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Civil Practice

Dec 4, 2023

Homeowner’s lawsuit barred by res judicata

Where a homeowner previously filed fraud and federal law claims in a state-court suit against one of these defendants here, and they were dismissed by the state-court judge, that dismissal operated as res judicata in this federal-court suit. Although this suit raised additional claims, the factual allegations underlying these claims were already considered by the […]

Dec 4, 2023

Uncertainty over service prevents default judgment

Where plaintiffs moved for default judgment against an overseas company that failed to respond to the complaint, but it was not clear if they properly served the company in compliance with the Hague Convention, their motion was denied. Background On March 21, 2023, Banilla Games Inc. and Grover Gaming filed their complaint against Guangzhou Yingfeng […]

Dec 4, 2023

No stay of case pending resolution of motion

Where Ford moved to stay deadlines until the court resolved its motion to transfer the case to Massachusetts federal district court, where four cases involving the same alleged defect were pending, its motion was denied. Background This case involves the allegedly defective design and manufacture of an automatic transmission shift known as the 10R80 transmission […]

Dec 4, 2023

Progress note was party admission in damages trial

Where a progress note prepared by a drug counselor indicated that plaintiff broke his foot as a result of a seizure, the trial court correctly ruled that plaintiff’s statement was an admission against party interest and thus admissible in a negligence trial, in which plaintiff alleged he broke his foot after defendant rear-ended his SUV. […]

Dec 4, 2023

No res judicata bar to personal injury claim

Where appellant sued a janitorial service and its insurer after she slipped and fell on a waxed floor, res judicata does not bar a personal injury action against the janitorial service. Background Appellant Johnson slipped on a floor waxed by Rock Solid Janitorial. She sued Rock Solid and Selective America, Rock Solid’s insurer, after Selective […]

Dec 4, 2023

Default judgment set aside in accident case

Where plaintiff was previously granted a default judgment on an amended complaint that was not properly served, the court grants defendant’s motion to set aside and to vacate the judgment. Overview On Sept. 3, 2019, Gittens sued David for personal injuries arising from an automobile accident in Virginia. Gittens previously sued David in a federal […]

Dec 4, 2023

Motion to set aside default judgment denied

Where defendants failed to close on a real estate transaction, their motion to set aside a default judgment is denied. Defendants were properly served with the complaint. Background Defendants East and Kennedy contracted to buy property for $350,000. BHHS Mountain Sky Properties was the listing broker. Re/Max was the selling broker. Both are the plaintiffs. […]

Dec 4, 2023

Punitive damages cap applies per lawsuit

Virginia’s statutory cap on punitive damages “applies on a per-lawsuit basis. A plaintiff may not stack multiple punitive damage caps per claim within the same lawsuit. “The Court further holds post-judgment interest begins to accrue from the date that the factfinder assesses the liability of one party to another, such as the day of a […]

Nov 20, 2023

Court lacks jurisdiction over domestic dispute

Where a man sued his former spouse, judges, lawyers and an expert witness involved in a prior contested divorce case and child custody/visitation disputes, the action was dismissed because it would require the court to resolve whether the state-court cases were correctly decided. Background This lawsuit arises out of two state court proceedings: (1) a […]

Nov 20, 2023

‘Rooker-Feldman’ doctrine results in dismissal of suit

Where a woman’s federal court suit essentially sought to void a state court judgment, her suit was dismissed because of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Background Doris E. Tucker, proceeding pro se, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis Tucker’s complaint names three defendants. The complaint does not allege, however, what any of the specific defendants did, […]

Nov 20, 2023

Six-month tolling provision made second lawsuit timely

Where a man timely filed his civil rights suit, then voluntarily dismissed it without serving the defendant and then filed a second suit within six months from the date of the voluntary dismissal, the second suit was timely under the six-month tolling provision in Va. Code § 8.01-229. Background On Aug. 23, 2019, Harley Jackson […]

Nov 20, 2023

Intervention allowed despite lack of diversity

Where a woman moved to intervene in a suit to assert claims against a pending plaintiff and defendant, intervention was allowed despite the fact the woman and a pending plaintiff were both Virginia citizens. As an intervening plaintiff, the woman is diverse from all defendants. She could then pursue a crossclaim against the other plaintiff. […]

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