Virginia has two levels of trial courts: the circuit courts and the general district courts. Circuit courts are considered “courts of record”, while general district courts are considered “courts not of record.” Both levels of trial court have their own unique jurisdiction to hear certain types of cases.
The Recent Legislation
In a significant development, the Virginia General Assembly recently passed legislation to increase the jurisdictional limit of Virginia’s general district courts from $25,000.00 to $50,000.00 for personal injury and wrongful death claims.
This is a substantial change from prior law in Virginia, which had previously capped the damages maximum at $25,000.00, exclusive of interest, attorney’s fees, and court costs. Notably, this damage cap did not apply to unlawful detainer lawsuits (eviction lawsuits seeking judgments for delinquent rent).
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