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Norfolk City Circuit Court

Feb 28, 2022

False evidence claim procedurally barred

Where petitioner argues he is entitled to habeas relief, alleging that the commonwealth falsely stated at trial that a witness had been subpoenaed, the claim is procedurally barred. Petitioner could have raised it at trial. Further, petitioner has not pleaded a viable ineffective assistance claim. Background A grand jury indicted petitioner Little for possession of […]

Jan 18, 2022

Eviction moratorium tolled writ of eviction deadline

A writ of eviction obtained by the Virginia Housing Development Authority more than 180 days after being awarded possession of the foreclosed premises is enforceable. A federal COVID-19-related eviction moratorium tolled the 180-day statutory period. Overview Ononuju defaulted on his FHA mortgage. The VHDA asked Evans to conduct a non-judicial foreclosure sale. Evans purchased the […]

Dec 20, 2021

Joinder motion granted in attempted murder case

Where five defendants are charged with multiple crimes arising from their alleged attack on the victim, the commonwealth’s motion for joinder is granted. The commonwealth has shown good cause, defendants have not shown they will be prejudiced, the court can redress any concerns about Confrontation Clause violations and “it is premature for the Court to […]

Dec 13, 2021

Challenge to COVID-19 treatment guidelines rejected

Although a doctor has third-party standing to bring an informed consent claim on behalf of his patients, he lacks standing to bring a claim under the Virginia Health Care Decisions Act. He is not entitled to a temporary injunction because he is unlikely to succeed on the merits of his claim that the hospital he […]

Nov 1, 2021

Damages awarded after freight was auctioned

Where a freight carrier retained a refused shipment of roofing materials and eventually sold it at auction, the court awards the freight broker that set up the shipment a judgment for the materials’ value. Overview Port Norfolk Transport (PNT) is a motor carrier and one of the plaintiffs in this case. Commodity Distribution (Commodity), the […]

Sep 9, 2021

Evidence obtained after traffic stop is admissible

Where police investigators stopped defendant after he disobeyed a stop sign, issued him a warning instead of a ticket, and defendant then admitted he had marijuana in the vehicle in response to one of the investigator’s question, defendant’s motion to suppress the marijuana and a gun found in the vehicle is denied. Background Two police […]

Aug 16, 2021

Claims arising from assault dismissed

Where plaintiff was assaulted in the lobby of a governmental mental health facility, the court sustains a plea in bar based on governmental immunity filed by defendant community services board. Claims against a private security guard service are dismissed as well. Overview Plaintiff alleges that he was assaulted in the lobby of a community services […]

Aug 16, 2021

Internet provider liable for city’s business tax assessment

An internet service provider must pay a city’s business tax assessments because the city began collecting the tax before the effective date of a federal law that bars taxation of internet service access revenues. Background This case involves the interplay between the city of Norfolk’s Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax and the federal […]

Jul 15, 2021

Mechanic’s lien without suit is not abuse of process

The filing of a mechanic’s lien, without an accompanying enforcement action, does not give rise to a claim for abuse of process because no judicial authority is involved. Defendants’ demurrer to this claim is sustained. Overview The “narrow issue” in this case is whether “the filing of a memorandum of mechanic’s lien, without the institution […]

Jun 1, 2021

Plaintiff’s former counsel disqualified as defense counsel

Where defense counsel previously represented plaintiff in corporate matters, consulted on protecting trade secrets, and drafted and enforced employment contracts and noncompete agreements, plaintiff’s motion to disqualify defense counsel in a trade secret matter is granted. Background The Morrison & Foerster law firm represented plaintiff Atlantic Diving Supply from 2009 until 2014 in variou[...]

Apr 23, 2021

Nuisance claim for missing stop sign goes forward

Where plaintiff alleges that a city created a public nuisance by not replacing a missing stop sign at the intersection where another driver collided with her car, the city’s demurrer is overruled. However, the city’s special plea of sovereign immunity to plaintiff’s negligence claim arising from the same facts is sustained. The complaint Plaintiff Graves […]

Apr 23, 2021

Burden of proof assigned in internet tax case

Where an internet provider challenges the Virginia Tax Commissioner’s ruling that the city of Norfolk’s business tax can be levied on gross receipts from internet access services under the grandfather clause in a federal law that bans such taxation, the internet provider has the burden of proof to show that Norfolk’s BPOL does not fall […]

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