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Form 211 Virginia Fairfax: What You Should Know
Filing a civil court proceeding | General District Court — Henrico County Virginia District Court — General Dockets & Procedures Civil Court Procedures — General District Court 1. What types of cases are heard? A. Civil Cases. Civil proceedings may affect claims with less than 5,000 in aggregate damages, which are limited to “actual out-of-pocket costs and reasonable attorney fees.” The amount of damages an individual person faces may vary, from a 10 fine to a full year in jail. B. Small Claims. Any action under this rule can be filed in the Small Claims Court. However, “the filing of any civil action or request for a small claims review in a Small Claims Court or in any other court does not result in a proceeding called a 'case.' “ (General Court Rules § 4-4.20). Any decision based on the merits, such as a trial or jury trial, will be heard in the general small claims division, but not the Small Claims Court. (Code of Virginia, § 4-4.20(A1)) C. Trials. Trials may be heard in court by a judge or by a panel of three judges. A trial lasts from one to three days and is followed by a hearing before another judge. In summary trials, the trial is open to the public. D. Jury Trials. Trials may be heard in courts, either regular or special, by a judge, a panel of five or seven members, or by a jury of twelve, according to the number of parties to the action. 2-1-1 VIRGINIA — General District Rules of Civil Procedure. (Code of Virginia, § 4-5.2) 3. What is the difference between a hearing, a trial, and a jury trial? A. A hearing is an informal hearing where one, if not all, parties present their evidence within a time, usually within a week, that's determined with the presiding judge. All evidence is supposed to be presented in a timely manner. If an objection to evidence is raised, it can be presented only at the hearing before the judge. B. A trial is an adversarial trial where one party presents an objection to one or more elements of the case. If the testimony of a witness is disputed, the party opposing the witness may cross-examine the witness and argue for his or her position as a defense.
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