Retrieval of Archived Case Documents


Paper copies of case files and briefs prior to 2008 and paper copies of appendices filed prior to 2012 may be requested by contacting the clerk's office at (804) 916-2700. The court maintains paper documents on site until the case has been finally disposed of and the time for filing a petition for certiorari has expired. Paper documents are then retired to the National Archives and Records Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Case Files, Briefs, and Appendices on File with the Court:

Copies of paper case files, briefs, or appendices that are still located at the court may be obtained from the clerk’s office by identifying the documents needed and paying the $.50 per page copy rate contained in the Miscellaneous Fee Schedule. Payment may be made by cash or check to “Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals,” or by credit card through CM/ECF, and must be received before the copies are provided. You may wish to review the case docket to properly identify the documents you need. See Copy Request Form for further details. Copies of case files, briefs, and appendices may also be obtained through the local printing companies, for which the clerk's office can provide contact information.

Case Files, Briefs, and Appendices at the Philadelphia National Archives and Records Center:

Case files, briefs, and appendices that have been retired to the National Archives and Records Center in Philadelphia receive accession numbers (consisting of a transfer number and box number) for use in later retrieval of the document. The accession number for cases that have been retired within the past 15 years may be obtained from the clerk's office by calling (804) 916-2700. For cases retired more than 15 years ago, contact the National Archives directly at (215) 305-2044. Case files (containing appellate motions, responses, and orders) are retired separately from briefs and appendices (containing written arguments and record excerpts). Therefore, you must identify whether you want the (1) case file or (2) briefs and appendix. Once you have the proper accession number, you may obtain the documents in either of the following ways:

Certified Copies:

Certified copies of court records can be obtained either from the court or from the Records Center or Archives.  The court's fee for certifying documents is $11.

Contact Information

  • Clerk's Office, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

    1100 East Main Street, Suite 501
    Richmond, VA 23219
    Phone: (804) 916-2700

  • National Archives and Records Center

    NARA-Mid Atlantic Region
    14700 Townsend Road
    Philadelphia, PA 19154-1025
    Phone: (215) 305-2000 (Records Center)
    (215) 305-2020 (National Archives Research Room Staff)
    Fax: (215) 305-2039


rev. 12/01/2013