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Virginia Court Case Search — Find Your Lawsuit

Dena Standley | July 25, 2023

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: If a debt collection agency is suing you in Virginia, knowing how to find your court case records will help you prepare for court and increase your chances of winning. Virginia courts make it easy to access your case status with an online portal, and SoloSuit can help you draft and file an Answer to the lawsuit in minutes.

Having debt in today's world is almost inevitable. For some, the benefits outweigh the interest charged. While for others, debt becomes an enormous burden that plunges them deeper into it, especially if they are sued for it. Receiving a debt collection lawsuit in Virginia can be frustrating and worse still if you have no money to pay.

The worst decision to make as a defendant is failing to show up in court. Despite feeling helpless, you need to appear in court and defend yourself. Virginia courts allow its citizens to access their case records after being sued by visiting the courthouse where the lawsuit was filed or using the online portal. To help you have a fighting chance in your debt collection lawsuit, we will look at how you can access your court records. But first, let's discuss how the Virginia court system works.

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Court structure in Virginia

When you understand what type of court has jurisdiction over your case, it will make locating your courthouse and court clerk information much easier. Since debt collection lawsuits are considered civil cases, we will focus on Virginia's civil court structure in this section.

The Virginia judicial system is built to ensure that matters presented to them are addressed within the shortest time possible and that services are available to all citizens at any time. Understanding how these courts operate will help you figure out where your case is filed and how to reach the court clerk, should you have any questions. Virginia has four levels of courts that handles civil cases: the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Circuit Courts, and the District Courts. Below, we break down each court and its responsibilities in detail.

  • Supreme Court: This is the court of last resort in Virginia. It has original and appellate jurisdiction over most matters, but its primary role is to hear appeals from the lower courts by permission. This court also ensures the entire judicial system performs its functions effectively, and the justices have the constitutional power to address any complaints.

  • Court of Appeals: This intermediate appellate court reviews decisions from the Circuit Courts. So, If you disagree with the outcome of your case at the District Court level, the case will be transferred to the Court of Appeals. Appeals in this court are a right for the parties, unlike the Supreme Court, where they can accept or reject the appeal.

  • Circuit Court: This is the only trial court with general jurisdiction in the state. It shares jurisdiction with the District Court over civil claims from $4,500 to $25,000. It also has exclusive jurisdiction over monetary claims exceeding $25,000.

  • District Court: This court is housed in every county and consists of a juvenile and domestic relations District Court and a general District Court. The general court hears civil cases not exceeding $25,000, with a small claims division that hears claims of up to $5,000.

The graphic below further illustrates the Virginia court structure for civil cases:

VA court structure

Your debt collection case will most likely be heard in your county’s District Court under the small claims division, depending on how much money is involved. The small claims court expedites the process, making it possible to reach a case outcome within 60 days without involving attorneys.

You might feel overwhelmed at the thought of representing yourself in court without an attorney’s help. Luckily, SoloSuit makes it easy for you to respond to a debt lawsuit without needing to hire a lawyer. In fact, you can draft and file your Answer document with SoloSuit in just 15 minutes. Check out the video below to learn more about how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How to find your case number in Virginia

A case number is assigned to every matter presented in all Virginia courthouses. This number will help you find your case records within seconds when searching for them at the courthouse or online. The clerk derives the case number from information such as:

  • The year the case was filed
  • The case type
  • The court type
  • The judge’s or judicial officer’s initials
  • The sequential number for similar cases for that year

If you do not have your unique case number, you can find it by visiting the courthouse where your case is filed and asking the court clerk to search it for you. They may request that you fill out a form to help them with the search. Alternatively, you can go to Virginia's District Court online portal and use the name search or hearing date search option.

How to access your court records in Virginia

You may ask yourself what good it would do to access your records. To begin with, you will be up to date with any crucial changes made and avoid missing your court date. Additionally, you’ll get any extra information the creditors may have filed against you, and you can confirm if the court received your Answer. Convinced? I hope so. Let's help you access your Virginia court records.

Access your Virginia court records in person

Virginia has ensured citizens can access their court records when they visit the courthouse. The first step is to discover the location of your county’s District Court. To do that, visit the Virginia courts directory, search for your county and click on it. You’ll be taken to another page with the contact information, including the physical address.

Once at the courthouse, you'll fill out a form and submit it to the court clerk. Ensure all the details are accurate to make the search process easy. Some courthouses have public self-service terminals for citizens to search their records. If you need copies of your court case records, you may be charged a small fee.

Access your Virginia court records online

Online access is the preferred option for many who do not wish to carve out time to travel to the courthouse. The process for searching your records online is simple. Go to Virginia’s General District Court Online Case Information System. On your left-hand side, click on your county and one of the following options to search the records:

  • Name search
  • Case number search
  • Hearing date
  • Process search

Next, enter the details and press the search button. You’ll instantly access your court records. Use this link if your case is in the Circuit Court. First, locate your county and click the begin button.

Now, let’s consider an example.

Example: Alex had a $3,745 debt with Collection Solutions of Virginia (CVS). He defaulted for seven months but managed to pay $1100. Alex wanted to resume payment, but the account records did not reflect the $1100 he had already paid. On calling CSV to ask, the agent responded sharply to his concerns and promised to take action if he didn’t start paying. Two weeks later, CVS delivered a lawsuit letter to his home, and he was both shocked and angry. Alex used SoloSuit to draft and file an Answer to the lawsuit where he explained that the debt had been partially paid off. He then gathered all his receipts and other documents to prepare for court. He did not want any surprises, so he went to Virginia's court record access portal and searched for Sussex County, used the case number on the lawsuit, and immediately retrieved his case records. Alex used this information and other online resources to keep updated with thecase and strategize his defense.

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Our mission is to help consumers deal with their debt situation and provide them with documents for responding to creditors and the court. Explore our site and strategize how to handle your debt collection case. You can also use the document calculator below to determine which response is most appropriate for your debt situation.

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"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

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