Circuit Court Judges

Page updated on Jul 30, 2021 at 11:02 AM


Updates/Notes

  • APPEAL CASES - SELECTION OF TRIAL DATES
    • For the first return (the date on the notice of appeal), counsel and pro se litigants shall appear in person on the 4th floor of the Courthouse at 9:00 a.m. 
    • For all future status conferences, a status conference notice shall be mailed to all counsel and pro se litigants approximately 3 weeks prior to the date of the status conference. Counsel and pro se litigants shall follow the instructions and call Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) at any time after receiving the status conference notice to select a trial date.   See Appeals of Civil Cases to Circuit Court below. (updated 7/27/2021)
  • EMAIL FOR JUDGES' CHAMBERS has been deactivated.  Courtesy copies to Judges' Chambers shall be delivered to the Judges' drop box located on the 4th floor of the courthouse immediately outside Judges' Chambers.  DO NOT use the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box in the courthouse vestibule, as the receipt of the documents in Judges' Chambers will be delayed. (posted: 5/3/2021)
  • MOTIONS DAY - Until further notice, all Circuit Court Motions Day hearings will continue to be heard remotely. Courtesy copies of all motions, praecipes, notices, etc. are required to be delivered to Judges' Chambers. See Motions Day Information and Instructions below.   (posted: 5/21/2021)
  • TELEPHONES in Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) are answered from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and then again from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.



ALEXANDRIA CIRCUIT COURT 

COURT OF RECORD - All documents must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court. www.alexandriava.gov/ClerkofCircuitCourt   703.746.4044

TRIAL COURT OF GENERAL JURISDICTION IN VIRGINIA The Circuit Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction in Virginia, and the court has authority to try a full range of both civil and criminal cases. 

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 Kathleen M. Uston. 

  • ADDRESS - Judges' Chambers  520 King Street, 4th floor   Alexandria, VA  22314   
  • EMAIL BOX  - The Circuit Court no longer accepts emailed documents. All courtesy copies shall be hand-delivered to the Judges' drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. (DO NOT use the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box in the courthouse vestibule, as the receipt of the documents in Judges' Chambers will be delayed.)
  • GENERAL INFORMATION - see below.
  • JURY DUTY - see below for instructions.  Jury Coordinator's telephone: 703.746.4119
  • OFFICE HOURS: JUDGES' CHAMBERS - 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (except for Friday, when the office closes at 4:00 p.m.)
  • TELEPHONE  703.746.4123   Telephones are answered from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and then again from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • WEBSITE   https://www.alexandriava.gov/circuitcourt


  • GENERAL INFORMATION
    • CERTIFIED COPIES - certified copies of orders entered - Contact the Clerk of Circuit Court   703.746.4044
    • COURTESY COPIES AND DELIVERIES TO JUDGES' CHAMBERS - shall be hand-delivered to the Judges' Chambers' drop box on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. Deliveries may be addressed to the Court Administrator.
      • Courtesy copies of Motions Day documents is mandatory to alert the Circuit Court Judges' Chambers that the motion has been filed.
      • Courtesy copies of all other documents is optional.  Courtesy copies of proposed orders will not be processed, as Judges' Chambers must wait until the Clerk of Circuit Court processes and forwards the proposed order to Judges' Chambers.
    • FILE DOCUMENTS  - All original documents must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court.  See www.alexandriava.gov/ClerkofCircuitCourt
    • IN-PERSON MEETINGS WITH JUDGES' CHAMBERS' PERSONNEL have been suspended during COVID-19.  Please call instead.
      • Court administrators         703.746.4123
      • Jury Coordinator         703.746.4119
      •  Law Clerks  (attorneys who work with the judges)     703.746.4123
    • LUNCH HOUR - Judges' Chambers is closed for lunch from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily. 
    • NO LEGAL ADVICE - The law prohibits Court personnel from giving legal advice or assistance, including how to fill out legal forms.  If you need such advice, you must hire an attorney. 
    • ORDERS TO BE ENTERED - The originals of all documents shall be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court.   See www.alexandriava.gov/ClerkofCircuitCourt .  
      • Optional:  A courtesy copy of the document may be hand-delivered to the Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. The courtesy copy of the order will not be entered, as Judges' Chambers must wait for the proposed order to be processed and forwarded by the Clerk of Circuit Court.
      • Mandatory:  Courtesy copies of proposed Orders for Motions Day, together with all other filings for Motions Day, are required to be hand-delivered to the Circuit Court Judges' Chambers drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. DO NOT use the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box in the Courthouse vestibule, as it may delay receipt of the documents in Judges' Chambers. 

    • TRIAL EXHIBITS shall be pre-labeled (P's-1 or D's-1, etc.) 
      • For IN-PERSON HEARINGS - Bring the trial exhibits to Court on the day of trial.
      • For REMOTE HEARINGS - Hand-deliver a hard copy of the trial exhibits NO LATER THAN 9:00 A.M. on the date of the hearing/trial to the Judges' Chambers drop box on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. DO NOT USE the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box in the courthouse vestibule, as it may delay receipt of the documents in Judges' Chambers.
                     The trial exhibits may be addressed to Court Administrator, 520 King Street, 4th floor. 


CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT -

       www.alexandriava.gov/ClerkofCircuitCourt   703.746.4044



JURY SERVICES - contact information

  • ADDRESS   Judges' Chambers  520 King Street, 4th floor    Alexandria, VA  22314      
  • TELEPHONE FOR JURY COORDINATOR  703.746.4119
  • JURY DUTY SUMMONS - if you have received a Juror Summons (for either Petit Jury or Grand Jury),  please carefully review the JURY DUTY information below. Call the Jury Coordinator  if you have any questions. 
  • JUROR QUESTIONNAIRE - see "Jury Questionnaires" below 
  • JURY RESUMPTION PLAN DURING COVID-19 (see "Jury Duty - Jury Summons" below)


 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

A.   CRIMINAL - LOCAL PROCEDURES

                 Click on this link:   Criminal Local Procedures for Alexandria Circuit Court   

                 Includes information for all criminal matters in Alexandria Circuit Court.


B.   CIVIL INFORMATION, INCLUDING LOCAL PROCEDURES


1.    AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The Court recognizes that there are persons with special needs who use Circuit Court. Any persons needing reasonable accommodation in Circuit Court should file a written request with the Clerk of Circuit Court (with a courtesy copy hand‑delivered to Judges’ Chambers’ drop box on the 4th floor of the courthouse) identifying any specific accommodation that is being sought and  the date of the court event. The written request shall be filed as soon as possible but no later than five (5) business days before the scheduled court event for which assistance is required. Supporting documentation or records may be requested by the Circuit Court’s ADA Coordinator (703.746.4123). 


2.  APPEALS OF CASES FROM CIRCUIT COURT   

  • Appeals of cases 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.


3.   APPEALS OF CIVIL CASES TO CIRCUIT COURT

  • APPEAL the lower court case by contacting the lower court's clerk's office where the case was initially heard. 
  • For civil appeals - APPEAL BOND (if any) is paid at the lower court's clerk's office, the appeal papers will be transferred to the Clerk of Circuit Court.  The person noting the appeal (the appellant) will receive a notice of appeal with a date and time to appear in Circuit Court for the selection of the new trial date (the first return date of the appeal). APPEAL BOND (if any) must be paid at the lower court's clerk's office. If an appeal bond has been ordered but has not been paid, the case cannot be transferred to the Clerk of Circuit Court. 
  • TO SELECT THE TRIAL DATE
    • Step #1 -  NOTICE OF APPEAL ISSUED BY the Clerk of Circuit Court to advise opposing counsel/pro se litigant(s) that (a) the case has been appealed; and (b) the date and time to appear in Circuit Court to select a trial date. This is the FIRST RETURN DATE OF THE APPEAL
      • If the Notice of Appeal is not issued by the Clerk of Circuit Court, the trial date cannot be scheduled. 
    • Step #2 - SCHEDULE THE TRIAL DATE by either
      • (a) CALLING JUDGES' CHAMBERS (703.746-4123) prior to the Selection of Trial Date  together on the same telephone call; or, if Judges' Chambers IS NOT CONTACTED prior to 4:00 p.m. on the Friday prior to the Selection of Trial Date hearing,  
      • (b) ATTENDING THE SELECTION OF TRIAL DATE HEARING - Counsel or pro se litigants  appear in-person in the 4th floor lobby of the Courthouse at 9:00 a.m. on the date of the Selection of Trial Date hearing. 
        • Appellant is the counsel/pro se litigant who noted the appeal.
        • Appellee is the opposing counsel/pro se litigants
          • IF ALL COUNSEL/PRO SE LITIGANTS APPEAR at the Selection of Trial Date hearing that is held in the 4th floor lobby at 9:00 a.m. on the date indicated on the Notice of Appeal, the trial date will be selected. A UNIFORM PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER shall be submitted to the Court for entry.
          • IF APPELLANT APPEARS, AND APPELLEE DOES NOT APPEAR at the Selection of Trial Date hearing - Appellant will be permitted to select a trial date provided that the appellee has been properly noticed of the appeal. A UNIFORMED PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER shall be submitted to the Court for entry.
            • If appellee has not been properly noticed of the appeal, the case will be continued to an upcoming status conference date. Notice of the upcoming status conference will be mailed to all counsel/pro se litigants approximately three (3) weeks prior to the date of the status conference. Counsel/pro se litigants, including appellant, shall then follow the Status Conference instructions (see "Trial Dates - Setting Civil Trial Dates" section below).
          • IF APPELLANT FAILS TO APPEAR at the Selection of Trial Date hearing - the appeal case will be continued to an upcoming status conference date. Notice of the upcoming status conference will be mailed to all counsel/pro se litigants approximately three (3) weeks prior to the date of the status conference. Counsel/pro se litigants, including appellant, shall then follow the Status Conference instructions (see "Trial Dates - Setting Civil Trial Dates" section below).
            • If a trial date  is not selected at subsequent status conference hearings,  or if the appellant fails to appear or contact Judges' Chambers at subsequent status conference hearings, the appeal may be dismissed and remanded to the lower court for enforcement of prior orders.
          • IF APPELLEE APPEARS but appellant fails to appear at the Selection of Trial Date hearing - Appellee may elect to select a trial date, but will required to notify the Appellant of the trial date. Appellee shall also submit a UNIFORM PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER to the Court for entry. 

    • Step #3 - UNIFORM PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER shall be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court when a trial date is selected. A Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order is required for all cases and shall be in the form prescribed by Rule 1:18 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia. The Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order shall be entered at the time the case is set for trial.  If the trial date is selected by telephone (during COVID-19 or otherwise),  counsel/pro se litigant must confirm the trial date by completing and signing the Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order.  (See "Forms" for the Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order.)



4.  CALENDAR for Alexandria Circuit Court 

5.   CELL PHONE POLICY FOR COURTHOUSE

              Alexandria Courthouse Cell Phone Policy


6. COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA

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.


7.   COVID-19 MEMORANDA

Alexandria Circuit Court's COVID-19 temporary procedures


8.   DIVORCE CASES - CONTESTED

  • Detailed information below for 
    • Annulment cases
    • COPE parenting seminar attendance certificate
    • Equitable Distribution cases, and cases involving child support and spousal support
    • Final Decree for annulment cases (a) does not need to be notarized; (b) if Defendant signed acceptance/waiver, the Defendant must also sign the Final Decree
    • Pendente Lite support hearings
    • Pretrial conference
    • Virginia State Form 4 (VS-4)

  • CONTESTED CASES Steps
    • Step #1 - FILE ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS with the Clerk of Circuit Court, including the proposed Final Decree, proof of service, VS-4 form (information below), privacy addendum, parenting seminar certificate (if needed; see below), and name change order (if any).
    • Step #2  - SERVE DEFENDANT. Defendant must be served.  Proof of service shall be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court.
    • Step #3 - SCHEDULE TRIAL DATE.  Trial date is scheduled  by counsel or pro se litigants calling Judges' Chambers to schedule the trial date. 
    •  Step #4  -  FILE AGREED FACTORS STATEMENT AND COMPUTATIONS OF GUIDELINE SUPPORT NO LATER THAN FIVE (5) DYS BEFORE TRIAL - Agreed Factors Statement Under Va. Code  §§ 20-107.1, 107.3(E), 108.1(B) and computations of guideline support under Va. Code §§ 20-107.2 and 108.2 - In all Equitable Distribution cases, and cases involving child and spousal support,  counsel or pro se litigants  must meet at least ten (10) days before trial and prepare in writing the agreed factors.   The agreed factors shall be submitted to the Clerk of Circuit Court no later than five (5) days before trial.  A courtesy copy of the agreed factors shall be hand-delivered to Circuit Court Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse.  If the parties cannot agree, each party shall submit his/her own proposed factors. 
    •  Step #5 - Parties and counsel appear at the trial date.  A witness is required to provide testimony as to the date of separation, etc. The final order may be entered at the trial, or filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court after the trial. 
  • NOTES
    • ANNULMENT CASES are heard on the Circuit Court's 10:00 a.m. docket. After filing all required documents with the Clerk of Circuit Court, call  Judges' Chambers to schedule (703.746.4123).  Required documents include Complaint, COPE parenting seminar certificate of attendance (if needed; see below), Final Decree (see below), Property Settlement Agreement (if any), Name Change order (if requested), Notice of hearing (if required), Privacy Addendum, Proof of Service and VS-4 form (see below).
    • LOCAL RULE - COPE PARENTING SEMINAR CERTIFICATE IS REQUIRED in all contested divorce cases where the parties have minor children and seek a ruling as to custody. Per local rules, only the plaintiff is required to take the parenting seminar. A list of COPE parenting seminar providers for Circuit Court is available on the Supreme Court of Virginia's website at http://www.courts.state.va.us/courtadmin/aoc/djs/programs/parented/circuit_providers.html
      • During COVID-19, the COPE parenting education seminar may be taken during webinar. To ensure parties have access to mandatory COPE parent education seminars during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of parent education seminar providers are shifting their in-person classes to live webinars. A list of webinars is on the Supreme Court of Virginia's website at http://www.vacourts.gov/courtadmin/aoc/djs/programs/parented/home.html.
    • EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION CASES, AND CASES INVOLVING CHILD AND SPOUSAL SUPPORT, are heard on the 10:00 a.m. docket.  After service has been issued, and the proof of service has been filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court, call Judges' Chambers at 703.746.4123 to schedule a trial date. 
    • FINAL DECREE 
      • Does not have to be notarized.   
      • If the Defendant signed the acceptance of service of waiver of notice ("Acceptance/Waiver"), the Defendant must also sign the Final Decree.  
    • PENDENTE LITE SUPPORT HEARINGS are scheduled with Circuit Court Judges' Chambers.  After filing the motion, call Judges' Chambers at 703.746.4123.
      • In order to expedite the support hearing, the parties to a contested hearing should (a) prepare and sign financial statements indicating the financial needs and incomes of the parties; (b) review the child support guidelines contained in Va. Code § 20-108.2 and determine the appropriate amount suggested therein; and (c) make a reasonable attempt to resolve the matter between themselves.
    • PRETRIAL CONFERENCE is mandatory for all cases scheduled for more than two days and all Equitable Distribution cases. The pretrial conference is a brief hearing scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on a date four to six weeks prior to the trial date. The judge will ask about outstanding issues, estimated length of trial, and possibility of settlement. Motions to continue should be scheduled separately from the pretrial conference. 
      • During COVID-19, if possible, Circuit Court is conducting pretrial conferences by telephone conference call.  Counsel and pro se parties are directed to coordinate a telephone conference call (with all counsel and pro se litigants on the same telephone call), and then call Judges' Chambers at 703-746-4123. 
    • VIRGINIA STATE FORM 4 (VS-4 form) is mandatory for all divorce cases and cannot be downloaded. The form is available in the vestibule of the courthouse, or in the Clerk of Circuit Court's office (Room 307).


9.  DIVORCE CASES - UNCONTESTED

  • Detailed information below for
    • Acceptance/Waiver 
    • Affidavits or Depositions filed in lieu of in-person hearing
    • COPE parenting seminar attendance certificate
    • Final Decree (a) does not need to be notarized; (b) if Defendant signed acceptance/waiver, the Defendant must also sign the Final Decree
    • Notice
      • of Affidavits or Depositions Filed 
      • of Final Hearing (for ore tenus hearings)
    • Ore tenus  (in-person) hearings
    • Virginia State Form 4 (VS-4)


  • (A)   UNCONTESTED - AFFIDAVIT OR DEPOSITIONS 
             Affidavits or depositions are filed in uncontested divorce cases pursuant to Virginia Code § 20-106. The affidavits or depositions are filed in lieu of providing oral testimony in the courtroom. Both the Plaintiff and a Witness must provide notarized affidavits or depositions; the Defendant does not provide an affidavit or a deposition. The Final Decree will be entered (a) after the Clerk of Circuit Court processes and forwards the documents to Circuit Court Judges' Chambers; and (b) the law clerks review the documents. The entire process may take four to six weeks. 
    • Affidavit or Deposition Steps
    • Step #1 - FILE REQUIREMENT DOCUMENTS with the Clerk of Circuit Court.  Required documents include notarized Affidavits or Depositions (see below), Complaint, COPE parenting seminar certificate of attendance (if needed; see below), Final Decree (see below), Property Settlement Agreement (if any), Name Change order (if requested), Notice of Affidavits or Depositions Filed, Privacy Addendum, Proof of Service and VS-4 form (see below).
      • ACCEPTANCE OF SERVICE AND WAIVER OF NOTICE - Defendant must sign the Acceptance and Waiver in front of a notary public. 
      • AFFIDAVITS OR DEPOSITIONS  
        • Two affidavits or depositions are required: one from plaintiff and one from plaintiff's witness. The defendant does not file an affidavit or deposition.  
        • Statement regarding pregnancy - Both affidavits or depositions must state that neither party is pregnant from the marriage.
        • The affidavit or deposition must be signed in front of a notary.  
          • During COVID-19, the Plaintiff and Witness may use a sworn Declaration Under Penalty of Perjury (see Va. Code § 8.01-4.3) to satisfy the requirements of a sworn statement under Va. Code § 20-99.1:1 (acceptance and waiver of service of process) and Va. Code § 20-106 (divorce by affidavit).
      • COPE parenting seminar certificate of attendance 
        • COPE REQUIRED in all contested divorce cases where the parties have minor children and seek a ruling as to custody.
        • Per local rules, only the plaintiff is required to take the parenting seminar. During COVID-19, the seminar can be taken by live webinar (see below).
        • COPE NOT REQUIRED in the following uncontested divorce cases:
          • (a) parties have reached an agreement as to custody and ask the Court to incorporate their written agreement into the Final Decree of Divorce;
          • (b) custody has already been determined by a separate court order; or
          • (c) the parties have minor children but the Final Decree does not make a ruling as to custody.
      • FINAL DECREE  
        • Does not have to be notarized.   
        • If the Defendant signed the acceptance of service of waiver of notice ("Acceptance/Waiver"), the Defendant must also sign the Final Decree.  
      • NOTICE OF AFFIDAVIT OR DEPOSITIONS FILED - If a plaintiff effects service of process by posting under Virginia Code § 8.01-296(2)(b), plaintiff should serve notice that "the proceeding is pending in the Circuit Court, that affidavits or depositions have been filed or will be filed on a specific date, and that upon the expiration of 10 days after the giving of the notice and the expiration of the statutory period within which to respond, a Final Decree may be entered".
      • VIRGINIA STATE FORM 4  (VS-4 Form) is mandatory for all divorce cases and cannot be downloaded. The form is available in the vestibule of the courthouse, or in the Clerk of Circuit Court's office (Room 307). 
    • Step #2  FINAL DECREE will be entered after the documents are processed and forwarded by the Clerk of Circuit Court to the Circuit Court Judges' Chambers, and are reviewed by a Law Clerk (which may take four to six weeks). 


  • (B)  UNCONTESTED - ORE TENUS HEARINGS
    Ore tenus hearings are held in person at 9:00 a.m. in the courtroom. Plaintiff and his or her Witness each provide oral testimony in the Courtroom.
    • Ore tenus steps
      • Step #1 - FILE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS with the Clerk of Circuit Court.  Required documents include Complaint, COPE parenting seminar certificate of attendance (if needed; see below), Final Decree (see below), Property Settlement Agreement (if any), Name Change order (if requested), Notice of hearing (if required), Privacy Addendum, Proof of Service and VS-4 form (see below).
        • Acceptance/Waiver must be notarized.  The Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Notice document must be signed in front of a notary public.
        • COPE parenting seminar certificate of attendance 
          • REQUIRED in all contested divorce cases where the parties have minor children and seek a ruling as to custody. Per local rules, only the plaintiff is required to take the parenting seminar. A list of COPE parenting seminar providers for Circuit Court is available on the Supreme Court of Virginia's website at http://www.courts.state.va.us/courtadmin/aoc/djs/programs/parented/circuit_providers.html
            • During COVID-19, the COPE parenting education seminar may be taken during webinar. To ensure parties have access to mandatory COPE parent education seminars during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of parent education seminar providers are shifting their in-person classes to live webinars. A list of webinars is on the Supreme Court of Virginia's website at http://www.vacourts.gov/courtadmin/aoc/djs/programs/parented/home.html.
          •  NOT REQUIRED in the following uncontested divorce cases: (a) parties have reached an agreement as to custody and ask the Court to incorporate their written agreement into the Final Decree of Divorce; (b) custody has already been determined by a separate court order; or (c) the parties have minor children but the Final Decree does not make a ruling as to custody.
        • Final Decree 
          • Does not have to be notarized.   
          • If the Defendant signed the acceptance of service of waiver of notice ("Acceptance/Waiver"), the Defendant must also sign the Final Decree.  
        • Interpreter - If an interpreter is needed, call 703.746.4630 or email Doralisa Pilarte, Spanish Staff Interpreter and Interpreter Coordinator  dpilarte@vacourts.gov.
        • Notice of Final Hearing. If Defendant was was not personally served with the Complaint, but was either served by “posting” (the Sheriff or private process server taped the Complaint and Summons on the door where your spouse lives) or served the defendant by handing the papers to a family member over sixteen years of age who lives with Defendant, then Notice must be served on the defendant, indicating the date and time of the final hearing  when the Final Decree will be entered.  There is a fee for service either by Sheriff or private process server.  The service must be done by posting or better. A sample "Notice of Final Hearing" is contained in the "Uncontested Divorce Pro Se Packet"  (see "Forms and Pro Se Packets" below).
          • If Defendant has filed an Answer not contesting the divorce, the Notice may be served by mailing or hand delivery.  See Virginia Code § 8.01-296 and § 20-99. 

        • Publication - If service was by publication in the newspaper, a COURT REPORTER is required to attend the hearing and prepare a transcript.
          LOCAL RULE:  The Court Reporter's transcript must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court (Room 307) before the Final Decree will be entered.
        • Witness is required to attend the ore tenus hearing with the Plaintiff to provide oral testimony as to the facts of the case. The witness cannot be the plaintiff's spouse. 
        • Virginia State Form 4 (VS-4) is mandatory for all divorce cases and cannot be downloaded. The form is available in the courthouse vestibule, or in the Clerk of Circuit Court's office (Room 307). 
      • Step #2 - SCHEDULE THE HEARING - Plaintiff's counsel (or pro se plaintiff) shall call Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) to schedule a hearing. 
        • During COVID-19, ore tenus hearings are scheduled for most Tuesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. in the courtroom and will be limited to six (6) cases. Contact a Circuit Court Administrator in Judges' Chambers  (703.746.4123) to schedule the hearing. All documents, including the proposed Final Decree, must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court one week before calling Judges' Chambers to schedule the hearing date. Hearing dates will be scheduled at least two weeks prior to the hearing date.
      • Step #3 -  ATTEND THE HEARING - Plaintiff, plaintiff's counsel (if any) and plaintiff's witness appear in the courtroom for oral testimony. Defendant may also attend the hearing, but cannot be the Plaintiff's Witness.
      • Step #4  FINAL DECREE will be entered on the date of the ore tenus hearing except in cases which service was by publication. If service was by publication, the Final Decree will be entered when the transcript is received.  File the transcript with the Clerk of Circuit Court, who will process and forward the transcript to Judges' Chambers for entry of the Final Decree. 


10. EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES  

  • JUDICIAL LAW CLERKS - Alexandria Circuit Court has a total of three judicial law clerks (licensed attorneys) who each serve a two year term. The law clerks work with all three Circuit Court Judges as well as retired and visiting judges, and are not assigned to a specific judge, .
    • The Court is currently accepting applications for the 2022-2024 term, for which there is one law clerk vacancy.  The clerkships are for law school graduates, and will begin in August after law school graduation and sitting for the Virginia State Bar exam. The law clerks are hired on a rotational basis, with either one or two clerks being hired each year. 
    • The application package shall include a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, and a list of references with telephone numbers. Writing samples (less than 10 pages please) are not required but may be included in the application package. Applicants should send only one application package to the Court. There is no need to send an application package to each judge.
    • The application deadline is June 15, 2021. Application packages may be mailed to Chief Judge Lisa Kemler at 520 King Street, 4th Floor, Alexandria, VA 22314, or emailed to the court administrator at lori.knoernschild@alexandriava.gov.
    • Interviews will be in July/August 2021.  The law clerks applicants are interviewed and hired by all three Circuit Court Judges. Applicants to be interviewed will be contacted by email.
  • INTERNSHIPS - The Circuit Court of Alexandria does not offer a summer internship program.  Our clerkships are for law school graduates for a term of 2 years, beginning the August after your law school graduation and the Virginia state bar examination.  See above.



11.  FORMS AND PRO SE PACKETS

  • MOTIONS DAY PRAECIPE  Circuit Court Motions Day Praecipe   (updated March 2020).  
    • The notice/praecipe must include MANDATORY MICROSOFT TEAMS MEETING LANGUAGE.   “The matter will be heard remotely via Microsoft Teams”; and "Opposing counsel/party will receive an email from the Court two (2) days prior to the Motions Day hearing. 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.
  • TERM DAY PRACIPE  Praecipe for Term Day Form  updated August 2020
  • UNIFORM PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order   (updated Nov 2019)
  • VIRGINIA STATE FORM 4 (VS-4 form) is mandatory for all divorce cases and cannot be downloaded.   The form is available (a) in the vestibule of the courthouse, or (b) in the Clerk of Circuit Court's office (Room 307).


12.  GENERAL INFORMATION

  • (A)   CONTINUANCE OF CIVIL CASES  
    • Pre-COVID - Continuances in civil cases are granted only by permission of a Judge upon good cause. Continuances are not granted because discovery has not been completed.
      • A request for a continuance may be heard on a Motions Day or by a pre-scheduled conference call at 8:45 a.m.
      • After filing the written motion to continue, conference calls are scheduled by appointment with Judges’ Chambers (703.746.4123). 
    • During COVID-19 - Due to the high volume of continuance requests, please adhere to the following procedure.
      • If the continuance is agreed to by all counsel and pro se litigants - 
        • All agreed continuances will be liberally granted after a written motion to continue has been filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court.
          • The written motion to continue shall be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court, with a courtesy copy to opposing counsel/pro se litigant and Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th flor of the Courthouse. DO NOT USE the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box for deliveries to Judges' Chambers, as the receipt of the documents by Judges' Chambers will be delayed.
          • The motion to continue must state that opposing counsel/pro se litigants agrees with the continuance request.
          • After filing the motion and providing a courtesy copy to Judges' Chambers and opposing counsel, all counsel and pro se litigants shall call Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) together on a conference call to reschedule the trial date.
      • If the continuance request is objected to by any counsel or pro se litigant
        • Any continuance request that is objected to requires a conference call with a judge.
          • The written motion to continue shall be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court, with a courtesy copy to opposing counsel/pro se litigant and Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. DO NOT USE the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box for deliveries to Judges' Chambers, as the receipt of the documents by Judges' Chambers will be delayed.
          • The motion to continue shall state that opposing counsel/pro se litigant objects to the continuance.
          • Available dates/times for conference call - After filing the motion and providing a courtesy copy to Judges' Chambers and opposing counsel, the moving party shall call Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) for available conference call dates and times. 
            • Schedule conference call - After conferring with opposing counsel/pro se litigant for an agreed date/time for the conference call, the moving party shall call Judges' Chambers again to schedule the conference call. 
          • On the date of the conference call - all counsel and pro se litigants shall call Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) together on a conference call to speak with a judge regarding the continuance request.
  • (B)  COPIES - In all cases where a certified copy of an order or other document is desired, the attorney or party should furnish a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Clerk of Circuit Court. Contact the Clerk of Circuit Court at 703.746.4044.   
  • (C)  EMERGENCY HEARINGS may be scheduled by contacting a law clerk in Judges' Chambers at 703.746.4123.
  • (D)  ENDORSEMENT INFORMATION
    • On all pleadings, orders and decrees, the following contact information shall be included: (a) attorney (or pro se litigant's) name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address (if any).
    • Endorsement of opposing counsel/pro se litigant must be included on all orders and decrees.
    • Judgment Orders shall specifically name the defendant(s) in the last paragraph of the order upon which the judgment is granted.
  • (E)  FILING DOCUMENTS - All original documents must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court.  See www.alexandriava.gov/ClerkofCircuitCourt
  • (F) MEDIATION recommended in all disputed custody cases. 
  • (G)  PAYMENT OF FUNDS INTO COURT 
    • All funds paid into the Circuit Court will be deposited in the Clerk of Circuit Courts account, which is non-interest bearing.
    • If counsel or parties desire funds to be deposited into an interest-bearing account, they may do so by order of the court.
      • The court order should direct that the funds be paid directly to the General Receiver of the Court (not the Clerk of Circuit Court) who shall deposit the funds in an interest bearing account until further order of the court.
      • The General Receiver will not accept any funds until he has received a copy of the court’s order.

 

13.   HEARINGS - MISCELLANEOUS

  • Detailed information below for
    • (A) Appointment of Guardian
    • (B) Fiduciary Matters
    • (C)  Garnishments  (if debtor's email and/or telephone number are known); and (if debtor's email and/or telephone number are not available)
    • (D)  Guardianships/conservatorships and appointment of guardian (contested and uncontested) 
    • (E)  Infant settlements
    • (F) Settlement conferences for civil cases
    • (G)  Structured settlements
    • (H)   Wrongful death settlements


  • (A)   APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN
    See "Guardianships/Conservatorships" section below.


  • (B)   FIDUCIARY MATTERS  may be scheduled on a Motions Day docket (see "Motions Day" section) or on a 9:00 a.m. uncontested docket (after filing all required documents with the Clerk of Circuit Court, call Judges' Chambers at 703.746.4123 to schedule a hearing. During COVID-19, the final hearing may be held remotely or in person. If the hearing is held remotely, counsel or pro se litigant is responsible for issuing the Microsoft Teams meeting invitation (see "Trials and Hearings for Civil Cases" section >>> scroll to "Remote Trials and Hearings").

  • (C)   GARNISHMENTS
    • IF DEBTOR'S EMAIL AND/OR TELEPHONE NUMBER ARE KNOWN - A remote garnishment hearing may be scheduled on Motions Day
      • Judgment creditor shall file a notice/praecipe including (a) the date and time to docket the motion; (b) a statement that the matter will be heard virtually via Microsoft Teams; (c) the email addresses of all relevant parties to the hearing; and (d) all exhibits and proposed orders (if any).
      • Such notice shall (a) include a statement from the creditor that the debtor has a verified email address or telephone number, and (b) attach an email from the debtor to the creditor which acknowledges receipt of an email stating the debtor can access Microsoft Teams either via the internet or via telephone. (See "Motions Day" instructions below.)
    • IF DEBTOR'S EMAIL AND/OR TELEPHONE NUMBER ARE NOT AVAILABLE - An in-person hearing must be scheduled.  Judgment creditor shall contact Judges’ Chambers (703-746-4123) to request a date certain for an in-person garnishment hearing.  After obtaining a date certain from Judges’ Chambers, the creditor shall file the proper praecipe or notice with the Clerk of Court. 
    • GARNISHMENT steps - In both situations
      • Step #1 - Originals of the motion, and a praecipe or notice, shall be filed with the Clerk of Court and sent to the judgment debtor/defendant.
        • A courtesy copy shall be hand-delivered to the Judges’ Chambers' drop box to alert the Court. Judges' Chambers' drop box is located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. DO NOT USE the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box located in the courthouse vestibule, as a delay in receipt of the documents in Judges' Chambers may occur.
        • Judgment Orders shall specifically name the defendant(s) upon which the judgment is granted in the last paragraph of the order.   
      • Step #2 - Final order will be entered either at Motions Day hearing or at in-person hearing.
      
  • (D)   GUARDIANSHIPS/CONSERVATORSHIPS and APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN     updated 4/23/2021
             If the guardianship/conservatorship and appointment of guardian is UNCONTESTED, the hearing may be at a Motions Day hearing, or a 9:00 uncontested docket.
             If the guardianship/conservatorship and appointment of guardian is CONTESTED, the hearing shall be on a 10:00 contested docket.

    • Steps  
    • Step #1 - Decide Type and Time of Hearing
      • Option #1 - UNCONTESTED hearing on Motions Day docket - After the order of appointment of GAL is entered, see Motions Day instructions to properly set the matter on the Motions Day docket; or 
      • Option #2 - UNCONTESTED hearing on 9:00 docket.  After the order of appointment of GAL is entered, counsel for Petitioner shall contact Judges' Chambers at 703.746.4123 to schedule a hearing. After scheduling the hearing, all documents, including notice of hearing (see below), the GAL report, and proposed final order, must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court; or 
      • Option #3 - CONTESTED hearing on 10:00 docket.  After the order of appointment of GAL is entered, counsel for Petitioner shall contact Judges’ Chambers at 703.746.4123 to schedule a contested hearing. After scheduling the hearing, all documents, including notice of hearing, the GAL report, and proposed final order, must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court no less than seven (7) days prior to the hearing date. A courtesy copy of all documents must also be provided to Judges' Chambers.
    • Step #2 - Schedule Hearing
      • Either by filing Motions Day documents or by contacting Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123). 
        • Appearance of Petitioner and GAL may be waived and have the order entered "on the papers" during COVID-19. Provided neither Respondent, nor any other entity whose name appears in the petition, appears at the hearing, the proposed appointment order may be entered at the hearing, based on clear and convincing evidence, in consideration of the factors listed in Va. Code Section 64.2-2007(C).
        • Motions Day hearings - see "Motions Day" section, including Remote Hearing instructions.
          • The notice/praecipe must include MANDATORY MICROSOFT TEAMS MEETING LANGUAGE.   “The matter will be heard remotely via Microsoft Teams”; and "Opposing counsel/party will receive an email from the Court two (2) days prior to the Motions Day hearing. 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.”
        • Notice of the hearing must comply with Va. Code Section 64.2-2004. 
        • Remote hearings - During COVID-19, the final hearing may be held remotely or in person, if the hearing is held remotely, counsel or pro se litigant is responsible for issuing the Microsoft Teams meeting invitation (see "Trials and Hearings for Civil Cases" section >>> scroll to "Remote Trials and Hearings").

  • (E)   INFANT SETTLEMENTS
    Infant Settlements may be scheduled on a Motions Day docket (see "Motions Day" section);  or (b) on a 9:00 a.m. uncontested docket.
    • Steps
    • Step #1 - File all required documents with the Clerk of Circuit Court.
      • Deposits to General Receiver - Any orders providing for funds to be deposited with the General Receiver shall comply with Va. Code § 8.01-600(B) and “shall include information necessary to make prudent investment and disbursement decisions”. The orders shall include, except when it is unreasonable, the proposed dates of periodic and final disbursements. Prior to the entry of the order, the beneficiary or his representative shall file an affidavit with the court providing the beneficiary's name, date of birth, address, and social security number. The affidavit shall be maintained under seal by the clerk unless otherwise ordered by the court, and the information therein shall be used solely for the purposes of financial management and reporting.” 
    • Step #2 -  Schedule hearing either by (a) filing Motions Day documents or (b) by contacting Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) after all required documents have been filed. 


  • (F)  SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES FOR CIVIL CASES
          Upon agreement, the parties in any case may request a settlement conference to be held at 9:00 a.m. 
    • Step #1 - Schedule settlement conference - In order to schedule a settlement conference, a party must telephone Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123).
    • Step #2 - Not less than five (5) days before the date of the settlement conference, the parties shall file with the Clerk of Circuit Court's Office brief factual statements of the case from their viewpoints and statements of the amounts or conditions of demands or offers.  Courtesy copy of such statements should be provided to Circuit Court Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the courthouse. To the extent possible, the Judge presiding over the settlement conference will not hear the case. 
    • Step #3 - All attorneys should come to the settlement conference with decision-making and settlement authority. The client or authorized representative must be available by phone during the conference.

  • (G)  STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS 
    • Step #1 - FILE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS - In all structured settlement cases, all documents, including application for approval, notice of proposed transfer and proposed final order containing the statutory requirements, must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court not less than 20 days prior to the scheduled hearing.  Courtesy copy of such statements should be provided to Circuit Court Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the courthouse.
      • WAIVER - The payee must attend the final hearing unless good cause exists and a waiver is filed with the Court.
    • Step #2 - SCHEDULE HEARING by calling Judges' Chambers at 703.746.4123. Structured settlement hearings are heard at 9:00 a.m.

  • (H)  WRONGFUL DEATH SETTLEMENTS
    Wrongful death settlements may be scheduled on a Motions Day docket (see "Motions Day" section);  or (b) on a 9:00 a.m. uncontested docket. 
  • Steps
    • Step #1 - File all required documents with the Clerk of Circuit Court. 
      • Deposits to General Receiver- Any orders providing for funds to be deposited with the General Receiver shall comply with Va. Code § 8.01-600(B) and “shall include information necessary to make prudent investment and disbursement decisions”. The orders shall include, except when it is unreasonable, the proposed dates of periodic and final disbursements. Prior to the entry of the order, the beneficiary or his representative shall file an affidavit with the court providing the beneficiary's name, date of birth, address, and social security number. The affidavit shall be maintained under seal by the clerk unless otherwise ordered by the court, and the information therein shall be used solely for the purposes of financial management and reporting.” 
    • Step #2 - Schedule hearing either by (a) filing Motions Day documents or (b) by contacting Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) after all required documents have been filed. 


14. INCLEMENT WEATHER/EMERGENCY 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 or an emergency.


15.  INTERPRETER SERVICES

See Interpreter Services instructions  updated 5/14/2021.


16.   JURY COORDINATOR

  • JURY COORDINATOR is located in Circuit Court Judges' Chambers and can be reached at 703.746.4119.  If the jury coordinator is unavailable, please leave your name, group number and telephone number so the call may be returned. 


  • JUROR ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF SUMMONS   703.838.4237 
    This is a 24 hour number that asks you to leave the following information. 
    Leave only the requested information. 
    Do not leave any other message on this recording.
                Your NAME
                 Your JURY GROUP NUMBER (located in pink on the jury summons
                 Your BADGE NUMBER (located on the top right corner of the summons           
                 Your TERM OF SERVICE (located in pink on the jury summons).


  • JUROR REPORTING LINE  703.838.4110
    To determine if you need to report to the Court - Call the Juror Reporting Line  703.838.4110 after 4:00 p.m. on the Friday before your Term of Service.  
    This is a 24 hour number for outgoing messages only.  Any messages left on this line will not be returned
    Updated every day at 4:00 p.m.  to list the group numbers of jurors who are expected to report the following business day for jury duty.
    If your group number is listed, come to court on the following business day. 
    • Call 703-838-4110 on
             Friday after 4:00 p.m. - to see if you need to report to Court on Monday morning.   
             Monday after 4:00 p.m. - to see if you need to report to Court on Tuesday morning.
             Tuesday after 4:00 p.m. - to see if you need to report to Court on Wednesday morning.
             Wednesday after 4:00 p.m. - to see if you need to report to Court on Thursday morning. 
             Thursday after 4:00 p.m. - to see if you need to report to Court on Friday morning. 

  • JURY PANEL LIST - contact the Clerk of Circuit Court for the jury panel list.  703.746.4044   520 King Street, Room 307

    • In accordance with § 8.01-353 -  Upon request, the clerk or sheriff  responsible for notifying jurors to appear in court for the trial of a case shall make available to all counsel of record in that case, a copy of the jury panel to be used for the trial of the case at least three full business days before the trial. Such copy of the jury panel shall show the name, age, address, occupation and employer of each person on the panel. Any error in the information shown on such copy of the jury panel shall not be grounds for a mistrial or assignable as error on appeal, and the parties in the case shall be responsible for verifying the accuracy of such information.

  • JURY TRIALS - NOTIFICATION OF SETTLEMENT - In the event of a last minute settlement or voluntary dismissal of a jury trial, notify the court immediately to avoid possible sanctions.  Notification must be received by 6:15 a.m. on the day of trial to cancel the jury and avoid paying juror costs.
    • During business hours, call 703.746.4123.
    • After business hours, call 703.746.4347. 


 

17.  JURY DUTY (JURY SUMMONS)

  • If you have received a Juror Summons, please carefully review the information in the next two sections:
    • Petit Juror instructions
    • Grand Juror instructions 
    • Remember, your juror summons should indicate Alexandria Circuit Court at 520 King Street.  Jury Coordinator may be reached at 703.746.4119.
      • If your juror summons indicates the U.S. District Court at 401 Courthouse Square,  you should call 703.299.2104.   
  •  Alexandria Circuit Court's Jury  Resumption Plan during COVID-19, approved by the Virginia Supreme Court on 9/24/2020.


18.   JURY - PETIT JUROR SUMMONS   

  • If your juror summons indicates PETIT JUROR, you are being summonsed to serve as a trial juror.
  • The summons will include your name, address, group number, term of service (one week), and badge number (top right hand corner).  Your envelope will also contain (a) Letter from Chief Judge to potential jurors dated 9/29/2020; (b) Juror Information Sheet dated 10/5/2020; and (c) Supplemental Juror Questionnaire dated 9/29/2020.
  • Step #1:  Call to acknowledge receipt of your juror summons (703.838.4237). 
    This is a 24 hour number that asks you to leave the following information.  Some of this information is on your JUROR SUMMONS. Leave only the requested information.  Do not leave any other message on this recording.
                Your NAME
                 Your JURY GROUP NUMBER (located in pink on the jury summons
                 Your BADGE NUMBER (located on the top right corner of the summons           
                 Your TERM OF SERVICE (located in pink on the jury summons).

    OPTIONAL:  Review the Alexandria Circuit Court's Jury  Resumption Plan during COVID-19 that was approved by the Virginia Supreme Court on 9/24/2020.
  • Step #2:   Return the Supplemental Juror Questionnaire  by completing the questionnaire on-line or faxing to 703.548.2198.
  • Step #3:  Come to Court only on the day your group is included on the Juror Reporting Line.
    • To determine if you need to report to the Court - Call the Juror Reporting Line  703.838.4110 after 4:00 p.m. on the Friday before your Term of Service.  
    • This is a 24 hour number for outgoing messages only.  Any messages left on this line will not be returned
    • The 703.838.4110 recording is updated every day at 4:00 p.m and is used to list the group numbers of jurors who are expected to report the following business day for jury duty. Your group number will be listed if you need to report for jury duty on the following business day.
    • If your group is not listed on Friday afternoon (for Monday's jury trials), call the Jury Reporting Line on Monday after 4:00 p.m. to hear if your group is needed for Tuesday's jury trials.
          Call on Tuesday afternoon after 4:00 p.m. to hear if your group is needed for Wednesday's jury trials.
          Call on Wednesday afternoon after 4:00 p.m. to hear if your group is needed for Thursday's jury trials.
          Call on Thursday afternoon after 4:00 p.m. to hear if your group is needed for Friday's jury trials.
  • Step #4:   If your group is included on the Juror Reporting Line  703.838.4110 
    • If your group number is listed,  you will be expected to report to Court on the following business day for jury duty.
            Follow the instructions about where and when to report for jury duty.
            The instructions are on the recording 703.838.4110.
    • The Jury Assembly Room is located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse.
      Jurors may bring non-electronic reading materials and a plastic water bottle (no glass containers).
      Jurors may not use any electronic device, including cell phones, while in the courthouse.
  • QUESTIONS?  Call the Jury Coordinator at 703.746.4119.



19.  JURY - GRAND JUROR SUMMONS 

  • If your juror summons indicates GRAND JUROR, you are being summonsed to serve as a Grand Juror.
  • Grand Jurors are required to serve one day a month for two (2) consecutive months (usually the 2nd Monday of the month).
  • The summons will include your name, address, group number, term of service (one week), and badge number (top right hand corner).  Your envelope will also contain (a) Letter from Chief Judge to potential jurors dated 9/29/2020; (b) Juror Information Sheet dated 10/5/2020; and (c) Supplemental Juror Questionnaire dated 9/29/2020.
  • Step #1: Call to acknowledge receipt of your juror summons  703.838.4237 
    This is a 24 hour number that asks you to leave the following information.  Some of this information is on your JUROR SUMMONS. Leave only the requested information.  Do not leave any other message on this recording.
                Your NAME
                 Your JURY GROUP NUMBER (located in pink on the jury summons
                 Your BADGE NUMBER (located on the top right corner of the summons           
                 Your TERM OF SERVICE (located in pink on the jury summons).

    OPTIONAL:  Review the Alexandria Circuit Court's Jury  Resumption Plan during COVID-19 that was approved by the Virginia Supreme Court on 9/24/2020.
  •  Step #2:  Return the Supplemental Juror Questionnaire  by completing the questionnaire on-line or faxing to 703.548.2198.
  • Step #3:  Report to Court on the assigned dates that are printed on the Juror Summons.  Grand Jurors  are required to serve one day a month for two successive months (usually the 2nd Monday of the month).  There is no need to call the Jury Reporting Telephone line (703.838.4110).
    • The Jury Assembly Room is located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse.
      Jurors may bring reading materials and a plastic water bottle (no glass containers).
      Jurors may not use any electronic device, including cell phones, while in the courthouse.
  • QUESTIONS?   Call the Jury Coordinator at 703.746.4119.


20.  JURY QUESTIONNAIRES

  • Once a year (typically in September-October), the Supreme Court of Virginia mails confidential Juror Questionnaires to prospective jurors for the City of Alexandria's Master Juror List for the upcoming calendar year.  The questionnaires are mailed to City of Alexandria residents who are randomly selected according to Section 8.01-345 of the Code of Virginia.  
  • If you receive a questionnaire,
    • Please DO NOT call the Court at this time. 
    • Complete the questionnaire as best you can.
    • Return the questionnaire to the Court within ten (10) days in the envelope provided to Alexandria Circuit Court, 520 King Street, Room 307, Alexandria VA 22314.
      You may also hand-deliver the questionnaire to the courthouse.  
    • Jury Commissioners will review all of the questionnaires to prepare a Master List of Jurors for the following calendar year. 

    • Frequently Asked Questions
      • The questionnaire does not mean you are serving as a juror at this time.  If you are determined to be qualified by the Juror Commissioners, your name will be included on the Master List of Jurors, from which names will be randomly selected for jury service during the next calendar year.
      • Previous Jury Service - Make your best guess if you cannot remember the exact date. The court will confirm the information when your questionnaire is returned.
      • Questions?  Write a note at the bottom of the questionnaire or attach a separate note. The Jury Commissioners will review your question and make a determination.
      • Recipient moved?  If the addressee no longer resides at the address, please mark the envelope "return to sender", and mail to the court in the envelope provided.
      • Request to be excused from jury service - Write a note at the bottom of the questionnaire or attach a separate note. The Jury Commissioners will review the request and make a determination.
      • Son or Daughter's Questionnaire - If the questionnaire is for your son or daughter who is away at school, please answer the questions for your son or daughter, sign your name as parent, and return the questionnaire to the court in the envelope provided.
      • Special circumstances - Write a note at the bottom of the questionnaire or attach a separate note. The Jury Commissioners will review the request and make a determination.
     


21.  JURY RESUMPTION PLAN - Revised  

  • The Alexandria Circuit Court's initial jury resumption plan (dated 9/23/2020) was approved by the Supreme Court on 9/24/2020, and envisioned conducting one jury trial per week.
  • Based on careful reconsideration of the factors considered, the Court determined that adequate space and personnel are available to safely conduct two jury trials per week by staggering the start dates.  Alexandria Circuit Court's Revised Jury Resumption Plan (dated 2/24/2021) was approved by the Supreme Court on 2/25/2021.
    • Criminal Jury trials resumed on 11/9/2020.
    • Civil Jury Trials resume on June 1, 2021.  The Court will only hold 1 jury trial per day. Criminal jury trials take priority. If counsel /pro se litigants wish to request a continuance, please follow the continuance procedure. 





23.   MARRIAGE CELEBRANTS - CIVIL MARRIAGE CELEBRANTS AUTHORIZED BY CIRCUIT COURT

  •  (A)  Local Attorneys Authorized to Perform Civil Marriage CeremoniesIn addition to clergy, several local attorneys have been authorized to perform civil marriage ceremonies. To obtain the names and contact information of the local attorneys, contact the Clerk of Circuit Court at 703-746-4044.
  • (B)  Alexandria Resident's Petition to Perform One-Time Civil Marriage Ceremony 
    • A person residing in the City of Alexandria (not Fairfax County) may petition the Circuit Court of Alexandria to become a marriage celebrant to perform a one-time civil marriage ceremony (Virginia Code § 20-25). All documents shall be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court at least thirty (30) days prior to the ceremony to allow for processing time.
    • Required documents include the following:
      • Petition 
      • Proposed order
      • Payment of filing fee
      • Payment of bond
      • In addition, Alexandria Circuit Court’s local procedures require a letter from the marriage celebrant  (a) stating the marriage celebrant lives in the City of Alexandria (not Fairfax County), (b) describing the marriage celebrant’s relationship to the couple getting married; and (c) why the marriage celebrant wants to perform the marriage ceremony. 


24.  MOTIONS DAY DOCKET AND MEETING LINKS

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

                                               Docket for July 28, 2021 Motions Day   (updated: 7/26/2021 to reflect Judge Kemler's 1:00pm case) 


            B.   MEETING LINKS for July 28, 2021 Motions Day (meeting links posted on 7/26/2021)

                             (1)    JUDGE  LISA B. KEMLER - 10:00 a.m. on July 28, 2021

                                         Join on your computer or mobile app       Click here to join the meeting

                                         Or call in (audio only)      +1 703-719-4698,,813408732#   Phone Conference ID: 813 408 732# 

 

                             (2)   JUDGE KATHLEEN M. USTON - 10:00 a.m. on July 28, 2021

                                        Join on your computer or mobile app      Click here to join the meeting

                                         Or call in (audio only)    +1 703-719-4698,,613628372#   Phone Conference ID: 613 628 372# 

 

                             (3)     JUDGE LISA B. KEMLER - 1:00 p.m. (special time) on July 28, 2021

                                         Join on your computer or mobile app        Click here to join the meeting

                                         Or call in (audio only)      +1 703-719-4698,,689102169#   Phone Conference ID: 689 102 169# 

                         

                            (4)    JUDGE KATHLEEN M. USTON -  does not have a 2:00 p.m. docket on July 28, 2021

                                         

     

     

25.   MOTIONS DAY INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS 

  •  Until further notice, all Circuit Court motions day hearings will continue to be heard remotely.  (5/21/2021)
  • Detailed information below for
    • Courtesy copies required
    • Deadline for initial filing
    • Exhibits
    • Instructions posted 12/22/2020 - remote hearings;  motions remote day instructions; taped webinar; webinar slides 
    • Mandatory Microsoft Teams meeting language
    • Microsoft Teams meeting invitation
    • Motions in Limine
    • Motions Not Timely Filed or Incomplete
    • Notice/Praecipe
    • Procedure - see next section 
    • Remote Hearings During COVID-19
    • Schedule of Motions Day hearings
    • Set Date Matters
    • Show Cause Orders Returnable to Motions Day
  • Procedure Instructions


  • Details
    • (A)  COURTESY COPIES of all documents related to Motions Day (motion, notice/praecipe, proposed order, exhibits, etc.) shall be hand-delivered to Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. DO NOT use the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box in the courthouse vestibule, as the receipt of the documents in Judges' Chambers will be delayed
    • (B)  DEADLINE FOR INITIAL FILING  is 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.  DEADLINE FOR ADDITIONAL MOTIONS is one week prior to the Motions Day.  See "Motions Day Deadlines" below.
    • (C)  EXHIBITS - For any hearing requiring the presentation of documentary evidence, counsel or pro se parties shall submit proposed exhibits    (e.g., labeled P’s 1 or D’s 1), to the Judges’ Chambers’ drop box located on the 4th floor of the courthouse no later than 12:00 p.m. on the Friday before Motions Day.
    • (D)  INSTRUCTIONS FOR MOTIONS DAY DURING COVID-19 (updated 12/21/2020)  
      • Remote Hearings - During COVID-19, and unless an exception is permitted by the Court, ALL hearings will be heard remotely using Microsoft Teams (see Meeting Invitation below).    The virtual Motions Days hearings are intended to be similar to the pre-COVID Motions Day hearings and are open to anyone.  The Microsoft Teams meeting invitation is posted on this website and may be forwarded to anyone interested in attending the remote hearing, including court reporters and interpreters. 
      • Motions Day REMOTE Instructions  (updated 12/21/2020) are effective from 7/22/2020 until further notice.  All instructions must be followed, including the mandatory Microsoft Teams Meeting Language. If the instructions are not followed, your motion may not be considered by the Court. These instructions must be followed.   Includes detailed instructions for all required procedures (mandatory remote hearing notices,  mandatory Microsoft Teams meeting information, and mandatory good faith certification for motions to compel).   Please call Judges' Chambers if you do not understand a procedure.
      • Taped Webinar explaining Motions Day Instructions issued on 12/21/2020      Taped webinar
      • Webinar slides  explaining the Motions Day instructions issued on 12/21/2020   Slides from the webinar      
    • (E) MANDATORY MICROSOFT TEAMS MEETING LANGUAGE must be included on the notice/praecipe -   “The matter will be heard remotely via Microsoft Teams”; and "Opposing counsel/party will receive an email from the Court two (2) days prior to the Motions Day hearing. 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.”
    • (F) MICROSOFT TEAMS MEETING INVITATION - A Microsoft Teams meeting invitation will be emailed by the Court two (2) days prior to the Motions Day to the moving party and non‑moving parties if the email address for the non-moving party has been provided to the Court.  The Court’s email will include a separate link and telephone number for each judge’s 10:00 a.m. session (and 2:00 p.m. session if applicable). For participants who do not have internet access, they may use the telephone number that is provided on the meeting invitation to have audio access to the hearing. The Microsoft Teams meeting invitation may be forwarded to anyone interested in attending the hearing. The Microsoft Teams meeting link and Motions Day docket will be posted on the Circuit Court’s website (www.alexandriava.gov/CircuitCourt) two (2) days prior to the Motions Day.   
    • (G) MOTIONS IN LIMINE should be heard on a Motions Day prior to trial or on the day of trial if less than 5 minutes.
    • (H) MOTIONS NOT TIMELY FILED OR INCOMPLETE  Any motion that is not timely filed, or fails to meet the required 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
    • (I) NOTICE/PRAECIPE  - All cases should be noticed for Motions Day should be noticed for 10:00 a.m., unless special permission has been received from Judges' Chambers to notice the case for the 2:00 p.m. docket. (In that circumstance, the case should be noticed for the 2:00 p.m. Motions Day docket.)
      • The Court will assign the cases to either the 10:00 a.m. Motions Day session, or the 2:00 p.m. Motions Day session. The time assignment will be reflected on the Microsoft Teams meeting invitation that is emailed to the moving party, and non-moving party if the email address has been provided, by the Court two (2) days prior to the Motions Day hearing.  The docket will also reflect the time assignment for each case.
    • (J) PROPOSED ORDERS
      • Prior to Motions Day - ORIGINAL to Clerk of Circuit Court; COURTESY COPY (MANDATORY) to Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. 
      • After Motions Day - ORIGINAL to Clerk of Circuit Court; COURTESY COPY (optional) to Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. 
    • (K) REMOTE HEARINGS DURING COVID-19 - All hearings will be heard remotely using Microsoft Teams.  
    • (L) SCHEDULE OF MOTIONS DAY HEARINGS - Remote Motions Day dockets are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. (See "Motions Day Deadlines" below).  The schedule for the May motions day frequently changes. Consult the calendar that is posted above.
    • (M) SET DATE MATTERS on Motions Day - At the Motions Day hearing, the Court will instruct counsel and/or parties to contact Judges’ Chambers at 703.746.4123 to schedule the trial date. Counsel and/or parties may avoid appearing remotely on Motions Day by contacting Judges’ Chambers prior to Motions Day to schedule the trial date. 
    • (N) SHOW CAUSE ORDERS RETURNABLE TO MOTIONS DAY
      • Any motion that is not timely filed, or fails to meet the criteria (mandatory language regarding remote hearing notice, Microsoft Teams meeting information, proposed order) will not be considered.  If the defendant does not appear remotely at the Motions Day hearing, the case shall be rescheduled unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the defendant knew of the remote hearing and had access to Microsoft Teams. If the defendant, or the defendant with counsel, does appear remotely, the case may proceed unless it will take more than 25 minutes. If the case will take more than 25 minutes, counsel/parties shall be instructed to contact Judges’ Chambers to set a date certain.
    • (J) TIME LIMIT  - Unless leave for additional time is granted, or the motion or motions are set for a time certain, argument time limit is 25 minutes total, regardless of the number of motions filed in any one case (10 minutes per side with 5 minutes for rebuttal).


PROCEDURE INSTRUCTIONS

  • STEP #1 - FILE DOCUMENTS WITH CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT.  Any party to a civil action who wishes to have a motion heard on Civil Motions Day may do so by the timely and complete filing of the required documents. The moving party must follow all procedures or the motion may not be considered by the Court. Call Judges’ Chambers (703.746.4123) if you do not understand the instructions.
    • Required documents shall be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court, sent to opposing counsel/party to be received by the filing deadline, and a courtesy copy hand-delivered to Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the courthouse.  Required documents include  Motion; Notice/praecipe (see above for mandatory Microsoft Teams meeting language); Proposed order; Evidence (if any); Exhibits (if any); Documents (if any); Supplemental affidavits (if any).

  • STEP #2 - RECEIVE MOTIONS DAY MEETING INVITATION FROM THE COURT.  The Microsoft Teams meeting invitation, including meeting link and telephone number for those participants without internet access, will be emailed to the moving party two (2) days prior to the Motions Day.  The meeting link will also be emailed to non-moving  parties if the email addresses of those parties have been provided to the Court on the notice/praecipe.  Sample Motions Day Email  The Court's email may be forwarded to anyone who needs or wants to participate in the hearing (opposing counsel, parties, court reporters, interpreters, etc.)
  • STEP #3 - FORWARD EMAIL TO NON-MOVING PARTY (if necessary).   If the moving party's notice/praecipe does not include the non-moving party's email address, it shall be the responsibility of the moving party to forward the Court's email with the Microsoft Teams meeting invitation to the non-moving party. 
  • STEP #4 - ON MOTIONS DAY, ACCESS THE REMOTE MOTIONS DAY HEARING - by either (a) using the Microsoft Teams meeting link that was emailed by the Court; or (b) using the Microsoft Teams meeting link that is posted on this website. To determine which judge is hearing your case, refer to the  Motions Day Docket that is posted on this website.


26.  MOTION DAY DEADLINES

  • For filing INITIAL MOTIONS
              AUGUST 25, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline is Friday, August 6 at  4:00 p.m.
             SEPTEMBER 8, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline is Friday, August 20 at 4:00 p.m.
             SEPTEMBER 22, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline is Friday, September 3 at 4:00 p.m.
             OCTOBER 13, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline is Friday, September 24 at 4:00 p.m.
             OCTOBER 27, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline is Friday, October 8 at 4:00 p.m.
              NOVEMBER 10, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline is Friday, October 22 at  4:00 p.m.
             NOVEMBER 24, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline is Friday, November 5 at 4:00 p.m. 
             DECEMBER 8, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline is Friday, November 19 at 4:00 p.m.
             DECEMBER 22, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline is Friday, December 3 at 4:00 p.m.

                        DEADLINES THAT HAVE ALREADY PASSED for initial filings.
                        JULY 28, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline was Friday, July 9th at 4:00 p.m.
                        AUGUST 11, 2021 Motions Day - initial filing deadline was Friday, July 23 at 4:00 p.m.
  • DEADLINE FOR ADDITIONAL MOTIONS is one week prior to the Motions Day.  To alert the Court that an additional motion has been filed, please hand-deliver a courtesy copy to the Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. 


27.  PRETRIAL CONFERENCES

  • Pretrial conference is mandatory for all cases scheduled for more than two days and all Equitable Distribution cases. The pretrial conference is a brief hearing scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on a date four to six weeks prior to the trial date. The judge will ask about outstanding issues, estimated length of trial, and possibility of settlement. Motions to continue should be scheduled separately from the pretrial conference. 
    • During COVID-19, if possible, Circuit Court is conducting pretrial conferences by telephone conference call.  Counsel and pro se parties are directed to coordinate a telephone conference call (with all counsel and pro se litigants on the same telephone call), and then call Judges' Chambers at 703-746-4123. 


28.  PRO SE LITIGANTS


A.    NOTICE FROM COURT FOR PRO SE LITIGANTS  

  • Pro se litigants are litigants who do not have counsel and are representing themselves.
  • 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.  Please contact the Clerk of Court at 703-746-4044 for assistance regarding witness subpoenas. 
  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.


 B.   RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO PRO SE LITIGANTS          

  • CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT
    520 King Street, Room 307    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Hours:  8am to 4pm
    Telephone:  703.746.4044
    Website: www.alexandriava.gov/ClerkofCourt
  •  ALEXANDRIA LAW LIBRARY
     520 King Street, Lower Level
    Hours:
    Telephone:
    Website:  https://alexlibraryva.org/law-library 
  • LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE by Alexandria Bar Association
    520 King Street, Room 202  
    703.548.1106
    Website:  Alexandriabarva.org/find-a-lawyer
  • LEGAL SERVICES OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA
    100 North Pitt Street, #307    Alexandria, VA 22314
    703.684.5566
    Website:  www.lsnv.org
  • VIRGINIA ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMISSION 
    Website:  https://selfhelp.vacourts.gov
  • VIRGINIA CODE 
    Available in Law Library (on lower level of courthouse; see above)
    Also available online at http://leg1.state.va.us/


C.  PRO SE PACKETS 

  • PRO SE INFORMATION PACKETS available from the Alexandria Law Library at https://alexlibraryva.org/law-library  for the following:
    • Divorce - Uncontested divorce information packet  
    • Expungement information packet
    • Name Change for Adult information packet
    • Name Change for Minor information packet


29. 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.

 

30.   TECHNOLOGY COURTROOMS

  • Circuit Court IT contact information
              Telephone:  703.746.4310
  • Technology Equipment Available
    • "Technology Courtrooms" - Electronic Trial Evidence Presentation Technology
      • Circuit Court Courtroom #2 - Carousel  (training required;  see below)
      • Circuit Court Courtroom #4 - Nomad  (training required; see below)
    • Video Technology Cart for "HYBR|D" trials and motions  (Judge and counsel/parties in courtroom; other parties or witnesses appear remotely) 


HOW TO:  

  •  Reserve Courtroom Technology for Electronic Trial Evidence Presentation
    • Contact Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) to advise a technology courtroom is required. Judges' Chambers will advise if a technology courtroom is available on day of trial.  NOTE: Specific courtroom assignment not available until closer to the trial date. Mandatory training to operate technology equipment in any courtroom (see Training below).
    • Receive mandatory training (see below)
  • Reserve Technology Cart from Circuit Court IT 
    • Contact Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) to advise video cart is required. 
    • Call Circuit Court IT (703.746.4310) to reserve the video cart.  Mandatory training to operate video technology cart (see Training below).
  • Training (Mandatory) for Electronic Trial Evidence Presentation technology  
    • Equipment Available:
      • Carousel equipment (Circuit Court Courtroom #2).
      • Nomad equipment (Circuit Court Courtroom #4).
      • STRONGLY ENCOURAGE training on both systems, as courtroom assignment not available until 3:00 p.m. on the day before trial.
    • Training location and time
      • Walk-in training available on Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
        • 8:00 a.m. - Meet in Circuit Court Courtroom #2 on the 4th floor.
          • Bring your Windows OS laptop to training. Call 703.746.4310 if the courtroom is not open.  (Judges' Chambers does not open until 8:30 a.m.)
      • If you are not available on a Thursday morning for training, contact Circuit Court IT (703.746.4310) to request training at another date/time.


31. TRIALS  AND HEARINGS FOR CIVIL CASES

  • Detailed information below for
    • (A)  All bench trials and hearings scheduled through May 31, 2021 
    • (B)  COVID-19 Precautions for in-person trials and hearings
    • (C)  Exhibits  for in-person hearings and remote hearings
    • (D)  Jury Instructions 
    • (E)  Jury Panel list - see Jury Coordinator information above
    • (F)   If cases settle or are voluntarily dismissed prior to trial (jury trials or non-jury trials) - telephone numbers are provided below
    • (G)  Pretrial Motions, including Motions in Limine
    • (H)  Remote Trials and Hearings - types of remote hearings
      • Option 1: Remote only; no in-person testimony; courtroom not required; counsel must issue MS Teams meeting invitation and submit exhibits in advance of remote hearing (instructions below)
      • Option 2: Hybrid (courtroom + remote); counsel must (a) reserve Circuit Court IT tech cart; and (b) issue MS Teams meeting invite (instructions below)
    • (J)  Starting Time for Trials is 10:00 a.m. 
  • DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
    • (A)  ALL BENCH TRIALS AND HEARINGS SCHEDULED THROUGH MAY 31, 2021, counsel and pro se parties should contact Judges' Chambers as soon as feasible to advise whether the hearing or trial may be done remotely and, if not, whether the hearing or trial may be continued. . For any such hearing or trial that may not be done remotely or be continued, the Court will, on a case‑by-case basis, determine whether the hearing or trial may proceed in‑person in a manner that is consistent with the CDC.gov and Virginia Department of Health recommendations for minimizing the risk of the spread of COVID-19, as well as the guidance set forth in the Virginia Supreme Court’s Pandemic Continuity of Operations Planning: Reconstitution, Guide to Transitioning from Emergency to Routine Operations. This includes, but is not limited to, asking anyone seeking entry into the Courthouse a series of questions and taking their temperature prior to entry which based on the answers or temperature would result in the person not being permitted to enter, as well as the wearing of facial coverings, maintaining at least 6-feet between persons, frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizing liquid, etc.
    • (B)  COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS FOR IN-PERSON TRIALS AND HEARINGS    
      • During COVID-19, the Court strongly encourages use of remote and hybrid trials and hearings.
        • For any in-person hearings or trials, the following shall apply:  
          •  All persons who are present in the courtroom shall wear facial coverings, unless excused from doing so by the judge, and shall practice social distancing in accordance with CDC.gov and Virginia Department of Health recommendations.
          • If an  interpreter is required, the interpreter will appear either remotely or in the courtroom with a telephone accessible to the party or witness in need of translation services. The decision whether to appear remotely, or in the courtroom, will be up to the interpreter.
          • Court reporters may attend proceedings either remotely or in‑person and whether to appear remotely, or in the courtroom, will be up to the court reporter.
    • (C) EXHIBITS - Counsel should pre-mark exhibits prior to trial. Exhibit stickers may be obtained from the Clerk's Office.  Plaintiff's exhibits should be marked numerically and the defendant's exhibits should be marked alphabetically.  Do not use pages with tabs.  The list of exhibits should be filed with the Court in accordance with the Pretrial Order with copies of the exhibits made accessible to opposing counsel. However, due to space limitations, the Clerk of Court requests that exhibits not be filed with the Clerk prior to trial.  Upon the conclusion of trial, counsel should prepare an order allowing the removal of exhibits from the Clerk’s Office.
      • EXHIBITS FOR IN-PERSON HEARINGS - shall be brought to the Courtroom on the day of trial.
      • EXHIBITS FOR REMOTE HEARINGS - must be hand-delivered to Circuit Court Judges' Chambers' drop box on the 4th floor of the courthouse no later than 9:00 a.m. on the day of trial.  The package may be addressed to the Court Administrator.  DO NOT USE the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box in the courthouse vestibule, as that will result in a delay of the Judges receiving the trial exhibits.
    • (D)  JURY INSTRUCTIONS - Counsel should file and exchange instructions as specified in the Pretrial Scheduling Order.  Plaintiff's instructions should be marked numerically and defendant's instructions should be marked alphabetically.  Efforts should be made to review the instructions prior to the conclusion of the evidence. 
    • (E)  JURY PANEL LIST - see Jury Coordinator section above.
    • (F)  IF CASES SETTLE  OR ARE VOLUNTARILY DISMISSED PRIOR TO TRIAL
      • Jury Trials  - Notification of Settlement - In the event of a last minute settlement or voluntary dismissal of a jury trial, notify the court immediately to avoid possible sanctions.  Notification must be received by 6:15 a.m. on the day of trial to cancel the jury and avoid paying juror costs.
        • During business hours, call 703.746.4123.
        • After business hours, call 703.746.4347. 
      • Non-Jury trials - When a case is settled,  counsel must call the Judges’ Chambers (703.746.4123) immediately so the case can be removed from the docket and another trial scheduled in its place. This will eliminate the Court’s unnecessary review of the file.
    • (G)  PRETRIAL MOTIONS that exceed five (5) minutes should be noticed and argued on Motions Day and not on the morning of trial.
      • Motions in Limine should be heard on a Motions Day prior to trial or on the day of trial if less than 5 minutes.
    •  (H)  REMOTE TRIALS AND HEARINGS - either (Option 1) Totally Remote [no courtroom required]; or (Option 2) Hybrid [courtroom required; some remote testimony] 
      • Option #1 - TOTALLY REMOTE  (no courtroom required)  - Judge and all participants appear remotely via Microsoft Teams  
        • Step #1 - Issue MS Teams meeting invitation (the Court issues meeting invitations only for Motions Day hearings). The MS Teams meeting invitation is issued by counsel/pro se litigant and is emailed to all counsel, pro se litigants, witnesses, interpreters, court reporters, and anyone else who wants to or should participate in the virtual trial/hearing. Send the judge's meeting invitation to the court administrators: Lori.Knoernschild@alexandriava.gov, Lucy.Scalsky@alexandriava.gov, and Jennifer.LazoTorres@alexandriava.gov. 
          • Circuit Court uses only MS Teams for remote trials/hearings. MS Teams is a free download available at www.microsoft.com.  If a MS Teams subscription is purchased, a telephone number is included on meeting invitation.
          • Include the following on the meeting invitation: (a) name of case, docket number, and date/time of trial or hearing; (b) advise recipients to download the MS Teams application to their device prior to the meeting if needed; (c) advise recipients that MS Teams is a free download available at www.microsoft.com.
        • Step #2:  Trial Exhibits for remote trials/hearings must be hand-delivered to Circuit Court Judges' Chambers' drop box no later than 9:00 a.m. on the day of trial.  The Circuit Court Judges' Chambers' drop box is located on the 4th floor of the courthouse. The package may be addressed to the Court Administrator.  DO NOT USE the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box in the courthouse vestibule, as that will result in a delay of the Judges receiving the trial exhibits.
        • Step #3 Proposed orders (either before or after the trial/hearing) - ORIGINAL filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court, and a courtesy copy to Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. The courtesy copy of the proposed order will not be entered, as Judges' Chambers must wait for the Clerk of Circuit Court to process and forward the proposed order to Judges' Chambers. 

      • Option #2 - HYBRID (courtroom required; some remote testimony) - Judge and some participants in courtroom; other participants appear remotely
        • Step #1 - Issue MS Teams meeting invitation (the Court issues meeting invitations only for Motions Day hearings). The MS Teams meeting invitation is issued by counsel/pro se litigant and is emailed to all counsel, pro se litigants, witnesses, interpreters, court reporters, and anyone else who wants to or should participate in the virtual trial/hearing. Send the judge's meeting invitation to the court administrators: Lori.Knoernschild@alexandriava.gov, Lucy.Scalsky@alexandriava.gov, and Jennifer.LazoTorres@alexandriava.gov.
          • Circuit Court uses only MS Teams for remote trials/hearings. MS Teams is a free download available at www.microsoft.com.  If a MS Teams subscription is purchased, a telephone number is included on meeting invitation.
          • Include the following on the meeting invitation: (a) name of case, docket number, and date/time of trial or hearing; (b) advise recipients to download the MS Teams application to their device prior to the meeting if needed; (c) advise recipients that MS Teams is a free download available at www.microsoft.com
        • Step #2 (only for hybrid hearings) - Reserve Circuit Court IT technology video cart.  
          • Contact Circuit Court IT (703.746.4310) to reserve technology video cart.
          • Courtroom assignment will not be available until after 3:00 p.m. on the day before the trial or hearing.  (Circuit Court IT can check with Judges' Chambers' staff.)
          • Receive training on how to connect your Windows OS laptop to the video cart.  Walk-in training available every Thursday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Report to Circuit Court Courtroom #2 on the 4th floor.  If courtroom is not open, call 703.746.4310.  If training is needed on a non-Thursday, call 703.746.4310.
        • Step #3 Trial Exhibits for hybrid trials. 
          • If you are appearing remotely,  the trial exhibits must be hand-delivered to Circuit Court Judges' Chambers' drop box no later than 9:00 a.m. on the day of trial.  The Circuit Court Judges' Chambers' drop box is located on the 4th floor of the courthouse. The package may be addressed to the Court Administrator.  DO NOT USE the Clerk of Circuit Court's drop box in the courthouse vestibule, as that will result in a delay of the Judges receiving the trial exhibits.
          • If you are appearing in the courtroom, bring the trial exhibits with you to the courtroom.
        • Step #4 Proposed orders (either before or after the trial/hearing) - ORIGINAL filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court, and a courtesy copy to Judges' Chambers' drop box located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. The courtesy copy of the proposed order will not be entered, as Judges' Chambers must wait for the Clerk of Circuit Court to process and forward the proposed order to Judges' Chambers.
    • (J)  STARTING TIME  - Jury and non-jury trials ordinarily commence promptly at 10:00 a.m. 


32.   TRIAL DATES - SETTING CIVIL TRIAL DATES

  • Detailed information below for 
    • Counsel's or pro se litigant's options: 
      • (A)  Call Judges' Chambers
      • (B)  Motions Day to select a trial date
      • (C)  Term Day hearing scheduled
    • Court options:
      • (D)   Selection of Trial Date (for appeals cases only)
      • (E)  Status Conference hearings


  • COUNSEL or PRO SE LITIGANT OPTIONS
    • (A)  CALL JUDGES' CHAMBERS at 703.746.4123 with all counsel/pro se litigants on the same telephone call. 
    • (B)   MOTIONS DAY TO SELECT A TRIAL DATE  
      • Step #1 - If counsel or pro se litigant wish to schedule a motion to set a trial date, the praecipe or notice must be properly and timely filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court prior to the Motions Day deadline.  Motions Day instructions are available on  https://www.alexandriava.gov/circuitcourt.  
      • Step #2 - Participate in Motions Day.  During COVID-19, all Motions Day hearings are remote using Microsoft Teams (see "Motions Day" section).   At the Motions Day hearing, the Court will instruct counsel and/or parties to contact Judges’ Chambers at 703.746.4123 to schedule the trial date. Counsel and/or parties may avoid appearing remotely on Motions Day by contacting Judges’ Chambers prior to Motions Day to schedule the trial date. 
      • Step #3 - File a Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order with the Clerk of Circuit Court (Room 307).  A Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order is required for all cases and shall be in the form prescribed by Rule 1:18 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.  The Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order shall be entered at the time the case is set for trial.  If the trial date is selected by telephone (during COVID-19 or otherwise),  counsel/pro se litigant must confirm the trial date by completing and signing the Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order.  (See "Forms" for the Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order.)

    • (C)  TERM DAY 
      • Step #1 - Counsel or pro se litigants may schedule a case for Term Day by filing a Praecipe for Term Day with the Clerk of the Court no later than the Wednesday preceding the Term Day.  
        • There are six (6) terms each year for the Circuit Court of the City of Alexandria. The Term Days are the second Monday in January, March, May, July, September and November at 9 a.m. Should a Term Day fall on a holiday, the Term Day will be held the next day Court is open.  2021 Term Days are January 11, March 8, May 10, July 12, September 13, and November 8.
      • Step #2 - Schedule the trial date by either (a) calling Judges' Chambers (703.746-4123) prior to the Term Day; or attending the Term Day.
        • Counsel or pro se litigants may call Judges' Chambers together on the same telephone call to schedule the trial date; or
        • Counsel or pro se litigants may appear in-person in the 4th floor lobby of the Courthouse at 9:00 a.m. on the date of the Term Day to select the trial date.
      • Step #3 - File a Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order with the Clerk of Circuit Court (Room 307).  A Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order is required for all cases and shall be in the form prescribed by Rule 1:18 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.  The Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order shall be entered at the time the case is set for trial.  If the trial date is selected by telephone (during COVID-19 or otherwise),  counsel/pro se litigant must confirm the trial date by completing and signing the Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order.  (See "Forms" for the Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order.)


  • COURT OPTIONS
    • (D)  SELECTION OF TRIAL DATE HEARING (for Appeals Cases only)  - See "Appeals of Civil Cases from Lower Courts" information.
    • (E)  STATUS CONFERENCE HEARING - Status Conferences are used by the Circuit Court to manage cases with the goal of having all civil cases resolved by final order within one year of the date of initiation.  Status conferences are scheduled by the Court. 
      • Status Conferences are typically held on the second Monday of the month at 9:00 a.m.
        • The status conference schedule for the remainder of 2021 is May 10, June 14,   July 12, August 9, September 13, October 12 (Tuesday), November 8, and December 13. 
      •  During COVID-19, all in-person status conference hearings have been suspended. All status conference hearings are being conducted by telephone only.  
        • A.  In cases that were initiated at least three (3) months prior to the status conference and good service has not been effected, the Court will mail a status conference notice to the plaintiff and to any defendants for which the Court has a mailing address. Upon receipt of the status conference notice, the plaintiff shall call Judges' Chambers (703-746-4123) to discuss the status of the case. The deadline for calling the Court is 1:00 p.m. on the date of the status conference. The case may be dismissed if the plaintiff does not contact Judges' Chambers prior to the deadline.
        • B.  In cases where good service has been effected, the Court will mail a status conference notice to the plaintiff and to any defendants for which the Court has a mailing address. Upon receipt of the status conference notice, counsel or pro se parties shall call Judges' Chambers (703-746-4123) via telephone conference call (all counsel or pro se parties on the same telephone call) to select a trial date. The deadline for calling the Court is 1:00 p.m. on the date of the status conference. The case may be dismissed if the plaintiff does not contact Judges' Chambers prior to the deadline.
      • The status conference notice is posted below. Please contact Judges' Chambers at 703.746.4123 as soon as possible after receiving the status conference notice.  Your case may be dismissed if you do not contact Judges' Chambers by 1:00 p.m. on the date of the status conference.
      • STATUS CONFERENCE NOTICE   for August 9, 2021- includes COVID-19 Temporary Procedures for Status Conference and Selection of Trial Dates (Appeal Cases) 
      • WHAT TO DO IF YOU RECEIVE A STATUS CONFERENCE NOTICE
        • Step #1 - Call Circuit Court Judges' Chambers (703.746.4123) to speak with a court administrator. DO NOT COME TO THE COURTHOUSE.  All in-person status conference hearings have been suspended during COVID-19.  See separate instructions for TERM DAY or SELECTION OF TRIAL DATE (APPEAL CASES)
          • Please have your docket number available (located underneath your name on the status conference notice). DO NOT COME TO THE COURTHOUSE.  All in-person status conference hearings have been suspended during COVID-19. If you are responding to Term Day or Appeal Cases for Selection of Trial Date, see instructions below.
          • You may call the Circuit Court Judges' Chambers ANYTIME after receiving the status conference notice. 
          • You are encouraged to call sooner than the status conference. Do not wait until the date of the status conference, as the telephones get very busy and you may not be able to reach Judges' Chambers before the 1:00 p.m. deadline.
            •  Telephone hours during COVID-19 - Court administrators answer the Circuit Court Judges' Chambers' telephones from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and then again from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The telephones are not answered during the lunch hour from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. 
        • Step #2 - Be prepared to discuss the specifics of your case
          • If no service has been effected, please be prepared to explain why. If a trial date is ready to be scheduled, please have all counsel and/or pro se litigants on the line.
          • If you are scheduling the trial date, be prepared with the following: date range,  number of days anticipated for trial, and if a jury trial is being requested
            • Attorneys scheduling trial dates for other attorneys should always obtain the other attorney's available dates before agreeing the set the trial date.
        • DEADLINE for contacting Judges' Chambers is 1:00 p.m. on the date of the status conference. Your case may be dismissed if you do not call Judges' Chambers by the deadline.
          • If both sides fail to appear, the Court may enter an Order of Dismissal, dismissing the case from the active case docket.



 33.  WORKING GROUP - PROMOTING EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN THE ALEXANDRIA JUDICIAL SYSTEM 

  • The Court will hold periodic virtual meetings to engage in candid communication in an effort to help ensure that justice is delivered in the courts of the Commonwealth, both in fact and by appearance, free from bias or discrimination. The only ground rule for participation in this group is that participants candidly share their thoughts, observations or criticisms.  Prior to each meeting, the Court Administrator will send a meeting link to all persons on the email distribution list.
  • Email distribution list - If you would like to be added, email the Court Administrator at lori.knoernschild@alexandriava.gov.
  • Upcoming events:
    • Thursday, May 13 at 2:00 p.m. - planning session for May 20th presentations

                                 Join on your computer or mobile app         Click here to join the meeting

                                   Or call in (audio only)                                    +1 703-719-4698,,433438533#   Phone Conference ID: 433 438 533# 

    • Thursday, May 20  - Presentations to T.C. Williams students.  
      • Speakers are needed for the 1:10 p.m. and 2:20 classes.  Each class is 50 minutes. Each time slot allows for three speakers. If you would like to participate, please email alexbar@alexandriabarva.org with your preferred time(s) of 1:10 p.m. or 2:20 p.m. 



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