Project Paperless

eFile using TrueFiling™ 

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.

Project Paperless:

  • 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, regardless of the case filing date. However, case initiation documents must still be filed in paper form in the Clerk’s Office, including complaints, petitions, counterclaims and reinstatements.
  • Allows secure remote access to attorneys licensed by the Virginia State Bar.

Civil and Criminal Cases

Project Paperless enables counsel of record to file electronically into all active civil and criminal cases in the Arlington County Circuit Court using TrueFiling™ and OnBase™ as the electronic filing and records management platforms. Paper case files are no longer used for active cases and are replaced by electronic case files in both civil and criminal cases.

Secure Remote Access – Available January 5, 2015

Effective January 5, 2015, Arlington County Circuit Court will provide 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 County Circuit Court qualify for secure remote access. Qualified parties must complete a subscriber agreement, an application and pay an annual subscription fee (the fee will be waived for attorneys that are current employees of Arlington County, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or Legal Services of Northern Virginia) to gain access to the files. The subscriber agreement, application, and credit card authorization forms are available below. In addition, paper copies of the application and user agreement will be available from the Clerk’s Office.

Authorized secure remote access users include the subscriber, any attorney in the subscriber’s law firm that is licensed by the Virginia State Bar, and any non-attorney support staff working under the immediate supervision of subscriber or any attorney licensed by the Virginia State Bar in subscriber’s law firm. Attorneys in subscriber’s law firm that are not licensed by the Virginia State Bar are prohibited from using secure remote access.

Electronic Filing

Access to TrueFiling™ for 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.

Every attorney who intends to use TrueFiling™ for electronic filing in the Arlington Circuit Court must register as an authorized TrueFiling™ user and receive a unique username and password.

Attorneys also may also register others in their firm (e.g., paralegals or legal assistants) as contacts who should have electronic service in that case. At this time, pro se parties cannot file using TrueFiling™.


The Clerk’s Office provides TrueFiling™ training on request to attorneys and their staff.  Contact Christina Dietrich at 703-228-4378.

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.

Eligible Documents and Filings

Any document that pertains to an active civil or criminal case pending in the Arlington Circuit Court that does not require payment of a statutory filing fee at the time of filing may be filed and served electronically.

Documents subject to a statutory fee must be filed in paper form in the Clerk’s office during regular business hours (M-F 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). For example, an initial petition or complaint, a counterclaim, or a request to reinstate or reopen an inactive case, must be filed in paper form.

Subsequent filings, including motions, pleas in bar, and discovery, can be filed and served electronically.

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.

  •  If the party being served has signed up for TrueFiling™, you may serve a document that has not been filed with the Court using the “Serve Only” filing option.
  • 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.

Although TrueFiling™ will accept documents in Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (doc and docx) and TIFF formats, 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.

TrueFiling™ enables documents to be filed in bundles. Information regarding bundling is available at

To facilitate proper placement of electronic documents in the Court’s case file, each document, whether filed alone or as part of a bundle, must be a separate PDF document. For example, while a motion, notice of motion, memorandum in support, any exhibits, and any proposed order can be bundled as a single filing, each must be filed as a single document.

Page or Size Limits on Electronic Documents

Each document filed electronically cannot be larger than 10 MB.

There is no limitation to the number of documents that can be filed as a bundle, as long as each individual document is 10 MB or less.

Procedural Rules

Attorneys using TrueFiling™ in the Arlington Circuit Court must enter into a user agreement with the vendor, ImageSoft, Inc. for use of the TrueFiling™ product. In addition to that agreement, which governs terms of use of the software itself, electronic filing in the Arlington County Circuit Court will be governed by Rules 1:17, 3:3, 3A:23, and all other applicable Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Title 17.1, Chapter 2, Article 4.1 of the Code of Virginia 1950, as amended, the Circuit Court’s Order Governing Electronic Filing entered on June 25, 2013 and all other applicable rules of Court and laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia governing filings with a Circuit Court.

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.

At this time, there is no fee to file and serve 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 will be available to attorneys licensed by the Virginia State Bar or admitted pro hac vice starting January 5, 2015.

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 or via secure remote access for a fee of $2.50 per document.