Where appellant seeks to appeal the general district court’s denial of preliminary protective orders, the circuit court lacks appellate jurisdiction because there is no final order in this matter.
“When the Circuit Court exercises its appellate jurisdiction in a de novo appeal from General District Court, an appeal of right exists from any final order. … A final order is an order that disposes of the whole subject of the case and the relief contemplated. …
“In addition to final orders, Virginia Code § 16.1-106 authorizes the Circuit Court to hear appeals involving permanent protective orders issued under Virginia Code § 19.2-152.10, which remain modifiable or dissolvable by the issuing court under Virginia Code § 19.2-152.10(H).
“In the cases at hand, the two Orders of the General District Court that were appealed are titled ‘Preliminary Protective Order’ and cite Virginia Code § 19.2-152.9. A handwritten ruling on each Order states, ‘Denied. Majority of alleged acts relate to civil disputes.’
“The two Orders do not reference the status of the underlying protective order petitions filed by Appellant.
“While dismissal of a protective order petition is a final order because it disposes of the entire case, a determination as to whether to issue a preliminary protective order is not a final order since the underlying petition remains pending until expressly ruled upon.
“Also, unlike permanent protective orders – which are modifiable and dissolvable by the issuing court yet nonetheless appealable under Virginia Code § 16.1-106 – the Code of Virginia does not confer jurisdiction upon the Circuit Court to hear appeals from denials of preliminary protective orders.”
Frederick v. McPherson, Frederick v. Marguard, Case Nos. CL-2022-4024, CL-2022-4025, June 22, 2022, Fairfax County Circuit Court (Shannon). Grant William Frederick, appellant, Rebecca C. Lawrence, counsel for appellees. VLW 022-8-038, 4 pp.