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General District Court
General Information for Filing Civil Suits
  • A civil suit may be filed at this office or at the Magistrate’s office.
  • You are not required to have an attorney in order to file a civil suit.

  • Filing a small claims case seeking a money judgment up to $5000.00 or recovery of personal property with a value up to $5000.00 must be done in person at the civil clerk's office.

As of July 1, 2011, the maximum claim will be $25,000 instead of $15,000.

  • Instruction booklets on how to complete civil forms are available for use in the civil clerk's office.
  • Any claim over $15,000.00 MUST be filed in the Circuit Court of Prince William County.
  • Warrant in Debt – requires six (6) weeks for return date.
  • Unlawful Detainers for back rent and possession of property require three (3) weeks for return date.
  • One original form and one copy for each defendant are required.
  • Forms filed that do not comply with required original and copy for each defendant will be returned for correction.
  • You must file the correct business name of the company. The State Corporation Commission can provide this information at 804-371-9733.
  • Civil Court is held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: Civil Returns are at 11 a.m. and Civil Trials are at 1:30 p.m.
  • Unlawful Detainers without counsel will be heard each Friday at 11 a.m., and with counsel at 1:30 p.m.
  • Small Claims are heard on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month: 11 a.m., noon (12 p.m.), and trials at 1:30 p.m. On these days there are no civil returns or trials.
For Legal Assistance Please refer to the following information:
"Prince William County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service"
703-393-2306, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday - Friday.
$35.00 fee for 30 minute consultation with a Lawyer.
You can find civil forms here.


  • Warrant in debt, Warrant in Detinue, and Unlawful Detainers costs are: filing fee is $44.00 without sheriff service; $56.00 for one (1) defendant / $68.00 for two (2) defendants, if using service by the sheriff.
  •  Garnishments; filing fee is $44.00; sheriff service $24.00 with writ and $24.00 for garnishee--totaling $92.00 for one defendant for additional defendants that are working or banking at the same establishment and additional $24.00 is required for each.
  • Show Causes, Capias, the fee is $12.00 per defendant for sheriff service only.
  • Writ of possession and writ of fieri facius fees are $25 for the first defendant and $12 for each additional defendant

Fax Number: 703-792-6646

*Call 703-792-6149 for additional information on civil filing with more than two (2) defendants, or if the defendant resides outside of Virginia OR if you need information beyond what is provided on this website. 
Other service fee costs are:
  • Secretary of the Commonwealth - $28.00
  • Department of Motor Vehicles - $28.00
  • State Corporation Commission - $30.00
  • Sheriff Service - $12.00 per defendant
  • Writ Tax Appeal to Circuit Court - cannot be greater then $129.00

*Payments are accepted in the form of cash, money order or check. Checks are preferred.


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