Virginia’s General Assembly has passed a bill that, among other things, raises the upper limit of cases that may be filed in the General District Court. This increase will potentially make it easier to try certain matters more cost effectively moving forward.
General District Court is a court not of record with very limited discovery, i.e. no access to depositions or interrogatories and even only limited means of obtaining documents and witnesses via subpoena. While this naturally limits the parties’ ability to evaluate the case and evidence, it dramatically reduces the potential legal fees associated with litigation. At the current time, General District Court has had concurrent jurisdiction with circuit court for matters that are between $4,500 and $15,000.
The bill passed by the General Assembly raises the upper limit on General District Court to $25,000. While this does not completely solve the challenges faced when trying to handle cases cost effectively, it certainly makes it easier to file suit on some smaller cases.