Circuit Court Judges

Page updated on Sep 28, 2020 at 9:35 AM


COVID-19 UPDATES 



1.   CONTACT INFORMATION


Clerk of Circuit Court   

703.746.4044    

Original filings (notices, pleadings, attachments/exhibits, proposed orders, etc.) must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court. A document is not deemed filed until it is received and file-stamped by the Clerk of Court's office. Judges' Chambers will not be responsible for forwarding emails/pleadings/documents to the Clerk of Court.

During Covid-19, the Clerk's Office is accepting filings by U.S. Mail, by the drop box located in the vestibule of the courthouse, or by email at case.intake@alexandriava.gov

  • The best methods to submit documents to the Clerk’s Office are by U.S. Mail or using the drop box located in the vestibule of the courthouse. Documents received by U.S. Mail or the drop box may be processed quicker than documents that are emailed. The drop box is checked regularly throughout the day by Clerk's Office employees. 

Due to high volume and reduced staff in the Clerk’s Office in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be a delay in processing notices, pleadings, attachments/exhibits, and proposed orders, and signed orders. 

For the complete list of current Clerk’s Office procedures, please visit https://www.alexandriava.gov/ClerkOfCircuitCourt.


Circuit Court Judges’ Chambers 

703.746.4123     CircuitCourtChambers@alexandriava.gov 

Courtesy copies (notices, pleadings, attachments/exhibits, proposed orders, etc.) may be emailed to Judges' Chambers at CircuitCourtChambers@alexandriava.gov.  Please note a document is not deemed filed until it is received and file-stamped by the Clerk of Court's office. Judges' Chambers will not be responsible for forwarding emails/pleadings/documents to the Clerk of Court.

Telephones  -  Due to COVID-19, Alexandria Circuit Court Judges’ Chambers will answer telephones from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – with the exception of our lunch hour from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  This schedule is effective September 16, 2020 until further notice.

No in-person meetings inside Judges' Chambers.  The court administrators, law clerks and jury coordinator are available by telephone during COVID-19.

 


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2.   COVID-19 MEMORANDA

Current Memorandum


Previous Memoranda


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3.  JURY RESUMPTION PLAN  

  Alexandria Circuit Court’s jury resumption plan was approved by the Virginia Supreme Court.  Additional juror information is located at Juror Summons (#19 below).



4.  MOTIONS DAY DOCKET for 9/23/2020   


        DOCKET - to be posted by 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to the Motions Day. 

MOTIONS DAY docket for 9/23/2020  (posted 9/21/2020 at 4:00 p.m.)


5.  MOTIONS DAY MEETING LINKS for 9/23/2020

          MEETING LINKS  - There is a separate link for each Judge's 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. docket (if there is a 2:00 p.m. docket)

                 A.   The meeting links will be posted by 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to the Motions Day.

                 B.    The Microsoft Teams meeting invitation will be emailed two (2) days prior to the Motions Day to the email addresses provided by the moving counsel/party. Any errors apparent to the parties at the time of the issuance of the Microsoft Teams meeting invitation should be immediately brought to the attention of the Court.  

                 C.   The meeting link may be forwarded to anyone interested in attending the hearing, including court reporters.

                  D.    The Court's email will include a link to the Microsoft Teams meeting and a telephone number to be used by those participants who do not have internet access. The telephone number provides audio access to the hearing.


10:00 A.M. DOCKET FOR 9/23/2020 -  JUDGE LISA B. KEMLER

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+1 703-719-4698   United States, Arlington (Toll)

Conference ID: 772 290 533#



10:00 A.M. DOCKET FOR 9/23/2020 -  JUDGE JAMES C. CLARK 

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+1 703-719-4698   United States, Arlington (Toll)

Conference ID: 305 225 015#


2:00 P.M. DOCKET FOR 9/23/2020 - JUDGE LISA B. KEMLER

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+1 703-719-4698   United States, Arlington (Toll)

Conference ID: 653 005 789#



2:00 P.M. DOCKET FOR 9/23/2020 - JUDGE JAMES C. CLARK

Judge Clark does not have a 2:00 p.m. docket on September 23, 2020.


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6.  MOTIONS DAY RESOURCES for remote hearings, including Instructions 

During COVID-19, and unless an exception is permitted by the Court, ALL hearings will be heard remotely using Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is a free download available at www.microsoft.com.  The virtual Motions Days hearings are intended to be similar to the pre-COVID Motions Day hearings and are open to everyone. The Microsoft Teams meeting invitation may be forwarded to anyone interested in attending the remote hearing.

All cases should be noticed for 10:00 a.m. on Motions Day, unless special permission has been received from Judges' Chambers to notice the case for the 2:00 p.m. docket. The Court will assign the cases to either the 10:00 a.m. session or the 2:00 p.m. session, which will be reflected on the Microsoft Teams meeting invitation.

           A.  Judges' Chambers email address

               Judges' Chambers' email address [for courtesy copies]  is - CircuitCourtChambers@alexandriava.gov


            B.   Deadlines for Initial Motions Day Filings   

          The initial filing deadline is 3:00 P.M. ON THE FRIDAY  two and one-half (2.5) weeks preceding the Motions Day

  • A document is not deemed filed until it is received and file-stamped by the Clerk of Court's office.  Motions must be filed by the deadline, or the praecipe or notice should indicate the motion was previously filed on [date].  
  •   IMPORTANT:   Any motion that is not timely filed, or fails to meet the criteria (mandatory language regarding remote hearing notice, Microsoft Teams meeting information, mandatory good faith certification for motions to compel, exhibits, pleadings/documents, proposed order) will not be considered.

  Motions Day - detailed initial filing deadlines (updated 9/17/2020)

  • Deadlines that have already passed:
    •     September 9, 2020   Motions Day - deadline is  Friday, August 21, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
    •     September 23, 2020  Motions Day - deadline is  Friday, September 4, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.    
    •      October 14, 2020  Motions Day - deadline is Friday, September 25, 2020  at 3:00 p.m.
          
  • AVAILABLE MOTIONS DAYS  *updated 9/28/2020
    •     OCTOBER 28, 2020 Motions Day - filing deadline is Friday,  October 9, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
    •   November 11, 2020  - holiday; no Motions Day       
    •    NOVEMBER 25, 2020  Motions Day - filing deadline is Friday, November 6, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
      • No 2:00 p.m. docket on 11/25/2020
    •    DECEMBER 9, 2020 Motions Day - filing deadline is Friday, November 20, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
    •    DECEMBER 23, 2020  Motions Day - filing deadline is  Friday, December 4, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
    •     JANUARY 13, 2021 Motions Day - filing deadline is Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. (the Court is closed on 12/24 and 12/25)
    •     JANUARY 27, 2021  Motions Day - filing deadline is Friday, January 8, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
    •     FEBRUARY 10, 2021 Motions Day - filing deadline is Friday, January 22, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
    •     FEBRUARY 24, 2021 Motions Day - filing deadline is Friday, February 5, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
    •     MARCH 10, 2021 Motions Day - filing deadline is Friday, February 19, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
    •    MARCH 24, 2021 Motions Day - filing deadline is Friday, March 5, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.


          C.   Deadlines for Additional Motions

 The deadline for filing additional motions is one week prior to the Motions Day.


            D.   Motions Day REMOTE Instructions - updated 9/2/2020

                  On July 1, 2020, the Alexandria Circuit Court issued Instructions for Remote Motions Day Practice, which were effective for the July 22, 2020 Motions Day and thereafter until further notice.  The link to the latest revision of the instructions is above.  You may also want to review the Webinar slides below (see #F).


            E.   Microsoft Teams Videoconference Instructions - updated 9/8/2020

                         IMPORTANT - Download Microsoft Teams prior to the meeting.  Microsoft Teams is a free download that is available at www.microsoft.com.


             F.    Webinar - Instructions for REMOTE Motions Day Hearings during COVID-19        

Presented 9/17/2020 by the Alexandria Circuit Court Law Clerks. Discussions included the Court's written instructions (which were updated on 9/2/2020 and are posted above); and all required procedures, including mandatory remote hearing notices, mandatory Microsoft Teams meeting information, and mandatory good faith certifications for motions to compel. The webinar was followed by a question and answer session. 

         (1)  Slides from the webinar     - posted 9/18/2020

         (2)  Taped webinar  - posted 9/25/20              

                   



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7.   STATUS CONFERENCES AND SELECTION OF TRIAL DATE HEARINGS ON OCTOBER 13, 2020 

**Updated 9/21/2020


      A.    STATUS CONFERENCE NOTICE dated 9/18/2020 

                 COVID-19 Temporary Procedures for Status Conference and Selection of Trial Dates (Appeal Cases) on October 13, 2020


       B.    CONTACT THE COURT

                    BY TELEPHONE ONLY  703-746-4123   

                    DO NOT come to the courthouse.  No one is allowed into the Courthouse for status conference/selection of trial date hearings at this time.

                    You may call the Court ANYTIME between now and October 13th.

                     Circuit Court Judges' Chambers telephone hours are 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and then again from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

                     DEADLINE for calling the Court is October 13, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.

                    Your case may be dismissed if you do not call Judges' Chambers by Tuesday, October 13th at 1:00 p.m.


     


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8.    TERM DAY - NOVEMBER 9, 2020  (Status Conference and Selection of Trial Date information is above)

                 TELEPHONE CALLS ONLY DURING COVID. 

       

      The Term Day notice shall include instructions for counsel and/or pro se litigants to call Judges’ Chambers on November 9, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. 

  • Please be aware that Judges’ Chambers only has three (3) in‑coming telephone lines, which may be busy.
  • If the telephone lines are busy, please keep trying to call.
  • Your cooperation and patience are appreciated.  


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9.  Appeals   

Appeals from the Circuit Court are either to the Court of Appeals of Virginia or the Supreme Court of Virginia. In criminal trials, trial by jury is mandatory unless waived by the defendant, the prosecutor, and the court. See Prosecution in Alexandria's Courts for additional information.


10.  Calendar for Alexandria Circuit Court 

11.  Cell Phone Policy

12.  Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals of Virginia provides for intermediate appellate review of all decisions of the Circuit Courts in traffic infractions, in criminal cases (except where a sentence of death has been imposed), and in decisions of the Circuit Court involving domestic relations matters and appeals from administrative agencies. The Court of Appeals also hears appeals from the Industrial Commission. The Court of Appeals sits in panels of at least three judges at locations designated by the Chief Judge, so as to provide convenient access to the various areas of the Commonwealth. The 10 Court of Appeals judges are elected in the same manner as Circuit Court judges and serve an eight-year term. The Chief Judge is elected by the 10 judges and serves a four-year term.  For more information, visit the Court of Appeals of Virginia web site.


13.  Forms 


14.  General Information  

Deeds, wills, deeds of trust, and other papers are filed with the Clerk of Court (703.746.4044). The Clerk of Court maintains and processes land record documents for the City, handles probate and fiduciary matters, issues marriage licenses, and provides clerical assistance to the judges in all civil and criminal matters. Other duties include issuing notarial certificates, administering oaths to elected and appointed officials, and maintaining historical records and statistics for the City. The Clerk of Court, a constitutional officer, is elected for an eight-year term. See additional information on the Clerk of Circuit Court-Court of Record.


15.  Inclement Weather Policy

The Circuit Court will be closed when the City Government (not the City schools) is closed or when the City Government is two (2) or more hours late in opening due to inclement weather.  


16.  Interpreter Request for Foreign Language Services 

*Neither the Circuit Court Judges' Chambers nor the Clerk of Circuit Court schedules foreign language interpreters*

All litigants whose cases will need the services of a foreign language interpreter please be advised as follows:

  1. To request interpreter services for Spanish or any other foreign language, call Doralisa Pilarte, Spanish Staff Interpreter and Interpreter Coordinator, at 703.746.4630 or email her at dpilarte@vacourts.gov. She will email you a template for you to fill with all the necessary case information.  
  2. Your request must be submitted within three business days of setting your hearing or trial date. 
  3. Failure to submit your request in a timely manner may result in your case being continued. 


17.  Judges of Alexandria Circuit Court

Judges of the Circuit Court are elected by a joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly and are commissioned by the Governor for a term of eight years. The Governor can make interim appointments when the General Assembly is in recess. Alexandria has three Circuit Court judges. The judges are: Lisa B. Kemler, Chief Judge; James C. Clark and [a judicial vacancy].  For more information, contact the Judges' Chambers at 703.746.4123. 


18.  Jury Coordinator  

The jury coordinator can be reached at 703.746.4119.


19.  Juror Summons 

               A.   Petit Jurors (trial jurors)

                 If you are summoned to be a petit (trial) juror, you will be required to be on call for one (1) week, but to actually serve for only one (1) trial. The Court's Jury Resumption Plan during COVID-19 has been approved by the Virginia Supreme Court.  

                          After receiving your PETIT JUROR summons,

                                (step 1)   Acknowledge receipt of the summons by calling 703.838.4237 (24 hour number) immediately.  You will need your Group Number when you call.

                               (step 2)   Determine your date to report for jury duty   After 4:00 p.m. on the Friday before your term of service and for the next five (5) business days, you are to call 703.838.4110, listen for your group number and follow the instructions. Come to Court only on the day your group is summoned.

                              (step 3)   If you are summoned to appear - [information to be updated for jury trials during COVID-19]

         B.    Grand Jurors  

                  If you are summoned to be a Grand Juror, you will be required to serve one (1) day a month for two successive months.

                                 After receiving your GRAND JUROR summons,

                                (step 1) Acknowledge receipt of the summons by calling 703.838.4237 (24 hour number) immediately.  You will need your Group Number when you call.

                                 (step 2)  Report to the Jury Assembly Room by 8:30 a.m. on the appointed days that are printed on your summons.  The Jury Assembly Room is located on the 4th Floor of the Courthouse, 520 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. 


20.  Jury Questionnaires

Once a year, Circuit Court mails Juror Questionnaires to prospective jurors, who are randomly selected according to Section 8.01-345 of the Code of Virginia.  Once the questionnaires are returned to Circuit Court, the questionnaires are reviewed by jury commissioners to determine which citizens are qualified to serve as Jurors for the following calendar year.  Potential jurors may call 703.746.4119 to speak with the jury coordinator.

We have recently mailed Juror Questionnaires to prospective jurors who reside in the City of Alexandria. Please complete the confidential questionnaire and return it to the Court within ten days. 

  • If the addressee no longer resides at the address, please mark the envelope “return to sender”. 
  • If the questionnaire is for your son or daughter who is away at school, please complete, sign and return the questionnaire for him/her.
  • Please do not call the Court with requests to be excused from jury service at this time.
  • If you have special circumstances, you may attach a note to the questionnaire.

If you have questions, please contact the Jury Coordinator at 703.746.4119


21.  Local Procedures 

Attorneys and pro se litigants should refer to the Local Procedures for specific information.


22.  Notice to Pro se Litigants   

For pro se litigants who schedule trials (either jury or non-jury) or contested or equitable distribution divorces (including matters relating to child/spousal support and visitation/custody), please be advised that 

1.  You must know the law relating to your issues and you will be expected to adhere to the Rules of Evidence and Rules of Court.

2.   If you have a witness or witnesses that you want to have testify on your behalf, unless they are willing to come to court voluntarily, you must serve them with a lawful subpoena. 

3.   You must have all the proper pleadings prepared and filed with the Clerk of Court no later than one week before the trial date.

4.   You must know how to proceed with presenting your case, including testifying, examination of witnesses and introduction of exhibits (documents, photographs or other tangible objects) as the Court will not be able help you with the case at trial.

5.   The Court, in its discretion, may dismiss your case if you do not follow the above procedures.

To assist pro se/self-represented litigants, please refer to The Virginia Judicial System Court Self-Help Website,   http://selfhelp.vacourts.gov/.   This website provides neutral legal information as a public service in topical areas commonly sought by self-represented litigants, such as traffic tickets, divorce, and landlord and tenant issues.

You are strongly advised to obtain an attorney to represent you. The Court and its employees cannot give you legal advice on how to proceed; if you need such advice, then you must hire an attorney.

23.  Supreme Court of Virginia 

The Supreme Court of Virginia's primary purpose is to review the decisions of lower courts in which appeals have been allowed. The Court, which is located in Richmond, also has the power to issue writs of mandamus, habeas corpus, and prohibition; it has original jurisdiction in cases of judicial censure and removal.  The Court has seven justices who are elected by joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly and are commissioned by the Governor to serve 12-year terms. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the administrative head of the state judicial system.  For more information, visit the Supreme Court of Virginia web site.





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