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Writ granted in Gloucester appeal

Virginia Beach appellate specialist Steve Emmert won’t have to drive to Richmond tomorrow to make a 10-minute argument after all.

He was notified this morning that the Supreme Court of Virginia has agreed to hear his appeal of sanctions awarded against 40 Gloucester County residents without the need for oral argument before a three-justice writ panel.

The residents had petitioned for removal of four county supervisors. Circuit Judge Westbrook Parker allowed the group to nonsuit its petition but imposed sanctions of $2,000 each, saying the petition was a misuse of the judicial system.

“The trial court employed the sanctions statute in an improper and even unconstitutional manner, ignoring the protections of the Petition Clause,” Emmert wrote in his petition for appeal. The case is Johnson v. Woodard, Record No. 092323.

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