Virginia Supreme Court Modifies and Extends Order Declaring Judicial Emergency

The Virginia Supreme Court recently modified and extended its previous Order declaring judicial emergency. The Order explicitly provides that this is the controlling Order and is in effect until June 7th. If you practice in Virginia or have a case pending, it is worth a close look. A couple takeaways: No jury trials may be held during this period. Some circuit courts have interpreted this to apply to ALL jury trials (even those scheduled after June 7th). Statutes of limitation will continue to toll during this period. Discovery deadlines will not be extended after May 18th. Arguably, a hearing by...

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Court Finds That Governor’s COVID Order Violates the Law

In response to COVID, Gov. Northam recently issued an order shutting down “non-essential” businesses, which included shooting ranges. Did the Governor have authority to do this? A Lynchburg Circuit Court judge answered that question with a big “No,” allowing an indoor shooting range in Lynchburg to open back up for business. The judge’s ruling enjoins the Governor from enforcing Executive Order 53 against the range. According to the letter opinion, “[t]he Governor appears to argue that, when he declares a state of emergency, he can ignore any law that limits his power, even laws designed to limit his power during...

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Virginia Supreme Court Extends Declaration of Judicial Emergency

Today the Virginia Supreme Court entered the Third Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency until May 17. Let’s hope the third time is a charm. This Order contains a bit more clarity on the tolling provisions regarding the statutes of limitation and appeals from Circuit Court. Of note, the Court provides an example: “if a two-year statute of limitations would expire on a plaintiff’s personal injury claim on April 16, 2020, the Period of Judicial Emergency (currently March 16 through May 17, 2020) would not be counted for purposes of the statute of limitations. Due to the tolling of the...

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The Virginia Supreme Court Extends Judicial Emergency Until April 26th, With A Bit More Clarity

The unanimous Order entered on March 27th provides that the court’s and clerks’ offices shall remain operational and provide services required by law, but it continues “all civil, traffic and criminal matters, including jury trials, except for emergency and other matters provided in this Order.” Three big takeaways: (1) If you have a routine civil matter, it has almost certainly been continued; (2) If you have a criminal matter, and the defendant is not in jail, it has almost certainly been continued; (3) Certain filing requirements and statutes of limitations that fall within this time period may be tolled for...

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The Virginia Supreme Court Declares a Judicial Emergency

On March 16, 2020, the Virginia Supreme Court suspended nearly all court proceedings for the next three weeks in the district and circuit courts in Virginia in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and to protect the health and safety of court employees, litigants, judges and the general public.  The Virginia Supreme Court’s Order follows a statewide ban issued by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam prohibiting public gatherings of more than 100 people. The order provides, in part: This Order shall be in effect from today, Monday, March 16, to Monday, April 6, 2020, and it is hereby ORDERED that NON-ESSENTIAL, NON-EMERGENCY...

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Merrick Brock Files Malicious Prosecution Suit in the City of Richmond

Merrick Brock, PLLC, recently filed a lawsuit on our client’s behalf for malicious prosecution against Rimtyme Custom Wheels seeking $850,000.00 in the City of Richmond Circuit Court. The case is pending against Viola Leasing, Inc., d/b/a Rimtyme Custom Wheels and Tires of Richmond VA, Case No. CL19-5130, and alleges that Rimtyme improperly initiated and cooperated in a criminal prosecution against our client in an effort to collect money that it claimed to be due after leasing rims and tires. Our client was charged with a felony, which was eventually nolle prosequi (dismissed) by the Commonwealth’s Attorney. The lawsuit seeks $500,000.00...

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