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Salem Circuit Court

Jun 7, 2012

Lateral Land Support is Ongoing Duty

Although a landowner’s initial claim about an adjacent landowner’s failure to provide lateral support may have originated more than five years ago, with a prior owner, the duty to provide lateral support is ongoing and a Salem Circuit Court judge declines to dismiss plaintiff’s suit on the ground of laches. Reminiscent of an earlier plea […]

Jan 30, 2012

No Credit for Post-Separation House Payments

A Salem Circuit Court says husband is not entitled to credit for making post-separation mortgage payments on the marital home occupied by wife, because the parties agreed he would continue such payments in lieu of a pendente lite hearing for determination of temporary spousal support and debt payments; also, the court declines to credit against […]

Dec 1, 2011

Wife Owes Support for Seven Children

A couple who, for religious reasons, home-schooled their seven children and depended solely on husband’s income as an engineer, are ordered by the Salem Circuit Court to divide the marital share of the home, which husband still occupies with the children, to give wife $93,197 for 69 percent of the marital share after husband refinances […]

Oct 4, 2011

Builder Did Work Without Change Orders

A Salem Circuit Court says a contractor who did not require written change orders as he built a $1.3 million home for defendant owners cannot now rely on explicit contract language that required written change orders to get payment for an additional $605,694 worth of work, including a retaining wall, turret windows, an outdoor entertainment […]

Sep 6, 2011

Guarantor Owes Rent but not Remodeling Costs

A guarantor on a restaurant’s lease is liable only for the value of two years’ rent, not for remodeling costs, late payments or advertising for a new tenant, because the lease’s ambiguity in the term “rent” is construed against the landlord, says the Salem Circuit Court. The guaranty contract contains the statement that “Guarantor’s guaranteed […]

Aug 23, 2011

No Discovery of Driver’s Statements to Carrier

A defendant driver in this auto-accident case does not have to give plaintiff statements defendant made to her liability insurance carrier that prompted the carrier to open an investigation file; a Salem Circuit Court says the documents requested were work product prepared in anticipation of litigation and were non-discoverable. Plaintiff claims the documents were prepared […]

Aug 19, 2011

Court Construes Contract’s Financing Clause

In this first-impression case, a Salem Circuit Court says inserting the handwritten phrase “subject to approval of financing” into a real estate contract’s clause on the closing date makes the purchase contingent on the buyer’s ability to obtain financing. There are no reported cases in Virginia using the phrase “subject to approval of financing.” A […]

Jul 19, 2011

Student Loan is Marital Debt, But Husband Pays

Whether the Salem Circuit Court applies the 2011 statute governing apportionment of marital debt or prior case law, the result is the same: a husband’s student loan for his engineering degree is marital debt, but he must pay the entire $50,289.73 owed on the loan. Husband argues that although his student loan debt is solely […]

Jul 14, 2011

Student loan debt marital, but husband pays

A divorce court said a husband’s student loan used to finance his engineering degree was “marital debt,” but only the husband had to pay the entire $50,289 balance of the loan. Application of the 2011 marital debt amendments to Virginia’s equitable distribution statute, Virginia Code § 20-107.3(A), did not change the judge’s analysis of who […]

Jul 6, 2011

Promise to Forbear Not Fraud

A Salem Circuit Court sustains a creditor’s demurrer to a borrower’s counterclaim alleging the creditor committed fraud when it foreclosed on the borrower’s property after its agent allegedly assured defendants they would work with them and allow late note payments and not foreclose. This court does not normally use the word “apparently” when reciting facts. […]

Oct 29, 2010

Domestic Relations – Divorce – Marital Home – Purchase Option

Where the marital home is the family house wife grew up in, and she attempted to buy the home before she married husband, she shall have the first opportunity to purchase the marital home for herself, says a Salem Circuit Court. Although husband claimed wife committed adultery, and the parties’ tenant claimed to have had […]

Jul 30, 2010

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Carpet-Cleaning Business

A couple had a long history of working long hours to build up their carpet-cleaning business without ever maintaining separate business and personal accounts, and a Salem Circuit Court divides their marital property, with an additional monetary award to compensate wife for husband’s use of marital assets to buy and build up his separate floor-refurbishing […]

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