The Sheriff’s Office ensures the safety of 32 judges and 42 courtrooms in the Fairfax County Courthouse and the thousands of people who visit the Courthouse each business day. In addition, the Sheriff's Office provides security for courts in the Towns of Vienna and Herndon and the City of Fairfax.
Courthouse Visitors and Attorneys
Prohibited in the Courthouse
- Guns, knives, ammunition, pepper spray, mace, razor blades, illegal drugs.
- Any dangerous or hazardous material or property that could be used to injure or harm another person.
If in doubt about an item, leave it at home or in your vehicle. If a potentially dangerous or hazardous item is brought into the courthouse, the person possessing the item must remove it from the building. It cannot be left with court security.
Each visitor who enters the Fairfax County Courthouse goes through a
security screening procedure, with assistance from a court security
officer. To speed the process, visitors are asked to:
- Empty pockets, placing contents in the container provided.
- Place purses, briefcases, backpacks and parcels on the X-ray machine for scanning.
Walk through the metal detector.
If the X-ray or metal detector sets off an alert or alarm, a court
security officer may perform another scan, using a hand wand. The
security officer may also ask permission to conduct a physical search of
the person and personal articles to determine the cause of the alert or
alarm. Before proceeding from the security screening area, visitors
should retrieve all of their personal possessions.
Courthouse attorneys may submit an application to the Sheriff's Office to BYPASS the security screening.
Portable Electronic Devices
Effective January 1, 2013, approved portable devices may be used for audio telephone calls inside courthouse common areas; however these devices may not be used in courtrooms for any purpose unless expressly authorized by the presiding judge. Photography, video and audio recording, and/or other audio or video transmission from inside the courthouse are strictly prohibited without written permission of the Court.
Acceptable portable electronic devices include:
- Portable personal computers.
- Tablet computers.
- Mobile telephones (including telephones with cameras and audio and video recording and transmission capabilities).
- Electronic calendars.
- E-book readers.
All other cameras, video cameras, video recording equipment and recording devices that are not considered a portable electronic device are prohibited beyond the courthouse entry area. Prohibited photographic and video recording equipment may be permitted with prior written authorization by an active 19th judicial circuit or district judge.
Jurors and court personnel are subject to additional restrictions and guidelines. View the full court order for more information, or call the Fairfax County Circuit Court at 703-691-7320 (TTY 711 for hearing impaired).