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Elliott (Richard) v. Commonwealth

In a proceeding remanded by the U.S. Supreme Court involving the constitutionality of Virginia's cross-burning statute, Code &#167 18.2-423, it is held that the prima facie evidence provision of the statute is unconstitutionally overbroad under the First Amendment and Article I, &#167 12 of the Constitution of Virginia. The statute is severable and the core provisions of the statute that remain are constitutional. The convictions of two defendants for cross burning are affirmed. (Revised 3/9/04)

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Spero v. Heath

The trial court abused its discretion in determining that a name change was in the best interests of a minor child, where the child is in the mother's custody, lives with the mother and bears her surname. The natural father petitioned the court to change the child's surname to his own. The judgment is reversed, the name change order is vacated, and the petition is dismissed.

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Shipman v. Kruck

A cause of action for legal malpractice accrued at the time of the attorney's breach, subject to the continuous representation rule. Therefore, the plaintiffs had three years from the end of the attorney's representation of them in which to file their claim. Since the action was commenced almost three years and eight months later, the trial court did not err in granting the defendant's plea in bar of the statute of limitations. The judgment is affirmed. (Revised 3/31/04)

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Kingsbur v. Commonwealth

The trial court correctly concluded that, in spite of its being in a state of disrepair, a handgun that was found in the defendant's possession was a firearm for purposes of Code &#167 18.2-308.2 and did not err in refusing to grant the defendant's motion to strike the evidence supporting his conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The judgment of the Court of Appeals upholding the defendant's conviction is affirmed.

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Elliott (Larry) v. Commonwealth

The automatic review of defendant's death sentence is consolidated with appeal of his capital murder and other non-capital convictions. Upon considering the issues raised by the defendant and conducting the mandated review of the imposition of the death penalty in this case, no error is found in the judgment of the trial court. The judgment and the sentence of death are affirmed. (Revised 3/31/04)

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King George Serv. Authority v. Presidential Servic

The circuit court was correct in specifically enforcing an agreement for the purchase of a private water company's existing water system by a county service authority under an agreement ratified by the authority's board, but erred in directing the authority to purchase other water and sewer system facilities because there was no resolution of the authority's board authorizing or ratifying a further agreement. The decree is affirmed in part and reversed in part.

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Harrison-Wyatt LLC v. Ratliff

The trial court correctly ruled that where a surface owner of a tract of land, or his predecessor-in-title, has conveyed all the coal in and under his land, title to the coal bed methane gas in the tract has not passed to the coal owner along with the coal. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. (Revised 4/1/04)

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Commonwealth v. Duncan

The Court of Appeals erred in reversing a circuit court's holding that a defendant's acts and omissions in the care of his six-month- old son were "so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life" under Code &#167 18.2-371.1. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed and the defendant's conviction for child abuse and neglect is reinstated in accordance with the circuit court's judgment order.

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Gambrell v. City of Norfolk

In a personal injury action involving a "slip and fall" accident on snow and ice in a municipal parking lot, the evidence was sufficient to support the circuit court's decision sustaining the city's special plea of sovereign immunity since the action related to governmental functions after a major snow storm.

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Washington v. United Parcel Service

In a workers' compensation appeal, the Court of Appeals erred in addressing an issue of causal connection that was not properly before that court and not properly before the Commission. As a result, there was no basis for concluding that the claimant would be unjustly enriched by receiving benefits to which he was not entitled. A prior award of benefits remains valid, and the refusal to assess a 20% penalty was error. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings. (Revised 3/8/04)

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The Dunbar Group LLC v. Tignor

In litigation involving the requested expulsion of a member of a limited liability company and an application for judicial dissolution of that entity, the trial court's judgment is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and final judgment is entered.

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Wright v. Kaye

In a medical malpractice action, the trial court erred in striking the plaintiff's expert witnesses and granting summary judgment for the defendant doctor. The court also erred in failing to grant certain in limine motions to exclude the discussions about risks of surgery and to bar certain hearsay statements. Other in limine motions were correctly decided. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings.

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Lewis v. Commonwealth

No error is found in a review of the sentences of death imposed upon defendant after her guilty plea to charges of capital murder for hire in violation of Code &#167 18.2-31(2), robbery and related firearms offenses. There is no reason to commute the death sentences, and the judgment of the circuit court is affirmed.

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Beck v. Shelton

The trial court did not err in concluding that members-elect of a public body are not "members" under the plain language of The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and that a neighborhood street gathering was not a "meeting" under the FOIA, but did err in concluding that the e-mail communications used in this case constituted a "meeting" under the FOIA. The judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part, and final judgment is entered. (Revised 4/1/04)

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Bates v. Commonwealth

In a wrongful death action against the Commonwealth under the Virginia Tort Claims Act, a notice of claim naming a university medical center was sufficient to comply with the requirements of Code &#167 8.01-195.6 for identification of the "place" where the injury was alleged to have occurred. The trial court erred in sustaining a plea of sovereign immunity and dismissing the claim with prejudice. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

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Barkley v. Wallace

Because the circuit court erred in ruling that evidence of a personal injury plaintiff's medical bills and expenses that were discharged in bankruptcy was inadmissible for the limited purpose of proving her pain and suffering caused by the accident, the judgment is reversed and the case is remanded.

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Phipps v. Liddle

Where the granting of a nonsuit was appealed, Code &#167 8.01-229(E)(3) afforded the plaintiff six months to refile the action, running from the date the appellate court's mandate resolving the appeal was entered by the trial court. Because the plaintiff refiled the present action within that period, the trial court erred in dismissing it as untimely. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

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Jerman v. Director Dept. of Corrections

In a petition for a writ of habeas corpus raising claims of ineffective assistance of counsel with regard to the petitioner's conviction for abduction, there is not a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's alleged deficiencies, the outcome of the proceeding would have been different. The petition is dismissed.

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AAA Disposal Services v. Eckert

A confession of judgment for the amount specified in the ad damnum clause of a motion for judgment was not valid and binding under Code &#167 8.01-431 without the plaintiff's acceptance. Therefore, the circuit court did not err in granting the plaintiff's motion to nonsuit the action after the defendant's filing of the confession.

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Russ v. Destival

A jury instruction stating that a bicyclist has a duty to refrain from entering or crossing an intersection in disregard of "close or approaching" traffic is an inaccurate statement of law in light of the plain terms of Code &#167 46.2-924(B), and thus the circuit court erred in granting the instruction. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded.

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Aylor v. COMMONWEALTH

Appellant waived his argument by submitting the "weapon" issue to the jury and then expressly conceding the sufficiency of the evidence on this issue, we affirm.

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Norfolk Division of Social Services v. Hardy

No error in the trial court's determination that the best interest of the children would be served by not terminating mother's parental rights, and by allowing them to stay in the stable environment of foster care,is supported by the evidence.

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Yarborough v. COMMONWEALTH

The jury was properly instructed on the use of prior inconsistent statements at the close of all the evidence, we affirm appellant's conviction and remand for correction of the clerical error.

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Newman v. Newman

Upon Rehearing En Banc no error in denying husband's "Motion to Eliminate and/or Reduce" his contractual obligation to pay spousal support.

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Kay v. City of Norfolk

Summary affirmance: No error in denial of claim for benefits as appellant failed to prove she sustained injury by accident arising out of employment.

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Hardy v. Hardy

No error in the trial court's determination that the best interest of the children would be served by not terminating mother's parental rights, and by allowing them to stay in the stable environment of foster care,is supported by the evidence.

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