A. If a landlord unlawfully removes or excludes a tenant from the premises or willfully
diminishes services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of an
essential service to the tenant, the tenant may obtain an order from a general district
court to recover possession, require the landlord to resume any such interrupted essential
service, or terminate the rental agreement and, in any case, recover the actual damages
sustained by him and reasonable attorney fees. If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all of the security
deposit in accordance with § 55.1-1226.
B. Upon receipt of a petition under this section for an order to recover possession
or restore essential services and a finding that the petitioner has attempted to provide
the landlord with actual notice of the hearing on the petition, the judge of the general
district court may issue such order ex parte upon a finding of good cause to do so. Such ex parte order shall be a preliminary order that specifies a date for a full
hearing on the merits of the petition. The full hearing shall be held within five days of the issuance of the ex parte
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