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Grayson County Commonwealth Attorney

Brandon R. Boyles

Commonwealth’s Attorney

Evan B. Henck

Chief Deputy Asst. Commonwealth’s Attorney

Debra K. Sifford

Deputy Asst. Commonwealth’s Attorney

Sara Hall

Administrative Assistant

129 Davis Street

PO Box 445

Independence, Virginia 24348

Local Phone: (276) 773-2421 (278) 236-8149 Ext. 135

Fax: (276) 773-0577

Duties of the Commonwealth’s Attorney

The Commonwealth’s Attorney is primarily responsible for matters involving enforcement of the criminal law within Grayson County and the portion of the City of Galax, formerly in Grayson County. The Commonwealth’s Attorney serves a four year term and is an Elected Counstitutional Officer.


The Voice of the Victim:

To Do Justice:

Clerk of Circuit Court

Grayson County Clerk of Circuit Court 129 Davis Street, PO Box 130 Independence, Virginia 24348

Local Phone: 276-773-2231

Fax: 276-773-3338

Click here for Third Order extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency in response to COVID-19

Click here for Order regarding collection of fines and costs

Click here for Circuit Court Payment Agreement

Clerk of Court

Renee H. Nester, Clerk


Debra Hensley, Deputy Clerk


Beverly Dowell, Deputy Clerk


Melissa Weatherman, Deputy Clerk


The Clerk of the Circuit Court is one of the five “constitutional officers” created by the Virginia Constitution.  As constitutional officers perform vital services for the public, they are elected by popular vote and are directly accountable to the citizens.  Clerks of Circuit Court have an eight year term of office.  Circuit Court Clerks in Virginia perform duties that in many other states are divided among three of four separate offices.

Among the clerk’s more prominent responsibilities is to provide administrative support for all courtroom proceedings.  The clerk creates and maintains all court files and records, maintains the court’s docket, preserves evidence, summonses jurors, issues arrest and other legal documents to be served, and collects court costs, fines, and restitution.

Further duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, probate of wills and estates, recording and indexing land records, judgments, and financing statements.  The clerk’s office processes concealed handgun permits, issues marriage licenses,

administers oaths for notary publics, as well as oaths for other local officials.  This office also processes passport applications, following the guidelines of the U.S. Department of State.

The Clerk acts as county archivist, having land, probate, and court records dating back to the formation of the county in 1793.  

It is the mission of the Grayson County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office to provide excellent services to the general public in an accurate, courteous, timely, impartial, and professional manner, in accordance with the laws and constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Things you can do at the Clerk’s Office 

Marriage License

Record Deeds

Genealogy Research

Research Deeds, land transfers and Deeds of Trust

Research Wills

Research Court Records

Research Surveys

Research Minutes of the Board of Supervisor Meetings

Research Minutes of the Planning Commission Meetings

Probate Wills

Qualify as Administrators or Executors for Wills

Apply for Concealed Weapon Permits

Apply for Notary Public Commission

Apply for Passports

Obtain Social Security Administrator Forms

Obtain Birth, Death and Marriage Application Forms

The clerk is the Administrator of Oaths of Office

Receive payments for Circuit Court Cost

Record Military Discharges

File a Civil Suit

Obtain Change of Name Forms

Deeds, wills, marriages, civil suits are obtainable online by paid subscription–please contact office directly for more information.

Virginia Circuit Court Online Payment System

Virginia Circuit Court online payment system. Allowing payments to be made online to participating Virginia circuit courts for eligible cases.


Virginia Electronic Filing System (VJEFS):

Concealed Handgun Permit Application:

Passport Applications:

Notary Public Applications:


Circuit Court Forms:

Case Information:

Clerk of District Court

Autumn Hawks

Clerk of Combined District Court

Tiffany Houk

Deputy Clerk of Combined District Court

Phone: 276-773-2011

Fax: 276-773-3174

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

129 Davis Street, Suite 305,

P. O. Box 280

Independence, VA 24348

Grayson County General District Court

General District Court meets every Monday at 9:30 a.m. and continues throughout the day. The court handles non-felony traffic cases, misdemeanors, hunting violations, and preliminary hearings in felony cases.9:30 a.m.-criminal and traffic cases1 p.m.- first and third Mondays, preliminary hearings in felony cases.1:30 p.m., second Monday, municipal charges from Independence and Fries.1 p.m. fourth Monday, civil cases under $15,000.

Grayson County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court

Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court meets every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. for adult and juvenile crime and traffic cases, and at 10:30 a.m. for visitation, support and custody cases. The court handles any cases involving juveniles, or any cases involving family members or people who cohabitate or have a child in common.

What you can do in the Clerk of District Court Office:

  • Pay fines
  • File civil warrants
  • Accept prepayments for traffic fines and other fines as allowed, such as hunting without a license fines and some game violations
  • All juvenile and domestic disputes are handled through this office
  • All juvenile traffic violations are handled in this office.

Clerk of Court Duties

The duties of the Clerk of District Court include receiving fees, processing all criminal warrants, summons, and motions for criminal and traffic violations. The Clerk also updates all dispositions, which include notifying Central Criminal Records Exchange agency which keeps a record of all offenses. This information is used by the local Sheriff’s or by State Police or other agencies when criminal background checks are requested.The Committee on District Courts determines the need in each district court for substitute judges, clerks, and other personnel and authorizes their employment. The chief judge of each district appoints the district court personnel other than judges. The Committee on District Courts fixes the salaries for the court clerks and personnel. These salaries are paid by the state, and no local supplements are permitted. Each county must provide suitable office and courtroom space and the necessary furniture and equipment for the operation of its district court. All fees collected by and “belonging to” the judge, substitute judge, clerk, or employees of a general district court must be paid promptly to the clerk of the circuit court for transmittal to the state treasury.

District Courts

The district courts are considered “courts not of record.” There are two types of district courts-general district court and juvenile and domestic relations district courts. In some judicial districts, the two courts are combined.General district courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over civil cases in which the amount of money involved does not exceed $1,000. They exercise concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts in civil cases where the amount at issue is more than $1,000 but less than $7,000. These courts exercise jurisdiction over cases arising under the occupational safety and health laws when the penalty will not exceed $10,000 per violation, excluding interest and costs. The jurisdiction also extends to suits in interpleader involving personal property share the amount of money or value of property is not more than the jurisdictional limits of the court. General district courts have exclusive original over offenses against county or town ordinances. They also have jurisdiction over all other misdemeanors and traffic infractions occurring in the county, and they may conduct preliminary hearings on felony cases.Juvenile and domestic relations district courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over cases involving the custody, visitation, support, control or placement of children who are alleged to be abused, neglected, in need of services, in need of supervision, or delinquent, or who are abandoned by their parents or custodians. These courts also have exclusive original jurisdiction over proceedings involving juveniles who have been accused of traffic violations. They exercise exclusive jurisdiction over the commitment of mentally ill children, emergency surgical or medical treatment for certain children, and offenses committed by one family member against another member of the family.Every county in Virginia is serviced by both a general district court and a juvenile and domestic relations district court. The state is divided into thirty-two judicial districts. With the exception of districts 2 and 2A, which comprise the Second Judicial Circuit, district boundaries are coterminous with the boundaries of the judicial circuits. Based upon an annual study by the Committee on district Courts, the General Assembly establishes the number of general district court judges and juvenile and domestic relations district court judges to be assigned to each district. These judges designate two chief district judges, one for each type of district court.

Court Services Unit

Specialized probation and related court services must be provided throughout the state for children coming within the jurisdiction of the juvenile and domestic relations district courts. The court services unit or probation department serves the court and facilitates the rehabilitation or treatment of juveniles who come before the court. Services are provided to families of the juveniles as well, to preserve the family structure, if appropriate.The state Department of Corrections is responsible for developing a state-operated court service unit for counties and cities that are served by regional juvenile and domestic relations district courts and for counties where specialized probation and related court services were not provided as of July 1, 1973. The board of supervisors of any other county also may request the development of a state-operated court service unit, after consulting with the chief judge of the juvenile and domestic relations district court of the jurisdiction. Specialized court services may be provided through a local unit if a county was providing such services as of July 1, 1973.

The state pays the compensation of probation officers and related court service personnel employed by state-operated service units, whereas it pays only one-half of the compensation for local service unit officers and staff members. Each county in which a state-operated court service unit is located must meet minimum standards set by the state Board of Corrections and must provide suitable quarters, all necessary furniture, and utilities, including telephone service, for the court service unit staff.The governing bodies of each county and city served by a court service unit and the chief judge of the juvenile and domestic relations district court may appoint a citizens advisory council. The council works with the court and the director of the court service unit to develop and to extend the court service program. The council is also charged with the responsibility of visiting institutions that receive children under the court’s authority, and reporting periodically to the court and the governing bodies on the conditions of those children and the work of the council. If the governing body does not exercise its option to appoint a council, the chief judge may appoint an advisory board of citizens to perform the same duties that a council would have performed.

Grayson County Magistrates

The office of magistrate is the successor to the office of the justice of the peace, which was abolished in 1974. Magistrates are authorized to issue arrest and search warrants, to admit to bail or commit to jail persons charged with offenses, to administer oaths and take acknowledgments, and to act as conservators of the peace. They also have the same power as district courts to issue warrants and subpoenas within the county in which they have jurisdiction. Magistrates are authorized to perform all other acts or functions that are provided specifically by law and may assist in federal criminal proceedings as authorized by federal law.

The chief circuit court judge appoints at least one magistrate for each county within the district, as well as any other personnel in the office of the magistrate. These positions and any substitute magistrates must be authorized by the Committee on District Courts. Although appointments are made for four-year terms, they are revocable at the pleasure of the appointing judge. Magistrates must be United States citizens and residents of the judicial district that they are appointed to serve. No person may be appointed who is the spouse of, a saw enforcement officer or certain judicial personnel, or who is the chief executive officer or a member of a local governing body for any political subdivision in the state.

Magistrates operate under the supervision of the chief circuit court judge, who may delegate this authority to the chief judge of the general district courts. Salaries are fixed annually by the Committee on District Courts and paid by the state. All fees collected by or on behalf of the magistrates are paid to the appropriate circuit court, commissioner in chancery, state or federal agency or to the appropriate district court. Each county must provide suitable office space, furniture, and other necessary equipment for its fulltime magistrates.

Victim Witness

Grayson County Victim Witness Program

P.O. Box 732 Grayson Co. Courthouse, 3rd Floor

Independence, VA 24348

Local Phone: (276)773-2553

Fax: (276)773-9516

Director: Antonina Marino


Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Serving Grayson County and West Galax

The Victim/Witness Program helps insure that crime victims and witnesses receive fair and compassionate treatment while participating in the Criminal Justice System. The Victim/Witness Director can provide information on the specific rights of a crime victim and witness per the Virginia’s Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act ; make referrals to community service agencies for counseling or other assistance to victims; assist in preparing a victim compensation form; explain court procedures and/or a tour of the courtroom before a person has to testify; explain how to obtain protection and protective orders; provide a separate waiting area during court proceedings; determine the amount of restitution; and other services as needed.