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Tag Archives: Supreme Court of Virginia

SCV: Church merger raised issues of contract, not religion (access required)

A circuit court had jurisdiction to decide a merger dispute between two churches. Resolution centered on the parties’ merger agreement, not their religious doctrines or other ecclesiastical questions. Background After falling behind on its mortgage payments, Pure Presbyterian Church of ...

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SCV: Miranda warning written in Spanish was effective (access required)

Evidence was sufficient to conclude that a Spanish-speaking defendant waived his Miranda rights prior to a police interview. He was given the written warning in Spanish, asked by an interpreter if he understood it, and read it back to officers. Background Detective ...

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SCV: Court could not assert limitations defense (access required)

Appellant Gary Pisner filed a complaint against Appellee Mark Conley, asserting breach of a written contract to perform demolition and clean-up work at his property. Pisner sought compensatory damages of $76,000. After the complaint was served and Conley failed to ...

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SCV: Creditor deserved trial on objections to modified judgment (access required)

After granting a judgment debtor’s motion to reduce the amount of a confessed judgment, the circuit court erred in not setting the creditor’s objections to the modified amount for trial. Background On November 19, 2008, Appellee Hunter Mill West executed ...

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SCV: Totality of circumstances justified vehicle search (access required)

When the search of a driver who’d appeared nervous and fidgety produced a digital scale with apparent cocaine residue on it, the circumstances supported probable cause for officers to search his vehicle, where they found drugs and a handgun. Background ...

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SCV: Expert necessary to support legal malpractice claim (access required)

A plaintiff needed to produce an expert to prove her former attorneys failed to exercise reasonable care, skill, and dispatch. She said counsel had caused her personal injury claim to become time-barred by suing the wrong entity. Background Plaintiff Gigi ...

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SCV: Civil commitment test score not result of negligence (access required)

In dismissing the Commonwealth’s civil-commitment petition, the trial court misapplied Code § 37.2-905.1. Moreover, dismissal was not supported by the evidence. Background Appellee Troy Giddens was convicted of carnal knowledge and attempted carnal knowledge in violation of Code §§ 18.2-26 ...

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SCV: Successive-murder convictions merit multiple sentences (access required)

A defendant who murdered two victims within three years was subject to conviction and sentencing for both crimes under the statutory provision addressing such successive murders. Although the separate indictments merely changed the order in which victims were named, the ...

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SCV: No heightened proof required for word-processed wills (access required)

Although a short will offered for probate had no page numbers, separately initialed pages, or paragraphs running onto the next page, it also presented no evidence of fraud or alteration. Accordingly, it was properly probated as the decedent’s will. Background ...

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