Civil Practice

Feb 4, 2023

Reformation would violate zoning law

Laches does not bar a 2019 suit seeking to reform a 2005 amendment to protective covenants “governing conservancy lots in the Courtland Farm Rural Village.” However, defendants’ plea in bar, which asserts that reforming the 2005 amendment would violate a zoning ordinance, is sustained. Background Plaintiff owns a conservancy lot of 100 or more acres […]

Feb 4, 2023

Respondent gets proceeds in condemnation case

Where the parties settled their condemnation dispute, the settlement funds should be paid to respondent or its attorney, and not the clerk of the court. Overview “Petitioner Commissioner of Highways … filed a condemnation action in connection with the Elden Street widening project in the Town of Herndon. Petitioner filed a Certificate of Take with […]

Jan 30, 2023

Sanctions levied after discovery violations

A party’s discovery delays resulted in a default judgment and an award of more than $80,000 in compensatory and punitive damages to its opponent. On appeal, the sanctioned party argued that the harsh sanctions were an abuse of discretion because they responded to discovery — albeit more than 200 days late — and their opponent […]

Jan 21, 2023

Court lacks jurisdiction over inheritance squabble

Where a man alleged that his sister deprived him of certain items that were bequeathed to him by their now deceased parents and filed suit against the persons who received those items, the suit was dismissed. The claim needed to be brought against the fiduciary, not the recipients. And the value of the remaining items […]

Jan 21, 2023

Default judgment entered after discovery violations

Where the trial court entered a default judgment and awarded compensatory and punitive damages against appellant as a sanction for not responding to discovery requests, even though the court ordered appellant to do so, there was no abuse of discretion. Appellant responded to the discovery request after the court’s 10-day deadline expired and 209 days […]

Litter of kittens
Jan 16, 2023

Breeder’s bid for higher damages claim blocked

A cat-breeder’s attempt to sweeten the kitty by demanding damages beyond the district court’s $25,000 jurisdictional limit while on appeal to the circuit court has been rejected by the Court of Appeals of Virginia. Despite winning at trial, the breeder appealed to the circuit court and was granted leave to amend her complaint, which added […]

Jan 12, 2023

Putative class action over toll fees dismissed

Where a woman’s putative class-action suit alleged the West Virginia Parkways Authority unjustly enriched itself by collecting administrative and notice toll fees in violation of West Virginia law, but the Class Action Fairness Act limits jurisdiction where a governmental entity is the primary defendant and it may be immune from suit, the court lacked jurisdiction […]

Jan 5, 2023

Damages claim beyond district court limit rejected

Where, in an appeal from the general district court, plaintiff-appellant’s amended complaint sought damages beyond the district court’s $25,000 jurisdictional limit, the amended complaint was outside the circuit court’s jurisdiction. The jury’s verdict for appellant is vacated. Detinue claim Appellee Pritchard breeds cats. Appellant Ruderman was a veterinarian. Their dispute centered on tr[...]

Dec 20, 2022

Virginia Court of Appeals – Unpublished decisions affirmed per curiam

Civil Practice Appellant’s statute of limitations issue cannot be reached because she did not file a transcript or a statement of facts pertaining to the trial court hearing. Depaz v. The Council of Co-Owners of the Westerlies Condominium Ass’n, Record No. 0228-22-4, Oct. 25, 2022. CAV (per curiam) From the Circuit Court of Fairfax County […]

Dec 20, 2022

No injunction to stop permit revocation

Where a city council revoked a nightclub’s conditional use permit after a shooting occurred on the premises, the nightclub will not be granted a preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of the revocation. Background The Legacy Lounge obtained a conditional use permit (CUP) from the city of Norfolk to operate as a restaurant and nightclub. As […]

Dec 15, 2022

Unhappy litigant’s suit vs. judges is dismissed

Where a woman sued three Fairfax County judges, after they ruled against her in connection with an eviction and related state-court proceedings, her suit was dismissed as an improper appeal of adverse state-court judgments and because of judicial immunity. Background Plaintiff sues her former landlord, T-C Ashford Meadows LLC, and its attorney, Andrew Palanzi, as […]

Dec 15, 2022

Woman enjoined from suing scholar again

Where a woman twice sued an academic scholar for defamation, and both lawsuits were dismissed, the court entered a permanent injunction prohibiting her from suing him for any allegations that were the subject of the prior lawsuits or a book published by the woman. Background On Dec. 31, 2020, Svetlana Lokhova sued Stefan A. Halper […]

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