Clerk of Circuit Court

General Information

The Circuit Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction in Virginia and has authority to try both civil and criminal cases. Civil cases involve essentially private disputes between two or more parties; criminal cases are proceedings by the State against individuals accused of a crime.

Civil Cases

In civil cases, the Circuit Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the general district court over claims from $4,500 to $15,000 and exclusive original jurisdiction over almost all claims exceeding $15,000. The Circuit Court also has jurisdiction over all equity matters, including divorce cases, disputes concerning wills and estates, and controversies involving property.

Criminal Cases

In criminal cases, the Circuit Court has jurisdiction over the trial of all felonies (offenses that may be punished by commitment to the Department of Corrections) and of those misdemeanors (offenses carrying a penalty of not more than twelve months in jail) originally charged in Circuit Court. The Circuit Court also has jurisdiction over juveniles aged fifteen and older who are charged with felonies and whose cases have been certified by the judge of a juvenile and domestic relations district court for trial in a Circuit Court.

Jurisdiction

The Circuit Court has appellate jurisdiction over all appeals from general district court in civil and criminal cases and from juvenile and domestic relations district court in matters originating in that court.

Jury trials are heard only in Circuit Court, and only the Circuit Court has the authority to impanel regular and special grand juries.

Circuit Court System

The Virginia Circuit Court system is composed of 31 judicial circuits with 122 separate Circuit Courts. King William County lies in Virginia’s 9th circuit which is presided over by the Honorable B. Elliott Bondurant. Circuit Court judges are elected by the General Assembly for an eight-year term and are required to reside in the circuit they serve.

For further information about Virginia’s judicial system, visit the website for the state’s court system.

About the Clerk

The Clerk of Circuit Court, who serves the County’s Court System and is the custodian of all Court records, is elected to an 8-year term.