The Circuit Court of Stafford County is the highest trial court with the broadest powers in the county. The Circuit Court handles civil cases with claims of more than $25,000, family matters, felonies and appeals from the lower courts of general district and juvenile and domestic relations district court.
The mission of the Circuit Court is to assure that disputes are resolved justly, promptly and economically. The components necessary to discharge this function are a court system unified in its structure and administration; competent and honest judges and court personnel; courtrooms which meet the ADA standards and Virginia Courthouse Guidelines as well as necessary administrative support.
Who Are We?
Currently, three full-time Circuit Court Judges serve Stafford County. This number is insufficient as caseload studies support the addition of one full-time and one part-time Circuit Court Judge. Last year, case filings exceeded projections and were at 9,000, placing an unprecedented strain on the current judges and staff. (Caseload studies recommend a maximum of 1200 per judge)
Each judge has a judicial assistant tasked with managing the assigned cases or court docket. Given the exponential increase in filings, this responsibility has more than doubled. This role requires extensive interaction with lawyers, litigants, and the general public each day.
Currently, there are two law clerks who serve the three judges. An additional law clerk will begin in August 2022. A law clerk is a recent law school graduate who has taken the bar exam and is awaiting results to permit them to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This individual is utilized to provide assistance in reviewing cases, preparation of research, and drafting opinions.
In light of the continued rise in filed cases and the reality that space to accommodate the needed additional judges will not be forthcoming in a meaningful time frame, the addition of a third law clerk will provide each judge with the staff essential to manage the caseloads in accordance with its stated Mission – to provide just resolution of matters in a prompt and economical manner.
- (1) Judicial Law Clerk (added after adoption of FY2022 budget by resolution R22-08)
- 4.5% Pay Scale Adjustment
- 2.0% Salary Increase
- 2.13% increase in Virginia Retirement System Rate
- .03% decrease in the Virginia Retiree Health Insurance Credit Rate
- Increase in software maintenance costs
- Increase in seminars and conferences
- Additional funding for office supplies due to increase in office staff
- Additional funding for books and subscriptions
- New Initiative: Juror lunches