What follows is a brief but informative summary of rules, procedures, and filings requirements for small claims court in Virginia. Keep in mind that rules and laws change. It’s always a good idea to confirm the rules with the court or with further research.
Maximum Jurisdictional Dollar Amount: The maximum dollar amount is $5,000 in damages, or for the recovery of personal property valued up to $5,000.
Where Suit May Be Brought: Case may be brought where the defendant resides, is employed or regularly transacts business, or where breach or injury occurred. Actions to recover property should be brought where the property is.
Proper Manner of Service of Process upon Defendant: Service may be made by Sheriff or court-approved adult.
How the Hearing Date Is Selected: The hearing date is set by the court.
Attorney Representation Rule: Attorneys are not allowed.
Special Provisions Regarding Transfer or Jurisdiction of Cases: If defendant counterclaims for more than $5,000 and requests transfer, the case may be transferred to an upper court.
Availability of Appeals: Either litigant may request a new trial on claims exceeding $50 to Circuit Court within 10 days.
Special Rules and Notes: Eviction cases can be heard. Jury trials are not allowed except on appeals.
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Michael Spadaccini is the author of 8 books on self-help legal matters such as, Ultimate LLC Compliance Guide: Covers All 50 States (Ultimate Series), Ultimate Book of Forming Corps, LLCs, Partnerships & Sole Proprietorships, and Ultimate Guide to Forming an LLC in Any State, Second Edition (Ultimate Series).
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