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Opinion Digests

Appeal lost over failure to challenge basis for terminating rights (access required)

Because the father did not challenge the circuit court’s alternative basis for terminating his parental rights, meaning  those rights would remain terminated even if he prevailed on the issue he was appealing, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision. ...

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Failure to get counseling forfeited father’s rights (access required)

The father’s failure to comply with the Department of Social Services requirements for counseling and the therapist’s recommendations supported the circuit court’s decision that he was not prepared to care for his child, who suffered from numerous medical conditions. Background ...

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No basis for award of ‘equitable restitution’ (access required)

Although the divorce statute allows a court to make an award of spousal support or equitable distribution, the court found there is no authority under statute to make an award of “equitable restitution,” and it vacated the $150,000 “equitable restitution” ...

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Tax payments did not create right to illegal property use (access required)

The circuit court incorrectly ruled that respondent property owners who paid property taxes for more than 15 years acquired a vested right to continue their illegal use of two buildings. Code § 15.2-2307(D) provides that buildings or structures may not ...

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Evidence supported voluntary manslaughter conviction (access required)

Even though words alone are insufficient provocation to reduce murder to manslaughter, defendant cannot challenge her voluntary manslaughter conviction on this basis because she approved jury instructions that omitted this legal principle, says the Virginia Supreme Court. Defendant waived her ...

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