Newport News General District and Circuit Courts

Where Are the General and Circuit Courts Located?

Court Room Tips:

  • Dress appropriately
  • Show up early
  • Wait quietly for your case to be called
  • Leave all electronic devices in car

Both courts are located in the same building at 2500 Washington Avenue in Newport News with parking available in lots between 26th and 28th street near the Courthouse. The parking area designated between 25th and 26th Streets is presently $3 per day, or any part thereof; however, please look for signs which may change this status. The parking area by City Hall between 23rd and 25th Street is free, but with a 2-hour time limit. Parking at no charge may also be found along surrounding streets; but please be aware of any posted time limits.

The Newport News Courthouse has limited food options within walking distance to the courthouse building. There are on some days of the week local food truck vendors that are parked close by the courthouse building. Other food options are available for a short 10-15 minute drive down either Jefferson Avenue or Warwick Boulevard. Some local spots within a 10-minute drive include the Crabshack on the James, located at 7601 River Drive, Newport News, VA 23607, and Anna’s Pizza, located at 9708 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23601.

Types of Cases Heard in Each Court

The General District Courthouse is the lowest level of the Virginia court system, while the Circuit Courthouse is the trial court of general jurisdiction in Virginia, and has authority to try a wide variety of civil and criminal cases.

In the General District Courthouse, civil cases involving money up to a maximum of $25,000 are heard; in addition to traffic cases, misdemeanor cases, and preliminary hearings for felony cases.

In the Circuit Courthouse the court hears all felony cases and misdemeanors that were appealed from General District Court, and civil cases involving money over $25,000. Juries are utilized more often in Newport News Circuit Court rather than General District Court.

Navigating the Court House

Navigating the Newport News General District and Circuit Court Courthouse is very easy. Upon entering the building there are Sheriff Deputies that you can ask directions to a particular courtroom or clerk’s office. There are signs on the first floor of the courthouse that direct you to the courtrooms, Newport News General District Courtrooms are located on the second floor of the courthouse and Circuit Court is located on the third floor of the courthouse.

Prohibited Items

Do Not:

  • Bring cellphones
  • Chew gum
  • Be loud
  • Dress too casually

Cell phones are not allowed in the Newport News General District and Circuit Court building. If you bring a cell phone into the building the Sheriff’s officers at the entrance to the Courthouse will ask that you return the cell phone or any other electronic device to your vehicle. All bags, purses, and briefcases are subject to inspection by Sheriff deputies when entering into the Courthouse building.

In addition to cell phones, all personal electronic devices are prohibited, such as laptops, pagers, PDAs, cameras and tape recorders. All weapons are prohibited as well. It is very important to follow the procedures and rules when entering into the Newport News Courthouse building as to avoid any potential problems.

The Newport News General District and Circuit Court Courthouse does not provide lockers or storage facilities for any items that are brought into the building. Please do not attempt to bring any items that are prohibited from entering into the Courthouse building.

How to Dress and Other Court Tips

The best possible attire for court is a suit for both men and women appearing in the Newport News General District or Circuit Courthouse. If a suit is not possible then please dress as close to business casual as you can, including dress slacks and a shirt. A person only gets one chance to make a first impression so you want to make sure you look as good as you can in front of the Judge. Clothes that are not allowed are things such as tank tops, halter tops, strapless tops, mini skirts, exposed midriffs, baggy pants, flip flops or clothing with offensive language or messages should never be worn.

To make sure that there are no problems going through the security checkpoint at the Newport News General District and Circuit Courthouse you should arrive to court at least 30 minutes prior the your scheduled time to appear in court.

Common Mistakes

One of the biggest things to avoid while in the Newport News General District Court and Circuit Courthouse is chewing gum while in the building. It is important to show respect to the officers of the courts so please do not talk in the courtroom while court is in session, if you need to speak with your attorney please do so outside the courtroom in the hallway. Judges in Newport News do not appreciate it when they have to stop court hearings to address someone in the audience.

In the Newport News General District and Circuit Court Courthouse I see people chewing gum walking into court, speaking too loudly and being disruptive to the court while it is in session, wearing clothes that are not allowed in the courtroom is common as well.

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