has been updated with data from 2020. There are now more than 38 million case records available for bulk download.

And bulk court data collection is over

UPDATE: The state is still running the other websites that make bulk collection possible — so I will continue.

I was shocked to see this tweet today… I had no idea this was in the works. I quickly browsed to the court’s website where, as promised, I found OCIS 2.0.

The updated website allows users to quickly search a single name across almost every court in Virginia, eliminating the need for, a website I built in 2014 that allowed a name to be searched across all 118 circuit courts.

Additionally, OCIS 2.0 no longer supports hearing date searches…

I’m excited to announce that 2018 case data has been published to

District court data from 2009 has also been published. It was my hope to collect district court data going back to 2007, but I found that data older than 2009 is not available on the website.

6,133,208 new cases were added, bringing the total number of cases available for bulk download to 33,529,018.

Earlier this year, I got an email from someone who suspected that the data contained duplicate cases. Unfortunately, his suspicion was correct. There were duplicate cases in all four types of courts — criminal…

Unfortunately, my work may still be useful

Yesterday, HB 780 went into effect. Here’s a summary —

Public access to nonconfidential court records. Provides that a clerk of court or the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court shall make nonconfidential court records or reports of aggregated, nonconfidential case data available to the public upon request.

There’s no question that this is a win for transparency. I’ve been advocating for the General Assembly to enact a law like this one so that I wouldn’t need to collect and distribute court data anymore. …

Update #2: On April 17th, 2018, the district court data files were updated after Ned Oliver from the Richmond Times-Dispatch discovered missing cases from Norfolk’s data. The issue was that in early 2017, the district court combined Norfolk’s criminal, traffic, and civil courts, i.e. they stopped using FIPS codes 711, 712, and 713 and began using 710. All data from 710 has now been collected and posted — nearly 80,000 more cases, bring the total number of cases to 27,395,810.

Update: Data is collected and uploaded to the website. A total of 27,315,903 cases are now available.

The scrapers began…

A second look at speeding in Virginia

Once again, a thread on the Norfolk subreddit has prompted a look into speeding charges in Virginia’s court data. In my story from last year, I identified the counties and cities where drivers are most likely to be ticketed for speeding. Now it’s time to answer the more popular question: how far over the speed limit is it “safe” to drive? Once again, the data back up the conventional wisdom.

The odds of getting a ticket for going 8 mph over — regardless of the speed limit — are virtually zero and, in most cases, it’s safe to go up…

In the 2017 session of the General Assembly, HB 1794 aimed to make the state’s case information website searchable across all localities and to make “the entire compilation of records contained therein…available upon request”. While the bill did not become law, the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) did generate an impact statement which estimated the cost of this work to be more than $1.6 million.

HB 1794 Fiscal Impact Statement

Many people are incredulous that it would cost so much to add a feature this insignificant. As a software engineer, I wonder what technical challenges could justify this cost and how much the existing…

Data quality is important. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Virginia’s lower courts do much to keep their data clean. I‘m going to go over some of the inconsistencies that I’ve found, starting with names. Here’s an example.

This individual has at least five unique spellings of his name. Middle name, punctuation, and generational designation inconsistencies like this are common throughout the court data. Misspellings are also fairly common, like the city name in this example. If you want to group cases by individual, a simple group by name approach won’t produce a great result. I’ve come up with a more…

🎉 🎉 🎉

Download them at!

12 years of circuit criminal cases (2005–2016)

12 years of circuit civil cases (2005–2016)

7 years of district criminal / traffic cases (2010–2016)

2 years of district civil cases (2015–2016)

I make Virginia court case information available, in bulk. Twitter: @oilytheotter

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