The Virginia Court of Appeals provides appellate review of final decisions of the circuit courts in domestic relations matters, appeals from a decision of an administrative agency, traffic infractions, and criminal cases (unless a death sentence has been imposed). This court also reviews appeals from the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. Appeals of criminal, traffic, concealed weapons permit, and certain preliminary rulings in felony cases are requested by a petition of appeal. All other appeals are granted as a matter of right.
The Court of Appeals has original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, and habeas corpus in any case over which the court would have appellate jurisdiction, and writs of innocence based on non-biological evidence.
Decisions of the Court of Appeals are final in matters involving traffic infractions and misdemeanor cases where there is no incarceration imposed, in domestic relations matters, and in cases originating before administrative agencies or the Worker’s Compensation Commission. In any other case, the decision of the Court of Appeals may be appealed to the Supreme Court of Virginia via petition for appeal.
The Court of Appeals has eleven judges that sit in panels of at least three judges. The membership of these panels is rotated. The court sits in locations that the chief judge designates to provide convenient access to the various geographic areas of Virginia.