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Judge Kevin M. Duffan

Aug 30, 2023

Emotional support emu is companion animal

Where defendant keeps a pet emu on his premises, the emu’s classification is best understood as a companion animal, which is permissible under the relevant city ordinance. Overview Defendant owns a “domesticated pet emu” named Nimbus, that he keeps at his home in a suburban neighborhood. “Defendant’s testimony was unchallenged that he has suffered from […]

Emu against backdrop of foliage
Aug 7, 2023

Feathered friend, not livestock: Man can keep ‘emotional support emu’ in suburbia

A suburban man was allowed to keep his emotional support emu after the trial judge found in a matter of first impression that the exotic bird was a “companion animal” rather than “livestock” under the municipal and state codes.

Apr 10, 2023

Amended statute gets retroactive application

An employee’s claim has survived demurrer after the trial judge held that Virginia’s wage claim statute would apply retroactively where the employee claimed he was owed wages from both before and after the statute was amended in 2020. Judge Kevin M. Duffan of the Virginia Beach Circuit Court noted that no decisions from Virginia’s appellate […]

Oct 31, 2022

Juvenile waived his Fifth Amendment rights

Even though the defendant juvenile’s parent was not present at the 17-year-old’s custodial interrogation, the court finds that, under the totality of the circumstances, he waived his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Relevant circumstances “Several facts are relevant to the totality of the circumstances analysis conducted by this court. “The defendant had been arrested seve[...]

Nov 8, 2021

Verdict reached in case resulting in police shooting, wrongful death — $1M verdict

Type of action: Wrongful death; police shooting Injuries alleged: Death Name of case: Tyree v. Colas Court: Virginia Beach Circuit Court Case no.: CL19-6418 Tried before: Jury Name of judge or mediator: Judge Kevin M. Duffan Date resolved: 9/30/2021 Verdict or settlement: Verdict Amount: $1,000,000 Attorney for plaintiff (and city): Kevin E. Martingayle, Virginia Beach; […]

Aug 24, 2021

Corporate officers are not employers in unpaid wage case

A corporation’s president and its chair of the board are not “employers” for purposes of plaintiffs’ claim for unpaid wages under Code § 40.1-29(J). Overview Defendant Christian Psychotherapy Services employed Cornell and Sparks as clinical psychologists. CPS was a family owned business. Dr. Page Huff was the founder and president. After his death, the family […]

Feb 5, 2021

Tobacco products in plain view no basis for car search

Even though police saw tobacco products in plain view after stopping a vehicle, in which all occupants were too young to legally possess tobacco products, this did not justify a vehicle search. Defendant’s motion to suppress cocaine found during the search is granted. Further, the fact that two officers detected a faint smell of unburnt […]

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