Circuit Court Judges

Page updated on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:42 PM

Covid-19 updates


Email addresses

Clerk of Court (original filings)   Case.Intake@alexandriava.gov             

Circuit Court Judges’ Chambers (courtesy copies)      CircuitCourtChambers@alexandriava.gov



Judges' Chambers - Reduced hours during Covid-19 

Effective March 23, 2020, and until further notice, during Covid-19, Alexandria Circuit Court Judges' Chambers will operate on a reduced schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The telephones (703.746.4123) are answered from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Motions Day Instructions for Remote Motions Day Practice Effective for the July 22, 2020 Motions Day and Thereafter Until Further Notice - posted 7/1/2020



Motions Day - Deadline to File Motion and Notice for Motions Day (posted 7/1/20)

          Date of Motions Day                        deadline is 3:00 p.m.

               July 22, 2020                                                                   Monday, July 6, 2020 (Friday, 7/3/2020 is a holiday)

               August 12, 2020                                                             Friday, July 24, 2020

               September 9, 2020                                                        Friday, August 7, 2020

               September 23, 2020                                                      Friday, September 4, 2020

               October 14, 2020                                                           Friday, September 25, 2020

              October 28, 2020                                                            Friday, October 9, 2020

              November 11, 2020  - holiday; no Motions Day

              November 25, 2020                                                        Friday, November 6, 2020

              December 9, 2020                                                          Friday, November 20, 2020

              December 23, 2020                                                        Friday, December 4, 2020




Motions Day scheduled for 7/8/2020 - Procedures and Deadlines (posted 6/12/20)

  • Non-evidentiary motions by remote hearing using Microsoft Teams
  • Due to Covid-19, any motions that are not noticed by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020 will not be considered for this docket.



Status Conferences/Term Day/Selection of Trial Date

Due to Covid-19,  Status Conferences, Term Days, and Selection of Trial Dates for appeal cases will be conducted by telephone only (no in-person hearings). Counsel and/or pro se parties are encouraged to call Judges' Chambers to schedule their trial date or discuss the status of their case.

  • Cases involving attorneys
    • If attorneys have an agreed date or each other's avoid dates - one attorney may call Judges' Chambers to select a trial date.
    • If attorney cannot agree on a trial date - all attorneys are asked to call Judges' Chambers via conference call.
  • Cases involving pro se litigants
    • Attorneys and pro se litigants are asked to call Judges' Chambers via conference call to select a trial date.


Fourth Revised Memorandum Regarding Alexandria Circuit Court Ordered COVID-19 Temporary Procedures - effective June 15, 2020 


Third Revised Memorandum Regarding Alexandria Circuit Court Ordered Covid-19 Temporary Procedures - effective April 27, 2020



Memorandum Regarding Infant & Wrongful Death Settlements and for Deciding Non-Evidentiary Motions Without Oral Argument - effective April 14, 2020

                 * Notice of Waiver of Oral Argument for Civil Motion

                 * Notice of Waiver of Oral Argument for Criminal Motion




Memorandum Regarding Alexandria Circuit Court Ordered COVID-19 Temporary Procedures  - effective March 30, 2020


Revised Memorandum Regarding Alexandria Circuit Court Ordered COVID-19 Temporary Procedures - effective March 30, 2020


Memorandum Regarding Alexandria Circuit Court Ordered COVID-19 Temporary Procedures - effective March 17, 2020


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

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.


Calendar for Alexandria Circuit Court 

Cell Phone Policy

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.


Forms 


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.


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.  


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. 


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; Nolan B. Dawkins and James C. Clark.  For more information, contact the Judges' Chambers at 703.746.4123. 


Jury Coordinator

The Jury Coordinator can be reached at 703.746.4119.

1.  Petit (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.

  • After receiving your 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)  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.
      • If you are summoned to appear - Report to the Jury Assembly Room by 8:30 a.m. on the appointed day.  The Jury Assembly Room is located on the 4th Floor of the Courthouse, 520 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. 

   2.  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 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. 




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.


Local Procedures 

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


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.

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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