Commonwealth Attorney

Grayson County Commonwealth’s Attorney

129 Davis Street PO Box 445

Independence, Virginia 24348

Brandon R. Boyles, Commonwealth’s Attorney

Evan B. Henck, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney

Phyllis Price, Administrative Assistant

Sara Hall, Administrative Assistant

Duties of the Commonwealth’s Attorney The Commonwealth’s Attorney is primarily responsible for matters involving the enforcement of 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 Constitutional 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

Grayson County Clerk of Circuit Court

129 Davis Street, PO Box 130

Independence, Virginia 24348

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

Clerk of Court: Renee H. Nester, Clerk


Debbie Hensley, Deputy Clerk


Evelyn Osborne, Deputy Clerk


Beverly Dowell, Deputy Clerk


Melissa Weatherman, Deputy Clerk


Duties of the Clerk of the Circuit Court

The duties of the clerk of the circuit court fall into three categories. There are, first of all, those associated with judicial proceedings in the circuit court. Second, the clerk serves as general record keeper for the county, recording all documents relating to land transfers, deed, deeds of trust, mortgages, births, deaths, wills, and divorces-as well as recording election results and issuing marriage license. Third, the clerk serves as record keeper for the board of supervisors in counties that do not have a county administrator. Although the general duties of the clerk of the board of supervisors are prescribed by law, the board may establish additional duties by official resolution.

Circuit Courts

Circuit courts are the principal trial courts of the state and exercise both original and appellate jurisdiction. They have appellate jurisdiction in criminal and civil cases in which an appeal is authorized by law from the judgment or proceedings of the general district court or of the juvenile and domestic relations district court. Circuit courts have original jurisdiction over indictments for felonies and “presentments, informations, and indictments for misdemeanors.” These courts generally have exclusive original jurisdiction over civil cases in which the money involved exceeds $7,000. They also exercise exclusive jurisdiction over all equity matters such as adoptions, divorces, and land title disputes. Circuit courts have concurrent jurisdiction with general district courts in civil cases where the amount at issue is more than $1,000 but less than $7,000. In addition, circuit courts have jurisdiction over proceedings by quo warranto (i.e. an inquiry into the misuse of a particular right or authority) or information in the nature of quo warranto. Circuit courts also are authorized to issue writs of mandamus (compelling the performance of specific acts), writs of prohibition (ordering the cessation of certain proceedings), and writs of certiorari (directing the forwarding of the records of a case for review) to all the general districts courts or to the juvenile and domestic relations district courts. Further, these courts are empowered to issue writs of mandamus in all matters or proceedings arising from or pertaining to actions by boards of supervisors and in other cases in which it may be necessary to prevent the failure of justice and in which such a writ may be used according to the principles of common law. Each Virginia County is located entirely within one of thirty-one judicial circuits, and every county has its own circuit court. The General Assembly sets the boundaries of the circuits and determines the number of judges to be assigned to each based upon the study and recommendations of the Judicial Council. The judges of each circuit select one of the own number to act as chief judge.

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.

CLICK HERE for Court Order on Collection of Fines and Cost

CLICK HERE for Circuit Court Payment Plan

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.

Clerk of District Court

Grayson County Clerk of District Court

129 Davis Street, Suite 305, P. O. Box 280

Independence, VA 24348

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

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.

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.


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 ppointments 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 Program

Judicial Services

Grayson County Victim Witness Program

P.O. Box 732

Grayson County Courthouse, Third 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.