Supreme Court of Virginia Decisions 2014

Commonwealth v. Windsor Plaza Condo. Ass'n, Inc.  
Date: December 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131806

Justia Opinion Summary: The Commonwealth filed a complaint alleging that Windsor Plaza Condominium violated Va. Code 36-96.3(B)(ii) by failing to make reasonable accommodations in rules or services that were necessary to afford Michael Fishel e...

RGR, LLC v. Settle  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 130633

Justia Opinion Summary: Charles Settle was fatally injured when a train struck the dump truck he was operating. At the time of the collision, Settle was traveling on Kapp Valley Way, and RGR, LLC had stacked lumber near the railroad tracks. Geo...

Brown v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131038

Justia Opinion Summary: After a trial, the circuit court found Defendant guilty of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute. Defendant appealed, arguing that the circuit court violated Sixth Amendment rights by denying him a continuance...

McBride v. Bennett  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131301

Justia Opinion Summary: Joey Bennett and Derek Folston, police officers working for the City of Norfolk, were responding to a domestic disturbance call in separate vehicles when Folston’s vehicle struck Donnell Worlsey, who was riding a bicycle...

Jones v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131385

Justia Opinion Summary: Twelve years after he pled guilty to capital murder in exchange for a sentence of life without the possibility of parole Appellant filed a motion to vacate his sentence. Appellant, who was seventeen years old when he com...

Synchronized Constr. Servs., Inc. v. Prav Lodging, LLC  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131569

Justia Opinion Summary: Construction Manager subcontracted with Subcontractor to do work on a construction project. After the project was substantially complete, Subcontractor recorded a mechanic’s lien for unpaid work on the project. Subcontra...

Dinwiddie Dep’t of Social Servs. v. Nunnally  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131584

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother and Father (“Parents”) were the parents of twin girls. Mother was a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (“Tribe”), Father was not a member of any tribe, and the children were either members of, or eligible to...

Sarafin v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131747

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in violation of Va. Code Ann. 18.2-266. The arresting officer found Defendant sleeping in the driver’s seat of his vehicle, which was parked i...

Hawkins v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131822

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of possession of counterfeit currency in violation of Va. Code Ann. 18.2-173 after being found with eighteen twenty-dollar bills on his person that were counterfeit. Defendant appealed, arguing th...

Grimes v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131847

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of statutory burglary in violation of Va. Code Ann. 18.2-91. Defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction because the Commonwealth established only that...

Fiorucci v. Chinn  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131869

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action against Defendant, an oral maxillofacial surgeon, after Defendant’s thwarted attempted to extract three of Plaintiff’s wisdom teeth resulted in permanent numbness in Plaintiff...

Lawlor v. Warden  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131972

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of capital murder in the commission of, or subsequent to, rape or attempted rape and capital murder in the commission of abduction with intent to defile. Defendant was sentenced to death on each c...

DRHI, Inc. v. Hanback  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 131974

Justia Opinion Summary: DHRI, Inc. entered into a contract to purchase a parcel of land from William Hanback. DHRI later sued Defendant for specific performance of the land purchase contract. On June 9, 2004, the trial court entered a decree pr...

Lasley v. Hylton  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 132048

Justia Opinion Summary: At a cookout Daniel Hylton was hosting, eight-year-old Tabitha Lasley was injured when she was thrown to the ground from an ATV she had been operating. Tabitha’s father, Gene Mosley, was present and supervising Tabitha d...

Farhoumand v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 140012

Justia Opinion Summary: After a trial, Defendant was found guilty of three counts of “expos[ing] his . . . sexual or genital part” to a minor child in violation of Va. Code 18.2-370(A)(1). Defendant appealed his convictions, arguing that the tr...

Blake v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 140081

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, a divorced mother of three minor children, was prosecuted under Va. Code 22.1-254 and -263 for failing to ensure that her children arrived at school in a timely manner. The circuit court convicted Defendant of...

Jimenez v. Corr  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 140112

Justia Opinion Summary: This case concerned a dispute over the disposition of shares of stock in a family held business after the death of the business’s founding generation. Plaintiff, one of the founder’s children and a stockholder, filed sui...

Payne v. Fairfax County Sch. Bd.  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 140145

Justia Opinion Summary: The Fairfax County School Board suspended Plaintiff, a food and nutrition services manager at Twain Middle School, without pay for three days for allegedly violating Fairfax County Public Schools regulations. Plaintiff f...

Owens v. DRS Auto. FantomWorks, Inc.  
Date: October 31, 2014
Docket Number: 140171

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs hired Defendants, an automotive business and its owner, to repair and restore a 1960 Ford Thunderbird. After disputes arose between the parties, Plaintiffs filed this action in the circuit court alleging breac...

Murry v. Commonwealth  
Date: September 12, 2014
Docket Number: 131137

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of rape, four counts of aggravated sexual battery, and one count of aggravated sexual battery for offenses committed against his stepdaughter. As a condition of Defendant’s probation, the court or...

Kohn v. Marquis  
Date: September 12, 2014
Docket Number: 131162

Justia Opinion Summary: Patricia Kohn, the wife of John Kohn and the administrator of her husband’s estate, filed a wrongful death complaint against several officers and instructors associated with the Norfolk Police Department and the Norfolk...

Swords Creek Land P'ship v. Belcher  
Date: September 12, 2014
Docket Number: 131590

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was a severance deed conveying ownership of, and the right to remove, coal and timber underlying and appurtenant to a certain tract of land. The parties to this appeal were the successors-in-interes...

Temple v. Mary Washington Hosp.  
Date: September 12, 2014
Docket Number: 131754

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed a complaint in 2010 alleging wrongful death and medical malpractice against healthcare providers (Defendants). During pretrial discovery, Plaintiff filed two separate motions to compel, which the trial co...

Stephens v. Rose  
Date: September 12, 2014
Docket Number: 131780

Justia Opinion Summary: Shellie Rae Rose filed a petition for a protective order against Jeffrey Paul Stephens, her former boyfriend. After a hearing, the circuit court granted Rose’s petition, concluding that Rose had been reasonably placed in...

Bailey v. County of Loudoun  
Date: September 12, 2014
Docket Number: 131815

Justia Opinion Summary: Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors required the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office to implement three employment practices to reduce the hours that would be considered overtime. The Board also raised the number of hours...

Attorney Gen. v. State Corp. Comm'n  
Date: September 12, 2014
Docket Number: 131872

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, Dominion Virginia Power filed an application with the State Corporation Commission seeking approval of a power station and transmission interconnection facilities associated with the generation plant. Dominion’s...

McMahon v. Wirick  
Date: September 12, 2014
Docket Number: 131910

Justia Opinion Summary: Stacy McMahon (McMahon) and Melanie White Wirick (Wirick), formerly Melanie White, were the biological parents of Addison Grace White (Addison). McMahon and Wirick were never married. When Addison reached school age, the...

Via v. Commonwealth  
Date: June 27, 2014
Docket Number: 131574

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of several crimes associated with the robbery of a victim and the invasion of his home. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in refusing his proffered jury in...

Harman v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc.  
Date: June 5, 2014
Docket Number: 130627

Justia Opinion Summary: The Administrators of the estates of two individuals killed in a single-engine airplane crash filed wrongful death actions against Honeywell International, Inc., the manufacturer of the plane’s autopilot system, alleging...

RGR, LLC v. Settle  
Date: June 5, 2014
Docket Number: 130633

Justia Opinion Summary: Decedent was fatally injured when a train struck the dump truck Decedent was operating. RGR, LLC operated a business offloading and reloading lumber adjacent to the railroad tracks. Decedent’s Estate filed a wrongful dea...

Anthony v. Verizon Va., Inc.  
Date: June 5, 2014
Docket Number: 130681

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs were former employees by Verizon Virginia, Inc. Plaintiffs sued Verizon and the Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO District 2 after Plaintiffs accepted an “Enhanced Income Security Plan” based on the as...

Commonwealth v. Herring  
Date: June 5, 2014
Docket Number: 130989

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of attempted first degree murder of his wife, abduction of his father and his three children, and use of a firearm while attempting to murder his wife. The charges stemmed from an incident in whic...

Gardner v. Commonwealth  
Date: June 5, 2014
Docket Number: 131166

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was found guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of object sexual penetration for events alleged to have taken place during sleepovers at his home. Defendant appealed, arguing that the...

Bartee v. Vitocruz  
Date: June 5, 2014
Docket Number: 131283

Justia Opinion Summary: After Tonia Begley died, Robert Bartee and Wiley Begley qualified as co-administrators of Begley’s estate. Wiley Begley subsequently died. Thereafter, Bartee filed a wrongful death lawsuit against an emergency department...

Va. Marine Res. Comm’n v. Chincoteague Inn  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 130239

Justia Opinion Summary: The Chincoteague Inn constructed a floating platform secured alongside its building to be used as part of the Inn’s restaurant. The platform was situated partially over state-owned submerged lands. In an enforcement acti...

Squire v. Va. Housing Dev. Auth.  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 130494

Justia Opinion Summary: To purchase her home, Kim King executed a promissory note to Virginia Housing Development Authority (“VHDA”) that was secured by a deed of trust. When King lost her full-time job, she arranged for a special forbearance a...

Lamar Co., LLC v. City of Richmond  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 130801

Justia Opinion Summary: Lessee leased property owned by Owners pursuant to a lease agreement. A billboard was located on the property that had been declared illegal because it exceeded the permitted height limitations. Lessee and Owners filed a...

American Tradition Inst. v. Rector & Visitors of Univ. of Va.  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 130934

Justia Opinion Summary: The American Tradition Institute and Robert Marshall (collectively, “ATI”) sent a request to the University of Virginia (“UVA”), seeking all documents that Dr. Michael Mann, a climate scientist and former professor, had...

Sheppard v. Junes  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 130971

Justia Opinion Summary: John Warren Shepperd, who never married and had no children, died without having executed a will. Fourteen second cousins from John’s maternal side and Jason Shepperd, John’s half-uncle from John’s paternal side, survive...

Lucas v. Woody  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131064

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suits against Defendants, alleging that she was injured by Defendants’ course of conduct while she was incarcerated in the Richmond City Jail. Plaintiff was not incarcerated when she filed her lawsuits. P...

Robinson-Huntley v. G.W. Carver Mut. Homes Ass'n  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131065

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1989, Plaintiff inherited an interest in a real estate cooperative (“the Association”). Plaintiff became a member of the cooperative and executed a mutual ownership contract with the Association in which Plaintiff acq...

Norfolk S. Ry. v. E.A. Breeden, Inc.  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131066

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1940, property owners (Yanceys) and the predecessor to Norfolk Southern Railway Company (together, Norfolk) entered into an agreement (Agreement) whereby Norfolk agreed to construct and maintain a private grade grossi...

Dominguez v. Pruett  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131091

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of malicious wounding and robbery. Petitioner was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for malicious wounding and five years’ imprisonment for robbery, to be served concurrent...

Ferguson v. Stokes  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131121

Justia Opinion Summary: Jerry Ferguson constructed a causeway extending to an island in the Rappahannock River. Plaintiffs later acquired the property adjacent to the island and causeway and all riparian rights appurtenant to the shoreline. In...

Lamar Co., LLC v. City of Richmond  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131235

Justia Opinion Summary: The City of Richmond brought an enforcement action against the owners of real property (Owners) and the lessee of the property (Lessee), seeking removal of a billboard that Lessee maintained on the property, or, in the a...

Gibson v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131256

Justia Opinion Summary: The Commonwealth filed a petition requesting the circuit court to hold that Donald Gibson was a sexually violent predator pursuant to the Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators Act. After a trial, the jury found...

PS Bus. Parks, L.P. v. Deutsch & Gilden, Inc.  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131282

Justia Opinion Summary: PS Business Parks, LP obtained a judgment against Deutsch & Gilden, Inc. for its failure to pay a lease. PS Business, naming Deutsch as debtor, filed a garnishment summons naming SunTrust Bank as garnishee. SunTrust file...

Lewis v. City of Alexandria  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131308

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff worked for the City of Alexandria from 2008 until 2011, when the City terminated his employment. Plaintiff sued the City, alleging that the City unlawfully retaliated and discriminated against him by terminatin...

Dean v. Morris  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131512

Justia Opinion Summary: Shirley Gregg Dean (Shirley) and Marion Casey Dean (Casey) married in 1978. Shirley died in 1999. At the time, Shirley’s daughters (the sisters) decided not to probate their mother’s estate, basing their decision on thei...

Kuchinsky v. Virginia State Bar
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: 131656
Rodriguez v. Leesburg Bus. Park, LLC  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: 122029

Justia Opinion Summary: Ubaldo Rodriguez was an employee the general contractor hired by Leesburg Business Park, LLC (LBP) to construct warehouse buildings on a parcel of undeveloped land owned by LBP. Ubaldo suffered fatal injuries in the cour...

David v. David  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: 122145

Justia Opinion Summary: Husband filed a complaint seeking a divorce from Wife. The circuit court granted the divorce and equitably distributed Husband’s and Wife’s property and debt. Husband appealed the equitable distribution award because it...

D'Amico v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: 130549

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was found guilty of unreasonably refusing to submit to a breath test in violation of Va. Code Ann. 18.2-268.3. Defendant appealed, arguing in large part that the State did not establish a prima facie case of un...

Beach v. Turim  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: 130682

Justia Opinion Summary: Jay and Judith Turim were trustees of a family trust that owned property in a subdivision. Barbara Beach, the owner of a neighboring property in the subdivision, erected a wall at one end of the Turims’ purported private...

Byrd Theatre Found. v. Barnett  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: 130691

Justia Opinion Summary: The Byrd Theatre Foundation, a non-profit corporation, owned the Byrd Theatre, a historic landmark that housed a Wurlitzer theater pipe organ installed in 1928. David Barnett was injured when he was performing repairs to...

Commonwealth v. Amos  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: 130757

Justia Opinion Summary: Antonio Amos was convicted of assaulting his estranged wife, Felecia Amos, and ordered not to contact or harass Felecia. Felecia subsequently alleged that Antonio had harassed her. The Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney s...

Maxwell v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: 130810

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in these two appeals was Va. Code Ann. 8.01-384(A), which provides that the absence of a contemporaneous objection when there is no opportunity to make a timely objection at the time a ruling or order is made sh...

Coalson v. Canchola  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: 130837

Justia Opinion Summary: Victoria Coalson and Michael Stemke (together, Plaintiffs) were injured in an accident caused by Victor Canchola, who was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Plaintiffs each filed lawsuits against Canchola. A jury a...

Woodard v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: 130854

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was found guilty of felony murder and two felony drug offenses. The court of appeals reversed Appellant's felony murder conviction but refused to remand the case to the circuit court for resentencing of Appella...

Dunlap v. Cottman Transmissions Sys., LLC  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: 131318

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed an action against Defendants, alleging claims for tortious interference with a contract, tortious interference with business expectancy, and business conspiracy. The district court (1) dismissed the busin...

Simpson v. Roberts  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 121984

Justia Opinion Summary: When Dr. David Roberts performed amniocentesis on Plaintiff’s mother, who was pregnant with Plaintiff, bleeding occurred. Complications arose from the unsuccessful amniocentesis, and Plaintiff was born with damaged kidne...

Webb v. Virginian-Pilot Media Cos., LLC  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 122024

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, an assistant principal, filed an action against a local newspaper and and the author of the article at issue in this case, alleging libel, libel per se, and libel per quod, asserting that the article published...

Starrs v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 122028

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. The circuit court accepted the guilty plea and entered it in the record. Defendant subsequently asked the c...

Linnon v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130179

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, a teacher at a vocational school who also supervised students on the sidewalk outside his classroom, was indicted on three counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor by a person in a custodial or supervi...

Maldonado-Mejia v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130204

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted for felony child abuse and neglect. Defendant made an Alford plea, and the circuit court found Defendant guilty and placed Defendant on supervised probation. The following year, while attempting to...

Bd. of Supervisors of James City County v. Windmill Meadows, LLC  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130210

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was Va. Code Ann. 15.2-2303.1:1(A), which provides that cash payment made pursuant to a cash proffer offered or accepted for residential construction on a per-dwelling unit shall be accepted by any...

Bates v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130259

Justia Opinion Summary: Tanisha Bates was indicted for arson. The circuit court found Bates not guilty by reason of insanity. Subsequently, the circuit court concluded that Bates was in need of inpatient hospitalization and committed her to the...

Bd. of Supervisors of Prince George County v. McQueen  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130279

Justia Opinion Summary: Landowner initiated plans to develop his property as a cluster subdivision. Landowner received a compliance letter from the county zoning administrator indicating that Landowner’s property met the standards set forth in...

Allen v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130304

Justia Opinion Summary: Based on a confession Defendant made to his daughter that was repeated to the police, the grand jury returned a true bill for aggravated sexual battery. The circuit court found Defendant guilty of aggravated sexual batte...

CNX Gas Co. v. Rasnake  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130306

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1887, Jacob and Marry Fuller conveyed the coal interests in their 414-acre tract to Joseph Doran and W.A. Dick. In 1918, W.T. Fuller, the successor in interest to the Fullers, conveyed to Unice Nuckles a seventy-five-...

Findlay v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130409

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of possession of child pornography. Defendant appealed, contending that the trial court erred in failing to suppress the evidence seized from his computer. The court of appeals dismissed Defendant...

Robertson v. W. Va. Water Auth.  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130416

Justia Opinion Summary: Landowner filed a complaint against Western Virginia Water Authority (the Authority) after the Authority’s sewer line burst on his property and caused extensive damage, including the collapse of a ten-foot high retaining...

Shebelskie v. Brown
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130503
Dang v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 130553

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder and violation of a protective order. Defendant appealed, arguing that the circuit court erred by failing to order a second competency evaluation after his counsel dis...

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