court hearing in which there has been a finding of guilty; (ii) a written appearance with waiver of court hearing and entry of guilty plea; (iii) for a defendant failing to appear, a trial in his or her absence resulting in a finding of guilty; (iv) an appearance for court hearing in which the court requires that the defendant successfully complete traffic school, a mature driver motor vehicle crash prevention course, or a driver improvement clinic, in lieu of a finding of guilty; (v) a deferral of proceedings pursuant to § 4.1-305, 4.1-1120, 16.1-278.8, 16.1-278.9, 18.2-57.3, 18.2-251, 19.2-298.02, 19.2-303.2, or 19.2-303.6; or (vi) proof of compliance with law under §§ 46.2-104, 46.2-324, 46.2-613, 46.2-646, 46.2-711, 46.2-715, 46.2-716, 46.2-752, 46.2-1000, 46.2-1003, 46.2-1052, 46.2-1053, and 46.2-1158.02.

In addition to any other fee prescribed by this section, a fee of $35 shall be taxed as costs whenever a defendant fails to appear, unless, after a hearing requested by such person, good cause is shown for such failure to appear. No defendant with multiple charges arising from a single incident shall be taxed the applicable fixed fee provided in subsection B, C, or D more than once for a single appearance or trial in absence related to that incident. However, when a defendant who has multiple charges arising from the same incident and who has been assessed a fixed fee for one of those charges is later convicted of another charge that arises from that same incident and that has a higher fixed fee, he shall be assessed the difference between the fixed fee earlier assessed and the higher fixed fee.

A defendant with charges which arise from separate incidents shall be taxed a fee for each incident even if the charges from the multiple incidents are disposed of in a single appearance or trial in absence.

In addition to the fixed fees assessed pursuant to this section, in the appropriate cases, the clerk shall also assess any costs otherwise specifically provided by statute.

B. In misdemeanors tried in district court, except for those proceedings provided for in subsection C, there shall be assessed as court costs a fixed fee of $61. The amount collected, in whole or in part, for the fixed fee shall be apportioned, as provided by law, to the following funds in the fractional amounts designated:

1. Processing fee (General Fund)(.573770);

2. Virginia Crime Victim-Witness Fund (.049180);

3. Regional Criminal Justice Training Academies Fund (.016393);

4. Courthouse Construction/Maintenance Fund (.032787);

5. Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (.098361);

6. Intensified Drug Enforcement Jurisdiction Fund (.065574);

7. Sentencing/supervision fee (General Fund)(.131148); and

8. Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund (.032787).

C. In criminal actions and proceedings in district court for a violation of any provision of Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2, there shall be assessed as court costs a fixed fee of $136. The amount collected, in whole or in part, for the fixed fee shall be apportioned, as provided by law, to the following funds in the fractional amounts designated:

1. Processing fee (General Fund)(.257353);

2. Virginia Crime Victim-Witness Fund (.022059);

3. Regional Criminal Justice Training Academies Fund (.007353);

4. Courthouse Construction/Maintenance Fund (.014706);

5. Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (.044118);

6. Intensified Drug Enforcement Jurisdiction Fund (.029412);

7. Drug Offender Assessment and Treatment Fund (.551471);

8. Forensic laboratory fee and sentencing/supervision fee (General Fund)(.058824); and

9. Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund (.014706).

D. In traffic infractions tried in district court, there shall be assessed as court costs a fixed fee of $51. The amount collected, in whole or in part, for the fixed fee shall be apportioned, as provided by law, to the following funds in the fractional amounts designated:

1. Processing fee (General Fund)(.764706);

2. Virginia Crime Victim-Witness Fund (.058824);

3. Regional Criminal Justice Training Academies Fund (.019608);

4. Courthouse Construction/Maintenance Fund (.039216);

5. Intensified Drug Enforcement Jurisdiction Fund (.078431); and

6. Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund (.039216).

Code 1950, § 14-132; 1956, c. 556; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 10; 1958, c. 286; 1960, cc. 278, 368; 1962, c. 546; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-123; 1968, c. 639; 1970, c. 553; 1975, c. 591; 1977, c. 585; 1978, c. 605; 1979, cc. 525, 594; 1982, cc. 494, 569; 1983, c. 499; 1989, c. 595; 1990, c. 971; 1992, cc. 555, 558; 1995, c. 371; 1996, cc. 62, 976; 1997, c. 215; 1998, c. 872; 2003, cc. 883, 1039; 2004, cc. 371, 375, 1004; 2005, c. 631; 2006, c. 288; 2009, c. 756; 2010, c. 874; 2011, cc. 283, 890; 2014, c. 282; 2017, c. 670; 2019, cc. 14, 57; 2020, c. 1004; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, c. 21; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 16.1-69.48:1.01. Additional fee assessed for conviction of certain offenses.

Beginning May 1, 2003, the clerk shall assess a person, in addition to the fees provided for by § 16.1-69.48:1, a fee of $100 upon conviction of any and each charge of a violation of §§ 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, 18.2-266.1, 18.2-268.3, 46.2-341.24 or § 46.2-341.26:3, or any similar local ordinance.

2003, c. 1042, cl. 9.

§ 16.1-69.48:1.02. Additional fee assessed for conviction requiring computer analysis.

In addition to the fees provided for by § 16.1-69.48:1, upon a finding of guilty of any charge or charges in which any computer forensic analysis revealed evidence used at trial of a defendant, the defendant may be assessed costs in an amount equal to the actual cost of the computer forensic analysis not to exceed $100 for each computer analyzed by any state or local law-enforcement agency. Upon motion and submission to the court of an affidavit by the law-enforcement agency setting forth the number of computers analyzed and the total amount of costs requested, the court shall determine the appropriate amount to be assessed and order such amount paid to the law-enforcement agency.

2011, c. 511.

§ 16.1-69.48:2. Fees for services of district court judges and clerks and magistrates in civil cases.

Fees in civil cases for services performed by the judges or clerks of general district courts or magistrates in the event any such services are performed by magistrates in civil cases shall be as provided in this section, and, unless otherwise provided, shall be included in the taxed costs and shall not be refundable, except in case of error or as herein provided.

For all court and magistrate services in each distress, detinue, interrogatory summons, unlawful detainer, civil warrant, notice of motion, garnishment, attachment issued, or other civil proceeding, the fee shall be $36. No such fee shall be collected (i) in any tax case instituted by any county, city or town or (ii) in any case instituted by a school board for collection of overdue book rental fees. Of the fees collected under this section, $10 of each such fee collected shall be apportioned to the Courts Technology Fund established under § 17.1-132.

The judge or clerk shall collect the foregoing fee at the time of issuing process. Any magistrate or other issuing officer shall collect the foregoing fee at the time of issuing process, and shall remit the entire fee promptly to the court to which such process is returnable, or to its clerk. When no service of process is had on a defendant named in any civil process other than a notice of motion for judgment, such process may be reissued once by the court or clerk at the court's direction by changing the return day of such process, for which service by the court or clerk there shall be no charge; however, reissuance of such process shall be within three months after the original return day.

The clerk of any district court may charge a fee for making a copy of any paper of record to go out of his office which is not otherwise specifically provided for. The amount of this fee shall be set in the discretion of the clerk but shall not exceed $1 for the first two pages and $.50 for each page thereafter.

The fees prescribed in this section shall be the only fees charged in civil cases for services performed by such judges and clerks, and when the services referred to herein are performed by magistrates such fees shall be the only fees charged by such magistrates for the prescribed services.

Code 1950, § 14-133; 1954, c. 287; 1956, c. 556; 1958, c. 555; 1960, cc. 17, 106; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-125; 1970, c. 569; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 155, 253; 1973, c. 545; 1975, c. 591; 1982, c. 569; 1983, c. 499; 1984, cc. 293, 702; 1990, c. 943; 1991, c. 577; 1992, c. 555; 1997, c. 42; 1998, c. 872; 2003, c. 1039; 2006, cc. 623, 718; 2010, c. 874; 2011, c. 890; 2020, c. 1289; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, c. 56; 2022, Sp. Sess. I, c. 1.

§ 16.1-69.48:3. Fees charged to drug offenders.

Whenever in a general district court the costs provided for in subsection C of § 16.1-69.48:1 are assessed for a violation of any provision of Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2, a portion of the costs, as specified in subsection C of § 16.1-69.48:1, shall be included in the taxed costs and paid into the Drug Offender Assessment and Treatment Fund.

1995, c. 463, § 14.1-134.1; 1998, cc. 783, 840, 872; 2002, c. 831; 2004, c. 1004.

§ 16.1-69.48:4. Costs generally.

The provisions of Chapter 6 (§ 17.1-600 et seq.) of Title 17.1 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the laws of costs in the district courts.

1998, c. 872.

§ 16.1-69.48:5. Fees for services of juvenile and domestic relations district court judges and clerks in certain civil cases.

Except as otherwise provided, upon the initial commencement of any case in the juvenile and domestic relations district court pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 16.1-241 when the custody or visitation of a child is a subject of controversy or requires determination, there shall be a filing fee of $25. However, only one $25 fee shall be required for all custody and visitation petitions simultaneously initiated by a single petitioner. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, there shall be no other fees or costs added to this fee as a condition of filing. No case to which this fee is applicable shall be set for hearing by the clerk until this fee has been paid except on account of poverty as provided in § 17.1-606. Fees shall be paid to the clerk in the jurisdiction in which the petition is filed.

This fee shall not be charged in any case brought by an agent of the Commonwealth or of a local government entity.

When service of process is had on the respondent named in a petition for which the filing fee established by this section has been paid, such petition may be reissued once by changing the return day of such process, for which service there shall be no charge; however, reissuance of such process shall be within three months after the original return day.

In the case of an appeal filed pursuant to § 16.1-296, the clerk shall collect any applicable fees for service of process of the notice of appeal in the circuit court from the appellant prior to transmitting the case to the clerk of the circuit court. For purposes of this section, service of process in the circuit court may include service on the appellee by the sheriff or private process server or certified or registered mail, and service on the attorney for the appellee by regular mail.

2003, c. 906; 2004, cc. 366, 659, 727.

§ 16.1-69.48:6. Fees for offenses related to sex trafficking.

The court shall order any person convicted of a misdemeanor violation of § 18.2-346.01 or of § 18.2-348 or 18.2-349 to pay a $100 fee, which shall be deposited into the Virginia Prevention of Sex Trafficking Fund to be used in accordance with § 9.1-116.4.

2019, c. 728; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 188.

§ 16.1-69.49. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1978, c. 611.

§ 16.1-69.50. Quarters for court and clerk.

Each county and city having a general district court or juvenile and domestic relations district court shall provide suitable quarters for such court and its clerk and social services staff and a suitable room or rooms for the sessions of the court at the places designated for such purpose, except that if the court of a county is held in a city or town, other than the county seat, such city or town shall provide a suitable place for the court to be held. Such county or city shall also provide all necessary furniture, filing cabinets and other equipment necessary for the efficient operation of the court.

1972, c. 708; 1973, c. 546.

§ 16.1-69.51. Books, supplies, etc.; how furnished; Committee to determine form of records.

The Commonwealth shall provide dockets and other books, stationery and supplies necessary for the efficient operation of all district courts. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Committee on District Courts, after consultation with the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, may determine the form and character of the records of the district courts and magistrates. All dockets shall be uniform, and the form thereof shall also be subject to approval by the Auditor of Public Accounts.

1972, c. 708; 1973, c. 546; 1975, c. 334; 1985, c. 133.

§ 16.1-69.51:1. Display of flags in courtrooms.

There shall be displayed inside each courtroom of all district courts in the cities and counties of the Commonwealth the flag of the United States of America and the flag of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The governing bodies of the respective counties and cities shall make provision for such display and may accept gifts or flags for such purpose.

1976, c. 445.

§ 16.1-69.52. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1983, c. 499.