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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Suing the Guarantor of the Lease

In Virginia, the maximum jurisdictional limit of $15,000 in the General District Court does not apply in commercial evictions if possession and money are pursued in the same Unlawful Detainer action. However, two general district judges in Fairfax have ruled differently with regard to whether the jurisdictional limit applies if the lease guarantor is sued in the Unlawful Detainer action. One judge favorably allowed an extension of the jurisdictional limit on damages against a guarantor. Yet, another judge ruled against exceeding the $15,000 jurisdictional limit on essentially the same set of facts.

Despite this conflict in rulings, it is still worthwhile including the guarantor in your Unlawful Detainer action, since you might get the right judge. If you do, you will save a lot of money and time. If you do not, you will have to seek damages against the guarantor in the Circuit Court.

The above is not meant to replace legal counsel. If you'd like to speak to an attorney, contact Gross & Romanick directly by calling 703-273-1400 or by filling out their online information request form.