Such request shall be noted by the judge during the call of the docket and entered or denied by the judge on review of the file. Judgment will not be entered unless the affidavit has been served on the defendant at the time of service of the warrant. An alias service of process may not be filed solely to obtain service of an affidavit which was omitted from the original filings.
The General District Court grants judgment on the affidavit contingent on review of the file in chambers. If the file is later found to be incomplete or incorrect, the judgment will be vacated and the case will be continued on the return docket to a date 60 days after the provisional judgment date to enable the plaintiff to appear and remedy the deficiency. In cases of improper service, the judgment will be vacated and the case left open for an alias attempt of service within 90 days as prescribed by law. Parties are encourage to check the status of their default judgments online using the Online Case Information System. Judgments will usually be updated on the website as pending, final, or vacated within 3-10 business days following the court date.
An opinion issued by the Virginia State Bar on September 29, 2010 states that the practice of lawyers signing and submitting affidavits attesting to the debt owed by the defendant pursuant to Code of Virginia, §8.01-28 is unethical because the lawyer is acting both as witness and advocate in violation of Rule 3.7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Fairfax County General District Court deems it a best practice that attorneys not sign §8.01-28 affidavits on behalf of their clients nor request the court to enter a judgment on that affidavit for the reason that doing so puts the court in the position of condoning conduct declared to be unethical. Upon review of a file in chambers, such an affidavit may result in a judge vacating the requested judgment as noted above.
The Civil Clerk's Office does not notify parties when a judgment on the affidavit is vacated and reset or left open for an alias. It is the plaintiff's responsibility to check that a final judgment was entered after review. The final disposition on a case can be obtained online using the Online Case Information System.