Courts

  • Are courts closed?
    • All non-essential, non-emergency court proceedings are suspended through June 7.
      • The Order encourages courts "to continue and even increase the use" of technologies that do not involve in-person contact. Therefore, even as the Court expands the types of hearings that may be scheduled effective May 18, the Court expects counsel and litigants to consider as their first and best option, that their matter be scheduled for a videoconference or telephone hearing. Although the Court has previously limited such hearings to those matters not requiring the presentation of evidence, the Court does not impose such restrictions going forward and encourages counsel to avail themselves of technology to conduct a remote hearing even for matters requiring testimony from the parties or small numbers of witnesses.
    • Please read the health and safety procedures for in-person court proceedings.
    • The following matters may be scheduled with the Civil Clerk for in-court hearings:
      • Any motion, demurrer, or special plea requiring the presence of no more than four party representatives (attorneys or pro se litigants) plus a court reporter. Counsel shall be limited to thirty minutes per hearing unless leave has been given in advance for a longer hearing.
      • Uncontested divorces when the defendant has signed a waiver and the parties do not reside at the same address. The Clerk shall schedule divorces at twenty-minute intervals beginning at 1:00 p.m.
      • Pendente lite hearings involving only the parties and counsel, limited to no more than one hour per hearing, to be scheduled in the afternoon.
      • Custody appeals from the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, limited to no more than one hour per hearing, to be scheduled in the afternoon.
      • Forfeitures where the defendant is not in custody and has failed to answer and the Commonwealth is seeking a default judgment.
      • Driver’s license restoration petitions only for those eligible for full restoration where the Commonwealth Attorney agrees to full restoration and the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program is not involved with the petition.
      • Such other matters as the Court may allow for good cause shown.
    • The Court will permit the following types of cases to be scheduled for different times throughout the day (not all at 9:30 a.m. as in the past):
      • Felony guilty pleas for in-custody or out-of-custody defendants pursuant to plea agreements that call for a determinate sentence.
      • Probation violation hearings for in-custody or out-of-custody defendants where both counsel are in agreement as to the appropriate disposition of the violation and prepared to make a recommendation to the presiding judge (which recommendation may or may not be accepted by the Court).
      • Motions not requiring witness testimony when the defendant is in the custody of the Sheriff of Norfolk.
      • Motions to revoke bond.
      • Bench trials not requiring more than four persons, excluding counsel and court personnel, with all such matters to be scheduled in the afternoon. Counsel are strongly encouraged to stipulate to witness testimony in order to reduce the number of witnesses. Additional witnesses required for such matters must appear remotely.
      • Guilty pleas for misdemeanor appeals.
      • Such other matters as the Court may allow, for good cause shown.
    • It is further ORDERED:

      No Grand Jury will be held on June 3.

    • All criminal and civil jury and non-jury trials now scheduled through June 5 are

      continued.

    • All criminal scheduling conferences and counsel determination hearings currently set for
      June 3, 2020, are continued to June 17.

    • Criminal non-jury trials meeting the criteria described above may continue to be set with the appropriate docket clerk for dates beginning May 18. Other criminal non-jury trials may be set for dates beginning July 1.
    • Criminal jury trials may continue to be set with the appropriate docket clerk for dates beginning July 1; no such trials may be heard, however, until the Virginia Supreme Court authorizes Circuit Courts to resume jury trials.
    • Civil jury trials may continue to be set with the appropriate docket clerk for dates beginning August 1; no such trials may be heard, however, until the Virginia Supreme Court authorizes Circuit Courts to resume jury trials.
    • The civil scheduling conferences set on June 5 at 2:30 p.m. are continued to July 10 at 2:30 p.m.
    • The one-year no service returns scheduled for May 22 will be heard that day.
    • If you have questions about a specific case, call the court at: 757-664-4910 (Norfolk General District Court) or 757-389-8942 (Norfolk Circuit Court).
    • Prospective jurors in cases that cannot be postponed, jurors who are sick, or who are caring for someone who is sick, or who are in a high-risk category will be excused from duty.
  • Fifth Judicial Order
  • Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency in Response to COVID-19 Emergency
  • New order from the Circuit Court Chief Judge
  • Declaration of Judicial Emergency Supreme Court March 16 2020
  • Norfolk Magistrate Office Closed
  • General order regarding coronavirus disease: Norfolk Circuit Court, Norfolk General District Court, and Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court