Pursuant to the Code of Virginia, §16.1- 69.55, the Fairfax County General District Court currently retains case records for a period of ten years from the date of judgment or conviction. (Note: criminal sexual offense convictions must now be retained for a period of 50 years from the date of conviction.) Due to a limited amount of space, many General District Court case records are not available in the Fairfax County Courthouse. Instead, they are stored off-site at County Archives. The Civil/Small Claims Division currently retains ten years of case files in-house, while the Criminal and Traffic Divisions are only able to maintain about three years of records within their offices. Exceptions include driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions, which are stored in the Traffic Clerk's Office for the entire ten-year retention period, and sexual offenses, which are stored in the Criminal Clerk's Office for the fifty-year retention period.
As of July 6th, 2022, County Archives is no longer available for public access.
To request a copy of a court record stored at Archives, you must contact the Clerk's Office in the General District Court. The Clerk’s office will request the case file from Archives and have it delivered to the courthouse. Delivery can take 2-3 business days. The Clerk’s office will then provide the copy as requested.
In accordance with law, at the end of the ten-year retention period, General District Court records are destroyed. Case records on civil and small claims cases that have been dismissed or non-suited are destroyed after two years. If a civil judgment remains unsatisfied, it may be extended by docketing an abstract of the judgment in the Circuit Court. This must be done within the ten-year period from the date the judgment was entered in the General District Court.
It is possible that a criminal history of convictions involving criminal and traffic cases that have been destroyed by the Court may still be obtained through the Central Records Division of the Fairfax County Police Department. Central Records is located at 12099 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA, 22035. For additional information, call Central Records at 703-246-2272.