Fairfax Circuit Court

The Fairfax Circuit Court serves both Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. It is Virginia's 19th Judicial Circuit.

The court does not serve the City of Falls Church, which instead is served by Virginia's 17th Judicial Circuit.

List of Judges


From 1902 until 1973, Fairfax County was part of Virginia's 16th Judicial Circuit, which initially included Alexandria, Fairfax, and Prince William counties and the City of Alexandria.

Judge J. B. T. Thornton was judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit from September 1907 to August 1918, when he resigned due to ill health.[1][2]

On August 29, 1918, Governor Westmoreland Davis announced the appointment of Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney Samuel G. Brent to the bench.[3] Judge Brent would sit on the bench until his death on May 6, 1928.[4]

Howard W. Smith, judge of the Alexandria Corporation Court, was appointed by Governor Harry Flood Byrd to replace Judge Brent on July 20, 1928.[5] Smith resigned from the bench to run for Congress in April, 1930.[6]

On April 19, 1930, Walter T. McCarthy was appointed judge of the 16th Circuit Court by Governor John Garland Pollard.[7]

In 1944, the Virginia General Assembly created the 35th Circuit for Arlington, and former Judge McCarthy was elected to the bench of that court on February 29, while Commonwealth's Attorney Paul E. Brown was elected as judge of the 16th Circuit.[8]

Arthur W. Sinclair was elected to the bench of the 16th Circuit Court by the Virginia General Assembly on March 9, 1950, defeating Trial Justice Court Judge Harry L. Carrico.[9]

On February 13, 1956, Harry L. Carrico was elected to a newly-created seat on the bench of the 16th Circuit Court.[10]

The judicial restructuring that took place on July 1, 1973 separated the City of Alexandria into its own judicial circuit, the 18th. The 19th Judicial Circuit served Fairfax and Prince William Counties, as well as the cities of Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park.[11]


  1. "JUDGE THORNTON RESIGNS HIS POST." The Washington Post (1877-1922): 3. Aug 08 1918. ProQuest. Web. 6 Sep. 2017.
  2. "JUDGE J.B. THORNTON DEAD." The Washington Post (1877-1922): 5. Oct 11 1918. ProQuest. Web. 6 Sep. 2017.
  3. "NEWS OF ALEXANDRIA." The Washington Post (1877-1922): 3. Aug 30 1918. ProQuest. Web. 6 Sep. 2017.
  4. "JUDGE BRENT DIES WHEN STRICKEN BY ACUTE INDIGESTION." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 2. May 07 1928. ProQuest. Web. 6 Sep. 2017.
  5. "H.W. SMITH NAMED JUDGE OF SIXTEENTH CIRCUIT OF VIRGINIA." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 2. Jul 21 1928. ProQuest. Web. 6 Sep. 2017.
  6. "ALEXANDRIA JUDGE TO RUN FOR HOUSE." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 24. Jan 14 1930. ProQuest. Web. 6 Sep. 2017.
  7. "Walter T. McCarthy at 32 Appointed to Virginia Bench." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 1. Apr 20 1930. ProQuest. Web. 6 Sep. 2014.
  8. "Legislature Names McCarthy to New Judgeship in Arlington." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 2. Mar 01 1944. ProQuest. Web. 5 Sep. 2014.
  9. "2 New Virginia Area Judges Received Law Schooling here." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 23. Mar 10 1950. ProQuest. Web. 15 Sep. 2014.
  10. "Hosmer, Carrico Voted to Bench." The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959): 18. Feb 14 1956. ProQuest. Web. 15 Sep. 2014.
  11. "Va. Court Changes Near." Evening Star, 11 Jun. 1973, NIGHT FINAL, p. 38. NewsBank. Accessed 3 Jan. 2018.

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