General District Court

21st Judicial District of Virginia

The court that most people have contact with is the general district court. The general district court handles most traffic violations. The general district court also hears minor criminal cases known as misdemeanors and conducts preliminary hearings for more serious criminal cases called felonies.

General district courts have exclusive authority to hear civil cases with claims of $4,500 or less and share authority with the circuit courts to hear cases with claims between $4,500 and $15,000. Examples of civil cases are landlord and tenant disputes, contract disputes, and personal injury actions.

There is a general district court in each city and county in Virginia. General district court judges are elected by the General Assembly for 6-year terms.

Continuance Policy

First continuance granted by Clerk; subsequent continuances granted by Judge. Civil continuances by agreement between litigants. If cannot agree, Judge will hold hearing to determine if continuance granted.

Court Schedule


  • 1st and 3rd Friday of Each Month
    • Warrant in Debts/Debtor Interrogatories - 9 am
    • Unlawful Detainer/Warrant in Detinue - 10:30 am
    • Small Claims - 11:30 am
    • Contested Trials - Begin at 1 pm

Traffic / Criminal

  • Monday and Thursday
    • Arraignments - 8:15 am
    • Traffic Docket - 9 am and 1 pm
    • Scheduled Cases - Begin at 10 am

Virginia Information Providers Network

The Virginia Information Providers Network, the Supreme Court of Virginia and the General District Courts have partnered to offer a prepayment service to the public for such offenses as traffic infractions. Through this partnership, certain "pre-payable" offenses and violations issued by the City of Martinsville can now be paid online through the Supreme Court's Case Management System.

Users then can follow the directions below to find and pay for their violations:

  1. See the General District Court Online Case Information System website. This will take you to the Virginia Courts Case Information Screen.
  2. Follow the instructions to retrieve your case. Only certain offenses may be prepaid online.
  3. Pre-payable offenses are designated by a check box in the "Pay" column on the Search Results page. It will indicate "Mark for Payment".
  4. If you do not see a check box next to your case, you will be unable to pay online.