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Fairfax County Circuit Court

Sep 13, 2021

Taxpayers have standing to contest upgrade

Plaintiff taxpayers have standing to challenge a decision by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to expend funds to update and modernize the county’s zoning ordinances. Plaintiffs have alleged that the expenditures were made without proper notice, an in-person quorum and an in-person public comment period. The supervisors have not provided evidence that plaintiffs’ allegations […]

Sep 13, 2021

Stalking elements not proved in protective order petition

On reconsideration, the court again denies petitioner’s motion for a protective order because she did not prove that respondent, more than once, placed her “in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault, or bodily injury.” The statutes “The petition was brought pursuant to Code § 16.1-279.1(A): ‘In cases of family abuse … the court may […]

Sep 6, 2021

No oyer because documents do not address relevant issue

Where defendants have filed a motion craving oyer for documents used to transmit two insurance policies and endorsements, the motion is appropriate but it is denied because the documents will not help the court decide a choice of law issue that could affect the insurers’ legal obligations. Overview Defendant insurers issued “all risk” policies to […]

Sep 6, 2021

Statute bars punitive damages in power of attorney case

Where the court found that defendant breached fiduciary duties by violating the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, plaintiff’s damages are limited to recovery of the lost funds and reimbursement for attorney’s fees and costs. The act does not authorize an award of punitive damages. Petitioner’s motion for the court to reconsider its denial of punitive […]

Sep 6, 2021

No preclusive effect for adverse ruling in prior defamation case

A British defamation case, in which the court concluded that a newspaper’s characterization of plaintiff as a “wife beater” was “substantially true,” cannot be given preclusive effect in plaintiff’s defamation case in this court against defendant. Defendant’s plea in bar, based on collateral estoppel and res judicata, is overruled. Background Plaintiff’s suit arises from statements[...]

Aug 30, 2021

Claims arising from trash fire go forward

Where plaintiff firefighters claim they were injured while responding to a trash fire at defendant’s facility, the fireman’s rule does not bar their negligence and gross negligence claims. The court overrules defendant’s demurrers. Firefighters’ rule “The fireman’s rule limits liability for negligent conduct that injures firefighters. It arises out of the theory that firefighters assum[...]

Aug 30, 2021

Tax liability payment was not condition precedent

Where a buyer paid the seller an estimated amount of the seller’s tax liability arising from the sale, and the contract provided that either party would pay the other the difference between the estimate and the actual tax liability as applicable, the sellers cannot sue for breach of contract when the buy refused to pay […]

Aug 9, 2021

Motorist fractured wrist in accident involving impaired driver — $150,000 settlement

Type of action: Negligence, auto accident Name of case: Thames v. Banks Court: Fairfax County Circuit Court Verdict or settlement: Settlement Amount: $150,000 Attorney for plaintiff (and city): Robert B. Adams, McLean Description of case: The parties were involved in an auto accident, in which the plaintiff suffered a fractured wrist requiring surgery. The defendant […]

Jul 20, 2021

Demurrer not permitted when circuit court hears appeal

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors may not demur to a petition for a writ of certiorari appealing a decision of the county’s Board of Zoning appeals. Overview Harmony Hill Equestrian Center received an unfavorable decision from the county BZA and filed a petition to appeal the decision with this court. The court granted the […]

Jul 20, 2021

Court can hear challenge to pastor’s confirmation

Where members of the Heritage Fellowship Church allege that its board of directors manipulated voter rolls after a failed attempt to confirm a senior pastor by lowering the number of votes needed for the necessary two-thirds majority, and accordingly declared the pastoral candidate was confirmed, this court has jurisdiction to determine whether the church leadership […]

Jun 1, 2021

Alleged abuse of daughters not grounds for cruelty

Where wife has counterclaimed for a divorce on grounds of cruelty, her allegations that husband sexually abused the parties’ daughters when they were minors, and the effect this had on wife, “do not constitute cruelty for purposes of divorce under Virginia law.” The court sustains husband’s demurrer to the counterclaim. Overview Husband and wife had […]

May 25, 2021

Interest accrued on judgment during appeal

Where plaintiff prevailed on her claim that she was a beneficiary of her ex-husband’s life insurance policy, interest is due on the policy proceeds while the matter was on appeal. However, the letter of credit defendants posted as security for the appeal will not be released to plaintiff. Overview Plaintiff Martin sought a declaratory judgment […]

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