Circuit Court

Upholding Justice with Integrity

Court Overview: The Circuit Court of Warren County stands as Virginia's primary trial court, equipped with the jurisdiction to preside over a comprehensive spectrum of both civil and criminal cases.

Key Distinctions

  1. Civil Cases: These are private disputes between two or more entities. They do not involve criminal charges but instead focus on conflicts over rights, responsibilities, or liabilities.
  2. Criminal Cases: These cases see the Commonwealth standing against individuals or entities accused of committing a crime.
  3. Jury Trials: Unique to the Circuit Court, many cases, whether civil or criminal, have the provision for a jury trial, ensuring a robust, democratic, and fair judicial process.

In every hearing, every trial, and every judgment, the Warren County Circuit Court remains steadfast in its commitment to justice, fairness, and the rule of law.

Jurisdiction

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. In criminal cases, the circuit court has jurisdiction over the trial of all felonies (offenses that may be punished by commitment to the penitentiary) and most of those misdemeanors (offenses carrying a penalty of not more than twelve months in jail) on appeal from district court or originally charged in circuit court. The circuit court also has jurisdiction over juveniles age 14 and older who are charged with felonies and whose cases have been certified or transferred by the judge of a juvenile and domestic relations court for trial in circuit court.

The circuit court has appellate jurisdiction over all appeals from the general district court and the juvenile and domestic relations district court. Appeals from these district courts are heard de novo; that is, the cases are tried from the beginning as though there had been no prior trial. The circuit court's appellate jurisdiction also extends to appeals from certain administrative agencies.

Judges

  • Honorable Alexander R. Iden, Chief Judge
  • Honorable Clark Andrew Ritchie
  • Honorable Bruce D. Albertson
  • Honorable Andrew S Baugher
  • Honorable Kevin C. Black
  • Honorable William W Eldridge IV
  • Honorable Daryl L. Funk
  • Honorable Brian M. Madden

A circuit court judge is elected for an eight-year term by a majority vote of both houses of the General Assembly. If the General Assembly is not in session when a vacancy occurs, the Governor temporarily appoints a judge (interim appointment) to serve until the General Assembly meets again and can elect a judge for a full term. The chief judge of the circuit is elected by majority vote of the judges serving the circuit. Circuit court judges are required to reside in the circuit they serve and must have been admitted to the Virginia Bar at least five years prior to election or appointment.

Terms and General Information

  • Terms Begin the Second Monday of January, April, July, and October
  • Civil Motion Day: Third Wednesday of Each Month
  • Misdemeanor Appeals Days: Fourth Friday of Each Month
  • Grand Juries: Second Monday of Each Month and Other Days as Needed
  • Praecipe Must be Filed Seven Days Preceding Motion Day
  • Court Convenes at 9 am
  • Commissioners in Chancery are Utilized Only in Certain Cases
  • Pretrial Conference Required in Most Civil Cases
  • Local Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 8.01-4