Office of Clerk of Circuit Court
The Circuit Courts are trial courts which have jurisdiction over civil claims, criminal cases, equity suits, and appeals. In civil cases, the Circuit Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the General District Court over claims from $4,500 to $25,000 and exclusive original 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. The most often mentioned civil claim is a claim for compensation as the result of someone's negligence in causing an automobile accident, but there are many more civil claims heard in the Circuit Courts, including, but certainly not limited to breach of contract, landlord-tenant, product liability, slander, and libel.
In criminal cases, the Circuit Court hears all felonies and misdemeanors originating from a grand jury indictment. In addition, the Circuit Court hears all misdemeanors appealed from the General District Court. A felony is a crime which, among other sanctions, could result in a sentence to the State penitentiary
for one year or more, and a misdemeanor is a crime which, among other sanctions, could result in a sentence to jail or not more than twelve months.
Equity suits are cases which seek judgment for something other than money. The most common of these are divorces, adoptions, boundary line disputes, and deeds I estate matters.
The Circuit Court also hears appeals from the General District Court (Civil, Traffic and Criminal) and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
Several of the services provided by the Clerk's Offices are: record land records and plats; probate wills; process notary public applications; issue marriage licenses; record military discharge forms (DD-214) and assumed business names.
Betsy B. Woolridge
Clerk of the Circuit Court
City of Williamsburg and County of James City
5201 Monticello Ave., Suite 6
Williamsburg, VA 23188
The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Clerk's Offices are closed on State holidays.