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
Givago Growth, LLC v. iTech AG, LLC  
Date: October 14, 2021
Docket Number: 201267

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing Petitioners' amended complaint against iTech AG, LLC and Robbins Law Group, PLLC (collectively, Appellees) alleging malicious abuse of process, slan...

White v. United States  
Date: October 14, 2021
Docket Number: 210168

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered a certified question regarding whether, under Virginia common law, an individual can be convicted of robbery by means of threatening to accuse the victim of having committed sodomy, in the posi...

Gregory v. Northam  
Date: September 2, 2021
Docket Number: 201307

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court ruling that Plaintiff had not articulated a legally viable cause of action and denied any requests made for injunctive relief, holding that there was no revers...

Taylor v. Northam  
Date: September 2, 2021
Docket Number: 210113

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court concluding that Governor Ralph S. Northam's order to remove the Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond, Virginia from property owned by the Commonwealth was not im...

City of Charlottesville v. Sclafani  
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Number: 200791

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the portion of the judgment of the court of appeals applying the law of the case doctrine to this appeal of an award of workers' compensation benefits but affirmed the judgment of the court of...

Lopez v. Intercept Youth Services, Inc.  
Date: August 5, 2021
Docket Number: 191545

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting a plea in bar and dismissing a complaint alleging that an employer operating a residential program for at-risk youth had negligently failed to protect...

Barnes v. Berry (ORDER)
Date: August 5, 2021
Docket Number: 200990
Eubank v. Thomas  
Date: August 5, 2021
Docket Number: 201118

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's dismissal of Plaintiffs' malicious prosecution claim and affirmed the circuit court's dismissal of Plaintiffs' abuse of process claim, holding that the claim for abuse of pr...

Potter v. BFK, Inc.  
Date: July 22, 2021
Docket Number: 191716

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's judgment finding that a Buell Classifier was ordinary building material and, as such, was subject to Virginia's statute of repose, holding that the Buell Classifier at issue...

Kinsey v. Virginia Electric & Power Co.  
Date: July 15, 2021
Docket Number: 200703

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court sustaining Virginia Electric and Power Company's (VEPCO) plea in bar regarding conflict preemption and dismissing Plaintiffs' complaints alleging common law pe...

Evans v. Evans  
Date: July 15, 2021
Docket Number: 201108

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court vacating as void ab initio a portion of an earlier divorce decree that had ordered Appellant to pay child support because the court issuing the support award n...

Virginia Electric & Power Co. v. State Corporation Commission  
Date: July 15, 2021
Docket Number: 201172

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the State Corporation Commission finding that a pumped storage hydroelectric facility (or pumped storage) generates "renewable energy" under the former definition in Va. Code 56...

Pinedo v. Commonwealth  
Date: July 8, 2021
Docket Number: 200748

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the circuit court refusing to instruct the jury "with the model instruction regarding a claim-of-right defense," holding that the...

Dill v. Kroger Limited Partnership I  
Date: July 8, 2021
Docket Number: 200823

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the circuit court granting Defendants' motion to strike as to all of Plaintiff's claims, holding that the circuit court erred in granting Defendants' motion to strike Pl...

Lucas v. Riverhill Poultry, Inc.  
Date: July 1, 2021
Docket Number: 200336

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court entering judgment on the jury's verdict for Defendants in this wrongful death action, holding that there was no abuse of discretion in the circuit court's evid...

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.