Department Staff Information
Hon. Traci L. Johnson, Clerk
Northampton County Circuit Court
5229 The Hornes
P.O. Box 36
Eastville VA 23347-0036
Susie B. Sample
Lauren M. Brown
Connie H. Wilson
Financial and Probate
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Clerk of Circuit Court
The Clerk Court Clerk is an elected official for a term of eight years, responsible for administration of the Northampton County Circuit Court through a variety of judicial, non-judicial and fiscal activities. Judicial functions include processing all criminal and civil cases coming before the Court, providing staff to the Judge during all trials and hearings. In addition, the Clerk's staff prepares records, maintains court orders, subpoenas and pleadings, and manages the Court's docket and juries. Non-judicial functions of the Clerk's office include admitting or denying wills to probate, qualifying executors and guardians, and recording all land records, deeds, powers of attorney and real estate transactions. The office also processes and records judgments, financing statements, marriage licenses, passports and concealed weapons permits, and handles a variety of appointments. The Clerk's fiscal responsibilities are to provide for the maintenance and investment of Trust and Condemnation funds, as well as collection of court fines, real estate transfer fees, recordation taxes, and other fees authorized by statute.
- To provide maintenance of court-related records.
- To provide the public with an effective means of recording and accessing information related to the County's land records.
- To properly and efficiently provide non-judicial services to the general public.
Remote Access to Land Records
Now available at http://www.courts.state.va.us/rmsweb (registration required first time users please use application below)
TRACI L. JOHNSON, CLERK
The Clerk of the Circuit Court is a Constitutional Official and is elected by the voters of the locality and every Circuit Court in the Commonwealth of Virginia is a court of record. The Clerk of court is charged with the custody, safekeeping and proper indexing of legal and quasi-legal papers deposited in her office. The Clerk’s Office is responsible for filing of all civil suits; docketing and filing of criminal actions; filing divorce suits; and filing adoption petitions. Additional services provided by the Clerk's office include recording land records and plats; probating wills; issuing hunting and fishing licenses; processing notary public applications; issuing marriage licenses; recording military discharge forms (DD-214’s) and assumed business names. It is the duty of the Clerk to assign a deputy clerk to each courtroom to assist the Circuit Court Judge in carrying out each day's activities.
Office of the Clerk of Court
Northampton County Circuit Court
5229 The Hornes
P O Box 36
Eastville VA 23347-0036
We are the home of the Oldest Continuous Court Records in America! Continuous from 1632 through today! We encourage visitors and genealogists to come and research these national treasures. Records room is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays.
Public Notice 09/30/2014
NORTHAMPTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CLERK'S OFFICE IS NO LONGER PROCESSING PASSPORT APPLICATIONS. EFFECTIVE TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2014, CAPE CHARLES POST OFFICE IS A FULL SERVICE PASSPORT AGENT! PLEASE VISIT CAPE CHARLES POST OFFICE AT 299 RANDOLPH AVENUE, CAPE CHARLES VA 23310, FOR ALL OF YOUR PASSPORT NEEDS INCLUDING YOUR PASSPORT PHOTOGRAPHS. THE HOURS OF OPERATION AT CAPE CHARLES POST OFFICE ARE 9:30 A.M.-1:00 P.M. and 2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. Monday through Friday; AND Saturdays 9:30 A.M. -11:30 A.M. OR CALL THEM AT (757) 331-4927.
Every marriage in this Commonwealth shall be under a license and solemnized in the manner provided by law. A marriage license is issued by the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office of any city or county in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Application for Marriage
Both applicants must appear in person in the Clerk’s Office with state issued photo identification bearing a DMV control number, to apply for a marriage license. The fee for a marriage license is $30.00
Certified copy of a marriage license:
You may obtain a certified copy of a marriage license from the Circuit Court Clerk's Office that issued the marriage license. You may make the request in person or by mail.
Northampton County Circuit Court Clerk's Office
Attention: Marriage Licenses
P O Box 36 Eastville VA 23347
Be certain to include the following when submitting a request:
• The full name of both spouses
• The date of the marriage
• The place of marriage
• A money order, certified check or in-state personal check, in the amount of $2.50 per EACH copy, made payable to the "Circuit Court Clerk"
• A self-addressed stamped envelope.
General Information about Marriage Licenses
• License is issued by the Circuit Court Clerk of any city or county in the State of Virginia.
• Out-of-state-residents may apply at any Clerk's Office throughout the State.
• The Northampton County Circuit Court Clerk's Office is located at 5229 The Hornes, 1st Floor.
• You should plan to arrive in our office between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and no later than 4:30 p.m. to allow sufficient time for the Clerk's staff to prepare your marriage license.
• No blood tests or witnesses are required.
• The license must be used within 60 days of the date of issue or it will expire.
• Both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license.
• The Clerk's Office requires a valid, state issued picture identification card (Driver’s License or Military ID) which has a state issued control number or SSN.
• The fee for the license is $30.00 in cash. CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
• The minimum age is 16 years old for the applicants (Virginia Code Section 20-48); however; anyone under the age of 18 must have written, notarized consent from a parent or their legal guardian (Virginia Code Section 20-49).
• For divorced persons, there is no statutory waiting period before remarriage after the divorce is final unless a Court specifically prohibits remarriage. A copy of the divorce decree is not required when applying for a license.
Certain marriages are prohibited
A marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage of one of the parties; (Virginia Code Section 20-38.1)
• A marriage between an ancestor and descendant, or between a brother and a sister, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by adoption; (Virginia Code Section 20-38.1)
• A marriage between an uncle and a niece or between an aunt and a nephew, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood; (Virginia Code Section 20-38.1)
• When either of the parties lacks capacity to consent to the marriage because of mental incapacity or infirmity; (Virginia Code Section 20-43)
• Bigamous marriage; (Virginia Code Section 20-43)
The Virginia General Assembly is offering access to the Code of Virginia on the Internet as a service to the public. We neither assist users of this service with legal questions nor respond to requests for legal advice or the application of the law to specific facts. Therefore, to understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.
Persons Authorized to Perform Marriages
The following commissioners have been appointed by the Northampton County Circuit Court to celebrate the rites of marriage:
Traci L. Johnson, Mable F. Owens, Elizabeth R. Gordon
Circuit Court Filing Fee Schedule
The following will provide you with information concerning filing and service fees for the Circuit Court Civil Division as well as other miscellaneous fees including the Clerk's fee Schedule for Deeds.
A Notary Public is a person legally empowered to take acknowledgments, oaths, and affidavits, and perform such other acts as may be specifically permitted by law. Such person must qualify to be appointed and commissioned as a notary public under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Notary Public applications are processed in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.
Who is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is a person legally empowered to witness and certify documents and to take affidavits. A notary (i) takes acknowledgments, (ii) administers oaths, (iii) certifies that a copy of any document, other than a document in the custody of a court, is a true copy thereof, (iv) certifies affidavits or depositions of witnesses, and (v) performs such other acts as may be specifically permitted by law.
(Virginia Code Annotated, §47.1-12, as amended)
How do I become a Notary Public?
To become a notary public for the Commonwealth of Virginia, submit a completed Application For Appointment As Notary Public to the Notary Department of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth along with a fee of $45.00 made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia.
Upon receipt of a completed application, proper endorsements and the correct fee, the Secretary, if satisfied the applicant is qualified to be appointed and commissioned as a notary public, prepares a notary commission for the applicant and forwards the commission to the Clerk of the Circuit Court in which the applicant elects to qualify.
The applicant should receive notice that the application has been approved within two to four weeks after the Secretary's Office receives the completed application. The notary has sixty days from date of the notice to present himself/herself to the court of his/her choosing to take the oath of office and pick up the commission certificate. At that time, the Clerk of Circuit Court will require an additional fee of $10.00 which should be made payable to the court.
Where can I get a copy of the application form?
Clerk's Office - You may pick up a copy of the form at the Circuit Court Clerk's Office, in the Judicial Center, Building 10B, Third Floor. The Application For Appointment As Notary Public form is available by clicking on the Notary Public Application in the top right of this page. For more information call (757) 385-8822.
Information on where to file your DD-214 and the fees associated with recording it.
Where do I file my Military Discharge DD-214?
The DD-214 is filed in the Virginia Beach Circuit Court Clerk's Office if you reside in . If you are not a resident of Virginia Beach, the DD-214 is filed in the city/county wherein you reside.
What should I bring with me to record the DD-214?
Bring the original or properly authenticated copy of either the discharge certificate or the report of separation from active duty (Department of Defense Document DD-214).
Is there a fee for filing the DD-214?
No, the Clerk's Office does not charge a filing fee and provides up to three copies of the DD-214 at no charge.
Real Estate Records (Deeds)
The Clerk of the Circuit Court records, indexes and permanently stores all real estate records for the County of Northampton.
Assumed Name Certificate
The Circuit Court Clerks Office records assumed business names.
• $10.00 to record with the Circuit Court
• $2.50 for each certified copy
Please call 757-678-0465 to make an appointment.
What is Probate?
Probate is the official proving of the will as the authentic and valid last will and testament of the deceased
Is the appointment of an executor or administrator and the formal administration of an estate always required?
The appointment of an executor or administrator is not always required. If such is the situation, no formal administration is necessary. This is usually true where the estate is small (under the statutory amount set by law) and for payment of small sums by certain government, occupational, and banking agencies.)
Additionally, qualification is not necessary to transfer a motor vehicle title, if the motor vehicle is paid off. In these circumstances, the will is probated (proved and recorded in the Wills Books of the Circuit Court) and nothing further is required. Other instances where formal qualification or administration may not be required are joint accounts with right of survivorship in banks, saving and loan associations, or credit unions.
In most cases, the payment of life insurance proceeds to a named beneficiary and the transfer of real estate to a surviving spouse or other person where there were survivorship rights in the deed occur outside the estate.
What is dying intestate?
A person dies testate if they left a will. A person dies intestate if they do not have a valid will at the time of death. If a person dies intestate, then the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in effect at the time of death, determine who the heirs are and hence who receives the decedent's property.
Where can one go for more information or answers to specific questions?
Prior to coming in, please call one of the deputy clerks of the Probate Department of the Circuit Court Clerk's Office at (757) 678-0465. They will give you specific instructions regarding what you need at the time of probate.
What taxes are to be paid?
At the time of filing the will, the probate tax must be paid. ($1 State tax and 33 cents local tax, per $1,000 value of the estate - Example: If the estate value is $50,000, then the State tax would be $50 and the local tax would be $16.67). There are also recording fees at the time of probate
Is an executor or administrator compensated?
The administration of an estate generally requires a fair amount of time and energy. Compensation is allowed. The Commissioner of Accounts must approve the compensation.
What are the basic duties of an executor or administrator?
Probably the most important duty is to ascertain and take possession of the deceased person's property over which the executor or administrator has responsibility or control. Further, the fiduciary (executor or administrator) must determine the liabilities (debts) of the estate and determine the value of the estate over which the fiduciary does not have control (for tax-accounting reasons). Further, the fiduciary must see to the payment of debts of the deceased and the estate (including taxes) and the sale or distribution of the property of the estate in accordance with the dictates of the will and Virginia law. Generally, the fiduciary must file a complete inventory for the estate within four months of qualification with the Commissioner of Accounts. The Commissioner of Accounts is a local person (generally an attorney) appointed by the Circuit Court to oversee and to ensure that estates are properly handled. The fiduciary must also give written notice of qualification or probate to the heirs and beneficiaries of the estate or those who would have been the heirs, within thirty days after qualification or probate.
Finally, the fiduciary must make an accounting (generally a list of all assets of the estate, all distributions and all assets on hand) on a yearly basis until a final accounting can be made. Often, a first and final accounting can be made at the conclusion of the first year following qualification.
What should I take with me to probate a will or to qualify on an estate?
First, the original will must be taken to the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court in your local jurisdiction. It is necessary that an appointment be made with the Clerk or a deputy clerk. Second, the person offering the will for probate or seeking to qualify should know all the assets owned by the deceased and, as accurately as possible, the value of those assets. A copy of the death certificate should also be taken to the Court. This document contains much of the information that will be needed by the Clerk or deputy clerk assisting you.
When should I probate the will or, if there is no will, seek to be appointed administrator?
There is no set time frame in which a will must be probated or estate administration must be started. The death of a loved one is a particularly emotional, stressful, and busy time. The probate of the will can usually wait until a week or so after the funeral. It is recommended that the initial steps in the estate process start within thirty (30) days after death. If any questions exist, call your attorney or the Circuit Court Clerk's Office.
Who inherits the property of an intestate (person dying without a will)?
If a person dies without a will, Virginia law provides a course of descendants as follows (after payment of funeral expenses, debts and cost of administration).
All to the surviving spouse, unless there are children (or their descendants) of someone other than the surviving spouse in which case, one-third goes to the surviving spouse and the remaining two-thirds is divided among all children.
If no surviving spouse, all passes to the children and their descendants.
If none, then all goes to the deceased's father and mother or the survivor.
If none, then all passes to the deceased's brothers and sisters and their descendants.
There are further contingent beneficiaries set out in the Virginia statutes. (Virginia Code Annotated §64.1-1)
Who in the Circuit Court handles the probate of wills?
Usually, the Clerk of the Circuit Court or a deputy clerk handles the probate of wills and the Circuit Court judge is not involved. (Virginia Code Annotated §64.1-77) However, any person interested in the will may appeal to a judge within six months of the order of the clerk admitting a will to probate. (Virginia Code Annotated §64.1-78)
Where should the will be probated?
Virginia does not have a separate probate court. The will should be probated in the Circuit Court of the city or county where the decedent resided or where the decedent owned real estate; or if none, where the decedent owned any real estate; or if none, where the decedent died or has any estate. If the decedent died in a nursing home or similar institution, then that person's residence is presumed to be where he or she resided prior to becoming a patient at such home.