COVID-19 Emergency Procedures
Please see the November 23, 2020, Loudoun Circuit Court Transition Plan (PDF) and April 29, 2020, Order Establishing Temporary Hearing Procedures (PDF) before filing your praecipe.
Criminal Scheduling Docket:
Scheduling of criminal trials and motions for uncontested continuances will occur on:
- the grand jury return date at 2:00 p.m. (either by direct scheduling on an indictment return or by the filing of a Criminal Scheduling Praecipe); or
- on scheduling dockets specially set by the Court (i.e. jury trial scheduling dockets following approval of the jury trial resumption plan).
A Criminal Scheduling Praecipe approved by the Court is available at the Clerk’s office and is online below. Except for cases set for trial at return on indictment, the Criminal Scheduling Praecipe must be filed with the Clerk at least 10 days prior to scheduling. Absent prior leave of Court, and unless otherwise ordered, all scheduling is conducted by telephone at the following number: 571-258-3708. Counsel and self-represented parties are expected to call in and remain in the telephone queue until their call is answered.
Thursday Criminal Docket Procedures:
Criminal matters will be scheduled every Thursday according to the following structure:
|9:00 a.m.||Misdemeanor Appeals|
|10:00 a.m.||Pleas; Pleas Combined with Sentencing; Pleas Combined with Revocations|
|1:00 p.m.||Sentencings, Revocations and Criminal Motions|
Misdemeanor Appeals will be directly scheduled on any Thursday at 9:00 a.m. by the District Courts at the time of the appeal, but no earlier than 21 days and not later than 60 days after the appeal date. No witnesses will be required to be subpoenaed on the first misdemeanor appeal date; the first date will be for discussion between parties/counsel; possible proposed agreed dispositions; and necessary further scheduling. For misdemeanor appeals that cannot be resolved short of trial, for efficiency of scheduling counsel and self-represented parties are encouraged to communicate in advance regarding time estimates for trial.
At least 7 days prior to the scheduled hearing, parties may file a Criminal Docket Praecipe to docket a plea. For all felony guilty pleas, the parties must also file:
- A written plea form or agreement, or both;
- A detailed, written proffer of facts;
- If applicable, initialed copies of proposed amendments to warrants/indictments;
- If applicable, a waiver of indictment signed by the defendant; and
- If applicable, a Certification of Compliance with the Crime Victim and Witness rights Act (Virginia Code §19.2-11.01).
Sentencings and Revocation hearings will be docketed by the court and not by criminal docket praecipe. Any character letters, reference letters, exhibits, sentencing guidelines, restitution orders, and/or victim impact statements to be offered as an exhibit/evidence must be first discussed and/or provided to opposing counsel and filed with the Clerk at least 7 days prior to hearing.
All motions are to be placed on the Thursday Motions docket at 1:00 p.m. by Criminal Docket praecipe. Motions are limited to 20 minutes total. Should a party believe argument and ruling on a motion will exceed 20 minutes, a time estimate shall be noted on the Criminal Docket Praecipe. Motions exceeding 20 minutes may be specially set in the discretion of the presiding judge.
Praecipes, Motions and any corresponding briefs must be filed 14 days prior to the scheduled hearing. Motions are limited to 3 pages. A motion shall concisely set forth only the facts relied upon and the relief requested (i.e. no authority). If a motion relies on legal authority, briefs must accompany the motion, and shall be limited to 5 pages. If the motion is contested, responses to motion must be filed, shall be limited to 5 pages, and shall be filed at least 7 days prior to the scheduled motion. The Court may permit deviations from the above page limits upon motion for good cause shown.
The Praecipe, Motion and Brief should be filed with the Clerk and shall be simultaneously sent by PDF transmission to the Loudoun Circuit Court Lead Staff Attorney. The parties may submit joint written stipulations applicable to the motion.
Defense counsel shall ensure that copies of all documents (in the most current version) reasonably expected to be referenced during the hearing are provided to the defendant for reference. This applies to detained defendants as well as those at liberty.
Defendants not in custody must appear in-person. Defendants in custody will appear remotely unless otherwise ordered by the Court.
Counsel, witnesses, interpreters, court reporters, victim witness services personnel, victims, probation officers, and members of the press are strongly encouraged, but not required, to appear remotely. Any individual attending in-person must comply with the Health and Social Distancing Standards.
Due to volume, the Court sua sponte may reassign proposed criminal matters to another Thursday.