June 11, 1999
Record No. 982102
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
JERAMIE MICHAEL BAKER
FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
Present: All the Justices
In this appeal, the Court reviews a judgment of the Court of
Appeals declaring the transfer of jurisdiction from a juvenile
and domestic relations district court to a circuit court
ineffectual and the subsequent convictions void. Baker v.
Commonwealth, 28 Va. App. 306, 504 S.E.2d 394 (1998).
Central to the decision below was the interpretation of Code
Sect. 16.1-263(A), which provides, in part, that after a
juvenile petition is filed, the court shall direct summonses
"to the parents" of the juvenile. Here, even though the
juvenile’s mother received notice, the juvenile’s biological
father was not notified, there was no attempt to give him notice,
and the circuit court made no certification on the record that
the identity of the father was not reasonably ascertainable.
Parenthetically, we note the statute has been amended
effective July 1, 1999 to provide for notice to "at least
one parent." Acts 1999, ch. 952.
For the reasons set forth in the opinion of the Court of
Appeals, we will affirm the court’s judgment.
Furthermore, we decline the Attorney General’s request that we
apply this judgment prospectively only; retrospective application
is mandated by Gogley v. Peyton, 208 Va. 679, 160 S.E.2d