The following electronic information for Fourth Circuit cases is available through remote electronic access on PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records):
- Dockets for cases opened after January 1, 1987
- Documents filed after June 1, 2008, with the exception of appendices
- Appendices filed after October 1, 2012
Sealed and Restricted Documents: Sealed documents and party filings in immigration and social security cases are not available on PACER for privacy reasons.
Fees for PACER Documents: PACER access charges are $.10 per page, with a $3 upper limit on charges for most documents. The PACER Service Center bills users each quarter if quarterly charges exceed $15. There is no charge for quarterly usage of less than $15. PACER fees are not charged for court-appointed work, and counsel should use a fee-exempt account for court-appointed work.
Electronic information can also be accessed through the public access computer terminal in the clerk's office. Party filings in immigration and social security cases are available from the public access terminal, though sealed documents are not. No fee is charged for viewing information at the clerk's office public access terminal, but a $.10 per page fee is charged for any copies printed from the public access terminal.
The clerk's office can provide copies, or certified copies, of documents from the court's electronic docket. To request copies from the clerk's office:
- Contact Clerk's Office: Call (804) 916-2700, send an email from the Contact page, or write to the clerk's office at 1100 East Main Street, Suite 501, Richmond, VA 23219. Identify the documents you need by case number and docket entry number or document title and filed date. The clerk's office will notify you regarding the availability of the documents and the total cost.
- Copy Costs: The clerk's office charges $.50 per page for copies. Certified copies can be provided at an additional cost of $11 for certification of the document. Persons and programs providing services authorized under the Criminal Justice Act are not charged fees.
- Submit Copy Request and Payment: Submit the Copy Request Form, with exact payment by cash or check to “Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals,” at 1100 East Main Street, Suite 501, Richmond, VA 23219. The copy request may also be submitted online and payment made by credit card through CM/ECF. See Pay Fees by Credit Card. Payment must be received before the copies are provided.
Documents that are not available in electronic form may be retrieved from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Philadelphia Federal Records Center, after obtaining the requisite accession information from the clerk's office.
For fee exempt requests from the United States, Federal Defenders, or CJA counsel, the clerk's office will contact NARA and retrieve the archived document on behalf of the requestor. Fee exempt requests for archived documents may be submitted using the Fourth Circuit Copy Request Form.
Contact Clerk's Office:Call (804) 916-2700, send an email from the Contact page, or write to the Fourth Circuit Clerk's Office at 1100 East Main Street, Suite 501, Richmond, VA 23219. Identify whether you want the case file (containing appellate motions, responses, orders, and opinions), the briefs (containing appellate arguments), or the appendices (containing portions of the district court record).
Obtain Accession Information: The clerk's office will provide you with National Archives Form 93, the court's public docket sheet, and the accession information you need to request the case file, briefs, or appendix volumes from the National Archives. You will need to provide the following information on the form:
- State Where Case Filed: Virginia
- Court Location: Fourth Circuit, Richmond VA
- Case Name: (from public docket)
- Case Number: (from public docket)
- Transfer Number: (provided by clerk's office)
- Box Number: (provided by clerk's office)
Briefs and appendices in cases from 1984 to 1991 were sent to the National Archives in Microfiche format. For these cases, the clerk's office will provide you with the Box Number and with "10/03/2011 Microfiche Transfer" as the Transfer Number.
Order Case Files or Briefs and Appendices from National Archives:
Complete National Archives Form 93
and enclose the public docket sheet, on which you have identified any specific documents needed. Enclose payment as indicated on the form and mail or fax your request to the Archives:
- Via Mail: NARA, Philadelphia Federal Records Center, 14700 Townsend Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154-1025
- Via Fax: (215) 305-2038
Contact Information for NARA, Philadelphia Federal Records Center: