Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 17.1. Courts of Record
Subtitle .
Chapter 5. Circuit Courts
11/26/2022

Chapter 5. Circuit Courts.

Article 1. Establishment; Jurisdiction; Etc.

§ 17.1-500. Establishment of circuit courts.

For the City of Williamsburg and James City County, and every other county in the Commonwealth, and the Cities of Alexandria, Bristol, Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Chesapeake, Colonial Heights, Danville, Fredericksburg, Hampton, Hopewell, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Newport News, Norfolk, Petersburg, Portsmouth, Radford, Richmond, Roanoke, Salem, Staunton, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Waynesboro and Winchester, there shall be a circuit court, which shall be called the circuit court of such county or city, or county and city, as the case may be. Each city circuit court shall be the sole court of record for the city and have jurisdiction over each suit, motion, prosecution or thing now or heretofore properly pending in the former courts of record of the city and over the records of such courts. Any reference in this Code or in any act of the General Assembly to a corporation, hustings, law and chancery, law and equity, chancery or other court of record of a city shall apply to the circuit court thereof, mutatis mutandis.

1973, c. 544, § 17-116.1; 1974, c. 297; 1981, c. 628; 1983, c. 580; 1991, c. 189; 1998, c. 872; 2006, c. 861.

§ 17.1-501. Judges of circuit courts; selection, powers and duties of chief judges; exercise of appointive powers.

A. There shall be as many judges of the circuit courts as may be fixed by the General Assembly. The judges of each circuit shall select from their number by majority vote a chief judge of the circuit, who shall serve for the term of two years. In the event such judges cannot agree as to who shall be chief judge, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall act as tie breaker.

B. The chief judge of the circuit shall ensure that the system of justice in his circuit operates smoothly and efficiently. He shall have authority to assign the work of the circuit among the judges, and in doing so he may consider the nature and categories of the cases to be assigned.

C. Unless otherwise provided by law, powers of appointment within a circuit shall be exercised by a majority of the judges of the circuit; however, the order of appointment may be signed by the chief judge or that judge's designee on behalf of the other judges. In case of a tie, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall appoint a circuit judge from another circuit who shall act as tie breaker. Where the power of appointment is to be exercised by a majority of the judges of the Second Judicial Circuit and such appointment is to a local post, board or commission in Accomack or Northampton County, the resident judge or judges of the County of Accomack or Northampton shall exercise such appointment power as if he or they comprise the majority of the judges of the circuit.

D. No person shall be appointed or reappointed under this section until he has submitted his fingerprints to be used for the conduct of a national criminal records search and a Virginia criminal history records search, submitted to a search of the central registry maintained pursuant to § 63.2-1515 for any founded complaint of child abuse or neglect, and provided a written statement of economic interests on the disclosure form prescribed in § 2.2-3117. No person with a criminal conviction for a felony shall be appointed as a judge.

1973, c. 544, § 17-116.2; 1976, c. 124; 1994, c. 407; 1998, c. 872; 2004, c. 452; 2005, c. 183; 2018, c. 578.

§ 17.1-502. (For contingent expiration date see cc. 524 and 542) Administrator of circuit court system.

A. The Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court shall be the administrator of the circuit court system, which includes the operation and maintenance of a case management system and financial management system and related technology improvements.

B. Any circuit court clerk may establish and maintain his own case management system, financial management system, or other independent technology using automation or technology improvements provided by a private vendor or the locality. Any data from the clerk's independent system may be provided directly from such clerk to designated state agencies. The data from the clerk's independent system may also be provided to designated state agencies through an interface with the technology systems operated by the Executive Secretary.

C. The Executive Secretary shall provide an electronic interface with his case management system, financial management system, or other technology improvements upon written request of any circuit court clerk. The circuit court clerk and the clerk's designated application service provider shall comply with the security and data standards established by the Executive Secretary for any such electronic interface. The Executive Secretary shall establish security and data standards for such electronic interfaces on or before June 30, 2013, and such standards shall be consistent with the policies, standards, and guidelines established pursuant to § 2.2-2009.

D. The costs of designing, implementing, and maintaining any such interface with the systems of the Executive Secretary shall be the responsibility of the circuit court clerk. Prior to incurring any costs, the Office of the Executive Secretary shall provide the circuit court clerk a written explanation of the options for providing such interfaces and provide the clerk with a proposal for such costs and enter into a written contract with the clerk to provide such services.

E. The Executive Secretary shall assist the chief judges in the performance of their administrative duties. He may employ such staff and other assistants, from state funds appropriated to him for the purpose, as may be necessary to carry out his duties, and may secure such office space as may be requisite, to be located in an appropriate place to be selected by the Executive Secretary.

1973, c. 544, § 17-116.3; 1998, c. 872; 2009, cc. 793, 858; 2011, c. 715; 2012, c. 234; 2013, c. 422.

§ 17.1-502. (For contingent effective date see cc. 524 and 542) Administrator of circuit court system.

A. The Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court shall be the administrator of the circuit court system, which includes the operation and maintenance of a case management system and financial management system and related technology improvements.

B. Any circuit court clerk may establish and maintain his own case management system, financial management system, or other independent technology using automation or technology improvements provided by a private vendor or the locality. Any data from the clerk's independent system may be provided directly from such clerk to designated state agencies. The data from the clerk's independent system may also be provided to designated state agencies through an interface with the technology systems operated by the Executive Secretary.

B1. If the data from a case management system established under subsection B is not provided to the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court through an interface, such data shall be provided to the Department of State Police through an interface for purposes of complying with §§ 19.2-392.7, 19.2-392.10, 19.2-392.11, and 19.2-392.12. The parameters of such interface shall be determined by the Department of State Police. The costs of designing, implementing, and maintaining such interface shall be the responsibility of the circuit court clerk.

C. The Executive Secretary shall provide an electronic interface with his case management system, financial management system, or other technology improvements upon written request of any circuit court clerk. The circuit court clerk and the clerk's designated application service provider shall comply with the security and data standards established by the Executive Secretary for any such electronic interface. The Executive Secretary shall establish security and data standards for such electronic interfaces on or before June 30, 2013, and such standards shall be consistent with the policies, standards, and guidelines established pursuant to § 2.2-2009.

D. The costs of designing, implementing, and maintaining any such interface with the systems of the Executive Secretary shall be the responsibility of the circuit court clerk. Prior to incurring any costs, the Office of the Executive Secretary shall provide the circuit court clerk a written explanation of the options for providing such interfaces and provide the clerk with a proposal for such costs and enter into a written contract with the clerk to provide such services.

E. The Executive Secretary shall assist the chief judges in the performance of their administrative duties. He may employ such staff and other assistants, from state funds appropriated to him for the purpose, as may be necessary to carry out his duties, and may secure such office space as may be requisite, to be located in an appropriate place to be selected by the Executive Secretary.

1973, c. 544, § 17-116.3; 1998, c. 872; 2009, cc. 793, 858; 2011, c. 715; 2012, c. 234; 2013, c. 422; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 524, 542.

§ 17.1-503. Rules of practice and procedure; rules not to preclude judges from hearing certain cases.

A. The Supreme Court may formulate rules of practice and procedure for the circuit courts following consultation with the Chairmen of the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the executive committee of the Judicial Conference of Virginia for courts of record. Such rules, subject to the strict construction of the provisions of § 8.01-4, which shall be the only rules of practice and procedure in the circuit courts of the Commonwealth, shall be included in the Code of Virginia as provided in § 8.01-3, subject to revision by the General Assembly.

B. No rule shall hereafter be promulgated under the limitations of § 8.01-4, or otherwise which would avoid or preclude the judge before whom an accused is arraigned in criminal cases from hearing all aspects of the case on its merits, or to avoid or preclude any judge in any case who has heard any part of the case on its merits, from hearing the case to its conclusion. However, another judge may hear portions of a case where a judge is required to disqualify himself, in cases in which a mistrial is declared, or in cases which have been reversed on appeal, or in the event of sickness, disability or vacation of the judge. The parties to any suit, action, cause or prosecution may waive the provisions of this section. Such waiver shall be entered of record.

C. In its rules of practice and procedure for the circuit courts, the Supreme Court shall include rules relating to court decisions on any order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State Health Commissioner pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2 of Title 32.1 that shall ensure, to the extent possible, that such hearings are held in a manner that will protect the health and safety of individuals subject to any such order of quarantine or isolation, court personnel, counsels, witnesses, and the general public. The rules shall also provide for expedited reviews by the Court of Appeals of decisions by any circuit court and by the Supreme Court of decisions of the Court of Appeals relating to appeals of any order of quarantine or isolation.

1973, c. 544, § 17-116.4; 1976, c. 212; 1998, c. 872; 2004, cc. 773, 1021; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 489.

§ 17.1-504. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 17.1-505. Circuit court of county to constitute circuit court of certain cities.

The circuit court of any county, within which is situated any city which has undergone transition from a city of the second class to a city of the first class since the Constitution of 1902, went into effect, shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit court of such city in all proceedings at law or in equity, except criminal prosecutions; and the circuit court of such county shall constitute the circuit court of such city. This section shall not apply to the Cities of Bristol, Colonial Heights, Fredericksburg, Martinsville, Salem and Suffolk for which separate circuit courts have heretofore been established and which are continued.

Code 1919, § 5911, § 17-118; 1920, p. 607; 1962, c. 237; 1968, c. 107; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 27; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-506. Judicial circuits.

1. The City of Chesapeake shall constitute the first circuit.

2. The City of Virginia Beach and the Counties of Accomack and Northampton shall constitute the second circuit.

3. The City of Portsmouth shall constitute the third circuit.

4. The City of Norfolk shall constitute the fourth circuit.

5. The Cities of Franklin and Suffolk and the Counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton shall constitute the fifth circuit.

6. The Cities of Emporia and Hopewell and the Counties of Brunswick, Greensville, Prince George, Surry and Sussex shall constitute the sixth circuit.

7. The City of Newport News shall constitute the seventh circuit.

8. The City of Hampton shall constitute the eighth circuit.

9. The Cities of Poquoson and Williamsburg and the Counties of Charles City, Gloucester, James City, King and Queen, King William, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent and York shall constitute the ninth circuit.

10. The Counties of Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg and Prince Edward shall constitute the tenth circuit.

11. The City of Petersburg and the Counties of Amelia, Dinwiddie, Nottoway and Powhatan shall constitute the eleventh circuit.

12. The City of Colonial Heights and the County of Chesterfield shall constitute the twelfth circuit.

13. The City of Richmond shall constitute the thirteenth circuit.

14. The County of Henrico shall constitute the fourteenth circuit.

15. The City of Fredericksburg and the Counties of Caroline, Essex, Hanover, King George, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland shall constitute the fifteenth circuit.

16. The City of Charlottesville and the Counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison and Orange shall constitute the sixteenth circuit.

17. The County of Arlington and the City of Falls Church shall constitute the seventeenth circuit.

18. The City of Alexandria shall constitute the eighteenth circuit.

19. The City of Fairfax and the County of Fairfax shall constitute the nineteenth circuit.

20. The Counties of Fauquier, Loudoun and Rappahannock shall constitute the twentieth circuit.

21. The City of Martinsville and the Counties of Henry and Patrick shall constitute the twenty-first circuit.

22. The City of Danville and the Counties of Franklin and Pittsylvania shall constitute the twenty-second circuit.

23. The Cities of Roanoke and Salem and the County of Roanoke shall constitute the twenty-third circuit.

24. The City of Lynchburg and the Counties of Amherst, Bedford, Campbell and Nelson shall constitute the twenty-fourth circuit.

25. The Cities of Buena Vista, Covington, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro and the Counties of Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Craig, Highland and Rockbridge shall constitute the twenty-fifth circuit.

26. The Cities of Harrisonburg and Winchester and the Counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren shall constitute the twenty-sixth circuit.

27. The Cities of Galax and Radford and the Counties of Bland, Carroll, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski and Wythe shall constitute the twenty-seventh circuit.

28. The City of Bristol and the Counties of Smyth and Washington shall constitute the twenty-eighth circuit.

29. The Counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell shall constitute the twenty-ninth circuit.

30. The City of Norton and the Counties of Lee, Scott and Wise shall constitute the thirtieth circuit.

31. The Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park and the County of Prince William shall constitute the thirty-first circuit.

1973, c. 544, § 17-119.1:1; 1974, c. 297; 1976, c. 126; 1977, c. 4; 1983, c. 149; 1986, c. 405; 1987, c. 624; 1991, c. 189; 1998, c. 872; 2006, c. 861; 2016, cc. 164, 312.

§ 17.1-507. Maximum number of judges; residence requirement; compensation; powers; etc.

A. For the several judicial circuits there shall be judges, the maximum number as hereinafter set forth, who shall during their service reside within their respective circuits and whose compensation and powers shall be the same as now and hereafter prescribed for circuit judges.

The maximum number of judges of the circuits shall be as follows:

First — 5

Second — 8

Third — 4

Fourth — 8

Fifth — 4

Sixth — 3

Seventh — 5

Eighth — 3

Ninth — 4

Tenth — 4

Eleventh — 3

Twelfth — 6

Thirteenth — 7

Fourteenth — 5

Fifteenth — 11

Sixteenth — 6

Seventeenth — 4

Eighteenth — 3

Nineteenth — 15

Twentieth — 5

Twenty-first — 3

Twenty-second — 4

Twenty-third — 5

Twenty-fourth — 6

Twenty-fifth — 6

Twenty-sixth — 8

Twenty-seventh — 6

Twenty-eighth — 4

Twenty-ninth — 5

Thirtieth — 4

Thirty-first — 7

B. No additional circuit court judge shall be authorized or provided for any judicial circuit until the Judicial Council has made a study of the need for such additional circuit court judge and has reported its findings and recommendations to the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The boundary of any judicial circuit shall not be changed until a study has been made by the Judicial Council and a report of its findings and recommendations made to said Committees.

C. If the Judicial Council finds the need for an additional circuit court judge after a study is made pursuant to subsection B, the study shall be made available to the Compensation Board and the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Council shall publish notice of such finding in a publication of general circulation among attorneys licensed to practice in the Commonwealth. The Compensation Board shall make a study of the need to provide additional courtroom security and deputy court clerk staffing. This study shall be reported to the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and to the Department of Planning and Budget.

1973, c. 544, § 17-119.1:2; 1974, cc. 42, 43; 1975, c. 40; 1977, c. 4; 1979, c. 6; 1980, c. 29; 1981, c. 27; 1982, c. 57; 1983, c. 2; 1985, c. 43; 1986, cc. 78, 479; 1989, c. 43; 1990, cc. 113, 114; 1991, cc. 20, 419, 623; 1992, c. 92; 1993, cc. 9, 89; 1994, cc. 89, 454; 1995, c. 20; 1996, c. 120; 1997, c. 17; 1998, cc. 3, 872; 1999, cc. 10, 319; 2000, c. 37; 2004, Sp. Sess. I, c. 4; 2005, cc. 190, 231, 951; 2006, cc. 35, 738; 2006, Sp. Sess. I, c. 2; 2013, c. 806; 2014, cc. 812, 822; 2018, cc. 126, 135; 2022, cc. 579, 580.

§ 17.1-508. Judges in new or changed circuits; ratifying, validating and confirming certain actions.

In any case heretofore or hereafter arising in which a judge has been judge of a circuit created under § 17.1-506 as amended, and the counties and cities, or one or more of them, have been transferred to and constituted as part of a new judicial circuit and the remaining counties and cities constituted as a circuit, the judges of the respective circuits are hereby declared to be judges of said circuits in which they reside and their actions are hereby ratified, validated and confirmed.

1962, c. 3, § 17-119.2; 1978, c. 480; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-509. Vacancies in office of judge.

Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of judge, a successor, who shall be a resident of the same circuit, shall be elected for a full term of eight years and upon qualification shall enter at once upon the discharge of the duties of his office. No person shall be elected or reelected to a subsequent term under this section until he has submitted to a criminal history record search and submitted to a search of the central registry maintained pursuant to § 63.2-1515 for any founded complaint of child abuse or neglect and reports of such searches have been received by the Chairmen of the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. If the person has not met the requirement of filing in the preceding calendar year a disclosure form prescribed in § 2.2-3117 or 30-111, he shall also provide a written statement of economic interests on the disclosure form prescribed in § 2.2-3117 to the Chairmen of the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Subject to the provisions of §§ 17.1-511 and 17.1-512, the Governor shall have the power while the General Assembly is not in session to fill pro tempore vacancies in such office. Such appointment to every vacancy shall be by commission to expire at the end of 30 days after the commencement of the next regular session of the General Assembly. No person with a criminal conviction for a felony shall be appointed as a judge.

Code 1919, § 5889, § 17-120; 1920, p. 123; 1924, p. 310; 1944, p. 95; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 27; 1973, c. 544; 1977, c. 197; 1998, c. 872; 2001, c. 256; 2004, c. 452; 2018, c. 578.

§ 17.1-510. Election of judge of new circuit; how court held meanwhile.

If a new or additional circuit is created, a judge or judges shall be elected or appointed thereto in the same manner as provided by law for the filling of vacancies or newly created judgeships in existing circuits.

During any vacancy from the creation of the new circuit until a judge has been elected or appointed to fill the vacancy and has qualified, terms of the court shall be held by a judge or by judges designated as provided by law in cases of vacancies.

Code 1919, § 5889, § 17-121; 1920, p. 123; 1924, p. 310; 1944, p. 95; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-511. Investigation and certification of necessity before vacancies filled.

When a vacancy occurs in the office of judge of any court of record, the vacancy shall not be filled until, after investigation, the Supreme Court certifies that the filling of the vacancy is or is not necessary. If the Court certifies that the filling of the vacancy is necessary, the Court shall publish notice of such certification in a publication of general circulation among attorneys licensed to practice in the Commonwealth. No notice of retirement submitted under § 51.1-305 or § 51.1-307 shall be revoked after certification of the vacancy by the Court. If the Court certifies that the filling of the vacancy is not necessary, it shall recommend to the General Assembly the manner of distributing the work of the judge; and the Governor shall not fill the vacancy.

1940, p. 178, § 17-122; Michie Code 1942, § 5889a; 1944, p. 96; 1962, c. 287; 1973, c. 544; 1998, c. 872; 1999, c. 319; 2004, c. 331.

§ 17.1-512. Election of successor judge before date of vacancy.

Whenever a vacancy occurs or exists in the office of a judge of a circuit while the General Assembly is in session, or whenever the term of office of a judge of a circuit court will expire or the office will be vacated at a date certain between the adjournment of the General Assembly and the commencement of the next session of the General Assembly, a successor judge may be elected at any time during a session preceding the date of such vacancy, by the vote of a majority of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly, for a term of eight years and upon qualification, the successor judge shall enter at once upon the discharge of the duties of his office. However, such successor judge shall not enter upon the discharge of his duties prior to the commencement of his term of office. No person shall be elected or reelected to a subsequent term under this section until he has submitted to a criminal history record search and submitted to a search of the central registry maintained pursuant to § 63.2-1515 for any founded complaint of child abuse or neglect and reports of such searches have been received by the Chairmen of the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. No person with a criminal conviction for a felony shall be appointed as a judge. If the person has not met the requirement of filing in the preceding calendar year a disclosure form prescribed in § 2.2-3117 or 30-111, he shall also provide a written statement of economic interests on the disclosure form prescribed in § 2.2-3117 to the Chairmen of the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

1973, c. 544, § 17-122.1; 1993, c. 368; 1998, c. 872; 2004, c. 452; 2018, c. 578.

§ 17.1-513. Jurisdiction of circuit courts.

The circuit courts shall have jurisdiction of proceedings by quo warranto or information in the nature of quo warranto and to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition and certiorari to all inferior tribunals created or existing under the laws of the Commonwealth, and to issue writs of mandamus in all matters of proceedings arising from or pertaining to the action of the boards of supervisors or other governing bodies of the several counties for which such courts are respectively held or in other cases in which it may be necessary to prevent the failure of justice and in which mandamus may issue according to the principles of common law. They shall have appellate jurisdiction in all cases, civil and criminal, in which an appeal may, as provided by law, be taken from the judgment or proceedings of any inferior tribunal.

They shall have original and general jurisdiction of all civil cases, except cases upon claims to recover personal property or money not of greater value than $100, exclusive of interest, and except such cases as are assigned to some other tribunal; also in all cases for the recovery of fees in excess of $100; penalties or cases involving the right to levy and collect toll or taxes or the validity of an ordinance or bylaw of any corporation; and also, of all cases, civil or criminal, in which an appeal may be had to the Court of Appeals.

They shall have jurisdiction to hear motions filed for the purpose of modifying, dissolving, or extending a protective order pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 or 19.2-152.10 if the circuit court issued such order, unless the circuit court remanded the matter to the jurisdiction of the juvenile and domestic relations district court in accordance with § 16.1-297. They shall also have original jurisdiction of all indictments for felonies and of presentments, informations and indictments for misdemeanors. They shall also have jurisdiction for bail hearings pursuant to §§ 19.2-327.2:1 and 19.2-327.10:1.

Upon certification by the district court of any felony charge and ancillary misdemeanor charge or when an appeal of a conviction of an offense in district court is noted, jurisdiction as to such charges shall vest in the circuit court, unless such case is reopened pursuant to § 16.1-133.1; a final judgment, order, or decree is modified, vacated, or suspended pursuant to Supreme Court of Virginia Rule 1:1; or the appeal has been withdrawn in the district court within 10 days pursuant to § 16.1-133.

They shall have appellate jurisdiction of all cases, civil and criminal, in which an appeal, writ of error or supersedeas may, as provided by law, be taken to or allowed by such courts, or the judges thereof, from or to the judgment or proceedings of any inferior tribunal. They shall also have jurisdiction of all other matters, civil and criminal, made cognizable therein by law and when a motion to recover money is allowed in such tribunals, they may hear and determine the same, although it is to recover less than $100.

While a matter is pending in a circuit court, upon motion of the plaintiff seeking to decrease the amount of the claim to within the exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction of the general district court as described in subdivision 1 of § 16.1-77, the circuit court shall order transfer of the matter to the general district 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. 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.

Code 1919, § 5890, § 17-123; 1928, p. 1164; 1973, c. 544; 1977, c. 624; 1998, c. 872; 2005, c. 681; 2012, cc. 152, 261; 2015, c. 66; 2020, c. 903; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 187, 489.

§ 17.1-513.01. Jurisdiction of circuit courts with respect to charitable assets.

A. The circuit courts shall have the same subject matter jurisdiction over matters pertaining to assets of charitable corporations, incorporated in or doing any business in Virginia, as the circuit courts have with respect to assets held by unincorporated charitable trusts and other charitable entities, including the power to require accountings, appoint receivers, award damages, and enter injunctive relief against such charitable corporations, their officers, directors, agents, employees and others as may be necessary to protect the public interest in such assets.

B. Nothing contained in this section is intended to modify the standard of conduct applicable under existing law to the directors of charitable corporations incorporated in or doing any business in Virginia.

2002, c. 792; 2004, c. 289.

§ 17.1-513.1. Appeals from administrative proceedings; abuse and neglect; record to be sealed.

In cases appealed to the circuit court involving child abuse and neglect pursuant to § 63.2-1526, proceedings shall be confidential and the record in the case shall be sealed. However, the court may, for good cause shown, unseal the record.

2000, c. 478.

§ 17.1-513.2. Use of telephonic communication systems or electronic video and audio communication systems to conduct hearing.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any civil proceeding in which a party or a witness is incarcerated or when otherwise authorized by the court, the court may, in its discretion, conduct any hearing using a telephonic communication system or an electronic audio and video communication system to provide for the appearance of any parties and witnesses. Any electronic audio and video communication system used to conduct such a hearing shall meet the standards set forth in subsection B of § 19.2-3.1.

2001, c. 513.

§ 17.1-514. When plaintiff entitled to less than $100; judgment for defendant.

In any personal action in a circuit court, wherein it is ascertained that less than $100, exclusive of interest, is due to the plaintiff, judgment shall be for the defendant, unless the court enter of record that the matter in controversy was of greater value than $100, exclusive of interest, in which case it may render judgment for the plaintiff for what is ascertained to be due him, with or without costs, in the court's discretion.

Code 1950, § 8-511.1; 1952, c. 248; 1977, c. 624, § 17-123.1; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-515. Jurisdiction formerly in county courts.

The jurisdiction and powers which were vested in the county courts and the judges and officers thereof, respectively, on January 31, 1904, by the laws of this Commonwealth or under any will or other instrument of writing shall be vested in, exercised by and imposed upon the circuit courts and the judges and officers thereof, except when otherwise specially provided.

All such acts and proceedings of the circuit courts, judges and officers thereof, respectively, whether de jure or de facto officers, done or had since January 31, 1904, as may hereafter be done under this section, are hereby ratified and made valid.

Code 1919, § 5891, § 17-124; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-515.1. Territorial jurisdiction of the Circuit Court for the City of Lynchburg.

The territorial jurisdiction of the Circuit Court for the City of Lynchburg shall extend to the corporate limits of the city and to a space of one mile without and around the city limits, except that the same shall not extend further into the County of Amherst than the corporate limits. Any judgment, order, or decree of the Circuit Court for the City of Lynchburg heretofore made in any case in which the court would have had jurisdiction had this section then been in operation shall have the same effect as if it had been at that time in force.

Code 1919, § 5904, § 17-125; 2018, c. 164.

§ 17.1-515.2. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2018, c. 164, cl. 2.

§ 17.1-515.3. Designation of courtrooms within twenty-first and twenty-third circuits for trial of certain cases.

The chief judge of the twenty-first and the twenty-third judicial circuits may, by order, as in the interest of justice may appear, designate one or more of the courtrooms of any circuit court within their respective circuits as the courtroom or courtrooms in which civil and criminal cases whose venue is laid within the circuit may be tried; provided, that in criminal cases, jurors summoned to appear at such courtroom or courtrooms shall reside in the vicinage of which the crime is laid.

1976, c. 272; 1977, c. 195, § 17-126.3.

§ 17.1-515.4. Designation of certain courtrooms within sixteenth circuit for trial of certain cases.

When it appears to one or more of the judges of the sixteenth judicial circuit that such use is appropriate, the courthouse of the Circuit Court of Albemarle County may be used for the trial of civil or criminal cases whose venue is laid in the City of Charlottesville, or the courthouse of the Circuit Court of the City of Charlottesville may be used for the trial of civil or criminal cases whose venue is laid in the County of Albemarle; provided, that in criminal cases, jurors summoned to appear at any such courtroom shall reside in the vicinage of which the crime is laid.

1978, c. 61, § 17-126.4.

§ 17.1-515.5. Designation of certain courtrooms within twenty-fifth circuit for trial of certain cases.

When it appears to one or more of the judges of the twenty-fifth judicial circuit that such use is appropriate, the courthouse of the Circuit Court of Augusta County may be used for the trial of civil and criminal cases when venue is laid in the City of Staunton; or the courthouse of the Circuit Court of the City of Staunton may be used for the trial of civil or criminal cases when venue is laid in the County of Augusta. However, jurors summoned to appear in any such courtroom shall reside in the jurisdiction where the venue is laid.

1984, c. 86, § 17-126.5.

§ 17.1-515.6. Concurrent law-enforcement jurisdiction over Joint Judicial Center in Winchester.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Department shall have, concurrently with the City of Winchester Police Department, jurisdiction to arrest perpetrators of all offenses committed in or upon the premises, buildings, rooms, or offices of the Joint Judicial Center located in the City of Winchester.

1984, c. 363, § 17-126.6.

§ 17.1-516. Jurisdiction of courts over certain waters.

Where any river, watercourse, or bay lies between any counties or any cities, or any county and city in this Commonwealth, the circuit courts for the counties and the cities, on each side, respectively, shall have concurrent territorial jurisdiction over so much thereof as shall be opposite to such counties and cities. And the circuit courts for counties and cities lying on the waters bounding the Commonwealth shall have concurrent territorial jurisdiction respectively over such waters opposite such counties and cities, as far as the jurisdiction of this Commonwealth extends. This section shall not apply to the City of Richmond.

Code 1919, § 5958, § 17-1; 1948, p. 151; 1998, c. 872; 2005, cc. 45, 114.

§ 17.1-517. Number of terms; how fixed.

The chief judge of each circuit shall fix the terms of each of the courts within his circuit; provided, that there shall be at least four terms of court each year, and the dockets for criminal and civil cases may be called on the same or different days in any courtroom of the circuit. Such terms shall be fixed by order, which shall be entered in the common-law order book in each court. The order fixing or changing the terms of court shall be entered on or before January 1, to become effective July 1, and a copy of the order shall be forwarded to the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, who shall cause an abstract thereof to be published in the Code of Virginia, as a part of the Rules of Court.

1973, c. 544, § 17-127.21; 1976, c. 133; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-518. Special terms; when, how and by whom appointed.

If any term of a circuit court is to end, or has ended, without the dispatch of all its business or if there be a failure to hold any term or it is expedient in the opinion of the judge of the court to hold a special term for the trial of any cause pending in such court or of issues made up in any cause by consent of parties, or if the situation of a person confined in jail for trial in such circuit court makes it proper that his case should be disposed of before the next regular term thereof, or necessity in the judge's opinion requires it, the judge of such circuit court or, if he is dead or is unable from any cause to hold his court, the judge of any other circuit court who has been designated to hold such terms, may, by order entered in such court or by a warrant directed to the clerk, appoint a special term thereof and prescribe in such order or warrant whether any venire is to be summoned to attend the term. The clerk shall inform the attorney for the Commonwealth and the sheriff of such appointment, post a copy of the warrant or order at the front door of the courthouse and issue all proper process to such special term and the sheriff shall execute the process.

Code 1919, § 5894, § 17-129; 1973, c. 544; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-519. Adjournment thereof to a future day.

Whenever any judge of a circuit court has appointed a special term of any circuit court, by adjournment or warrant in the manner directed by § 17.1-518, and shall afterward ascertain that he cannot hold the special term on the day appointed for it, he may, by warrant, directed to the clerk of the court, adjourn it to such other day as he deems proper. The warrant shall be transmitted to the clerk, who shall immediately enter it in the order book of the court and, as to the special term thereafter to be held under the continuance, proceed in all other respects in the manner directed by § 17.1-518.

Code 1919, § 5895, § 17-130; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-520. What tried at a special term.

At any such special term:

1. Any civil case may be tried which could lawfully have been but was not tried at the last preceding term that was or should have been held;

2. Any motion cognizable by such court may be heard and determined, whether it was pending at the preceding term or not;

3. Any criminal case may be tried at such special term as if it were a regular term, although at the preceding regular term the same may not have been pending in the court or may have been continued; and

4. Any cause or matter of controversy, then ready for hearing or which may be made ready by consent of parties, may, with the consent of the parties to such cause or controversy, be heard and determined, although it could not lawfully have been heard at the preceding term that was or should have been held.

Code 1919, § 5896, § 17-131; 1998, c. 872; 2005, c. 681.

§ 17.1-521. Who to hold special term; powers.

Every such special term may be held by the judge of the circuit court or, if he is dead or absent or is so situated in respect to any cause pending in the court as in his opinion to make it improper for him to try it, by such other circuit or city judge as may be selected or designated in the manner prescribed by law. The judge so selected or designated shall hold the special term and part of its session may be held by one judge and part of it by another. A judge selected or designated to hold a special term shall have all the powers and is authorized to discharge all the duties of the judge of such circuit court.

Code 1919, § 5896, § 17-132; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-522. Adjournment of special term.

A special term may be adjourned from time to time during intervals between the regular terms, as necessary, for the dispatch of the business of the court.

Code 1919, § 5896, § 17-133; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-523. Salaries of judges of circuit courts.

The judges of the circuit courts shall each receive such salary as shall be fixed from time to time in the general appropriation acts. Such salary shall be the total compensation for circuit court judges. However, any county or city which has, prior to March 1, 1976, maintained any program of supplemental retirement or insurance for the benefit of such judges, may continue the same in effect as to judges theretofore covered thereby. The whole of such salaries shall be paid out of the state treasury.

Code 1950, § 14-43; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-33; 1972, c. 43; 1973, c. 544; 1974, c. 225; 1976, c. 667; 1978, c. 249; 1979, c. 83; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-524. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2009, c. 592.