Virginia's Judicial System

Pulaski Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court: Continuance Policy

The content of this page was provided by the Pulaski Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and has been posted on Virginia's Judicial System Web site as a courtesy to the Pulaski Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.


Pursuant to Rule 8:14 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the continuance policy of the Pulaski County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court is that continuances shall be granted only upon a showing of good cause. Granting a continuance will be the exception - not the norm.


This policy applies to all parties, including but not limited to, attorneys, court services, law enforcement, Commonwealth’s Attorney, plaintiffs, petitioners, defendants, and respondents.

Definition of Good Cause

Good cause exists when the need for a continuance is unforeseen, is not due to a lack of preparation, is brought to the Court’s attention in a timely manner, and does not unduly prejudice the opposing party. Posted service may be good cause.


  1. JUDICIAL APPROVAL:   The Court must approve all continuances.
  2. All continuance requests shall be in writing using the Continuance Request Form provided by the Clerk, and may be mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered.
  3. A continuance may be granted if the Court receives the request least seven (7) days prior to the hearing.
  4. Requests for continuances based upon emergencies shall be decided on a case-by-case basis.
  5. Requests made at the time of trial may be granted only upon a showing that to proceed with the trial would not be in the best interest of justice.
  6. No party shall request a continuance in excess of sixty (60) days.

Specific Examples

The following are illustrative only. Continuances shall not automatically be granted:

  1. To allow continued negotiations.
  2. Due to a lack of preparation.
  3. Where an Officer is in school and has not given adequate advance notice.
  4. Where any party elects to have medical care on the date of the hearing.
  5. Where counsel schedules a hearing in another court after the hearing is set in this court (not including mandatory appearance in superior courts).
  6. In order to request guardian ad litem’s or homestudies.


The Judge and Clerk shall be responsible for the application of this policy. The moving party (not the Clerk) shall:

  1. Determine whether the request has been granted; and
  2. Notify all parties of any new trial date.

The Court encourages the use of phone conferences to resolve continuance disputes.

H. Lee Chitwood, Judge

This page last modified: April 16, 2002