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Circuit Court
Responsibilities & Services
Circuit Court is the commonwealth's principal trial court in the county. Court is held in the Judicial Center; Court Room 1 and 2 is located on the second floor, Courtroom 3 is located on the ground floor. The Circuit Court has jurisdiction over both original cases and appeals in criminal and civil cases. The Circuit Court:
  • Has jurisdiction over an inquiry into the misuse of a particular right or authority
  • Hears all civil cases over $25,000
  • Hears appeals from lower courts
  • Hears criminal cases appealed and certified to the Grand Jury
  • Hears divorce and civil suits
  • Issues writs of mandamus, orders to perform specific acts; writs of prohibition, orders to stop specified acts, and writs of certiorari, orders to forward records of a case from a lower court
  • May hear civil cases where the issue is more than $500 but less than $10,000

Clerk Responsibilities
The clerk of the Circuit Court is a constitutional officer elected to an eight-year term. The clerk's duties are twofold: to administer the Circuit Court's judicial proceedings and serve as record keeper for the county. The clerk:
  • Administers all probate matters
  • Collects State and County recording taxes and probate fees
  • Issues marriage licenses
  • Preserves military discharge records
  • Records all deeds, deeds of trust, mortgages, land transfers and easements
  • Records and dockets judgments
  • Records election results
  • Records wills and divorces
  • Swears in officials assuming office

  • Hon. Sarah L. Deneke, Presiding Judge
  • Hon. Michael E. Levy, Presiding Judge
  • Hon. Charles S. Sharp, Presiding Judge
  • Hon. Gordon F. Willis
  • Hon. David H. Beck, Chief Judge
  • Hon. Joseph J. Ellis
  • Hon. J. Overton Harris
  • Hon. Harry T. Taliaferro III
  • Hon. Patricia Kelly

Terms of Court and General Information
  • Court convenes at 9:00 a.m; jury trials convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Criminal Term/Grand Jury, First Monday of each month at 9:00 a.m.
  • Civil Term, First Monday of Jan., April, July and Oct. at 11:00 a.m. Mature cases set by praecipe only. Appearance required for Term Day.
  • Motion Days, 1st and 3rd Mondays, Criminal motions at 9:00 a.m., civil motions at 11:00 a.m. Originals of Motions should be filed with the Clerk seven days in advance; advance courtesy copies of motions must be faxed to chambers. If necessary, alternative motion dates may be obtained through chambers. Motions over 20 minutes must be scheduled through chambers.
  • If any Monday is a State holiday, pursuant to Section 2.2-3300, Term/Motions will be held the following day.
  • Commissioners in Chancery utilized in accordance with Section 8.01-607 et seq. and Rule 3.23.
  • Depositions are routinely accepted in uncontested divorce cases. Ore tenus hearings may be set by praecipe on Civil Term Day. Appearance required.
  • Judicial Settlement Conferences are utilized in civil cases & divorces.

Obtaining a Copy of a Recorded Deed
Copies of recorded deeds or any other filed documents are available at a cost of $0.50 a page and $2 for certification. Send in a written request and a self-addressed stamped envelope to our office. We will return them in a timely manner. 

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Contact Information
Barbara Decatur, Clerk

Judicial Center
1300 Courthouse Rd.
Stafford, VA 22554

Combined Chambers Address:
P.O. Box 895 
Stafford, VA 22555-0895

Ph: (540) 658-8750
Records: (540) 658-8752
Fax: (540) 658-4653


Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Courtroom One
Judge Levy
Ph: (540) 658-4840, opt 1
Fax: (540) 658-4625

Courtroom Two
Judge Sharp
Ph: (540) 658-4840, opt 2
Fax: (540) 658-4625

Courtroom Three
Judge Deneke
Ph: (540) 658-4840, opt 3
Fax: (540) 658-4625
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