Frequently Asked Questions

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General FAQ

How do I obtain the status of an Inmate at Portsmouth City Jail?

Inmates are not listed on our website. To find out if someone is currently being housed at the Portsmouth City Jail, please call (757) 391-3177 or (757) 391-3178.

How do I get medical information concerning an inmate to Portsmouth City jail Staff?

The Portsmouth City Jail has a Contract Medical provider who provides medical coverage 24 hours a day. Any questions concerning medical issues should be addressed to the medical unit. Please call (757) 391-3181.

How do I visit an Inmate?

You can visit an inmate via Video Visitation, which allows you to use a kiosk at our Jail Facilities. In addition, you may visit from a remote location using an internet-connected device. To sign up, please visit If you wish to use a smartphone or tablet, visit your preferred App Store to download the free Secures Tech app.

Who do I contact if there is a death in the family?

You may contact the shift Watch Commander in Charge at the Portsmouth City Jail. Please call (757) 391-3177 or (757) 391-3178. When you call, you will be asked to verify information for security purposes. This will include the name of the deceased, their relation to the inmate, and any other information the Watch Commander requires.

How do I send money to someone incarnated in the Portsmouth City Jail?

You can add funds to an inmate’s commissary account using the money kiosk in the Jail lobby. You can also add funds online by clicking here.

How can I find out if I have an outstanding warrant?

You must come to the Portsmouth City Jail to address outstanding warrants. Only the person who may have a warrant may come to the Portsmouth City Jail to inquire about that warrant.

How do I apply for listed job openings?

Please visit the PSO Career Opportunities page to view open positions. You can then apply for these opportunities by visiting and searching for: Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office.

Civil Process FAQ

The Civil Process Unit of the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office is part of the Court Services Division. The information below is general in nature and should not be interpreted as legal advice. If you need legal assistance, you must contact an attorney. Our office is not permitted to provide legal advice or suggest courses of action. We cannot recommend specific attorneys.

What is the Civil Process telephone number?

(757) 393-5030

What are your hours of operation?

The Civil Process Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

What can I do if my landlord and I are involved in a dispute?

The Sheriff’s Office cannot intervene on either party’s behalf unless a threat of violence has occurred or a crime has been committed against the parties involved.

I moved out of my boyfriend/girlfriend’s house and I left my personal property. He/she will not let me retrieve my property. Can you send a Deputy out to assist?

The Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office does not recover personal property unless there is a court order from a judge.

Civil Process ? Evictions: The Three-Step Eviction Process


When a tenant’s rent is in arrears, the landlord must give the tenant a 5-day notice to pay the amount due before an eviction action will be taken. This notice is not prepared by the court, but rather by the landlord or his attorney. It may be served upon the tenant by the Sheriff, presented to the tenant by the landlord, or mailed to the tenant by the landlord (by registered or certified mail). You must keep a copy of the notice for your records along with the date and time the notice was served. Va. Code 8.01-296 and 55-225.

Note: If The landlord desires to breach the lease for some other reason other than rent in arrears, he/she must give a 30-day notice to the tenants.


After the 5-day period of notice (or 30-day notice) has expired and the landlord has not received satisfaction, the landlord may obtain a Warrant in Unlawful Detainer from the Civil Office of the General District Court. The court will then issue a summons and set a court date for you and the defendant (s) to appear in court. You must take your copy of the eviction notice to court on the day of the hearing.

A Warrant in Unlawful Detainer is an action taken before judgment by the court, and the summons directs the defendant (tenants) to appear for a hearing. The Warrant in Unlawful Detainer is the legal recourse covering situations in which the possession of the house, land, or tenement is unlawfully detained by the person (s) in the possession thereof. Va. Code 8.01-124; 8.01-126; and 8.01-296


When judgment has been awarded in favor of the landlord under a Warrant in Unlawful Detainer procedure, the landlord may then obtain a Writ of Possession from the court. This writ gives the Sheriff authority to remove the tenant, and all personal belongings from the premises, thus restoring possession of the premises to the landlord. Va. Code 8.01-470


The tenant shall have the right to appeal the judgment of the Lower Court to the Circuit Court. The ?notice of appeal? action must be taken by the tenant within 10-days of the date the judgment was entered in the Lower Court.



After the court has issued the Writ of Possession at the landlord’s request, the Sheriff must give the tenant written notice supplying the date and time of eviction. This Notice to Evict must be served upon the defendant (s) at least 72 hours before the eviction is to take place.
Regarding the Notice to Evict: 3-7 days is generally deemed sufficient time to notify the defendant, but enforcing the time period remains at the discretion of the Sheriff. In situations where the landlord requests that the tenant?s personal effects are to be placed outdoors on a public way, the Sheriff may elect to reset the date and time of the eviction due to inclement weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances, Va. Code 8.01-470; 55-237.1 and 55-248.38:2


The Sheriff should coordinate the eviction with the landlord to ensure that the landlord will be prepared to remove the tenant(s) belongings from the premises (if this option is chosen). In the event the landlord does not make the necessary preparations and fails to comply with reasonable conditions regarding the eviction, the Sheriff may cancel the eviction.


If on the date of the eviction, the Sheriff should find the premises locked, the officer has the authority (under the Writ of Possession) to break and enter the premises in the daytime. This can be done only after prior notice has been given to the tenant to restore possession of the rental property to the landlord (See prior section on Notice to Defendant).