The court that most people have contact with is the General District Court. The General District Court handles most traffic violations. The General District Court also hears minor criminal cases known as misdemeanors and conducts preliminary hearings for more serious criminal cases called felonies.
District Court Authority
General District Courts have exclusive authority to hear civil cases with claims of $4,500 or less and share authority with the Circuit Courts to hear cases with claims between $4,500 and $15,000. Examples of civil cases are landlord and tenant disputes, contract disputes and personal injury actions.
There is a General District Court in each city and county in Virginia. General District Court judges are elected by the General Assembly for 6 year terms. For more information, please visit the Virginia State Courts website.