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
Hill v. Commonwealth  
Date: August 30, 2019
Docket Number: 180681

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, second offense, upon Defendant's conditional guilty plea, holding that...

Our Lady of Peace v. Morgan  
Date: August 30, 2019
Docket Number: 180736

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court entering final judgment against a nursing home arising from actions taken by a nursing assistant at the nursing home, holding that it was impossible for the tria...

Helmick Family Farm v. Commissioner of Highways  
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: 180691

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court and set aside the award of the condemnation commissioners to the Helmick Family Farm, LLC for a taking of slightly more than two acres of land along with some ea...

Gross v. Stuart  
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: 180758

Justia Opinion Summary: In this medical malpractice action the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment entered by the circuit court on a jury verdict returned in favor of Plaintiff, holding that there was no reversible error in the proceedings belo...

Bethea v. Commonwealth  
Date: August 28, 2019
Docket Number: 180527

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction of first-degree murder, holding that the trial court did not violate the holding of Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986)...

Sainani v. Belmont Glen Homeowners Ass'n  
Date: August 26, 2019
Docket Number: 181037

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court awarding a monetary judgment, injunctive relief, and attorney fees and costs to a homeowners association (the HOA) in its suit against Homeowners for violations...

Henderson v. Cook  
Date: August 23, 2019
Docket Number: 180772

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's appeal from his conviction, pursuant to guilty pleas, of multiple felonies and misdemeanors, holding that the court of appeals erred...

Trevathan v. Commonwealth  
Date: August 23, 2019
Docket Number: 180803

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed Petitioner's habeas corpus petition without prejudice to Petitioner filing a habeas petition challenging Va. Code 19.2-169.3(F) or his seeking expedited review so as to permit timely resolutio...

Murphy v. Smith  
Date: August 23, 2019
Docket Number: 181522

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court delegating its final approval of final accountings submitted by a trustee and conservator as provided by statute and directing that the Commissioner of Account...

Handberg v. Goldberg  
Date: August 22, 2019
Docket Number: 170964

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court upholding a jury verdict finding Defendant liable for defamation of Plaintiff, holding that the trial court erred in its gatekeeping function by failing properly...

Lane v. Bayview Loan Servicing  
Date: August 22, 2019
Docket Number: 180979

Justia Opinion Summary: In this complaint alleging breach of a deed of trust the Supreme Court reversed and vacated the judgments of the circuit court granting Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC's plea in bar of res judicata and dismissing Gloria Lane...

Loch Levan Land v. Board of Supervisors  
Date: August 22, 2019
Docket Number: 181043

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court ruling in favor of Henrico County and concluding that HHHHunt did not have a vested right to the continuation of Dominion Club Drive under Va. Code 15.2-2261 a...

A.H. v. Church of God in Christ  
Date: August 15, 2019
Docket Number: 180520

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the circuit court dismissing Plaintiff's complaint against a church deacon and his wife, the local church, and the national denomination claiming that the local church a...

Bragg Hill Corp. v. City of Fredericksburg  
Date: August 15, 2019
Docket Number: 180647

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's judgment dismissing Bragg Hill Corporation's claims against the City of Fredericksburg, holding that the rezoning of property by a city ordinance upon annexation of the prop...

Llewellyn v. White  
Date: August 15, 2019
Docket Number: 181108

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court holding that a settlement agreement between Plaintiff and her underinsured motorist carrier did not entitle the underinsured defendant (Defendant) to a statuto...

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.