The circuit court is the trial court with the broadest powers in Virginia. The circuit court handles all civil cases with claims of more than $15,000. It shares authority with the general district court to hear matters involving between $3,000 and $15,000. The circuit court has the authority to hear serious criminal cases called felonies.
The circuit court also handles family matters, including divorce. In addition, the circuit court hears cases appealed from the general district court and from the juvenile and domestic relations district court. There is a circuit court in each city and county in Virginia. Circuit court judges are elected by the General Assembly for 8-year term.
Clerk of Court
The Clerk of Circuit Court is a constitutionally elected officer who serves as the recorder deeds, plats, and estate, issues marriage licenses and is the official court administrator for all civil and court cases. This office also creates and maintains all court files and records, prepares court orders and jury lists, contacts jurors and issues summons and court processes. The Circuit Court processes appointments of notaries and law enforcement officers.