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Opinion Digests

4th Cir.: “Habitual drunkard” interdiction laws upheld (access required)

A district court properly dismissed constitutional challenges to Virginia’s civil interdiction process, which can lead to criminal penalties for possession, consumption, or purchase of alcoholic beverages by individuals subject to a civil interdiction order. Background Virginia regulates the consumption, purchase, ...

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CAV: Grandmother’s inaction supports refused placement (access required)

The circuit court did not err in concluding that a 12-year-old girl who had been fostered for two years by the same family, along with her siblings, should not be placed instead with her incarcerated father’s mother. The father’s family ...

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CAV: Mother’s lack of contact with kids supports termination (access required)

Despite significant compliance with social services requirements to reunite with her five living children, a mother had not substantially remedied the conditions that required them to be placed in foster care. She had not seen the children since they were ...

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SCV: Church merger raised issues of contract, not religion (access required)

A circuit court had jurisdiction to decide a merger dispute between two churches. Resolution centered on the parties’ merger agreement, not their religious doctrines or other ecclesiastical questions. Background After falling behind on its mortgage payments, Pure Presbyterian Church of ...

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EDVA: Hate-crime law unconstitutional as applied to Amazon worker (access required)

An Amazon warehouse employee who beat up a coworker based on the victim’s sexual orientation couldn’t be convicted of a federal hate crime, though the jury delivered a guilty verdict. The act didn’t affect interstate commerce and, thus, was outside ...

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EDVA: Voter intimidation, defamation claims survive dismissal (access required)

Two publications purporting to reveal widespread voter fraud have given rise to a viable lawsuit. The published materials (called Alien Invasion I and II) allegedly reported falsely that specific individuals, identified by name and other personal information, had registered and/or voted illegally in ...

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Va. Cir.: Support modification not doomed by father’s scant evidence (access required)

If facts could be gleaned from the existing record, a father seeking to modify support obligations wasn’t necessarily required to put on evidence of his children’s current needs, since the Child Support Guidelines include a rebuttable presumption of such needs. ...

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SCV: Miranda warning written in Spanish was effective (access required)

Evidence was sufficient to conclude that a Spanish-speaking defendant waived his Miranda rights prior to a police interview. He was given the written warning in Spanish, asked by an interpreter if he understood it, and read it back to officers. Background Detective ...

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