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Virginia Court of Appeals

Nov 27, 2023

Evidence supported competency determination

The circuit court was not bound by a doctor’s determination made in November 2020 that appellant was “unrestorably incompetent” to stand trial where the same doctor had earlier found him competent. Overview Appellant Stewart was convicted of possessing with intent to distribute a Schedule I or II substance (third or subsequent offense, two counts), possessing […]

Nov 27, 2023

Appellees had power to remove business manager

The trial court’s ruling that two members of an LLC had the necessary voting power to remove a third member as manager is affirmed. Background Rajeeva and Poonam Agarwal founded a business that became 3T Federal. Yadav, a disabled veteran, became a member in 2005. In 2008, Rajeeva Agrawal held a 49 percent interest. Yadav […]

Nov 27, 2023

No continuance after witnesses failed to appear

Where the circuit court terminated father’s parental rights after accepting his proffer of the testimony several subpoenaed witnesses would have provided had they attended trial, the court correctly denied father’s motion for a continuance. Missing witnesses The city of Roanoke’s social services department sought to terminate father’s parental rights to two of his children. “Before [&hel[...]

Nov 27, 2023

No actual or constructive eviction in warranty case

Where appellant argued that a defect in the title to certain property amounted to an eviction, which would permit a suit for breach of a general warranty against the seller, the trial court correctly ruled there was no actual or constructive eviction. Overview Watan purchased property from the Blankenships and received a general warranty deed. […]

Nov 20, 2023

Personal injury action properly dismissed

Where the circuit court dismissed plaintiff’s refiled suit on the basis of the statute of limitations, there was no error. Overview “Debra K. Clutteur appeals the circuit court’s dismissal of her personal injury action commenced — and recommenced after a nonsuit — against a deceased defendant, Nancy C. Rosier, and defended by an insurer acting […]

Nov 20, 2023

Lack of interpreter did not taint waiver of rights

Where appellant sought to suppress post-arrest statements made during a police interview because he was not provided with a Spanish-speaking interpreter, the trial court properly denied the motion. “The record supports the trial court’s factual finding that the appellant had a ‘sufficient command of the English language’ to render him able to waive his rights […]

Nov 20, 2023

Defendant’s absence from med-mal trial not prejudicial

Appellant women’s clinic did not show that a defendant’s absence from a medical malpractice trial created sufficient prejudice to warrant a mistrial. The clinic’s “argument ignores the impact of the circuit court’s repeated instructions to the jury not to ‘make any assumptions or draw any inference due to [the defendant’s] absence.’” The circuit court correctly […]

Nov 20, 2023

Statements properly admitted under Dead Man’s Statute

Where plaintiff’s decedent fell and later died from his injuries after he leaned on an unlocked ultrasound stretcher at appellant hospital, hearsay evidence of the decedent’s explanations of how the fall occurred was properly admitted under Virginia’s Dead Man’s Statute. The incident The decedent, Fr. Rogakos, was an 86-year-old Greek Orthodox priest who had trouble […]

Nov 20, 2023

Litigant did not violate trust’s no-contest clauses

Where a trust beneficiary pleaded that the circuit court should first determine whether his action would violate a trust’s no-contest provisions and, if the court found that the action did not violate them, it should then reach the merits of his claim, this was an “alternative pleading model” approved by prior precedent. The trial court […]

Candle burning
Nov 20, 2023

‘Unamendable’: Expired filing deadline bars personal injury claim

A trial judge made no error dismissing a plaintiff’s refiled personal injury action against a deceased defendant who was represented by an insurer acting in her name, the Court of Appeals of Virginia ruled.

House foreclosure sale sign marked sold
Nov 20, 2023

Writ of possession wrongly granted

A circuit court improperly granted a writ of possession to the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs despite the defaulted borrower’s challenge to valid title based on her allegations of constructive fraud, the Court of Appeals of Virginia has held.

Pills being removed from bottle
Nov 20, 2023

Reasonable defense warranted withdrawal of child neglect plea

A circuit court improperly refused to allow a mother to withdraw her no contest plea to felony child neglect after her prior counsel failed to inform her that lack of intent was a reasonable affirmative defense, the Court of Appeals of Virginia held.

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