Civil Practice in the General District Court: Tips for Practicing in an Often Overlooked Forum Seminar Materials


If you could resolve your civil case faster—in a matter of months rather than a year or two—wouldn’t you do so? If it were less expensive, wouldn’t that make the decision even easier? You should seriously consider the General District Court.

The General District Court is clearly not the answer for all civil cases, but with its jurisdictional maximum recently being increased to $25,000, it is an increasingly attractive option. Cases move quickly, with limited discovery—a mixed blessing to be sure. But District Court is not merely Circuit Court in miniature: rules and practices differ, and the lawyer who thrives in District Court will know the differences.

This publication provides a through grounding in civil practice before the General District Court. If you haven’t appeared before the General District Court before, you’ll be ready to do so when we’re done; if you’re already a veteran, you’ll get better.

This comprehensive, stand-alone publication is direct from a September 2012 seminar. It is available as a searchable PDF via download. Click here for more information on electronic books.

Virginia lawyer for less than three years? Use coupon code NEWLAWYER and receive a 25% discount on this and most other publications and seminars. Learn more.


  1. Client Preparation
  2. Jurisdiction, Venue, and Service of Process
  3. Causes of Action
  4. Discovery and Trying the Case
  5. Appeals & Motions to Rehear
  6. Post-Judgment Actions

Copyright © 2012 Virginia Law Foundation. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

I. Client Preparation
        Appendix A - Nonengagement Letter
        Appendix B - Representation Agreement
        Appendix C - Engagement Agreement Short Form
        Appendix D - Personal Injury Plaintiff - Long Form
        Appendix E - Closing Letter

II. Jurisdiction, Venue, and Service of Process

        Appendix A - Warrant in Debt
        Appendix B - Warrant in Detinue
        Appendix C - Summons for Unlawful Detainer
        Appendix D - Civil Inventory Sheet
        Appendix E - Affidavit-Default Judgment Service Member

III. Causes of Action
        Appendix A - Affidavit-Default Judgment Servicemembers Civil
        Relief Act
        Appendix B - Warrant in Debt (Civil Claim for Money)
        Appendix C - Attorney Fee Affidavit
        Appendix D - Summons for Unlawful Detainer
        Appendix E - Notice of Hearing to Established Final Rent and Damages
        Appendix F - Attachment Petition
        Appendix G - Warrant in Debt - Interpleader
        Appendix H - Warrant in Detinue
        Appendix I - Distress Petition

IV. Discovery and Trying the Case
        Appendix A - Subpoena Duces Tecum
        Appendix B - Subpoena for Witness (Civil)
        Appendix C - Bill of Particulars
        Appendix D - Affidavit for Medical Bills
        Appendix E - Affidavit for Medical Records
        Appendix F - Grounds of Defense

V. Appeals & Motions to Rehear
        Appendix A - Motion to Reopen (Criminal/Traffic) Motion to Rehear
        (Civil)/Motion for New Trial (Civil)
        Appendix B - Motion to Set aside Default Judgment

VI. Post-Judgment Actions
        Appendix A - Suggestion for Summons in Garnishment
        Appendix B - Garnishment Summons
        Appendix C - Garnishment Disposition
        Appendix D - Joint Account Answer
        Appendix E - Garnishee's Answer
        Appendix F - Notice to Judgment Debtor-How to Claim Exemptions from
        Garnishment and Lien
        Appendix G - Summons to Answer Interrogatories
        Appendix H - Show Cause Summons
        Appendix I - Capias
        Appendix J - Writ of Fieri Facias



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