Project Paperless is an initiative by Clerk of the Circuit Court, Paul Ferguson, to streamline and automate Circuit Court files and to eliminate to the greatest extent possible the processing and tracking of paper court documents.
- Eliminates the majority of paper court document processing and tracking
- Uses a paper on-demand file system for all criminal and civil cases
- Provides electronic filing in all civil and criminal cases. Most civil cases can be initiated electronically.
- Allows secure remote access to non-confidential case files to attorneys licensed by the Virginia State Bar.
Access to TrueFiling™ for filing into active civil and criminal Arlington Circuit Court cases is limited to Virginia licensed attorneys, or attorneys admitted pro hac vice, and who are counsel of record in the case. At this time, pro se parties cannot file using TrueFiling™.
Every attorney who intends to use TrueFiling™ for electronic filing in the Arlington Circuit Court must register with TrueFiling™ to create a unique username and password.
Non-attorneys working on behalf of a Virginia licensed attorney (e.g., paralegals or legal assistants) may register as a contact with TrueFiling™ to create a unique username and password.
Electronic Case Initiation
Arlington County Circuit Court allows attorneys licensed by the Virginia State Bar to initiate civil cases via TrueFiling™. Specifically, original law and reinstated law cases will be allowed to be submitted electronically. Concealed handgun permit applications, confessed judgments, garnishments, summons to answer debtor interrogatories, adoptions, and general district or juvenile appeals will still need to be filed in paper form in the Clerk’s office during regular business hours.
Note, when initiating a case electronically, the complaint and all associated exhibits must be uploaded as a single document. If the exhibits are filed as separate documents from the complaint, the case initiation will be rejected.
Effective September 18, 2020, a filer electronically initiating a case via TrueFiling™ will be charged the amount she/he enters on the TrueFilingTM checkout page. When the clerk reviews the filing, she/he will determine if the filing fee is accurate. If it is not, the clerk will adjust the fee. The filer’s credit card will be charged or credited the difference. Filers should refer to the receipt linked in the paid email or available on the status tab in the My History page of TrueFilingTM to determine the actual amount charged. Note the properties tab in My History only indicates that amount initially entered by the filer which may not be reflective of the actual transaction. This discrepancy will be addressed in a future TrueFilingTM release.
Secure Remote Access
Arlington County Circuit Court provides secure remote access to non-confidential case files from 2010 to the present via the TrueFiling™ website. Attorneys licensed by the Virginia State Bar, or admitted pro hac vice in a case pending in the Arlington Circuit Court, are eligible to apply for secure remote access.
In order to be authorized for secure remote access, a subscriber must:
- complete the subscriber agreement
- complete and notarized the subscriber application
- provide a copy of his/her Virginia State Bar card
- pay the appropriate subscription fee.
Authorized users include only the Subscriber and one staff person directly supervised by that attorney, and who was explicitly identified on Subscriber’s application. Each attorney using secure remote access will need to complete the necessary paperwork and pay the subscription fee.
The subscription fee is $120 per year for an attorney, and one staff member supervised by the attorney. Subscription fees will be waived for attorneys that are current employees of Arlington County, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or Legal Services of Northern Virginia. Fees for subscriptions entered into after January 1 of any calendar year will be prorated on a monthly basis (e.g. a subscription agreement entered in March will be charged the equivalent of ten months for the first year, etc.).
The Clerk’s Office will provide TrueFiling™ training to attorneys and their staff upon request. Please email to schedule training.
Web System Information
TrueFiling™ is a web-based application accessible via the Internet using any web browser
- It runs optimally with a minimum screen resolution setting of 1024 x 768
- It uses industry standards such as HTTPS and X.509 certificates for ensuring that all communications between TrueFiling™ and the Arlington Circuit Court are secure.
- The architecture enables filers to work even when the court systems are offline. Filings and transactions will be queued and processed once court systems are restored and back online.
Serving Permitted via Paper or Electronically
As set forth in Rule 1:17 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the parties may agree, or the Court may order upon a showing of good cause, that service of any document required to be served after the initial service can be effectuated in any manner provided in Rule 1:12.
- TrueFiling™ automatically tracks when a document is served and when the receiving party opens the document.
- The word “YES” will appear in the Service Recipients screen when service is obtained and also when a document is viewed by the recipient.
All documents filed electronically must conform with applicable Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court and the Virginia Code. Rule 1:17(d)(4) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia requires that all electronic documents must be filed in PDF format.
To facilitate proper placement of electronic documents in the Court’s case file, each filing or pleading must be a separate PDF document. For example, while a motion, notice of motion, memorandum in support, and proposed order can be filed in a single transaction, each must be filed as a single document.
When initiating a case electronically, the complaint and all associated exhibits must be uploaded as a single PDF document. Exhibits should not be filed as separate, individual PDF documents.
Page or Size Limits on Electronic Documents
Each document filed electronically cannot be larger than 5 MB. If you document remains larger than 5 MB after rescanning in Black and White and at 300 dpi resolution, the document will need to be filed in paper with the Clerk’s Office.
There is no limitation to the number of documents that can be filed in a single transaction, as long as each individual document is 5 MB or less.
Electronic Filing Fees
Fees are subject to review and change by the Court without notice and will be waived as required by law, including for any party permitted by the Court to proceed without payment of fees and costs.
Statutory fees will be charged for cases that are initiated electronically. In addition to the statutory fees, initial filings that require service will incur an additional $5 fee per service recipient.
At this time, for cases that have been initiated electronically or in paper, there is no fee to file and serve subsequent documents electronically using TrueFiling™.
Reviewing Case Files
The Clerk will no longer maintain paper files for active cases pending in the Circuit Court. Electronic case files can be reviewed at public kiosks located in the Clerk’s office on the Sixth Floor. In addition, secure remote access to court records is available by subscription to attorneys licensed by the Virginia State Bar or admitted pro hac vice.
Obtain a Copy of a Document
Filers utilizing TrueFiling™ will be able to print a copy of documents served electronically at no cost. In addition, attorneys that have enrolled in secure remote access, will be able to print non-confidential civil and criminal case files using the TrueFiling™ system. Printed copies of electronic documents also can be obtained at the Clerk’s office. Copies cost $0.50 per page. Certified copies of any record can be obtained in the Clerk’s office for a fee of $2.00, plus $0.50 per page.