Supreme Court of Virginia Decisions 2019

Corriveau v. State Farm Mutual Insurance Co.  
Date: December 19, 2019
Docket Number: 181533

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing Joseph Corriveau's declaratory judgment action where Corriveau requested a determination that the uninsured motorist provision in his mother Tracey...

Cilwa v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 12, 2019
Docket Number: 180885

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's revocation of Appellant's suspended sentence in a criminal case, holding that Appellant could not collaterally attack the trial...

Transparent GMU v. George Mason University  
Date: December 12, 2019
Docket Number: 181375

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing with prejudice Transparent GMU's petition for writ of mandamus seeking to obtain donor information under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VF...

Spratley v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 12, 2019
Docket Number: 181452

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals upholding Defendants conviction for felony destruction of property, holding that the evidence presented at Defendant's trial was sufficient to affirm his co...

Watson v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 12, 2019
Docket Number: 181569

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of first-degree murder, robbery, and related offenses, holding that the trial court did not err by excluding expert testimony regarding eyew...

Davison v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 12, 2019
Docket Number: 181694

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction of forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual battery, holding that the trial court did not err in instructing the jury. In its...

Watson-Scott v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 12, 2019
Docket Number: 190016

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals upholding Defendant's conviction of second degree murder, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the murder conviction. On appeal, Defendant a...

Yoder v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 12, 2019
Docket Number: 190047

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction for driving after forfeiture of her license, third offense in ten years, holding that the court of appeals did not err in f...

Massenburg v. City of Petersburg  
Date: December 12, 2019
Docket Number: 190071

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the trial court dismissing Plaintiff's wrongful-death action against the City of Petersburg alleging that the City failed to notify area residents that the infrastructure was not...

Davis v. Davis  
Date: December 5, 2019
Docket Number: 181192

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court ruling that an attorney-in-fact had the authority to gift a principal's real and personal property to herself and her surviving children, holding that the tran...

Jackson v. Jackson  
Date: November 27, 2019
Docket Number: 181229

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the opinion of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the circuit court ruling that a pension distribution order was not inconsistent with the final decree of divorce in this case, and...

Futuri Real Estate, Inc. v. Atlantic Trustee Services, LLC  
Date: November 27, 2019
Docket Number: 181501

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court adopting the partial subordination rule to construe the subordination agreement in this case, determining that the agreement was not ambiguous and dismissing F...

Spruill v. Garcia  
Date: November 7, 2019
Docket Number: 181002

Justia Opinion Summary: In this personal injury action, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's judgment in favor of Yashana Spruill and against Angela Tyler only on liability, holding that the trial court erred in admitting certain medica...

Schmuhl v. Commonwealth (ORDER)
Date: November 7, 2019
Docket Number: 181596
Tingler v. Graystone Homes, Inc.  
Date: October 31, 2019
Docket Number: 180791

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the circuit court dismissing Plaintiffs' claims against home builder gravestone Homes, Inc. seeking tort and contract remedies after mold developed...

Virginia International Gateway v. City of Portsmouth  
Date: October 31, 2019
Docket Number: 180810

Justia Opinion Summary: In this tax assessment dispute the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the trial court's judgments in two cases consolidated for trial, holding that a real estate appraiser need not be licens...

Burnham v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 31, 2019
Docket Number: 181096

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving the revocation of two suspended sentences, one for a felony and the other for a misdemeanor, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the trial court revoking and re-...

Everett v. Tawes  
Date: October 31, 2019
Docket Number: 181238

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the circuit court that denied a request to retroactively modify a pendente lite spousal support award, holding that the circuit co...

Radiance Capital Receivables Fourteen, LLC v. Foster  
Date: October 24, 2019
Docket Number: 180678

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action brought by Radiance Capital Receivables Fourteen, LLC seeking to collect the principal due on a promissory note the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court sustaining Defendants' plea in b...

Jefferson v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 24, 2019
Docket Number: 181114

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part in part and vacated in part the judgment of the court of appeals upholding Defendant's convictions and affirming the restitution award, holding that that the restitution award was impro...

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...

Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. v. F.H. Furr Plumbing  
Date: August 1, 2019
Docket Number: 171192

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court denying Appellant's motion to set aside a jury verdict in favor of Appellee, holding that the circuit court erred in finding that Appellant waived its statute...

Knop v. Knop  
Date: August 1, 2019
Docket Number: 180329

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute over what percentage of shares in a company the three children (Children) of Peter Knop (Father) owned the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court ruling that despite Father's intention to...

Stoltz v. Commonwealth  
Date: August 1, 2019
Docket Number: 181033

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for violating Va. Code 18.2-374.3(C) by using a computer for the purpose of soliciting a minor, holding that the trial court and the court of appeals did not err in concl...

Carrington v. Aquatic Co.  
Date: July 18, 2019
Docket Number: 180243

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the determination of the Workers' Compensation Commission that Carnell Carrington was not entitled to temporary benefits for a total disability ca...

McKee Foods Corp. v. County of Augusta  
Date: July 18, 2019
Docket Number: 180521

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court upholding Augusta County's tax assessments against McKee Foods Corporation for the years 2011 through 2014 and remanded the matter for a new trial, holding tha...

Nationwide Mut. Fire Insurance Co. v. Erie Insurance Exchange  
Date: July 18, 2019
Docket Number: 180572

Justia Opinion Summary: In this equitable contribution action brought by Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (collectively, Nationwide) against Erie Insurance Exchange the Supreme Court vacated the f...

Robinson v. Nordquist  
Date: July 18, 2019
Docket Number: 180631

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the circuit court dismissing trespass and nuisance claims as time-barred and construing the provisions of express easements, holding that the circui...

Morrissey v. Virginia State Bar (ORDER)
Date: July 18, 2019
Docket Number: 181311
Young v. Commonwealth  
Date: July 3, 2019
Docket Number: 180515

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's convictions for grand larceny, conspiracy to commit grand larceny, and providing false identification to a law enforcement officer, ho...

Harvey v. Commonwealth  
Date: June 27, 2019
Docket Number: 180015

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Respondents, who were both previously adjudicated to be sexually violent predators and were committed to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services after a trial court dete...

Sroufe v. Waldron  
Date: June 27, 2019
Docket Number: 181014

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's judgment denying Defendant's motion to set aside the jury's verdict for Plaintiff on this defamation complaint against Defendant, holding that the trial judge erred by faili...

Mooney v. Commonwealth  
Date: June 27, 2019
Docket Number: 181164

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the ruling of the trial court finding Defendant in violation of the terms of his suspended sentences, holding that, assuming a proffer of evidence...

RMBS Recovery Holdings I, LLC v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A.  
Date: May 30, 2019
Docket Number: 180473

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the circuit court in this action, holding that the circuit court properly denied a motion to dismiss based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens b...

Fairfax County School Board v. S.C.  
Date: May 30, 2019
Docket Number: 180497

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing a school board's disciplinary proceedings against S.C., a high school student, with prejudice, holding that the circuit court misapplied the governi...

Spinner v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 30, 2019
Docket Number: 180583

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's denial of Defendant's motion to suppress and affirming Defendant's convictions, holding that that trial court did not err in den...

Watson v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 30, 2019
Docket Number: 180819

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court ruling that Defendant lacked standing to move to vacate the sentences of other felons as void ab initio, holding that Defendant lacked standing and that there...

Commonwealth v. Watson  
Date: May 30, 2019
Docket Number: 180940

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the circuit court ruling that Defendant's erroneous sentences were void ab initio, holding that the Court lacked jurisdiction to consider Defendant's motion to vacate his sentenc...

Cofield v. Virginia State Bar (ORDER)
Date: May 30, 2019
Docket Number: 181603
James River Insurance Co. v. Doswell Truck Stop, LLC  
Date: May 16, 2019
Docket Number: 180624

Justia Opinion Summary: In this insurance coverage dispute, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court ruling in favor of Doswell Truck Stop, LLC (DTS) on DTS's declaratory judgment action against James River Insurance Company...

Commonwealth v. Murgia  
Date: May 16, 2019
Docket Number: 180946

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed and vacated the decisions of the court of appeals reversing Defendant's conviction for criminal solicitation of a sixteen-year-old female high school student (A.L.) using a communications syste...

Brown v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 2, 2019
Docket Number: 180537

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the circuit court refusing to set aside Defendant's guilty plea, holding that the court of appeals did not abuse its discretion in...

Callison v. Glick  
Date: April 18, 2019
Docket Number: 180555

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court in refusing to declare a party a subsurety to a loan obligation, concluding that a purchase option contract was enforceable, and declining to explain the meani...

Brown v. Warden  
Date: April 11, 2019
Docket Number: 161421

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed Petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus, holding that the petition was untimely under Va. Code 8.01-654(A)(2). In 1970, Petitioner was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Peti...

Spear v. Omary  
Date: April 11, 2019
Docket Number: 180224

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the circuit court holding that the juvenile and domestic relations district court (JDR court) had no jurisdiction to modify an awa...

Turner v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 11, 2019
Docket Number: 180644

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals upholding Appellant's conviction for failure to register as a sexually violent sex offender, holding that Appellant was properly classified as a sexually vi...

Dominion Resources, Inc. v. Alstom Power, Inc.  
Date: April 11, 2019
Docket Number: 181061

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court accepted certification of a question of law in a proceeding pending before the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut and answered that Virginia law recognizes that the collateral...

Collins v. Commonwealth  
Date: March 28, 2019
Docket Number: 151277

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction after the trial court had denied Defendant's motion to suppress, holding that the exclusionary rule did not apply under the...

Dwyer v. Town of Culpeper  
Date: March 28, 2019
Docket Number: 180178

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant's appeal challenging a just compensation award, holding that the notice of appeal was not timely filed. In this condemnation proceeding, Appellant appealed from an order distributin...

Rankin v. Commonwealth  
Date: March 28, 2019
Docket Number: 180812

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction of voluntary manslaughter, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it permitted the admission of Def...

Anderson v. Warden  
Date: March 21, 2019
Docket Number: 171562

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court dismissing on demurrer Plaintiff’s complaint filed under 42 U.S.C. 1983 claiming that prison officials had violated his due process rights during a prison disc...

In re Scott  
Date: March 7, 2019
Docket Number: 171286

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court granted Petitioner’s petition for a writ of actual innocence based on biological evidence pursuant to Va. Code 19.2-327.2 et seq. and vacated Petitioner’s conviction, holding that the totality of the ev...

Dennis v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 21, 2019
Docket Number: 171599

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s petition for writ of actual innocence based on nonbiological evidence, holding that the court of appeal abused its discretion in refu...

Reyes v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 21, 2019
Docket Number: 180191

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the order of the circuit court denying Defendant’s motion for continuance pursuant to Va. Code 19.2-159.1, holding that there was no reversible er...

Commonwealth v. Hall  
Date: February 21, 2019
Docket Number: 180322

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court denying an information for the forfeiture of a vehicle used by Defendant during a sale of illegal drugs, holding that the trial court incorrectly interpreted Va....

Mercer v. MacKinnon  
Date: February 21, 2019
Docket Number: 180358

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting Defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that the facts did not establish personal jurisdiction under the basis presen...

Brush Arbor Home Construction, LLC v. Alexander  
Date: February 21, 2019
Docket Number: 180454

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court denying Defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, holding that the circuit court erred in denying the motion for arbitration because the parties’ disagreements...

Stone v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 21, 2019
Docket Number: 180564

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the circuit court sentencing Defendant, as to his five cocaine distribution offenses, to an active sentence equal to the mandatory...

Jeffreys v. Uninsured Employer's Fund  
Date: February 14, 2019
Docket Number: 171467

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission not to award Appellant benefits after he was injured while renovating a historic sch...

The Corporate Executive Board Co. v. Department of Taxation  
Date: February 7, 2019
Docket Number: 171627

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of the Tax Department on the Corporate Executive Board Company’s (CEB) complaint alleging that its income tax assessments vi...

Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Sumner  
Date: January 31, 2019
Docket Number: 180121

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal by a railroad corporation (Defendant) from a judgment in favor of one of its employees (Plaintiff) in an action brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S.C. 51 through 59, the Supre...

Erie Insurance Exchange v. EPC MD 15, LLC  
Date: January 17, 2019
Docket Number: 180120

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court holding that EPC MD 15, LLC’s ability to control its subsidiary meant that, for insurance-coverage purposes, EPC acquired all of the subsidiary’s property unde...

May v. R.A. Yancey Lumber Corp.  
Date: January 10, 2019
Docket Number: 171708

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court finding that laches barred Plaintiff’s motion for a temporary injunction, sustaining a special plea in bar, and entering judgment in favor of a Corporation, ho...

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