Clerk of the Circuit Court

Court Jurisdiction

The Circuit Courts are trial courts which have jurisdiction over civil claims, criminal cases, equity suits and appeals. Other services provided by the Clerk's Offices include recording deeds, deeds of trust, leases, plats, financial statements, judgments, tax liens, releases, partnerships and charters; assisting in the location of information in public records, applications; issuing marriage licenses, proof of services, and subpoenas; administering oaths of office for Notary Publics, County officials and bonds when required; probating wills, qualifying executors and administrators of estates, certifying allowance of court appointed attorney, releasing deeds of trusts, judgments and mechanic's liens; and receiving and recording court fines and costs for James City County and the City of Williamsburg.

The Clerk's Office accepts e-recordings for land records through Simplifile and CSC.


For in-person transactions, our office accepts cash, certified checks, money orders, credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover) and Apple Pay.

The Clerk's Office now accepts online payments for Court fines, costs and restitution. Payments are accepted 24-hours a day; however, payment must be received by 7 p.m. in order to be credited the same day.

Excess Funds List

Liability Report (PDF)

Municipal Ordinances

Local code of ordinances are available for Williamsburg and James City County online through Municode. Please search by jurisdiction.

Virginia | Municode Library

Freedom of Information Act

For FOIA request, please contact Elizabeth O’Connor.

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Virginia Code, Title 2.2, Chapter 37, does not apply to the records maintained by the clerks of the courts of record (Circuit Courts). Instead, records maintained by the Clerk of Circuit Court are public records under Virginia Code, Title 17.1, which allows public access to non-confidential records. 

For the limited records which may be subject to disclosure under the Virginia FOIA, the Clerk of Circuit Court’s office follows the requirements of the Virginia Code, including charging 50 cents per page or image for copies or scans. FOIA allows the office to charge for the actual costs of responding to FOIA requests such as staff time researching records. If estimated costs exceed $200, a deposit may be required. If money is owed from a previous FOIA request that has remained unpaid for more than 30 days, the Clerk’s office may require payment of the past-due bill before it will respond to your new FOIA request.

Please submit your FOIA request  in writing, either by mail or electronically. It is not required to specify the reason for your request; however, a name and legal address must be provided.

Hours & Observances

The Circuit Court Clerk's Office and record room closes to the public at 4 p.m. If you need a marriage license or a concealed handgun permit please come to the office no later than 3:45 p.m. to accomplish this. This will allow the staff 30 minutes of uninterrupted work time.

View our Portable Electronic Device Policy (PDF).

Holiday Closures

The Circuit Court Clerk's Office is closed for all federal and state holidays. Please check our Holiday Closures list for those dates.