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Virginia Court System

Virginia Court System

Virginia’s Court System consists of four levels, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Circuit Courts and then the District Courts. The state of Virginia is split into 31 judicial circuits and 32 judicial districts for the trial courts. Virginia employs more than 2,600 people within the judicial system, including clerks, judges, and other court staff.

The Supreme Court is the court of last resort and the highest court in the state. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction for the court system. Except for disbarment of an attorney and the death penalty ,cases do not have the right to go directly to the Supreme Court. The limited jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is limited to habeas corpus.

The Supreme Court is also responsible for supervising the entire court system. It also has original jurisdiction over matters from the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission about judges who need to be removed from office or are retiring.

Virginia’s Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court for the state and hears the majority of appeals that come from the lower courts and administrative agencies within the state. Most decisions made by the Court of Appeals are final and will go no further.

Supreme Court
Court of Appeals
Circuit Court
District Court

Virginia Court Records That are not Open to the Public

Virginia protects the rights of citizens by honoring the Freedom of Information Act and allows most all court records from the appellate courts, Circuit Courts and District Courts to be accessed online by the general public. They have access portals built into their website. However, as with most states, access to juvenile records including adoptions, sealed, and expunged records will not be available. Additionally, the federal government has laws prohibiting court records from containing personal information such as children’s names, banking information, tax IDs, social security numbers and other sensitive data like security details or trade secrets.

Filing Information

Filing Information

Virginia’s court system makes it easy for residents to file cases. On Virginia’s Judicial System website, they have an extensive area just for forms for filing all types of cases. They have broken them down into sections for juvenile offense, appeals cases, mediation issues, Circuit Court cases, District Court cases, and they even have translated forms in other languages. As of 2017, Virginia’s court system was automated, and patrons of the court system can now file cases online in just about every court, they can pay tickets, fees and fines online and request a protective order. They can also search for cases and perform other routine functions with the online system.

Search Virginia Court Records Online

It is very quick and easy to search for Virginia court records when you use Infotracer. With access to hundreds of court cases in Virginia, Infotracer is the premier resource for finding court records from Fairfax County, Virginia Beach County, and Prince William County and all over the state. According to Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act W.Va. Code §29B-1-1 et seq., the public has access to review criminal court records, divorces and other family matters, civil disputes, bankruptcies, and more.

Someone can conduct a private court records search at any time without a reason or permission. The only files that will not be available are those that have been sealed by a court order or by law.

Enjoy free instant access to Virginia court records when you use the Infotracer system. The best way to look up cases online from Virginia circuit and district courts from all 32 judicial districts is to use a Virginia state court records search by name.

Virginia Court Statistics

In 2012, the Virginia courts received 1,491,076 filings. In 2016, the number of filings increased by 44.3% and counted 2,150,946 filings and had 2,156,239 outgoing cases

Total State Caseloads

Year Total Caseload
2012 1,491,076
2013 1,516,136
2015 2,237,158
2016 2,150,946

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Incoming Caseloads
Civil 24%
Domestic Relations 16%
Traffic 60%

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Virginia at year end of 2016 has decreased by 2.3% compared to the last 2 years, in 2015 the number of incoming cases have been 349,993 but are lower than in 2015.

Year Domestic Relations Caseload Total Statewide Caseload
2015 349,993 2,237,158
2016 342,040 2,150,946

Circuit Courts

Virginia’s Circuit Courts are the general jurisdiction trial courts in the state and have the most power. They handle both civil and criminal cases. They can resolve civil lawsuits of more than $25,000. With claims between $4,500 - $25,000, they have concurrent jurisdiction with District Courts. They can also hear felony and misdemeanor cases, family matters such as divorces, child custody, adoptions, and other domestic-related issues. They are also authorized to process appeals from District Courts in matters of juvenile cases and domestic relations issues. There are 31 judicial circuits in Virginia and 120 Circuit Courts within them.

District Courts

Virginia’s District Courts are the limited jurisdiction courts for the state. They handle lesser criminal offenses and some civil cases as well. Most cases in District Court will be traffic violations, misdemeanors and preliminary hearings for felonies and other serious crimes. They can also resolve civil matters of $4,500 but anything that is between $4,500 and $25,000 they share the jurisdiction with Circuit Courts. These courts also handle landlord/tenant issues, contract disputes, and personal injury cases. There is one District Court in every county and city in Virginia. They can also handle small claims of up to $5,000, and mental health cases.

Virginia Court Records Search