Circuit Court

The Circuit Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction in Virginia; this means that the court has authority to try a full range of cases both civil and criminal. In Arlington County, the 17th Judicial District also includes the City of Falls Church, Virginia.

The Arlington County Circuit Court hears the following types of cases:

  • Adoptions
  • Appeals from General District Court civil cases
    • Exclusive jurisdiction for almost all claims exceeding $15,000
    • Concurrent jurisdiction with General District Court for claims from $4,500 to $15,000
  • Equity suits
  • Felonies and misdemeanors originating from grand jury indictments
  • Juvenile cases involving juveniles 14 or older that have been certified to the Circuit Court by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations General District Court
  • Writs of mandamus, probation, and certiorari involving proceedings arising from actions of local governing body.

Arlington Circuit Court Personnel

Circuit Court judges are elected by a majority vote of each House of the General Assembly. They serve for eight-year terms. Interim appointments are made by the Governor subject to election by the General Assembly at the next regular session. The chief judge of the circuit is elected for a two-year term by a vote of the judges serving in the circuit.  Current judges are:

  • Hon. William T. Newman, Jr., Chief Judge
  • Hon. Joanne F. Alper
  • Hon. James F. Almand

Paul Ferguson is Clerk of the Circuit Court