District and circuit courts; increases court fees. (SB329)

Introduced By

Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Westmoreland)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


  Court fees. Increases the court fees in both district and circuit court from (i) $27 to $75 in a district court civil action and (ii) the current scale of $60-$160 to $500-$1,000 in civil actions in circuit court. The fee increases under this bill in district court are allocated to the sheriffs' departments, and the increases in circuit court are split between the sheriffs' (80%) and the clerks' (20%) offices to be used exclusively for achieving the current staffing standards of the two constitutional offices. The $10 fee for the Courts Technology Fund is removed from civil cases. The Fund still receives fees applicable to other filings in the circuit and appellate courts. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/12/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10103517D
01/12/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/14/2010Assigned Courts sub: Civil
02/08/2010Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (10-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2010Committee substitute printed 10105144D-S1
02/08/2010Rereferred to Finance
02/10/2010Reported from Finance with substitute (13-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2010Committee substitute printed 10105296D-S2
02/11/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2010Read second time
02/12/2010Passed by for the day
02/12/2010Floor substitute printed 10105332D-S3 (Stuart)
02/15/2010Read second time
02/15/2010Motion to pass by for the day withdrawn
02/15/2010Committee substitute rejected 10105144D-S1
02/15/2010Committee substitute rejected 10105296D-S2
02/15/2010Reading of substitute waived
02/15/2010Substitute by Senator Stuart agreed to 10105332D-S3
02/15/2010Amendment by Senator Norment withdrawn
02/15/2010Engrossed by Senate - floor substitute SB329S3
02/15/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2010Passed Senate (23-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
02/16/2010Impact statement from DPB (SB329S3)
02/18/2010Placed on Calendar
02/18/2010Read first time
02/18/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/19/2010Assigned Courts sub: #2 Civil
03/14/2010Left in Courts of Justice


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 3 clips in all, totaling 36 minutes.


Kendrick A. Hall writes:

This bill will block the average person from having access to our court system. The Sheriff's need to find another way to maintain staffing. Let's look at deporting all of the illegals that are crowding our jails and courts, then we could manage with our current staffing. Sheriff's need to use the curent laws and authority that they have to save us some money. This will be like a tax on decent hard working Virginian's. It is another example of our government/Sheriff's taking the easy way out to collect money from people that have done nothing wrong.

Lloyd Snook writes:

It makes no sense to increase fees for CIVIL cases so that CRIMINAL resources can be increased.

The point about illegals who are crowding our jails and courts is something of a red herring; in most of the larger jurisdictions (where the number of illegal immigrants is greatest), jails are not run by the local sheriffs anymore.

This is part of the desperate attempt to keep from raising the income tax as Governor Kaine had suggested.

Rey Barry writes:

We ought to be questioning why we still have the office of sheriff in larger or more sophisticated communities where law enforcement is in the hands of a police department.

Charlottesville and Albemarle are examples.

More modern states did away with the office of sheriff entirely. Outside of rural areas, it's a costly, unnecessary political post staffed with people whose work could be done by a less costly division of the police department, or outsourced to a private firm by competitive contract.

Our political process makes it all but impossible for someone expecting to be re-elected to introduce or support a bill that removes a traditional office, no matter how antiquated and useless the office. All so-called constitutional offices have statewide pressure groups to assure their existence by crushing any opponents.

Oh, if only Virginians had the three basic rights of other Americans: initiative referendum, recall. But that's only found where people are respected.