The first thing you need to know is that not all Virginia court records are online and not all records are found in the online indexes. Many courts allow access through the Virginia Supreme Court’s online case management system. Some, like Prince William County and Fairfax County Circuit Courts have opted for their own systems. The Prince William County Circuit Court system is free; Fairfax County Circuit Court offers paid subscription access only. The majority of circuit court systems can be accessed through the Virginia Supreme Court’s online system. Three Circuit Courts, King and Queen County, Henrico County, and Chesterfield County offer no online access and require a search at the courthouse.
All 125 general district courts offer searching online through the General District Court online case management system. It is important to remember that not all district court cases are found in the online index. Cases handled by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDR) are not available online.
Juvenile and Domestic Courts hear cases involving both juveniles and adults. Information related to most juvenile cases is not public. Adults charged with offenses against children, family or household members will have their preliminary hearing in JDR court. If there is probably cause, and the defendant is charged with a felony, the case is transferred to Circuit Court where the name will be found in the Circuit Court index. If the charge is a less serious offense the trial will be in JDR court. A juvenile 14 years or older at the time of a felony offense may have their case transferred to Circuit Court by a judge after a probable cause hearing and written notice. If the 14 year old is charged with murder or aggravated malicious wounding the case is automatically certified to the circuit court.
Cases involving spouses seeking support after separation, modification of custody, visitation and support are all heard by JRD courts. To search a name in a JDR court index call the Juvenile and Domestic Court Clerk’s Office. They will search the name over the phone; they do not require you to come to the court to search.