Supreme Court of Virginia Decisions 2020

Palmyra Associates, LLC v. Commissioner of Highways  
Date: December 17, 2020
Docket Number: 191680

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal brought by the landowner in a condemnation proceeding the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court in all respects, holding that the circuit court did not err. After a trial, the circuit c...

Wilburn v. Mangano  
Date: December 10, 2020
Docket Number: 191443

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court sustaining Defendant's demurrer to Plaintiffs' suit, holding that "fair market value" on a specified date, without more specificity, was not a sufficiently cer...

Graves v. Shoemaker  
Date: December 10, 2020
Docket Number: 191500

Justia Opinion Summary: In this personal injury case, the Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the circuit court in favor of Plaintiff in the amount of $3,000, plus interest, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion in denying Plai...

Johnson v. City of Suffolk  
Date: December 10, 2020
Docket Number: 191563

Justia Opinion Summary: In this inverse condemnation action, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting Defendants' demurrers and dismissing the case, holding that the circuit court properly granted the demurrers. Pl...

Jones v. Phillips  
Date: December 3, 2020
Docket Number: 190643

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that an insurer's payments on a fire insurance policy were not immune from garnishment as "proceeds of the sale or disposition" of property held in trust under former Va. Code 55.20.2(C) and that t...

Evans v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 3, 2020
Docket Number: 190846

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendants' convictions of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, holding that Va. Code 19.2-294 does not preclude a conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon when the...

Sheehy v. Williams  
Date: November 25, 2020
Docket Number: 190802

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court remanded the judgment of the trial court in this civil case against Appellant based upon a finding that she had violated Va. Code 8.01-40.4 by unlawfully disseminating images of Appellee, holding that f...

Commonwealth v. Groffel (ORDER)
Date: November 19, 2020
Docket Number: 191233
Wood v. Martin  
Date: October 22, 2020
Docket Number: 190738

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court awarding Tracey Martin her agreed-upon share of proceeds of John Wood's insurance policy after he committed suicide, holding that the circuit court did not err...

Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad v. Board of Supervisors  
Date: October 22, 2020
Docket Number: 191000

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court determining that the Board of County Supervisors of Prince William County, Virginia had the authority to dissolve the corporate status of Dumfries-Triangle Res...

Neal v. Fairfax County Police  
Date: October 22, 2020
Docket Number: 191127

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court concluding that the Fairfax County Police Department's automated license plate recognition (ALPR) satisfied the definition of an "information system" under the...

McClary v. Jenkins  
Date: October 22, 2020
Docket Number: 191132

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing a suit by Plaintiffs, local taxpayers, for declaratory and injunctive relief filed against a sheriff and a locality concerning the sheriff's coopera...

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...

Mackey v. McDannald  
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: 190671

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that an obstructive act committed before the accrual of a cause of action tolls the statute of limitations under Va. Code 8.01-229(D) regardless of whether the cause of action has accrued at the ti...

Hooked Group, LLC v. City of Chesapeake  
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: 190764

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting the demurrer filed by the City of Chesapeake and dismissing this declaratory judgment action brought by Landowner claiming that the closure of one of tw...

Larsen v. Stack  
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: 190832

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court interpreting certain provisions of the will of Sandra Larsen's late husband and determining that Sandra did not have a life estate in the decedent's property,...

Fernandez v. Commissioner of Highways  
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: 191056

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court sustaining the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) demurrer as to Plaintiff's action seeking a declaratory judgment ordering the Commissioner of Hi...

Fairfax Board of Supervisors v. Ratcliff  
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: 191128

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal from a decision of the circuit court reversing the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) holding that short-term rentals were not authorized by Fairfax County zoning ordina...

Padula-Wilson v. Landry  
Date: May 14, 2020
Docket Number: 190107

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting Defendants' demurrers to Plaintiff's claims alleging that various professionals who participated in custody and visitation proceedings tortiously inte...

Viers v. Baker  
Date: May 14, 2020
Docket Number: 190222

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action in which Plaintiff alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation against the Commonwealth's attorney, the Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's ruling that the conduct alleged wa...

Davis Construction Corp. v. FTJ, Inc.  
Date: May 14, 2020
Docket Number: 190345

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court holding that a general contractor was liable for construction materials provided by a supplier to one of the general contractor's subcontractors, holding that th...

Loudoun County v. Richardson  
Date: May 7, 2020
Docket Number: 190621

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the workers' compensation commission's award based on Va. Code 65.2-503 for Michael Richardson's loss of use before hip replacement surgery, holdi...

Jefferson v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 9, 2020
Docket Number: 180993

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing as untimely Defendant's appeal of his convictions, holding that Defendant's immediate appeal was untimely. Defendant was convicted of abduction...

Curtis v. Highfill  
Date: April 9, 2020
Docket Number: 190117

Justia Opinion Summary: In this wrongful death case, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court striking the evidence supporting a claim for punitive damages against Defendant, a physician who repeatedly prescribed narcotic pa...

Musgrove Construction Co. v. Young  
Date: April 9, 2020
Docket Number: 190180

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the trial court awarding FoxFire Towing damages in the amount of $56,595, holding that the doctrine of quantum merit was not applicable in this case...

VACORP v. Young  
Date: April 9, 2020
Docket Number: 190356

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court declaring that the School the City of Richmond's School Board's UM/UIM motorist coverage was $1 million, as provided in the contract between the School Board and...

Lambert v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 9, 2020
Docket Number: 190439

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's convictions for aggravated involuntary manslaughter and driving while intoxicated, holding that the Commonwealth presented evidence su...

Caldwell v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 9, 2020
Docket Number: 190541

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's conviction of defrauding a hotel restaurant when she obtained food from the restaurant without paying, holding that a rational trier of fact could not have found the essential eleme...

Young-Allen v. Bank of America  
Date: April 2, 2020
Docket Number: 181313

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court sustaining demurrers to Plaintiff's claim seeking the equitable rescission of a foreclosure sale and her claim asserting that the trustee conducting the forecl...

McQuinn v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 2, 2020
Docket Number: 190266

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's convictions for use of a firearm in the commission of an abduction and use of a firearm in the commission of a malicious wounding, hol...

Akers v. Commonwealth  
Date: March 26, 2020
Docket Number: 190094

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals denying Defendant's appeal from the decision of the trial court refusing to entertain Defendant's motion to reduce his sentence under Va. Code 19.2-303, hol...

Weatherholt v. Commonwealth  
Date: March 19, 2020
Docket Number: 190206

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals upholding Defendant's convictions for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and distribution of oxycodone, third or subsequent offense, holding that Defendant...

Wakeman v. Commonwealth (ORDER)
Date: March 12, 2020
Docket Number: 181680
Hunter v. Hunter  
Date: March 12, 2020
Docket Number: 190260

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of the trustee of a living trust and dismissing with prejudice the beneficiary's declaratory judgment action seeking a judic...

Butcher v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 27, 2020
Docket Number: 181608

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction for misdemeanor failure to stop at the scene of an accident in violation of Va. Code 46.2-894,...

Alexander v. Cobb  
Date: February 27, 2020
Docket Number: 181613

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court ruling that a prior final circuit court order had a preclusive effect on Appellant's claims regarding her ownership rights in parcels of property, holding that...

Flanders v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 13, 2020
Docket Number: 181228

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals upholding Appellant's conviction, holding that the evidence was sufficient to sustain Appellant's conviction for felony homicide because felony hit and run...

Tahboub v. Thiagarajah  
Date: February 13, 2020
Docket Number: 190019

Justia Opinion Summary: In this medical malpractice appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court granting Defendants' motion to strike the evidence on the ground that it was insufficient to prove causation, holding that...

Taylor v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 6, 2020
Docket Number: 181684

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals upholding the trial court's conviction of Defendant of attempted identity theft, holding that one can commit attempted identity theft under Va. Code 18.2-18...

Portsmouth 2175 Elmhurst, LLC v. City of Portsmouth  
Date: January 23, 2020
Docket Number: 181439

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court upholding Taxpayer's real estate assessments for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 for a property located in the City of Portsmouth and the attorney's fees charged t...

Cromartie v. Billings  
Date: January 16, 2020
Docket Number: 180851

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court granting the motion to strike the evidence of Monica Cromartie's claims against Brian Billings, a former police officer, for an unlawful search based on Va. Co...

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