Virginia Beach General District and Circuit Courts

Where Are the Courthouses Located?

    VA Beach Court Tips:

  • Show up at least 30 minutes early
  • Dress professionally
  • Leave cellphones and other devices in car
  • Don’t bring people not involved in your case

The Virginia Beach General District and Circuit Courts are both in the same building located at 2425 Nimmo Parkway. There is a large parking lot directly in front of the Virginia Beach General District and Circuit Courthouse which is free and available to the public. Right across the street from the courthouse, there is a small shopping center with a variety of food options including Stan’s American Bistro, Wendy’s, East Wok, and a Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

This courthouse is extremely large and can be confusing to navigate your first time. So although there are signs directing you to the courtrooms and the clerk’s office, it is better if you arrive with plenty of time to find your courtroom if you are unfamiliar with the courthouse.

Difference Between the Courts

In terms of the court system, the Virginia Beach General District Court is below the Circuit Court in Virginia. The Circuit Courthouse is the trial court of general jurisdiction in Virginia and has more authority than the General District Court.

Preliminary hearings including all traffic and misdemeanor cases are heard in the General District Court, while the Circuit court hears felonies and misdemeanors that were appealed from the General District Court. Another difference is Juries are typically utilized in the Circuit Court while cases in the General District Court are always held in front of a judge and not a jury.

In civil cases, the Circuit Courthouse is where cases take place if they involve a money sum of over $25,000 while cases with money from $4,500 to $25,000 share jurisdictions between the courts.

Virginia Beach Court Etiquette

As with other courts located in Hampton Roads VA, cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in the courthouses. Please do not attempt to bring a cell phone

    Prohibited Items:

  • Cellphones
  • Other electronic devices
  • Weapons

or electronic device into the courthouse as the Sheriff Deputies will ask that you return it to your vehicle. In addition to cellphones and electronic devices, weapons of any kind including small pocket knives are not allowed into the courthouse. With this said, Virginia Beach does provide lockers for people to store items in if they must, however it is usually better not bring anything into the courthouse other than legal papers that may pertain to your case.

Concerning appearance, you should dress in a suit if possible, or as close to business attire as you can. No tank tops, halter tops, strapless tops, mini skirts, exposed midriffs, baggy pants, flip flops or clothing with offensive language or messages should ever be worn in court. It is very important that you make sure you dress appropriately. I see a lot of very questionable attire in this courthouse, and you don’t want to make that sort of impression on the judge. You only get one chance to impress the Judge so make sure to use it wisely.

Remember: Show Up Early

I tell clients to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled case time to give yourself time to find the correct courtroom and also get through the security line. Arriving early will also allow you time to speak with your attorney to go over any last minute details before you walk into the courtroom. Do not bring people that are not involved in your case. The waiting areas get really full, and extra people take up more space unnecessarily.

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