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Judge Charles N. Dorsey

Dec 6, 2021

Legal at the time: Another judge holds traffic stop changes not retroactive

New laws limiting police traffic stops for minor offenses should not restrict prosecution of cases that arose from stops before those laws took effect, a Virginia trial judge has ruled. In Commonwealth v. Eberhardt (VLW 021-8-129), Richmond Circuit Judge W. Reilly Marchant said to hold otherwise would defy common sense and punish police for what […]

Oct 4, 2021

25-year-old man died from infection six days after misdiagnosis — $793,803.86 verdict

Type of action: Wrongful death; medical malpractice Injuries alleged: Wrongful death of a 25-year-old man Name of case: Young v. Kletzing Court: Roanoke County Circuit Court Case no.: CL19-1067 Tried before: Jury Name of judge or mediator: Judge Charles N. Dorsey Date resolved: 8/24/2021 Special damages: Medical and funeral expenses Verdict or settlement: Verdict Amount: […]

Aug 30, 2021

Removal of Confederate monument ordered

“In accord with the original correspondence of the Court on this matter, attached hereto as Exhibit A and made a part hereof, and the response of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors, hereafter ‘The Board,’ attached hereto as Exhibit B and made a part hereof, and in an effort to maintain clarity and continuity in […]

Aug 23, 2021

‘Shameful’ — Roanoke judge: Confederate monument must go

Roanoke County Circuit Judge Charles N. Dorsey ordered the removal of a Confederate statue from the front of the Roanoke County courthouse last month. And if the statue isn’t moved, the court must be moved to a different location, he said. The judge’s action is the latest skirmish in the ongoing fight over Confederate symbols […]

Aug 23, 2021

Traffic stop changes not retroactive

Amendments to the Virginia Code last year prohibiting a traffic stop for excessively tinted windows are not retroactive, a Newport News circuit judge has ruled. He declined to suppress drugs and weapons found during a stop in March 2020. The ruling creates a split in the circuits across Virginia. Earlier this summer, a Roanoke County […]

Jul 15, 2021

Amended vehicle stop statute is procedural change

Where statutes were amended to prevent police officers from stopping vehicles solely for expired registrations and certain equipment violations, and provide that any evidence from such a stop must be suppressed, the change is procedural. As such, it will be applied to suppress drug evidence found in defendant’s car even though the statute was not […]

Jul 12, 2021

Traffic stop amendments retroactive

Legislative amendments from 2020 that prohibit a traffic stop for an expired registration or a broken taillight are retroactive, a Roanoke County circuit judge has ruled in a case of first impression. As a result, a woman facing drug charges after being stopped last summer was able to suppress a packet of meth found in […]

Apr 23, 2021

Parties’ home is marital and separate property

Even though husband acquired the marital home before the parties’ marriage, the home is both separate and marital property due to wife’s contributions during the marriage. As a result, she is entitled to a monetary award from the equity in the marital home. Possible approaches “The issue of whether wife has the right to a […]

Sep 4, 2020

Immunity bars challenge of gun purchase denial

Where plaintiff claims the state police violated his rights by denying his application to purchase a firearm, sovereign immunity bars the claim. The state police department, as an agent of the commonwealth, has sovereign immunity and there is no express waiver of that immunity in regard to firearm purchase denials. Background Gobble was originally charged […]

Jun 11, 2020

Negligence claims in sewage case go forward

Defendant’s demurrers to plaintiff’s claims for negligence per se and negligence, arising from defendant’s alleged failure to keep a mobile home park’s septic system in good working order, are overruled. A demurrer to plaintiff’s contract-based claim to keep the septic system in good working order is sustained. And, because plaintiff did not appeal the district […]

May 21, 2020

Judicial emergency orders tolled speedy trial right

Judicial emergency orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic tolled defendant’s constitutional and statutory speedy trial rights. Overview The parties concede that 103 days, for speedy trial purposes, elapsed from when defendant was arrested to the original trial date in September 2019, and that the delay was attributable to the commonwealth. Two continuances were […]

May 4, 2020

Virus trumps speedy trial requirements

The COVID-19 pandemic justifies tolling the right to a speedy trial under a judge’s case-by-case analysis, a Roanoke County Circuit Court judge has ruled. The decision builds on an opinion issued March 30 in Fairfax County. The April 14 opinion from Circuit Judge Charles N. Dorsey says courts around Virginia have split on whether the […]

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