Circuit Court

Circuit Court

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Attention

Civil Docket Call will resume June 7, 2022 (see COVID-19 Operating Schedule for alternatives to appearing in person at Civil Docket Call)

Entry Into Courthouse

The requirement set forth in the Second Order Regarding Additional Courthouse Security, Health, and Safety Measures During COVID-19 Emergency entered November 23, 2020, that the Sheriff screen the temperature of each person entering the Courthouse is suspended. However, the Sheriff may temperature screen individuals at his discretion.

The Sheriff shall screen and continue to prohibit individuals from entering the Courthouse if they answer "Yes" to any of the questions set forth in the First and Third Orders Regarding Additional Courthouse Security, Health, and Safety Measures During COVID-19 Emergency entered May 15, 2020, and December 22, 2020, respectively, except that a person who has traveled internationally may enter the Courthouse without quarantine if they received a negative COVID-19 test result after travel. Said questions will be posted at the Courthouse entrance security checkpoint; a Deputy Sheriff will be available to answer specific questions and to verify that any answers to the posted questions do not prohibit entry into the building.

The Court will continue to monitor pandemic conditions to determine whether any suspended or withdrawn COVID-19 safety protocols should be reintroduced, or whether additional safeguards currently in place may be relaxed.

Mask & Social Distancing Policy

Based upon the CDC's updated COVID-19 Community Level standard, and the CDC's associated recommendations for preventative steps the Court Suspends its previous mask and social distancing policy. Individuals may still elect to wear a mask in the Courthouse based upon their own personal preferences and risk tolerances.

All Court employees and Courthouse users should be aware that mask and social distancing requirements may be reinstated if local metrics move this Courthouse or any part of the 1st Judicial Circuit of Virginia into the "High" Community Level category or if worsening pandemic conditions otherwise warrant renewed safety precautions. Although mask and distancing requirements are suspended regardless of vaccination status, employees and Courthouse users are reminded that the CDC, VDH, and CDH all strongly encourage individuals, including those living and working in "Low" Community Level areas, to stay up-to-date with their vaccines and vaccine boosters in order to reduce the likelihood that they contract or become seriously ill from COVID-19.

The suspension of the Court's mask and social distancing requirements does not preclude a presiding judge, in his or her discretion, from requiring masks or distancing in his or her courtroom should the judge determine that such safety measures are appropriate based upon the number of people present, the courtroom layout, current community conditions, the medical risk factors or vaccination status of those present (to include witnesses and litigants compelled to appear), or other relevant factors.

Should community conditions in the 1st Judicial Circuit or surrounding areas regress to the point where they fall into the CDC's High Community Level category, the Court may address such matter by issuing a General Standing Order reinstating a mask and/or social distancing requirement.

Overview

The Circuit Court of the City of Chesapeake is a Court of general jurisdiction served by five judges. The Court hears criminal and civil cases including divorce cases. The Court also hears appeals from decisions of the General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts. In most cases, with the exception of divorce cases, any party is entitled to a jury trial upon notice to the other parties and upon the filing of the request in the Clerk's Office, pursuant to the Rules of the Chesapeake Circuit Court (PDF).

General Information

  • Court hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Circuit Court Clerk's office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sentencing and Probation Violation hearings commence at 9 a.m. each day, excluding Wednesday, unless agreed for another time by order.
  • Criminal and Civil Trials commence at 9 a.m. each day, excluding Wednesday, unless agreed for another time by order.
  • Continuances of Cases Due to Court Closure: Pursuant to Rule 14 of the Rules of the Chesapeake Circuit Court (PDF), cases set to be heard on a day on which the Court and Clerk's Office have been closed pursuant to Virginia Code Section 17.1-207(A)(3), due to the determination that operation of the Court and Clerk's Office, under prevailing conditions, would constitute a threat to the health and safety of personnel or the general public, will be continued as follows: (1) Criminal trials, motions, probation violation hearings and sentencing hearings will be called at the next scheduled Criminal Docket Call; however, counsel may submit an agreed continuance order prior to docket call. (2) Civil trials will be called at the Court's next scheduled Civil Docket Call. Contested divorce trials will be continued generally and may be rescheduled by contacting the Court's Docket Administrator at 757-382-3053. (3) Civil motions and uncontested divorce hearings will be continued generally and may be rescheduled in accordance with Local Rule 7.
  • Prohibited items include weapons, anything that could be used as a weapon, electronic devices, and food, drinks, and gum. The list of prohibited items is not exhaustive. All contraband will be confiscated.
  • Attire must be neat and clean. It must show dignity and respect for the court. Unacceptable attire includes flip-flop style shoes, hats, caps, clothing indicating gang affiliation, muscle shirts, T-shirts, shorts, cut-offs, and baggy pants; clothing with offensive, vulgar, racist, sexist, obscene, suggestive words, slogans, depictions, or pictures, including grotesque creatures; and provocative clothing designed or styled or worn to provoke an emotion or disrupt or distract the court.