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Justice Stephen R. McCullough

Nov 2, 2020

License plate database not ‘information system’

License plate data retained in the Fairfax County Police Department’s Automated License Plate Recognition System is not an “information system” under the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act. The record-keeping process does not “provide a means through which a link between a license plate number and the vehicle’s owner may be readily made.” Although […]

May 27, 2020

No parental rights interference claim

The circuit court properly granted defendants’ demurrers to plaintiff’s claim against them for the tort of interference with parental rights. Further, plaintiff’s defamation claim against one defendant is dismissed because the complained-of statements are not actionable. Facts Michael Wilson and Amanda C. Padula-Wilson married in 1999 and separated in 2012. They had three children, A.W., [&h[...]

Apr 23, 2020

School board’s UM/UIM policy could exceed $50K

Statutes that require motor vehicles to be covered by a minimum of $50,000 in liability and property damage insurance do not prevent a self-insured school board from contracting for a great amount of coverage, and do not limit coverage to $50,000. As a result, where a school board was self-insured through a risk pool for […]

Apr 23, 2020

Damages reduced in action to recover towing charges

In a suit to recover towing and other charges associated with righting a dump truck, recovering its load, remediating contaminated soil, and removing the truck and the soil from the scene, the jury’s damage award must be reduced. The remedy of unjust enrichment precludes recovery of some of the towing company’s charges. Overview Tommy Musgrove, […]

Apr 16, 2020

Transfer precludes sentence modification

The circuit court lost jurisdiction to hear a motion to modify appellant’s sentence once the Virginia Department of Corrections took him into custody. Overview Appellant Akers received a three-year sentence, with two years and six months suspended, for being a prisoner in possession of drugs. Later, the commonwealth asked that a portion of the suspended […]

Mar 8, 2020

COA’s interpretation of hit-run statute vacated

The Court of Appeals correctly affirmed appellant’s conviction under the hit and run statute after determining there was sufficient evidence to show that he failed to satisfy either of the two post-accident reporting requirements. However, the Court of Appeals should not have sua sponte opined that the statute required appellant to satisfy only one of […]

Feb 17, 2020

Taxpayer did not show mass appraisal was invalid

Where the taxpayer challenged tax as­sessments of an idled meatpacking plant on 12 acres of land, the taxpayer did not overcome the presumption of correctness that attached to a mass appraisal for two of the tax years in question, and a re­duced assessment for the third tax year after taking into account the building’s deteriorated […]

Dec 4, 2019

Good behavior implied in sentencing order

Where the trial court imposed suspended sentences for appellant’s felony and misdemeanor convictions, placed him on one year of supervised probation and expressly stated a good behavior condition, a later probation revocation order lacking such condition did not prevent the court from revoking and resuspending the felony sentence after he was released from probation and […]

Sep 23, 2019

Rezoning evidence admissible in taking case

Evidence of the probability that appellant’s farmland would be rezoned for commercial use was admissible in this condemnation case to determine the compensation due for land taken to construct a highway interchange. Background The highway commission sought to take a portion of appellant Helmick Farms property to build a highway interchange. Helmick refused the commissioner’s […]

Sep 18, 2019

Professional discipline is usable for impeachment

Lawyers need to choose their medical experts with care. That’s a key lesson from a new Supreme Court of Virginia decision, one lawyer said. The justices refused to overturn a patient’s verdict even though the jury was told that a defense expert had been reprimanded for lapses in his practice. In affirming an $800,000 verdict […]

Sep 17, 2019

Jury should have heard scope of employment issue

Where the trial court ruled, without hearing any evidence on the matter, that a nursing assistant was within the scope of his employment when he molested and raped an elderly nursing home resident, the trial court erred by removing this issue from the jury. The jury’s $1.75 million verdict is reversed and the case is […]

Sep 16, 2019

Road abandonment did not violate developer’s rights

Where a county abandoned a portion of an unbuilt road that had been part of a real estate developer’s plans, the circuit court correctly ruled that the developer had no vested or constitutional right to build the road. The right to build was limited to a statutory five-year period. Facts Henrico County rezoned land in […]

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