Supreme Court of Virginia Decisions

The appellate jurisdiction of the Virginia Supreme Court is largely discretionary. A party may appeal from a lower court to the Supreme Court as a matter of right only if a case involves the death penalty, the disbarment of an attorney, or the State Corporation Commission. In addition to its appellate jurisdiction, the Supreme Court holds original jurisdiction over writs of mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus, and actual innocence. Its original jurisdiction also extends to matters related to the discipline, removal, or retirement of judges, which are filed by the Virginia Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission.

Seven justices serve on the Virginia Supreme Court, which is located in Richmond. A candidate may submit a pre-appointment application to the Governor of Virginia, or an organization may nominate a candidate. Virginia uses the legislative selection method to appoint its justices. In most cases, therefore, a justice will announce that they plan to retire after the next meeting of the General Assembly. If a vacancy arises without notice while the legislature is not in session, the Governor has the authority to appoint a temporary replacement. The General Assembly then will need to determine whether to grant a full term to that justice when it next meets.

Each justice serves a term of 12 years. When their term expires, the General Assembly will determine whether to retain them. Virginia imposes a mandatory retirement age of 70 on its justices. However, the Supreme Court may allow up to five retired justices to serve one-year terms as senior justices. They may assist with reviewing writs and may review other cases if an active justice is not available, such as when they are recused.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of Virginia

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of Virginia
Day v. MCC Acquisition, LC  
Date: October 15, 2020
Docket Number: 190603

Justia Opinion Summary: In this interpleader action seeking a judicial resolution of two disputed claims of ownership of proceeds from the sale of unclaimed corporate stock the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court holding th...

Alexandria City Public Schools v. Handel  
Date: October 15, 2020
Docket Number: 190957

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the Workers' Compensation Commission finding that Claimant suffered a compensable injury to her right shoulder, holding that the co...

International Paper Co. v. County of Isle of Wight  
Date: September 17, 2020
Docket Number: 190542

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the circuit court granting Isle of Wight County's motion to strike International Paper Company's application for correction of a machinery and tools...

Hampton v. Meyer  
Date: August 27, 2020
Docket Number: 191194

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the misidentification of a defendant in a complaint was a misnomer, not a misjoinder, and therefore, the filing of a new complaint to correct the error after a nonsuit was not barred by the st...

Berry v. Fitzhugh  
Date: August 20, 2020
Docket Number: 190331

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying Plaintiff's request for attorneys' fees from the unrepresented parties in her partition suit under Va. Code 8.01-92 and denying Plaintiff's requests to s...

Baumann v. Virginia State Bar
Date: July 30, 2020
Docket Number: 191723
Wal-Mart Stores East, LP v. State Corporation Commission  
Date: July 9, 2020
Docket Number: 191159

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed an order of the State Corporation Commission denying Walmart's petitions filed pursuant to Va. Code 56-577(A)(4) seeking the Commission's permission to combine the electric-energy demand of sep...

Barrett v. Minor  
Date: June 18, 2020
Docket Number: 181670

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court granted Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's appeal from the judgment of the court of appeals, denied Plaintiff's motion for sanctions, and sanctioned Plaintiff pursuant to Va. Code 8.01-271.1, hol...

Townes v. Virginia State Board of Elections  
Date: June 18, 2020
Docket Number: 190834

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court ordering the removal of Herbert Townes and David Silvestro from the City of Hopewell Electoral Board, holding that the circuit court erred by setting the burde...

Sosebee v. Franklin County School Board  
Date: June 11, 2020
Docket Number: 190620

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court denying a request for declaratory and injunctive relief to bar enforcement of the Franklin County School Board's policy requiring parents to provide a birth ce...

Green v. Diagnostic Imaging Associates  
Date: June 4, 2020
Docket Number: 190181

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing a suit for wrongful death against Virginia medical providers on the basis that Plaintiff had received a personal injury settlement against Kentucky...

Cole v. Smyth County Board of Supervisors  
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: 171205

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that closed sessions conducted by the Smyth County Board of Supervisors (the Board) regarding actual or probable litigation violated the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), Va. Code 2.2-13...

Erie Insurance Exchange v. Alba  
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: 190389

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court finding that a condominium association's insurance provider waived subrogation against the tenant of an individual unit owner where the tenant was not a named...

Byrne v. City of Alexandria  
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: 190449

Justia Opinion Summary: In this land use case, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court sustaining a demurrer and dismissing a landowner's appeal from the decision of the city council, holding that the circuit court did not...

Rowland v. Town Council of Warrenton  
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: 190580

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court upholding the town council's approval of the developers' conditional zoning application, holding that a local government may accept a conditional proffer from...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.