Shortage of Clerks at Crisis Level in Virginia’s District Courts

Clerks Office

If staffing levels aren’t brought up some district courts across the state may have to shorten the hours that customer service desks are open. That would make it more difficult for people to file cases or pay fines.  (Credit Mallory Noe-Payne)

Roughly three million cases a year run through Virginia’s General District Courts. Everything from traffic tickets to homicides.

But according to state staffing models, more than half of those courts are under-staffed. That includes large counties like Fairfax, Chesapeake and Henrico – but also smaller courts in Smyth, Carroll and Rockingham Counties.

Mallory Noe-Payne visited one of those understaffed courts to learn about the impact.

Earlier this fall the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia stood before lawmakers pleading. He was asking for more money so courts across the state could hire more clerks.

According to his office, more than half of the state’s district courts are under-staffed. And that could impact everything from people’s credit to jail-time.

Mallory Noe-Payne has this look at why Virginia’s courts are short staffed and what lawmakers can do about it.

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