Home / Fulltext Opinions / Supreme Court of Virginia (page 62)

Supreme Court of Virginia

Feed Subscription

LINDEMAN v. LESNICK

In a defamation case, the trial court did not err in refusing to strike the evidence based on a claim that the defamatory statements were made by a workers' compensation award recipient to his counsel, long after the award of benefits was finalized. The judgment for the plaintiff is affirmed.

Read More »

COMMONWEALTH v. NORMAN

Sufficient evidence existed supporting a defendant's conviction for operating a motor vehicle after having been declared a habitual offender, second or subsequent offense, in violation of Code § 46.2-357, where a prior order issued by the circuit court restoring the defendant?s privilege to operate a motor vehicle on the condition that he fulfill certain requirements did not terminate his habitual offender status. The judgment of the Court of Appeals invalidating defendant's conviction and dismissing the indictment is reversed, and the defendant's conviction is reinstated.

Read More »

AUSTIN v. COMMONWEALTH

The Court of Appeals correctly upheld the circuit court's denial of a juvenile's motion to dismiss parole revocation proceedings because under Code § 16.1-241 the circuit court acquired subject matter jurisdiction over the matter upon the juvenile's appeal from the juvenile and domestic relations court, and the circuit court retained such jurisdiction under Code § 16.1-297 at the time when the parole revocation proceedings were initiated. The Court of Appeals' judgment is affirmed.

Read More »

HALIFAX CORPORATION v. WACHOVIA BANK

In a case seeking to impose liability upon a bank relating to embezzlement of an account holder's corporate funds by its own comptroller, the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment for the defendant bank because Code § 8.3A-406 does not create an affirmative cause of action, the plaintiff's common law claim for conversion has been displaced by Code § 8.3A-420(a), and plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to state a cause of action for aiding and abetting the embezzler's breach of fiduciary duty, assuming such an action exists. The judgment is affirmed.

Read More »

PEYTON v. COMMONWEALTH

The trial court abused its discretion in revoking the suspended sentence of a defendant who had been placed in an alternative sentencing program pursuant to Code § 19.2-316.2 and who was unable to complete that program due to an unforeseen medical condition. Such inability does not satisfy the definition of "intractable behavior" under the statute and in this case cannot reasonably be considered willful behavior on defendant's part. The judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the trial court's revocation of defendant's suspended sentence is reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.

Read More »

CITY OF CHESAPEAKE v. CUNNINGHAM

In a case concerning a municipality's liability for injuries allegedly caused by consumption of contaminated municipal drinking water, the trial court erred in denying the municipality's sovereign immunity plea. Planning and design decisions regarding upgrading of a water treatment plant and dissemination of information to the public regarding temporary health hazards associated with consuming municipal drinking water during the upgrade process were governmental functions of the municipality. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and final judgment is entered in the municipality's favor.

Read More »

BRADDOCK v. BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

In a suit challenging a locality's rezoning decision, the trial court correctly ruled that plaintiff lacked standing to initiate the suit and that this defect could not be cured by adding of parties having standing after the 30-day statutory limitation period for challenging rezoning decisions set by Code § 15.2-2285(F) had expired. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Read More »

GENERAL MOTORS CORP. v. COMMONWEALTH

The trial court erred in ruling that the Department of Taxation's interpretation of the term ?cost of performance,? as embodied in 23 VAC § 10-120-250, was not plainly inconsistent with the use of that term in Code § 58.1-418 for purposes of determining the Virginia taxable income of a financial corporation. The judgment of the trial court is reversed and the case remanded for entry of an appropriate order consistent with the views expressed in this opinion and the prior stipulations of the parties.

Read More »

ALLFIRST TRUST CO. v. COUNTY OF LOUDOUN

In an annexation case, a special three-judge court erred in ruling that defects in an initial annexation petition filed with the Commission on Local Government could not be cured by subsequent corrective filings, but correctly held that landowners seeking to initiate annexation proceedings under Code § 15.2-3203 concerning non-contiguous territories must, as a jurisdictional requirement, constitute 51% of the "owners of real estate in number and land area" within each separate territory. The special court's order dismissing the landowners' petition for failure to satisfy this requirement is affirmed.

Read More »

QUATANNENS v. TYRRELL

In a dispute over a narrow strip of land between adjoining landowners, the trial court erred in concluding that the plaintiffs failed to establish ownership of the disputed land by adverse possession, where the evidence showed that despite not knowing that their property did not in fact include the disputed land, plaintiffs and their predecessors in interest had used and enclosed the land and had constructed and maintained a portion of a room of their residence, a brick archway, and a walkway on it for a period of time satisfying the minimum period set by Code § 8.01-236. The judgment of the trial court is reversed and the case is remanded.

Read More »

SHOOSMITH BROS., INC. v. COUNTY OF CHESTERFIELD

In a dispute concerning a county's tax assessment of real property used as a landfill, the trial court did not err in concluding that the taxpayer failed to show either that the county committed manifest error in assessing the property based on the income method or that the county ignored controlling evidence in determining the fair market value of the property. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Read More »

FRAZIER v. COMMONWEALTH

The Court of Appeals did not err in upholding the defendant's conviction for aiding and abetting her boyfriend's failure to appear in court for his drug/weapons trial, or in ruling that defendant's own testimony, given at her boyfriend's trial for failure to appear, was admissible in her own case under Code § 19.2-270 because it was given in her own behalf as well as in her boyfriend's behalf. The judgment of the Court of Appeals upholding the defendant's conviction is affirmed.

Read More »

MICROSTRATEGY INC. v. LI

The chancellor did not err in holding that a corporate plaintiff failed to meet its burden of proving that the defendants, two former employees and one of plaintiff's indirect competitors, misappropriated certain alleged trade secrets within the meaning of the Virginia Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The chancellor's judgment is affirmed.

Read More »

JONES v. STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTO. INS. CO.

The trial court correctly held that territorial limitations of the defendants' automobile insurance policies pertaining to coverage for medical expenses are clear, unambiguous and reasonable and do not violate Code § 38.2-2201. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Read More »

LOWE v. CUNNINGHAM

The trial court abused its discretion in denying plaintiff's motion for a mistrial in a personal injury case, where, on cross-examination, defense counsel deliberately and improperly posed an inherently prejudicial and irrelevant question to plaintiff regarding his past failure to pay child support. The trial court's judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for a new trial limited to the issues of damages.

Read More »

RINER v. COMMONWEALTH

The Court of Appeals did not err in affirming a judgment under which defendant was convicted for the first degree murder of his wife, arson of their marital home, and petit larceny. Issues pertaining to change of venue motions, use of a private attorney to assist a public prosecutor, admissibility of double hearsay evidence consisting of a statement made by the decedent to a co-worker recounting a death threat allegedly made by the defendant, admissibility of pawn shop transaction records, and sufficiency of the evidence supporting an arson conviction are discussed. The Court of Appeals' judgment, and the defendant's convictions, are affirmed.

Read More »

DEPT. OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE SERV. v. BEVERLY HEALTHCARE

The Court of Appeals correctly held that Code § 2.2-4030(A) permits each prevailing party in a consolidated case contesting an agency action to recover up to $25,000 in attorneys? fees, and did not err in affirming the trial court's judgment that five claims brought by four healthcare providers were barred by the regulatory limitations period set by former 12 VAC § 30-90-131. The Court of Appeals' judgment is affirmed and the case remanded to the trial court for a determination of the reasonable attorneys? fees to be awarded each of the individual providers up to a maximum of $25,000.

Read More »

AMERICAN SAFETY CASUALTY INSURANCE CO. v. C.G. MITCHELL CONSTRUCTION, INC.

The circuit court did not err in entering judgment in favor of a payment bond claimant and against a surety in an action for recovery on the bond, where the surety had notice of the underlying breach of contract claim against its principal and the right and opportunity to defend its principal against such claim, but permitted a judgment by default to be taken against its principal on the underlying claim. Under these circumstances, the judgment by default was binding upon and conclusive as to the surety. The circuit court?s judgment is affirmed.

Read More »

FRIDAY-SPIVEY v. COLLIER

In a personal injury action arising from a collision between plaintiff's vehicle and a fire truck, the truck driver was not entitled to sovereign immunity. The crew was responding to a dispatch involving an infant locked in a vehicle but defendant knew this was a low priority dispatch and knew there was no danger. Defendant acknowledged that he was required to conform to all traffic laws. On these facts, he was not exercising judgment and discretion beyond that necessary in an ordinary driving situation - a ministerial act - and was not entitled to sovereign immunity for claims of alleged negligence. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed.

Read More »

LOFTON RIDGE LLC v. NORFOLK SOUTHERN RWY. CO.

The trial court erred in dismissing with prejudice, based on the doctrine of judicial estoppel, plaintiff?s suit for declaratory and injunctive relief concerning an easement across land owned by the defendant, where the parties in plaintiff's separate action against its attorneys and land surveyor were not the same as the parties in the present action. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

Read More »

GAMACHE v. ALLEN

In an action for medical negligence, the circuit court erred by refusing to permit defendants to cross-examine plaintiff and his witnesses on certain issues relating to plaintiff's claim for damages. The portion of the judgment confirming the defendants' negligence is affirmed, and the case is remanded for a new trial limited to the issues of proximate causation and damages.

Read More »

GREATER RICHMOND TRANSIT CO. v. MASSEY

In a personal injury case arising out of the collision of a passenger vehicle and a city bus, the trial court properly permitted plaintiff to introduce an absent nonparty witness?s deposition into evidence under Rule 4:7(a)(4) where plaintiff was unable to obtain the witness's attendance by subpoena and there was no evidence that plaintiff had procured his absence, and correctly refused proposed instructions on contributory negligence where the record established that in rising from her seat as the bus approached her stop, plaintiff acted merely as an ordinary, reasonable passenger would have acted. The judgment is affirmed.

Read More »

POWELL v. COMMONWEALTH

Defendant's convictions for use of a firearm while committing three felonies in violation of Code § 18.2-53.1 were neither plainly wrong, nor without evidence to support them, despite evidence of defendant's actions during a robbery that conflicted with the inference that he had a gun, and evidence that no gun was seen or found. The trier of fact properly considered all the evidence. The judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the defendant's convictions is affirmed.

Read More »

NORTON v. CITY OF DANVILLE

In an appeal from a denial of a certificate of appropriateness required under city architectural review ordinances, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to consider plaintiff?s challenges to the validity of the ordinances and incorrectly held that the city council's refusal to grant the certificate was a fairly debatable action where the council failed to meet its evidentiary burden to demonstrate that its action was reasonable. The judgment of the trial court is reversed.

Read More »

INDIANA INSURANCE GUARANTY ASS'N V. GROSS

Defendant's motion to dismiss appeals from two orders entered by the State Corporation Commission is appropriate because the orders appealed from are not final. The motion is granted and the appeals are dismissed without prejudice.

Read More »

Jaccard v. Commonwealth

Because a prior probation revocation is not admissible in the penalty determination phase of a bifurcated criminal jury trial as part of ?the record of conviction? of the defendant?s ?prior criminal convictions? pursuant to Code § 19.2-295.1, the judgment of the Court of Appeals to the contrary is reversed, and the case is remanded for a new sentencing hearing.

Read More »

Green v. Goodman-Gable-Gould Co.

The circuit court erred in going forward with trial of a declaratory judgment proceeding because the relief requested was a determination of a disputed issue rather than an adjudication of the parties? rights, and should have been litigated in a breach of contract action. The judgment is reversed and the case is dismissed.

Read More »

Harvey v. Warden (Order)

A petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging the validity of a post-trial certificate of DNA analysis and related test results pursuant to Code § 19.2-327.1 is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Subsection G of that Code section expressly states that an action under this section shall not form the basis for relief in any habeas corpus proceeding or any other appeal.

Read More »

Schlimmer v. Poverty Hunt Club

In a personal injury suit arising from an accidental shooting at a hunt club, the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the doctrine of negligence per se. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for a new trial.

Read More »

Carter v. Meadowgreen Associates

Under applicable federal and state law relating to tenancy in an apartment subject to rent subsidization by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, a tenant's family member, residing in leased property with the consent of the landlord, does not succeed to the tenant's rights under the lease upon the death of the tenant.

Read More »

Cook v. Commonwealth

Under Code § 16.1-271, the juvenile and domestic relations district court lacks jurisdiction over a juvenile who has previously been certified to the circuit court and indicted by a grand jury as an adult on charges that were later nolle prosequied. The circuit court's refusal to dismiss subsequent charges against the present defendant was correct. The judgment of conviction is affirmed.

Read More »

Quadros & Associates v. City of Hampton

The circuit court did not err in granting summary judgment in a breach of contract action where the terms of the agreement were plain and unambiguous, and did not require the defendant city to provide to the plaintiff law firm either a specific quantity of work or certain information that would facilitate the timely completion of such work. The judgment is affirmed.

Read More »

Walker v. American Ass'n of Prof. Eye Care Specialists

The trial court erred in concluding that an attorney, by delivering to the trial court clerk's office a pleading signed by a pro se plaintiff, became "counsel of record." The court erred in dismissing the motion for judgment with prejudice for being improperly signed by the individual party. The judgment is reversed and the motion for judgment is reinstated on the trial court's docket. The case is remanded.

Read More »

Gray v. Rhoads

In a case arising from the fatal shooting of plaintiff's decedent by a police officer, the circuit court erred by refusing to allow plaintiff to introduce into evidence the transcripts of audio-recorded statements by certain police officers as party admissions in the plaintiff?s case-in-chief. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for a new trial.

Read More »

Commonwealth v. Sanchez

The Court of Appeals erred in finding that a hit-and-run defendant's conclusory proffer in support of a request for additional funds to secure trial testimony from a DNA expert showed the required ?particularized need.? The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendant's request. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed and defendant?s conviction is reinstated.

Read More »

Barrett v. Commonwealth

The evidence was sufficient to sustain the defendant's conviction under Code § 18.2-371.1(A) of a Class 4 felony for criminal neglect of her ten-month-old son, resulting in his death, and her conviction pursuant to Code § 18.2-371.1(B) of a Class 6 felony for criminal neglect of her daughter, aged two years and ten months. Changes in the charges after a prior reversal of her convictions were not shown to be vindictive, and the trial court correctly refused to quash the additional indictment. The convictions are affirmed.

Read More »

Johnson v. Windsor Insurance Company

The trial court erred in ruling under Code § 38.2-2204 that an insurer was not required to provide automobile liability coverage for a named insured alleged to have negligently entrusted the insured vehicle to a permissive user where the insurer had already paid the "per person" policy limit in settlement of a negligence claim against the permissive user. The judgment is reversed and the case remanded.

Read More »

Shilling v. Jimenez

The trial court did not err in sustaining a demurrer to an action by two landowners, aggrieved by the local governing body's approval of a subdivision of neighboring property, attacking that approval indirectly by suit against the subdividers and their successors in title. The judgment is affirmed.

Read More »

Christian v. Surgical Specialists of Richmond

The trial court erred in refusing to qualify as an expert witness a physician called by a medical malpractice plaintiff, after hearing evidence about his familiarity with the standard of care in Virginia. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded.

Read More »
Scroll To Top