General District Court judgments are reviewed and finalized in judges' chambers after court. You should wait 3-7 days and then check online using the Online Case Information System to make sure the judgment requested in the courtroom is still valid and marked as final. If a problem is found at the time of review, the judgment is vacated and continued out 60 days or left open for proper service.
If your judgment is valid, you can attempt to make payment arrangements outside of court with the defendant(s) for payment of the judgment. If this fails, the court provides processes to help you try to collect on your judgment, but you must initiate these actions.
You may not execute on your judgment through the court until the ten calendar day appeal period has expired. After ten days, if the case has not been appealed to Circuit Court you may take action through the court to try and collect on the judgment.
Listed below are some options you have for attempting to collect on the judgment. We strongly suggest you consult an attorney to determine which option would be to your best advantage. The clerk's office cannot give you any legal advice - however, they can provide you with forms and assistance in initiating the actions once you have decided which one to use.
INTERROGATORY SUMMONS($52 + $12 service fee per party to be served)
If you do not know where the opposing party works, banks or owns property, you may summons them to court to answer your questions under oath as to their assets and where they are located.
GARNISHMENT ($52 + $12 service fee per party to be served)
If you know where the opposing party is employed or has a bank account, you may file forms to have their bank account or their wages garnished.
ACTUAL LEVY ($25 execution fee only, Sheriff may require a bond)
If you know where the opposing party resides or are aware of any specific personal property (not real property), the Sheriff will attempt to place a lien on items whose worth is sufficient to cover the cost of your judgment. These items may later be sold at a Sheriff's sale with the proceeds going to you.
DOCKETING OF JUDGMENT (Fee to Circuit Court, no court appearance)
This is done through a Circuit Court and places a lien against any real property owned in a specific county. To do this, you obtain a certified copy of your judgment (called an "abstract") from the General District Court and take it to the Circuit Court for the county where the real property is located. Fairfax County Circuit Court is on the 3rd floor of the Fairfax County Courthouse.
TRIPLE SEAL (Fee to Circuit Court, requires no further court appearance in this court)
If you wish to execute on any assets located outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia, you may wish to inquire about a Triple Seal of your judgment through Fairfax County Circuit Court.