Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court

About the J&DR Court

There is a juvenile and domestic relations district court in each Virginia city and county. In Virginia, a juvenile is any person under 18 years of age. The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court hears all matters involving juveniles such as criminal and traffic matters. 

Juvenile delinquency cases are cases involving a minor under the age of 18 who has been accused of committing an offense that would be considered criminal if committed by an adult. 

Other juvenile offenses may be referred to as status offenses. Status offenses are those acts that are unlawful only because they are committed by a minor.

In addition, this court handles other matters involving the family such as custody, support and visitation. The court also hears family abuse cases, cases where adults have been accused of child abuse  or neglect, and criminal cases where the defendant and alleged victim are family or household members.

Confidentiality of records pertaining to a juvenile case must be maintained at all times. Juvenile courts are not allowed to disclose juvenile case information over the telephone.

Hope Cards for Protective Orders

Individuals who carry a protective order issued by the Middlesex County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court now have access to a new resource. The Middlesex County Hope Card Program is a new service made available to anyone with a valid final protective order that is effective for at least 12 months for family abuse, stalking, and/or sexual assault. The Hope Card Program allows individuals to request a wallet-sized card that summarizes the protective order's most important details. The Hope Card is intended as a more convenient way for people who have permanent protective orders keep relevant information about their orders with them at all times. It is small and durable and can be easily carried in a wallet or purse. Hope cards are also an easy way to allow law enforcement to know there is a valid protective order in place and assists in safety by informing law enforcement about weapons involved in the incident resulting in a protective order. You may request one card per individual named on the protective order to, for example, be provided to a child's school and after-school care program.

For more information on this program or to request a Hope Card Form you can visit the Middlesex County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Clerk's office, call Deanna L. McKinnon at 804-693-4850, or contact the statewide Hope Card Program Coordinator, Jaime Clemmer, at jclemmer@vacourts.gov.

The Hope Card Program is funded in part under V-STOP grant #18-04141VA17 awarded by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to the Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court of Virginia, from funds authorized by the Violence Against Women Act and awarded to Virginia by the U.S. Department of Justice.