Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,
At Greenspun Shapiro, we fully understand the uncertainty and anxiety that COVID-19 is causing throughout our communities. If you have a pending criminal, personal injury, or family law matter in the Northern Virginia courts, we know that uncertainty could be even higher for you.
We will continue to provide updates as we learn more information from the Virginia Supreme Court, federal courts, and local courts about everything from postponed court dates to courthouse access. For example, the Sheriff for the City of Alexandria has imposed a requirement that every single individual who enters the City of Alexandria Courthouse must have their temperature taken before being permitted to enter the courthouse. Any person whose temperature is 100 degrees or higher will have a second test done. If the high temperature is confirmed, this person will not be allowed to enter the courthouse. It is likely that other jurisdictions will follow this practice.
Local jails have discontinued contact visits between lawyers and clients. Some jails have stopped family and personal visits for the foreseeable future. One jail will not allow any visits between lawyers and clients in person, even with a glass partition separating them. Instead, this jail requires "visits" to be held over a low quality video link.
Having legal matters to handle is always stressful and difficult, even under the best circumstances. Therefore, we assure you that the lawyers and staff at Greenspun Shapiro are particularly sensitive to the current bizarre circumstances confronting our entire community. We continue to have our doors open, and we are committed to fulfilling our obligations to our clients and their families. We are fully available by phone and email, as well as video conference.
Please contact us if you have any questions about pending or potential matters, but most importantly, follow the government's guidelines and stay safe and well!
All Virginia Courts
- All Non-Essential, Non-Emergency court proceedings in all circuit and district courts in Virginia from now through November 22, 2020, are suspended, although individual jurisdictions have discretion to create their own rules and procedures.
Beginning July 20, 2020, statutes of limitation and other case-related deadlines will no longer be tolled.
- All persons aged 10 and older must wear a mask while inside the courthouses.
- Emergency matters include, but are not limited to, quarantine or isolation matters, arraignments, bail reviews, protective order cases, emergency child custody or protection cases, and civil commitment hearings.
Arlington County Circuit Court
- Emergency motions are permitted and must be filed with the Clerk of Court with a copy to Chambers via email email@example.com.
- Telephonic appearances by counsel are permitted by filing a pleading requesting the same, with a copy to Chambers via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Clerk's office is not open for walk-in business. In-person filings will be accepted using receptacles outside each division's door and will be processed throughout the business day.
Arlington County Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court
- In-custody arraignments and docketed bond motions will be conducted via video. Out-of-custody arraignments will be continued.
Criminal trials and preliminary hearings will be continued for out-of-custody defendants. For in-custody defendants, these matters will remain on the date currently scheduled for status, with the detainee appearing by video.
Arlington County Jail
- All personal visitation is suspended for a minimum of 30 days.
- All professional visitation will be non-contact for a minimum of 30 days.
- All programs are canceled for a minimum of 30 days.
City of Alexandria
Every individual entering the City of Alexandria Courthouse will have their temperature taken. Any person who has a temperature greater than 100 degrees will have to take a second test. If the second test confirms the high fever, that person will not be allowed to enter the building.
Alexandria Adult Detention Center
- Social visitation have been canceled.
- Professional meetings will continue through video conference.
Fairfax County Courthouse
Every individual entering the Fairfax County Courthouse will be subject to questioning and a temperature check before entrance into the courthouse will be permitted. Any individual with a temperature reading of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to enter.
Every individual entering the Fairfax County Courthouse is required to wear a mask.
Fairfax County and City General District Courts
- Traffic and preliminary hearing dockets have reopened.
- For incarcerated defendants only, the following will be held: criminal and traffic court, supervised release violations court, preliminary hearing court, sentencing and non-comp courts
Pleadings can be filed via email to GDCMail@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Fairfax County Circuit Court
- 1-2 jury trials will be held per week, with trials for incarcerated criminal defendants docketed first. Civil jury trials are expected to begin in summer or fall of 2021.
Parties with bond motions, arraignments, and speedy trial hearings or may appear telephonically. If counsel would like to be contacted by the Court from the courtroom when their case is called, the request should be noted in the motion, along with the phone number they wish to be contacted at. Counsel may also follow-up by calling Judges Chambers at 703-246-2221.
Certain remote hearings will now be held, with the highest priority placed on the following types of cases:
Felony pleas involving a defendant presently incarcerated at the Fairfax Adult Detention Center
Felony sentencings and probation violations involving defendants presently incarcerated at the Fairfax Adult Detention Center
Contested non-evidentiary criminal motions in felony cases
Fairfax County Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court
Calendar Control begins on June 15, 2020 electronically. You must file the form by 3:00 p.m. the day before you want to be heard by emailing it to JDRDC-Filings@fairfaxcounty.gov.
All filings should be emailed to the Clerk at JDRDC-Filings@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Fairfax County Adult Detention Center
- Personal visitation is suspended.
- The weekender program (weekends in jail) and delayed confinement (report back) sentences are suspended. Notification will be made when these alternative sentencing options are reinstated.
- Effective Friday, March 27, all professional visits will be conducted in the personal visiting area, with the glass partition between the parties. Deputies will be available to facilitate document transfers as needed.
Loudoun County Circuit Court
- Emergency criminal and civil motions may be filed with the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office with a copy to chambers via email to email@example.com. The Court will decide whether to docket the matter.
Prince William County Adult Detention Center
- Contacted DOC about increased home incarceration in appropriate cases
- Alexandria Treatment Court will continue as scheduled, with hearings every Thursday at 2:00 p.m.
As always, please call us with your questions and concerns. We hope that you and yours stay safe and healthy during these unsettling times.
—All of us at Greenspun Shapiro PC