Civil cases are disputes between individuals, entities, or groups of individuals or entities. Typical civil disputes seek monetary damages stemming from tort (civil wrong) or breach of contract. Not all civil cases stem from monetary or contract disputes. Other types of civil cases may include:
The Circuit Court serves as the Appellate Court in civil cases appealed from the District Court. Likewise, the Circuit Court serves as the Appellate Court in civil (domestic relations) cases appealed from the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. These are typically child support, custody, and visitation matters.
In civil cases where monetary claims range from $4,500 to $25,000, the Circuit Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the District Court. Monetary disputes involving more than $25,000 fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Circuit Court.
Domestic Relations Cases
In civil cases of a domestic relations nature, the Circuit Court has exclusive jurisdiction in divorce and annulment matters, including property settlement and equitable distribution of marital assets. Matters involving child support, custody, and visitation may or may not originate in the Circuit Court, depending on various factors.
Filing a Civil Case
When filing a civil case in the Circuit Court, the filing party is responsible for ensuring that all pleadings are prepared in accordance with the Code of Virginia and rules of the Virginia Supreme Court. Unlike the two District Courts, the Circuit Court does not provide forms for use by litigants in filing civil suits. Hence, it is strongly recommended that the services of an attorney be employed when filing a civil action at the Circuit-Court level.
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