Civil Division

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday-Friday, 8 A.M. - 4 P.M. (Phones close at 3:30 P.M.)
4110 Chain Bridge Road, Room 211
Fairfax, VA 22030
Holly Smith
Division Manager

After Losing a Judgment

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If a judgment has been entered against you, there are a few options available to you.


You may contact the plaintiff or their attorney in order to make payment arrangements. For Unlawful Detainer cases, the tenant(s) may pay the landlord, the landlord's attorney or the court all amounts claimed on the Unlawful Detainer, including current rent, damages, late fees, costs of court, any civil recovery, attorney fees and sheriff fees no less than 2 business days before the schedule eviction date in order to avoid the eviction. If paying to the court, the tenant(s) must pay by cash, cashier's check, certified check or money order.


If you disagree with the outcome of the case, you may appeal your case to the Fairfax Circuit Court.  For more information, please visit the Civil Appeals page.


You have the option to file a motion, for example a Motion to Rehear, and schedule a date to come back into court and make a request to a General District Court judge. Whereas a perfected appeal guarantees you a new trial in Circuit Court, a motion in General District Court may be either granted or denied by the judge.

If You Do Nothing

The plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney may file one or more of the following to collect the judgment amount:

  • Interrogatory Summons - This is a summons for which you must appear in court and answer questions and/or provide documentation about your assets.
  • Garnishment - Your wages and/or bank accounts may be garnished to satisfy the judgment.
  • Levy - The Sheriff can place a lien on your personal property which may then be sold at a Sheriff's sale with the proceeds going to the plaintiff.
  • Docketing of Judgment - The judgment may be docketed against the land records in any Circuit Court in Virginia. This places a lien against any real property (house, land) you may have in that jurisdiction.

The plaintiff must notify the court within 30 days once a judgment has been satisfied. You should receive a copy of this notice. If you do not, you may contact the clerk's office to check the status and to ask about other options. You may also check the status online at

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