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 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.
  • Involves scanning paper documents for the electronic case file
  • Offers electronic filing to the counsel of record

Civil Cases

Project Paperless enables counsel of record to file electronically into all active civil 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.

Criminal Cases

Enables counsel of record to file electronically into all active criminal cases in the Arlington County Circuit Court.

Secure Remote Access – Phase III – coming soon

Licensed attorneys will have secure remote access to both civil and criminal case files in which they are counsel of record. Electronic certification of court documents will also be available.

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.

Once a document is filed using TrueFiling™, an electronic confirmation is transmitted to the filing party if they have opted to receive emails from TrueFiling™. The Clerk will also transmit electronic acknowledgement of receipt once a filing has been accepted by the Clerk to those filers who have opted in to receive emails from TrueFiling™.

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 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, Micro Soft 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.


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.

Current fees:

  • Filing and service of any document bundle: $15
  • Filing only/no service: $9
  • Service only: $6

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 and in the Law Library in the Courthouse Lobby.

Kiosks are on the 10th floor of the Judicial Center

Secure remote access to court records for counsel of record is anticipated in the fall of 2013.

Documents that are required to be maintained by Court Rules or statute in original form will be maintained by the Clerk.

Obtain a Copy of a Document

Filers utilizing TrueFiling™ will be able to print a copy of documents served electronically. Printed copies of electronic documents also can be obtained at the Clerk’s office. Copies of electronic records will be charged at the same rate as paper copies:

  • $0.50 per page.

Certified copies of any record, electronic or paper, can be obtained in the Clerk’s office:

  • $2.50 per document.