Civil Court is held every Tuesday at 1:00pm. You must allow 3 weeks from the time you file the warrant until the court date. Contested court dates are set by the Judge.
The Small Claims Docket is held on the 3rd Monday of each month at 1:30pm except state holidays. The Small Claims docket for January and February will be on the 4th Friday at 9:00am. The Small Claims Division is for claims of $5,000.00 or less without attorneys. Separate forms are required, however, the filing fees and post-judgment enforcement is the same.
Forms now available online at www.courts.state.va.us
The following information is provided to help you complete the form and understand court procedures. Please complete an original and 4 copies (5 total) for one defendant and an original and 6 copies (7 total) for two defendants. Once the form is completed and a court date selected, return the original, a copy for each defendant and a file copy, along with a check, money order or cash for the appropriate amount of filing fees [listed below] to the Clerk’s office. Mail a copy to each defendant and keep one copy for your records. On the back of your copy (in lower right hand corner), you will need to certify by date and signature that you mailed a copy to the defendants and bring to court. The clerk’s office must receive the warrant and fees no less than 3 weeks before the return date.
On the day of court you or an appropriate representative of your place of business must be in court. Bring all paperwork needed to present your case. If the address you provided for the defendant was not correct or current and they could not be served, you have 90 days to notify the court of a new address, pay the $12.00 service fee and the same warrant can be re-served.
If judgment is granted in your favor, you cannot use enforcement measures until after the ten-(10) day appeal period. If you want the Sheriff’s Office to levy against personal property to satisfy the debt, you must file a written request with the court and pay the $25.00 filing fee so that the proper paperwork can be issued.
WARRANT IN DETINUE (Civil Claim for Property)
Follow the same procedures as for the Warrant In Debt. If the number of items sued for will not fit in the space provided, a separate list may be attached to each copy of the warrant.
If judgment is granted in your favor and you want the Sheriff’s Office to take possession of the items you sued for, you must file a written request with the court along with a check/money order or cash for $25.00. No action can be taken during the ten-(10) day appeal period.
SUMMONS FOR UNLAWFUL DETAINER (Civil Claim for Eviction)
Follow the same procedures as described in Warrant In Debt. A written notice must be sent to the defendants before obtaining an Unlawful Detainer. In addition to the plaintiff’s signature, the claim and affidavit portion of the Unlawful Detainer must be acknowledged by a notary, magistrate, clerk or deputy clerk before the warrant can be issued.
On the day of court you must be in court. Bring all paperwork needed to present your case. The Plaintiff/Landlord may seek judgment for POSSESSION only and request a continuance for up to ninety (90) days for final rent and damages amounts to be determined. The Plaintiff/Landlord must send written notice advising the Defendant of the trial date and the amount of final rent and damages no less than fifteen (15) days prior to the final trial date and file a copy of the notice with the Clerk's office. If judgment is granted in your favor, you may ask the Judge to allow the immediate issuance of a Writ of Possession In Unlawful Detainer. You must wait ten (10) days after the trial date before enforcement action can be taken if the Defendant appeared in court and the Judge does not grant immediate possession. If you wish to have the Sheriff’s Office move the defendant from your property, you will need to file a Request for Writ of Possession In Unlawful Detainer with the court along with a check/money order or cash for $25.00 for one defendant plus $12.00 for each additional defendant.
§8.01-15.2 & §8.01-428 SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT, Default Judgment
Notwithstanding the provisions of §8.01-428, in any civil action or proceeding in which the defendant does not make an appearance, the court shall not enter a judgment by default until the plaintiff files with the court an affidavit (i) stating whether or not the defendant is in the military service and showing necessary facts to support the affidavit; or (ii) if the plaintiff is unable to determine whether or not the defendant is in the military service, stating that the plaintiff is unable to determine whether or not the defendant is in the military service. Any judgment by default entered by any court in any civil action or proceeding in violation of Title II of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. Appx. §§501 et seq.) may be set aside as provided by the Act.
The Act also provides that where appointment of counsel is required for a servicemember pursuant to federal law, the Court may assess attorney fees and costs against any party as the Court deems appropriate. The Court in its order shall direct which of the parties to the case shall pay such fees and costs directly to the appointed counsel.
Form DC-418 available in the Clerk's Office.
All checks or money orders are to be made payable to York County General District Court.