Civil Process

This infor­ma­tion should be con­sid­ered as a gen­er­al guide for civ­il process, all process is sub­ject to change. If you have ques­tions regard­ing your spe­cif­ic sit­u­a­tion please con­tact the War­ren Coun­ty Sher­if­f’s Office — Civ­il Divi­sion, (540) 635‑2074.

In the sec­tion we will cov­er the following:

Fees

No Tres­pass­ing

Evic­tions

Evic­tion Process

Writ of Eviction

Time Peri­od for Exe­cut­ing Writ of Eviction

72 Hour Notice

Duties of the Land­lord “lock-out” 55.237.1

Duties of the Land­lord “24-Hour Notice / Set-Out” 8.01–470 and 8.01–156

To The Tenant

Post­pone­ment and can­cel­la­tion of sched­uled evictions

Resources

Code of Virginia


Fees

All Vir­ginia Paper Ser­vice is $12.00

All out-of-state paper ser­vice is $75.00


No Trespassing

How to tres­pass some­one from your property?

Option 1 — The prop­er­ty that you are request­ing some­one not enter upon can be prop­er­ly post­ed. This means post­ing a sign giv­ing notice to any­one not to tres­pass upon your prop­er­ty. This method is a blan­ket tres­pass and not spe­cif­ic to a per­son. This sign must be post­ed in a con­spic­u­ous place so that the sign can be eas­i­ly seen by all. If you have a large area of prop­er­ty, mul­ti­ple signs may be needed.

Option 2 — You may send some­one a notice of no tres­pass­ing through the mail. This notice must include at a min­i­mum; the date issued, who is being tres­passed, the address of the prop­er­ty you are request­ing they not tres­pass upon, that you are request­ing them not to enter upon or tres­pass on this prop­er­ty, and who the no tres­pass notice is from. To ensure the intend­ed recip­i­ent receives this notice and to prove ser­vice, this no tres­pass notice should be mailed cer­ti­fied through the Post Office, sig­na­ture upon deliv­ery. You should also keep a dupli­cate copy of the notice sent for your records and keep the cer­ti­fied sig­na­ture receipt with to no tres­pass notice. 

Sam­ple — No Tres­pass­ing Notice


Evictions

The Land­lord Ten­ant Hand­book 2021 is avail­able online along with oth­er relat­ed links.

For more infor­ma­tion go to The Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­ni­ty Devel­op­ment website.

For more infor­ma­tion about fill­ing fees at the War­ren Coun­ty Gen­er­al Dis­trict Court please con­tact them at 540–635-2335.

All evic­tion infor­ma­tion is sub­ject to change. The War­ren Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office will fol­low the guide­lines from local, state, and fed­er­al orders. These orders may include but not lim­it­ed to the Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States, Gov­er­nor of Vir­ginia, and/or any judge (Vir­ginia or Fed­er­al). We will also fol­low the guid­ance of the Com­mon­wealth Attorney.


Eviction Process

The fol­low­ing is not to be con­sid­ered legal advice. It is rec­om­mend­ed that own­ers of rental prop­er­ty obtain a copy of the applic­a­ble law (Code of Vir­ginia 55–248.2-55–248.40) The Code of Vir­ginia (COV) is avail­able in libraries and on the inter­net and is updat­ed each July 1. Seek the advice of an attor­ney if necessary.

  1. To begin the process the land­lord must give writ­ten notice to the ten­ant advis­ing the ten­ant that he is in vio­la­tion of the lease. If the vio­la­tion is fail­ure to pay rent, notice must be served on the ten­ant giv­ing the ten­ant 14 days to pay or be sub­ject to ter­mi­na­tion of the lease or evic­tion.  All oth­er evic­tion rea­sons are 30 days.
  2. If the vio­la­tion has not been cor­rect­ed, the land­lord may obtain a Sum­mons for Unlaw­ful Detain­er from the clerk of the Gen­er­al Dis­trict Court request­ing a judg­ment for the right to evict and for mon­ey owed. It must be served by the Sher­iff or a process serv­er at least 10 days before the court date and a copy must be mailed by the land­lord to the ten­ant (also 10 days prior).
  3. On the court date, present to the judge the lease, copy of the notice and the rent ledger. (Copies may be left with the court)
  4. If judg­ment is grant­ed, the land­lord may obtain a writ of pos­ses­sion from the clerk after 10 days from the judg­ment date unless the court grants the right to “imme­di­ate possession”.
  5. Upon receiv­ing the writ, con­tact the War­ren Coun­ty Sher­if­f’s Office to set a date for the eviction.
  6. On the date of the evic­tion, the Sher­iff super­vis­es the process and keeps it peace­ful. The land­lord is respon­si­ble for lock­ing out the ten­ant, or remov­ing the ten­an­t’s prop­er­ty (and should bring per­sons, box­es, bags, etc. to do so). Or, in either case the ten­ant has the right to col­lect his per­son­al prop­er­ty with­in 24 hours of the evic­tion. (If the ten­ant is locked out, the land­lord must pro­vide rea­son­able access to the ten­ant.  This is not meant to imply that the ten­ant has 24 hours mov­ing time, but has a 24 hour peri­od to sched­ule a time con­ve­nient for the land­lord to grant access to the property).

TAKE NOTE of the following:

A) Upon receiv­ing a “Writ of Evic­tion” even in the case of a Court Grant­ed “Imme­di­ate pos­ses­sion”, the prop­er­ty own­er must wait 10 days for the appeal right to expire before you can request the Sher­if­f’s Office serve a vacate notice. After wait­ing the 10 days the Sher­if­f’s Office may now serve the vacate notice advis­ing the ten­ant of the date and time of the evic­tion. The Sher­if­f’s Office must give the ten­ant a min­i­mum 72 hour notice from the ser­vice of the vacate notice and the time of the eviction.

B) If the evic­tion is delayed for any rea­son, an addi­tion­al min­i­mum 72 hour notice must be given.

C) The Sher­if­f’s Office will resched­ule evic­tions when the weath­er is bad or tem­per­a­tures are extreme­ly low.

D) If the land­lord is going to pro­cede with a “set-out” on the day of the evic­tion, the land­lord must pro­vide staff to do so.  If the Deputy feels that there is not ade­quate staff to con­duct a “set-out” in a res­on­able amount of time, the Deputy will resched­ule the eviction.

The Evic­tion Process

Sam­ple — 14 Day Notice

Sam­ple — 30 Day Notice

Sam­ple — Tres­pass Notice

Sam­ple — Notice of Accep­tance of Rent With Reservation

§ 55.1–1250. Land­lord’s accep­tance of rent with reservation

Vir­ginia State­ment of Ten­ant Rights and Respon­si­bil­i­ties under the
Vir­ginia Res­i­den­tial Land­lord and Ten­ant Act as of July 1, 2021

Vir­ginia State­ment of Ten­ant Rights and Respon­si­bil­i­ties under the
Vir­ginia Man­u­fac­tured Home Lot Rental Act as of July 1, 2021


Writ of Eviction

(8.01 — 470 8.01 — 472 code of Vir­ginia) The Writ of Evic­tion is a court order autho­riz­ing the Sher­iff to phys­i­cal­ly remove a per­son and his belong­ings from a premis­es and to return pos­ses­sion to the land­lord. Usu­al­ly the court will not issue the Writ of Evic­tion until the appeal peri­od has lapsed. The appeal peri­od is ten (10) days.

Please click link to read full code section.

Code of Virginia


Time Period for Executing Writ of Eviction

The Writ of Evic­tion gives the Sher­iff thir­ty (30) days in which to exe­cute, how­ev­er, our office expe­dites these process­es since each day the ten­ant remains on the prop­er­ty the greater the loss by the land­lord. Effec­tive July 1, 2000, this code, 8.01–470, has been mod­i­fied to read, “The exe­cu­tion of the Writ of Evic­tion by the Sher­iff should occur with­in fif­teen (15) cal­en­dar days from the date the writ is received by the Sher­iff, or as soon as prac­ti­ca­ble there­after, but in no event lat­er than thir­ty (30) days from the date the Writ of Evic­tion was issued.” While this change speeds up the evic­tion process, it allows for dis­cre­tion as well.

It is impor­tant to remem­ber the date the Writ was issued should a post­pone­ment be request­ed after sched­ul­ing the evic­tion. This will be dis­cussed in detail lat­er. (8.01 — 4708.01 ‑471 code of Virginia)

Please click on link to read entire code section.

Code of Virginia


72 Hour Notice

The 72-hour notice is not to be con­fused with the ten (10) day appeal peri­od. The codes relat­ing to the ten (10) day appeal peri­od and the 72 hour notice are cov­ered under two dif­fer­ent code sec­tions. The Writ of Evic­tion will be held in the Gen­er­al Dis­trict Court Clerk’s Office until the ten (10) day appeal peri­od has expired. Upon receiv­ing the Writ, you should con­tact the Sher­if­f’s Office as soon as pos­si­ble to sched­ule the evic­tion itself.  When sched­ul­ing the evic­tion, the Sher­if­f’s Office staff takes many things into con­sid­er­a­tion includ­ing the 72 hour notice which needs to be giv­en to the ten­ant pri­or to the eviction.

Note: When the court grants an imme­di­ate Writ of Evic­tion to the land­lord, this, in no way, waives the ten­an­t’s right to 72 Hours Notice under 8.01–470.

After the Writ is entered into our com­put­er, a staff mem­ber will call the land­lord to arrange the evic­tion date and time. There­fore, it is impor­tant the land­lord write any and all phone num­bers on the Writ so that the Sher­if­f’s Office can con­tact him for scheduling.

Once a mutu­al­ly agree­able time and date has been set, a staff mem­ber will pre­pare the “72 hour Notice to Vacate” which is issued by the Sher­iff. The date and time of the evic­tion must be not­ed on the form. The notice is then giv­en to the Deputy for ser­vice. Pur­suant to 8.01 — 470, code of Vir­ginia, the notice must be served accord­ing to the laws relat­ing to ser­vice of process. This is espe­cial­ly impor­tant if the land­lord is try­ing to evict a busi­ness where the own­er has left prop­er­ty inside, but is no longer oper­at­ing the busi­ness. If this should occur, the land­lord may want to con­sult an attor­ney because ser­vice at the busi­ness can­not be effect­ed and would have to be direct­ed to the own­er’s home address, and oth­er reme­dies may be avail­able to the landlord.

Please click on link to read entire code section.

Code of Virginia


Duties of the Landlord “24-Hour Notice / lock-out” 55.237.1

The respon­si­bil­i­ties of the land­lord vary and are spe­cif­ic to the type of evic­tion to be performed.

Accord­ing to the Code of Vir­ginia 55–237.1, you have turned this dwelling, (house or apart­ment) into a Tem­po­rary Stor­age Area. You now have pos­ses­sion of the dwelling, but any prop­er­ty remain­ing is still the prop­er­ty of the ten­ant. The fol­low­ing is a brief out­line of what your respon­si­bil­i­ties are for the remain­der of this process.

Accord­ing to COV 55–237.1 The ten­ant shall have the right to remove his per­son­al prop­er­ty from the land­lords des­ig­nat­ed stor­age area at rea­son­able times dur­ing the twen­ty-four hour peri­od and until the land­lord dis­pos­es of the remain­ing per­son­al prop­er­ty of the ten­ant.  It is man­dat­ed that you can­not remove any of their prop­er­ty dur­ing the 24 hours fol­low­ing the evic­tion. You must pro­vide them rea­son­able access to the prop­er­ty, only for removal of said property.

Accord­ing to COV 55–237.1 Any prop­er­ty remain­ing in the land­lords stor­age area upon the expi­ra­tion of the twen­ty-four hour peri­od after the evic­tion may be dis­posed of by the land­lord as the land­lords sees fit or appro­pri­ate. After the 24-hour peri­od fol­low­ing the evic­tion has expired you have the right to dis­pose of the ten­ants per­son­al prop­er­ty. Remem­ber that even after the 24-hour peri­od has elapsed, as long as the ten­ants per­son­al prop­er­ty remains in the dwelling they must be giv­en rea­son­able access to allow them to remove their property.

Accord­ing to COV 55–237.1 If the land­lord fails to allow rea­son­able access to the ten­ant to remove his per­son­al prop­er­ty as pro­vid­ed here­in, the ten­ant shall have a right to injunc­tive relief and such oth­er relief as may be pro­vid­ed by law. The ten­ant only has a right to remove their prop­er­ty, but fail­ing to give them access may result in fur­ther court action tak­en against you.

The code only allows the ten­ant access to the dwelling to remove their prop­er­ty. If the ten­ant attempts to stay in the prop­er­ty this becomes a tres­pass­ing issue. If this occurs, please noti­fy the Police or the Sher­if­f’s Office.

Please click on the links to read the code in it’s entirity.

Code of Virginia


Duties of the Landlord “set-out” 8.01–470 and 8.01–156

The respon­si­bil­i­ties of the land­lord vary and are spe­cif­ic to the type of evic­tion to be performed.

Arrive on time. The Deputy will wait about ten (10) min­utes if the land­lord is run­ning late. How­ev­er, after ten (10) min­utes the Deputy will leave the scene. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key here. Let the Sher­if­f’s Office know if there is an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion. The Deputy will try to work with the land­lord but he will not wait any longer than ten (10) min­utes if we have not heard from the landlord.

Do not enter the prop­er­ty before the deputy arrives. Enter­ing before the Deputy arrives will result in the Sher­iff can­cel­ing the Writ and no per­for­mance of the evic­tion. This is done to ensure both the land­lord’s safe­ty and the safe­ty of the Deputy, but more­over, to lim­it lia­bil­i­ty to the Sher­iff and the land­lord by false accu­sa­tions made by dis­grun­tled ten­ants. If the land­lord starts mov­ing prop­er­ty out before the Deputy arrives, he can­not ensure the evic­tion has been done in a law­ful man­ner and will back out, stat­ing the land­lord has tak­en action with­out the assis­tance of the Sheriff.

Any knowl­edge the land­lord has about the ten­ant is help­ful to the Deputy. It is impor­tant for the Sher­iff to know if the ten­ant may have any weapons in the dwelling, or if the ten­ant has been arrest­ed for assault, or believed to be deal­ing drugs. Inci­den­tal infor­ma­tion, such as inop­er­a­tive cars, pets, waterbeds, and juve­niles left alone is impor­tant because they can pro­long the evic­tion and may neces­si­tate addi­tion­al prepa­ra­tion by the land­lord, the Sher­iff, or ani­mal con­trol. If the land­lord knows the ten­ant has changed the locks, the land­lord may want to have a lock­smith avail­able at the appoint­ed time.

The land­lord must sup­ply suf­fi­cient per­son­nel (movers) to allow speedy removal of the prop­er­ty. The deputy, at his dis­cre­tion, can post­pone the evic­tion for lack of suf­fi­cient per­son­nel. If the evic­tion is post­poned for lack of suf­fi­cient per­son­nel, the land­lord will be required to pay addi­tion­al fees for the ser­vice of the new 72 hours notice. We usu­al­ly rec­om­mend at least three (3) to five (5) peo­ple depend­ing upon the amount of prop­er­ty inside. It is the land­lord’s respon­si­bil­i­ty to remove the prop­er­ty. The Deputy is there only to main­tain peace and to pro­tect the pub­lic from harm­ful objects.

The wise land­lord should come pre­pared with tools (ham­mer, screw­drivers, etc.) and box­es or bags in which to place loose items. Dan­ger­ous house­hold haz­ardous mate­ri­als or chem­i­cals will not be placed to the curb and it will be the duty of the land­lord to prop­er­ly dis­pose of those mate­ri­als at a des­ig­nat­ed land­fill. Oth­er objects which could be con­sid­ered dan­ger­ous to the pub­lic and any­thing of real val­ue will be con­fis­cat­ed by the Deputy and brought into the office after inven­to­ry of the items, (i.e., guns, knives, porno­graph­ic mate­ri­als, mon­ey, expen­sive jew­el­ry, and pre­scrip­tion medication.)

While the Code of Vir­ginia does not require the land­lord to change the locks after com­ple­tion of the evic­tion, the land­lord may want to con­sid­er doing so. There have been sev­er­al occa­sions, where after the prop­er­ty has been placed to the pub­lic right of way, the ten­ant has come back and moved every­thing back in.


To The Tenant

On the day of the evic­tion, all prop­er­ty will be placed along the near­est pub­lic right of way. Should the ten­ant leave any pets, they may be recov­ered through the War­ren Coun­ty Sher­if­f’s Office Ani­mal Con­trol Divi­sion or at the The Humane Soci­ety of War­ren Coun­ty (Ani­mal Shel­ter) . If the ten­ant can­not be present when the evic­tion takes place, the ten­ant may want to have some­one whom they can trust be there to pro­tect their prop­er­ty. The Sher­iff or Deputy can only ensure the safe­ty of the ten­an­t’s prop­er­ty while he is there. Once the Deputy leaves, he is no longer respon­si­ble for the property.

In the event there are chil­dren home at the time of the evic­tion with­out an adult, the Depart­ment of Social Ser­vices will be called if the ten­ants can­not make arrange­ments for super­vised shel­ter of the children.


Postponement and cancellation of scheduled evictions

Post­pon­ing the Writ can be defined as resched­ul­ing the evic­tion date to anoth­er day. The land­lord can post­pone the evic­tion only once. If the first sched­uled date is post­poned and resched­uled to a lat­er date and time, the 72 hour notice must be served again giv­ing the new time and date, allow­ing at least an addi­tion­al 72 hours notice to the tenant.

Can­cel­ing the Writ means the land­lord no longer wants to evict the ten­ant or the ten­ant has already moved out and there is no need for assis­tance by the Sheriff.

The Sher­iff reserves the right to post­pone or can­cel a sched­uled evic­tion due to inclement weath­er. Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, if it is rain­ing, snow­ing, or there are gale force winds, then the evic­tion may be post­poned and resched­uled for anoth­er day. The 72 hour notice must be served giv­ing the new time and date, allow­ing at least an addi­tion­al 72 hours notice to the ten­ant. No addi­tion­al fee will be required if the Sher­iff post­pones the evic­tion due to weather.



Resources

Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Housing

Vir­ginia Housing

U.S. Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs

Blue Ridge Legal Service

Office of the Vir­ginia Attor­ney General

Office of the Vir­ginia Governor


Code of Virginia

There are sev­er­al VA code sec­tions that can help you in any civ­il mat­ter.  Here as a few relat­ing to evictions.

8.01–156. Author­i­ty of sher­iffs, etc., to store and sell per­son­al prop­er­ty removed from premis­es; recov­ery of pos­ses­sion by own­er; dis­po­si­tion or sale.

8.01–470. Writs on judg­ments for spe­cif­ic property.

55–237.1. Author­i­ty of sher­iffs to store and sell per­son­al prop­er­ty removed from premis­es; recov­ery of pos­ses­sion by own­er; dis­po­si­tion or sale.

55–248.38:2.  Author­i­ty of sher­iffs to store and sell per­son­al prop­er­ty removed from res­i­den­tial premis­es; recov­ery of pos­ses­sion by own­er; dis­po­si­tion or sale.

Please click on link to read entire code section.

Code of Virginia