About Circuit Court

Subject Subject
Circuit Court Jurisdiction Detailed General Information
Jury Duty Inclement Weather Policy

Circuit Court Jurisdiction 

The authority of the Circuit Court is as follows:

Civil Actions

In civil cases, the Circuit Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the General District Court over claims from $4,500 to $25,000 and exclusive original jurisdiction over monetary claims exceeding $25,000. The Circuit Court also has jurisdiction over other matters, including: attachments, adoptions, divorce proceedings, disputes concerning wills, trusts and estates, and controversies involving property.

Criminal Cases

In criminal cases, the Circuit Court has jurisdiction over the trial of all felonies (offenses that may be punished by imprisonment of more than one year) and of those misdemeanors (offenses carrying a penalty of not more than twelve months in jail) that were appealed from district court or a grand jury indictment. The Circuit Court also has jurisdiction over juveniles who are charged with felonies and whose cases have been transferred or certified by the judge of a Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for trial in Circuit Court.

Appellate Jurisdiction

The Circuit Court has appellate jurisdiction over appeals from General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Appeals from these district courts are heard de novo; that is, the cases are tried from the beginning as though there had been no prior trial. The parties have the right to a jury trial in the Circuit Court.

The Circuit Court's appellate jurisdiction also extends to appeals from certain administrative agencies.

Detailed General Information

Attorneys and persons representing themselves can find Circuit Court procedures and forms in the Fairfax Circuit Court Practice Manual. This detailed text, including forms, is available to the public and attorneys in the Fairfax Public Law Library. Individual copies of the manual may be obtained from the Fairfax Bar Association at 703-246-2740.

Note: Fairfax Circuit Court Motions Procedures and Forms are free and available in the Circuit Court.

Please review Circuit Court procedures for direction on scheduling and memorandum requirements prior to filing a motion.

Jury Duty

Potential Jurors are randomly selected from voter registration lists. The selection method is designed to produce a cross section of the community. Approximately 55,000 prospective Jurors are randomly selected each year to receive a Juror Questionnaire. When these Questionnaires are returned to the court, they are reviewed by jury commissioners to determine which citizens are qualified to serve as Jurors. These names make up the master jury list for the year. Men and women, 18 years of age and over and from all walks of life, have an equal opportunity to be called for jury service. Visit our Jury page for more information.

Inclement Weather Policy

Weather & Operating Status

The Fairfax Circuit Court is open five days a week. Parties involved in cases, lawyers and jurors should plan to leave home early with extra time in inclement weather as the court rarely closes.

Like a hospital, the Courthouse renders an essential service to the public. Parties involved in cases spend months and thousands of dollars preparing their cases for trial. Delay of a case due to inclement weather may require the case to be postponed or worse a mistrial resulting in the loss of valuable trial time, unwarranted delay and loss of money invested for expert witnesses for the parties. If you are a juror and have difficulty, please call the court immediately for assistance.


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