Clerk's Office Hours:
Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Notice of Office Early Closure: July 8, 2022
To view Warren County Circuit Court's plan for resuming jury trials, please CLICK HERE.
February 24, 2022: Mask Requirements for Courthouse Access
August 10, 2020: Conduct of Court During COVID-19 Emergency (Update)
September 11, 2020: Second Clarification Order Concerning Tolling of Statutory Speedy Trial Deadlines
March 24, 2020: Special Order Restricting Warren County Courthouse Entry
March 16, 2020: Order Declaring a State of Judicial Emergency
The circuit court is the trial court of general jurisdiction in Virginia, and the court has authority to try a full range of both civil and criminal cases. Civil cases involve disputes essentially private in nature between two or more parties; criminal cases are controversies between the Commonwealth and persons accused of a crime. Only in a circuit court is a jury provided for the trail of many of these disputes and controversies.
In civil cases, the circuit court has concurrent jurisdiction with the general district court over claims from $4,500 to $25,000 and exclusive orginial jurisdiction over almost all claims exceeding $25,000. The circuit court also has jurisdiction over divorce cases, disputes concerning wills and estates, and controversies involving real property. In criminal cases, the circuit court has jurisdiction over the trial of all felonies (offenses that may be punished by commitment to the penitentiary) and most of those misdemeanors (offenses carrying a penalty of not more than twelve months in jail) on appeal form district court or originally charged in circuit court. The circuit court also has jurisdiction over juveniles age 14 and older who are charged with felonies and whose cases have been certified or transferred by the judge of a juvenile and domestic relations court for trial in circuit court.
The circuit court has appellate jurisdiction over all appeals from the general district court and the juvenile and domestic relations district court. Appeals from these district courts are heard de novo; that is, the cases are tried from the beginning as though there had been no prior trial. The circuit court's appellate jurisdiction also extends to appeals from certain administrative agencies.
Hon. William W. Sharp, Presiding Judge
Hon. Clark Andrew Ritchie, Chief Judge
Hon. Bruce D. Albertson
Hon. Kevin C. Black
Hon. William W. Eldridge IV
Hon. Alexander R. Iden
Hon. Brian M. Madden
Hon. Thomas J. Wilson IV
A circuit court judge is elected for an eight-year term by a majority vote of both houses of the General Assembly. If the General Assembly is not in session when a vacancy occurs, the Governor temporarily appoints a judge (interim appointment) to serve until the General Assembly meets again and can elect a judge for a full term. The chief judge of the circuit is elected by majority vote of the judges serving the circuit. Circuit court judges are required to reside in the circuit they serve and must have been admitted to the Virginia Bar at least five years prior to election or appointment.
Terms and General Information:
- Terms Begin the Second Monday of January, April, July, and October
- Civil Motion Day: Third Wednesday of Each Month
- Misdemeanor Appeals Days: Fourth Friday of Each Month
- Grand Juries: Second Monday of Each Month and Other Days as Needed
- Praecipe Must be Filed Seven Days Preceding Motion Day
- Court Convenes at 9:00 am
- Commissioners in Chancery are Utilized Only in Certain Cases
- Pretrial Conference Required in Most Civil Cases
- Local Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 8.01-4
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Clerk, 26th CircuitP: (540) 635-2435F: (540) 636-3274