Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Judge Robert J. Smith

Apr 9, 2021

Defamation claims related to COVID-19 tests go forward

Where a pharmaceutical company sued a newspaper for claims arising from an article about COVID-19 home testing, the newspaper’s demurrer to defamation claims is overruled. Demurrers to claims against the paper’s executives in their personal capacity the paper’s parent companies are sustained as is a claim for tortious interference with a business expectancy. Background “Spring […]

Jan 22, 2021

Incapacitated recipient must repay SNAP benefits

Where the Virginia Department of Social Services paid Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to an incapacitated person who was not qualified to receive them, the decision to recoup the benefits must be affirmed. Background Mohammed Moosavi is an incapacitated person. He has dementia and a psychotic disorder. This court previously appointed Mohammed’s son, Sadredin, as […]

Nov 25, 2020

Privity of contract not required for mechanic’s lien

A general contractor properly recorded a mechanic’s lien against a corporate entity after not being paid in full for designing and building work. The entity’s owners, who contracted with the contractor, cannot seek to have the lien released on the basis that the corporate entity was not in privity of contract with the contractor. Facts […]

May 7, 2020

Property settlement cannot be enforced

Where husband sent wife a signed property settlement agreement and wife agreed to sign it if husband signed an addendum that contained additional terms, this was a rejection of husband’s offer. Wife’s later acceptance of the original offer did not create a binding contract. Background The parties have no children, own no real estate and […]

Feb 17, 2020

Amended complaint sufficiently alleges special relationship

In this case arising from plaintiff’s allegations that another student assaulted her on a school bus, where the court previously sustained a demurrer to plaintiff’s claim that defendant school officials assumed a duty to protect her, the court’s grant of leave to amend did not bar plaintiff from alleging that there was a special relationship […]

Feb 16, 2020

Defendant received effective assistance

Where petitioner argues he received ineffective assistance of counsel, the petition is a “reiteration” of arguments presented in his denied motion to reconsider his sentence. As a result, the petition is denied. Petitioner Darman argues that counsel’s performance during sentencing was deficient because he did not present evidence of Darman’s “dysfunctional childhood,” did not present [[...]

Sep 23, 2019

Condo owners cannot contest development decision

Plaintiffs, who are individual members of a condominium owners association, lack standing to challenge Fairfax County’s decision to approve defendants’ application to undertake a townhouse development project adjacent to plaintiff’s property. Overview The Dulles Professional Center Condominium Unit Owners Association and three individual members filed a four-count declaratory action to chall[...]

Sep 19, 2019

Student’s abuse lawsuit survives demurrer

A private school student who claims she was assaulted by another student on a school bus can try her claim of gross negligence against school officials and seek punitive damages, a Fairfax County judge has ruled. But Circuit Judge Robert J. Smith tossed a claim based on assumption of a duty to protect the alleged […]

Sep 16, 2019

Gross negligence claim stated in school assault case

Where plaintiff alleges a classmate sexually attacked her during a school field trip, she has stated a gross negligence claim against defendant school officials. Facts Plaintiff alleges that a classmate, KN, sexually assaulted her on a bus during a school field trip. Defendants Bowley and Rovinsky, who taught at defendant Congressional School, supervised the April […]

May 3, 2019

Fairfax County license plate readers violate Data Act

The Automatic License Plate Reader system used by the Fairfax County Police Department to collect and store license plate data of non-criminals violates a state data privacy law, a Fairfax County circuit judge has ruled. The decision comes after Judge Robert J. Smith had previously granted summary judgment for the department, finding that license plate […]

Apr 25, 2019

License plate reader system violates data act

On remand from the Virginia Supreme Court, the court concludes that the use by the Fairfax County Police Department, or FCPD, of its Automatic License Plate Reader, or ALPR, system violates the Commonwealth’s Governmental Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act because a link between the license plate number and the vehicle owner’s identity can be […]

Apr 25, 2019

Clause in will encouraging divorce violates public policy

Where the decedent’s will excluded one of his sons if he was still married to the same spouse as when the will was executed, this condition encourages divorce and will be struck from the will on public policy grounds. Facts Kevin J. Connolly had four children, including Susan Connolly and Kevin B. Connolly. Connolly opposed […]

Verdicts & Settlements

See All Verdicts & Settlements

Opinion Digests

See All Digests