Q. What is the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals?
There are twelve regional circuits in the federal judiciary system, including the District of Columbia Circuit, and each one has a United States court of appeals. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit hears appeals from the district courts in the states of Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. There are nine federal district courts located within the Fourth Circuit. The court also hears appeals from federal administrative agencies, such as the Benefits Review Board. The court is headquartered and normally hears oral arguments in Richmond, Virginia. The court also hears arguments at various law schools within the circuit on a periodic basis.
Q. Is this court the same as the Court of Appeals of Virginia?
No. The Court of Appeals of Virginia is a state appellate court for the Commonwealth of Virginia. This court is a federal appellate court.
The Court of Appeals of Virginia can be reached at (804) 371-8428.
The address is 109 North 8th Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
Q: Where can I find a list of the court's judges?
Fourth Circuit Judges and their biographies
Historical Listing of Judges by Commission Date
Q: How do I get to the courthouse?
Directions and other travel information
Q: What can I bring to the courthouse?
All visitors will pass through security before entering the courthouse or annex building and will be directed through metal detectors. All items will be screened in x-ray machines. Weapons are prohibited in any federal court facility. The court has an Electronic Device Policy which should be reviewed prior to your arrival to minimize inconvenience. Visitors are prohibited from bringing electronic devices into the courthouse or annex building. During court week only, lawyers and their staff may possess electronic devices, other than those that serve only as cameras or audio recorders. If you have any questions, please contact the clerk's office.
Q. How many cases are filed with this court?
The court receives about 5,000 new cases each year. More information about the court's caseload can be found here: Statistics
Q. How many cases does the court schedule for oral argument?
The Court hears oral argument in about 450 cases each year.
Q. How often does the Court grant rehearing en banc?
Under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 35(b), a petition for rehearing en banc must begin with a statement that either (1) the panel decision conflicts with a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court or the Fourth Circuit; or (2) the proceeding involves a question of exceptional importance (for example it conflicts with authoritative decisions of other circuits). The Court grants rehearing en banc in approximately 0.2% of the cases in which it is requested.
Q. What percentage of opinions does the court publish?
The court publishes opinions in about 50% of cases heard at oral argument. The court issues unpublished opinions in all cases submitted on the briefs. Overall, approximately 89% of the court's opinions are unpublished.
Q: Where can I find more information about the federal court system?
Federal Courts (uscourts.gov)
Inside the Federal Courts (Federal Judicial Center)