Divorce Decree Filing Deadline: All final decrees for divorce submitted by close of business on December 8, 2023, will be reviewed and considered for entry before the end of the year. All submissions that are approved upon review are expected to be entered by December 31, 2023; however, cases with insufficient pleadings are not guaranteed to be completed by the end of the year.
The 17th Judicial Circuit is comprised of four circuit court judges administering litigation for the Arlington County and the City of the Falls Church. The Circuit Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction in Virginia.
The Honorable Judith L. Wheat
In 2019, Judith L. Wheat was appointed as the fourth Judge of Virginia’s 17th Judicial Circuit, serving Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. While working as a courtroom clerk in the Arlington Circuit Court, Judge Wheat received her Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1989, then clerked for the Honorable Barbara M. Keenan. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Wheat was a partner at Venable LLP and at Cacheris & Treanor. In 2009 she became a founding member of Griffith & Wheat, PLLC in the District of Columbia. She has also served as Counsel to the Clerk of the Arlington Circuit Court.
Judge Wheat has been active in the Arlington and Falls Church communities, as a member of the Aurora House Citizens’ Advisory Committee, the Rock Spring Civic Association, and the Lee Highway Alliance. She has also been active in the Arlington legal community, serving on the boards of the Arlington Alcohol Safety Action Program and the Walter T. McCarthy Law Library. Ms. Wheat has taught trial advocacy and deposition skills with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, is a past President of The Barristers and a member of the Lawyers Club of the District of Columbia.
The Honorable Daniel S. Fiore, II
Prior to his investiture on June 8, 2012 as a judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit, Judge Fiore was a trial attorney for 31 years and the managing partner of a multi-member national litigation law firm. Judge Fiore previously served as President of the Arlington County Bar Association, Chairman of the Arlington County Human Rights Commission, Chairman of the Arlington County Fire Trial Board, Chairman of the Arlington County Bar Foundation, as a commissioner in chancery of 17th Judicial Circuit, and, for more than a decade, as a substitute judge of the Arlington County General District Court. Currently, Judge Fiore is a distinguished adjunct professor of law at George Mason University School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1981.
The Honorable Louise M. DiMatteo
In 2012, Louise M. DiMatteo was appointed as a Judge of the Virginia’s 17th Judicial Circuit covering Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. Judge DiMatteo received her Juris Doctorate from Washington & Lee University in 1989, and her Bachelor of Arts from University of Virginia in 1986.
Prior to her appointment, Judge DiMatteo was a trial attorney for over 23 years and practiced with the Arlington County Attorney’s Office as a litigator and transactional attorney specializing in employment law, contracts and procurement, abuse and neglect issues related to elders and children as well as a variety of local government issues. Prior to joining the Arlington County Attorney’s office, Judge DiMatteo was an Assistant County Attorney in Fairfax, was in private practice with Siciliano, Ellis, Dyer and Bocarosse as a trial lawyer and was a criminal defense attorney with the Fairfax Public Defender’s Office.
The Honorable Daniel Tomas Crowe Lopez
Judge Lopez was appointed to the 17th Judicial Circuit Court on July 1, 2023. He served as a judge in the General District Court for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church from July 2019 until July 2023. He was the Chief Judge during his final year. He also sat as a Substitute Judge in the General District Courts of Northern Virginia for eleven years.
Judge Lopez received his Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University School of Law in 1996. He worked as a law clerk for the Connecticut Superior Court in New Haven, Connecticut. Judge Lopez was a trial attorney for 22 years including five years at the Office of the Public Defender in Fairfax County. Judge Lopez gained extensive court room experience in both State and Federal Courts. He was certified to represent capital defendants by The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, and he was recognized as Learned Counsel in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Judge Lopez is known in the Arlington community. He served on the board of directors of the Arlington Soccer Association where he was the Chair of the Outreach Committee, and Vice President. He also managed the South Arlington Soccer Club and coached youth soccer for over ten years. He currently works with Restorative Arlington, a non-profit dedicated to implementing the county’s Restorative Justice Strategic Plan and serves as a member of the Board of Directors.
The Honorable William T. Newman, Jr.
In 1993, William T. Newman, Jr. was appointed as a Judge of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 17th Judicial Circuit covering Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. In 2003, he was named Chief Judge of the Arlington County Circuit Court. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Newman was a partner at the law firm of Carpenter, Newman, Martin, Berkowitz and Garnes. He was also involved in local politics. In 1987, he was elected to the Arlington County Board. He served as its Chairman in 1991 when he was re-elected to a second term. During his tenure in local government, he was elected President of the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments. Judge Newman was named by the Washingtonian magazine as one of the Best Trial Judges in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Judge Newman received his Juris Doctorate from the Catholic University of America, 1977, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio University, 1972.
The Judicial Chambers handles all docketing and scheduling for the Circuit Court. Chambers office hours are Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm, except for observed holidays and weather closures.
To schedule a case on the Court’s docket, call 703-228-7000. Chambers staff has authority to remove cases from the court’s docket (see schedule below) that are not properly filed or noticed on the appropriate hearing day. If a case is removed, a staff member will contact the moving party.
For case information please refer to the online case management system Case Status and Information (vacourts.gov). For procedural questions and filing requirements please refer to the local rules and preferred practices Arlington County Circuit Court local rules(PDF, 341KB) . For inquires on case status please call the Clerk’s Office (703) 228-7010 or refer to the case management system.
Courtesy copies of filings may be emailed to Chambers firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the event that the Court is closed for inclement weather, security related events, or other unforeseen circumstances, all dockets will resume on the next business day.
(XLSX, 138KB)(XLSX, 135KB)View the Circuit Court 2023 Calendar(XLSX, 136KB)
- Court convenes at 10 a.m. (civil) and 9:30 a.m. (criminal).
- All bench warrant arraignments can be heard Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m.
- Term begins on the 3rd Monday (or Tuesday if holiday falls on Monday) of February and April.
- Civil motions are set every Friday at 10 a.m.; fiduciary matters, appointment of guardians, and uncontested Wills are set at 9:30 a.m.
- Evidentiary criminal motions are set at 9:30 a.m. on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, and at 9:30 a.m. on Civil Term Day.
- Grand Juries are convened the 3rd Monday of each month.
- Commissioners in Chancery are utilized in divorce and partitions.
- Ore-tenus hearings are available every Tuesday and Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
Changes Effective July 1, 2014
- Criminal Term, 1st Monday (or Tuesday if holiday falls on Monday) of each month at 9:30 a.m. beginning July 7, 2014.
- Civil Term, 1st Monday (or Tuesday if holiday falls on Monday) of each January, March, May, July, September, and November at 2:00 p.m. beginning July 7, 2014.
- Grand Juries convene on the last Monday of each month beginning June 2014.
- Local Rules and Preferred Practices Arlington County Circuit Court Local Rules(PDF, 341KB), pursuant to Virginia Code Section §8.01-4, effective May 1, 2021.
- See full details in the Memo from the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court
Contact the Clerk of the Court for filing requirements and other court business .
Case information may also be available on the Virginia Judicial System’s website. Contact the Clerk's Office for the best or most accurate case or hearing information.
All Judges Chambers are secured offices. Visitors may require security escort prior to admission the judicial chambers area.