Circuit Court Clerk

The Clerk of the Circuit Court is one of the five “constitutional officers” created by the Virginia Constitution. 02circuit2 As constitutional officers perform vital services for the public, they are elected by popular vote and are directly accountable to the citizens.  Clerks of Circuit Court have an eight year term of office.  Efficient and reliable operation of the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office is critical to maintaining a favorable business climate in Smyth County.



InformationThe Clerk of the Circuit Court, charged under Virginia law with more than 800 statutory duties, is elected by the citizens of Smyth County as the chief operating officer of the Circuit Court.  The current clerk, John H. Graham, has served since 2010, having been elected then to complete the unexpired term of Jimmy L. Warren.

Circuit Court Clerks in Virginia perform duties that in many other states are divided among three or four separate offices.  

Among the clerk’s more prominent responsibilities is to provide administrative support for all courtroom proceedings.  The clerk creates and maintains all court files and records, maintains the court’s docket, preserves evidence, trains and summonses jurors, prepares court orders for all criminal cases, issues arrest and other legal documents to be served, and collects court costs, fines, and restitution.

The clerk serves as an initial probate judge who determines the validity of wills, identifies heirs, and helps fiduciaries become acquainted with their duties in administering estates.

The clerk serves as the county's register of deeds and, as such, is responsible for recording deeds, deeds of trust, surveys, powers of attorney, judgments, and other documents related to land.  

The clerk processes concealed handgun permits, marriage licenses, notary appointments, ministers’ bonds, trade names for businesses, oaths for various local officials, and financing statements.

Finally, the clerk acts as the county archivist, maintaining many of the most important local records dating back to the founding of Smyth County in 1832.  Given the singular uniqueness of these local documents, records management is a critical responsibility of the clerk.

Virginia Freedom of Information Act

Please contact John Graham concerning any VFOIA request.  It is recommended, though not required, that VFOIA requests be made in writing. Requests can be made in person, by phone, by mail, or electronically. It is not necessary to specify the reason for your request. However, you must provide your name and legal address. 

Learn More About VFOIA
To review the FOIA policy of the Smyth County Circuit Court Clerk's Office, click HERE. To read the Virginia Freedom of Information Act online, click HERE. More information about FOIA may be found through the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council.

John H. Graham, Clerk
Smyth County Circuit Court
109 West Main Street, Suite 1081
Marion, Virginia 24354
(276) 782-4044
(276) 782-4045 (fax)
Payments Please visit: if you would like to make an online payment.

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