Courts of Justice

Judiciary Committees

Summary

Meets on: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at ½ hour after adjournment in House Room 3

Members:   Charniele Herring (Chair) – Les Adams – Rob Bell –  Jeff Bourne –  Jeff Campbell – Ronnie Campbell – Karrie Delaney – Steve Heretick – Patrick Hope – Terry Kilgore – Jay Leftwich – Mark Levine – Jason Miyares – Mike Mullin – Margaret Ransone – Don Scott – Marcus Simon – Rip Sullivan – Vivian Watts

11 Democrats and 8 Republicans

Subcommittees:

  • Civil, Criminal
  • Judicial

News

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Courts of Justice bills passed by General Assembly
Virginia Legislative Information System

Note: Details on bills passed below are in the Heading “Bills passed”)

  • HB 1806:  Suspension or modification of sentence; transfer to the Department of Corrections
  • HB 1814: Garnishment of wages; protected portion of disposable earnings
  • HB 1821: Experiencing or reporting overdoses; prohibits arrest and prosecution
  • HB 1852: Uniform Collaborative Law Act; created
  • HB 1853: Lawyers; client accounts
  • HB 1864: Virginia Human Rights Act; expands definition of employer
  • HB 1866: Court-appointed special advocates; information sharing
  • HB 1867: Victims of crime; compensation, reporting requirement
  • HB 1878: Juvenile intake and petition; appeal to a magistrate on a finding of no probable cause
  • HB 1882: Deeds of trust; amendment to loan document, statement of interest rate of a refinanced mortgage
  • HB 1895: Fines and costs; accrual of interest, deferral or installment payment agreements
  • HB 1911: No-fault divorce; corroboration requirement
  • HB 1912: Child support payments; juvenile in custody of or committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice
  • HB 1936: Robbery; penalties
  • HB 1991: Juveniles; release and review hearing for serious offender, plea agreement
  • HB 1992: Firearms; purchase, etc., following conviction for assault and battery of a family member
  • HB 2002: Child support; health care coverage, eligibility requirements
  • HB 2009: Chamberlin Hotel at Fort Monroe; reverts certain property to the Commonwealth
  • HB 2010: Earned sentence credits; rate at which sentence rates may be earned, prerequisites
  • HB 2012: Protective orders; violations of preliminary child protective order, changes punishment, etc
  • HB 2017: Juvenile offenders; youth justice diversion programs
  • HB 2018: Emergency order for adult protective services; acts of violence, etc., or financial exploitation
  • HB 2038: Probation, revocation, and suspension of sentence; limitations on sentence, technical violation
  • HB 2047: Criminal proceedings; consideration of mental condition and intellectual, etc
  • HB 2055: Child support obligations; party’s incarceration not deemed voluntary unemployment/underemployment
  • HB 2064: Recording an electronic document; electronic notarial certificate
  • HB 2081: Polling places; prohibited activities, unlawful possession of a firearm, penalty
  • HB 2099: Judgments; limitations on enforcement, judgment liens, settlement agents, effective date
  • HB 2110: Pretrial data collection; VCSC to collect and disseminate on an annual basis
  • HB 2113: Criminal records; sealing of records, Sealing Fee fund created
  • HB 2128: Firearms; criminal history record information check delay increased to five days
  • HB 2132: Homicides and assaults and bodily woundings; certain matters not to constitute defenses
  • HB 2133: Commercial sex trafficking; issuance of writ of vacatur for victims
  • HB 2139: Accrual of cause of action; diagnosis of latent injury
  • HB 2147: Human Rights, Division of; renamed as Office of Civil Rights
  • HB 2150: Jurisdiction over criminal cases; certification or appeal of charges
  • HB 2167: Parole; notice and certification, monthly reports, discretionary early consideration
  • HB 2168: Illegal gambling; skill games, enforcement by localities and Attorney General, civil penalty
  • HB 2169: Prostitution; reorganizes the statute penalizing into two distinct sections
  • HB 2190: Wrongful death; beneficiaries
  • HB 2192: Support orders; contents of orders, change in employment status, unemployment benefits
  • HB 2194: Communicating threats of death or bodily injury to a person with intent to intimidate; penalty
  • HB 2233: Orders of restitution; docketed on behalf of victim, enforcement
  • HB 2234: Victims of sex trafficking; affirmative defense to prosecution for certain offenses
  • HB 2236: Behavioral health docket; transfer of supervision
  • HB 2038: Probation, revocation, and suspension of sentence; limitations on sentence, technical violation
  • HB 2252: Tazewell County; quitclaim and conveyance of easement by Board of Wildlife Resources
  • HB 2258: Substantial Risk Order Registry; maintenance by State Police
  • HB 2263: Death penalty; abolition of current penalty.
  • HB 2290: Larceny; repeals punishment for conviction of second or subsequent misdemeanor
  • HB 2298: Muzzleloading rifle and shotgun; clarifies definitions
  • HB 2310: Concealed handgun permits; demonstration of competence
  • HB 2317: Sexual and Domestic Violence, Advisory Committee on; increases membership, duties

 

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Courts of Justice 2021 Hearings
Virginia House of Delegates Video Streaming

Standing Committee: 1/13  1/27  1/29.1 1/29.2 2/17 2/22

Subcommittees:
Civil: 1/15 1/27  1/29 2/17 2/19
Criminal: 1/15 .1  1/15.2 1/27.1 1/27.2  1/29.1 1/29.2 2/17.1 2/17.2  2/19
Judicial: none during 2021 session

A broad section of Chesterfield’s legal community, along with a number of current and former politicians, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and the state NAACP, have thrown their support behind O’Berry.

At least 35 people lined up to speak on her behalf at the Dec. 11 joint meeting of the Senate Judiciary and House Courts of Justice committees that interviewed judges.

At the same gathering, O’Berry was met with strong opposition by supporters of criminal justice reform, including community activists and the Chesterfield Branch of the NAACP. Many accused O’Berry of doling out harsh punishments, wrongly holding criminal defendants without bail and disregarding their rights, especially in the Black and Hispanic communities.

Efforts to roll back limitations on the federal qualified immunity doctrine have again stalled out in the Virginia General Assembly.

Lawmakers in both the Senate and the House of Delegates failed to advance measures aimed at making it easier to sue law enforcement for violating new prohibited practices laws or for violating constitutional rights during arrest or detention. A federal doctrine, qualified immunity can be used to shield government officials, including police officers, from being held liable in civil suits for constitutional violations. It does not shield from criminal prosecution.

The House bill was the first to falter on Jan. 29 when the Courts of Justice Civil Sub-Committee voted to table it for further review by the Virginia Crime Commission. On Feb. 1, the Senate Judiciary Committee followed suit, voting to pass by its version of the bill indefinitely, saying a sub-committee may be convened to review it at a later time.

Legislators call for more Court of Appeals applications
Virginia Lawyers Weekly, Peter ViethMarch 16, 2021 (Short)

Leaders of the General Assembly courts committees are calling for a new round of bar evaluations of candidates for Court of Appeals judgeships with an eye toward racial, regional and practice diversity.

The Democratic committee heads recommend an April 15 application deadline for seven new and existing openings on the Court of Appeals of Virginia. The court is set to grow by six seats in July as it expands jurisdiction to provide appeals of right for all litigants. The court expansion bill is on the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam.

In a March 15 letter to heads of the Virginia State Bar and other statewide bar groups, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair John S. Edwards and House Courts of Justice Committee Chair Charniele L. Herring urge consideration of regional diversity as well as diversity in race and practice areas.

Proposals to legalize marijuana in Virginia cleared key committee votes in both chambers of the state legislature over the weekend and Monday morning as lawmakers raced to qualify the bills for full floor votes ahead of an upcoming mid-session deadline on Friday.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and top lawmakers unveiled the legalization plan in mid-January, on the first day of a short 2021 legislative session scheduled to end later this month. To survive into the next stage of the session, versions of the marijuana proposal must pass the Senate and House of Delegates by Friday, the state’s so-called crossover deadline.

“This is a breakneck speed for us,” Del. Vivian Watts (D), vice chair of the House Courts of Justice Committee, said at a virtual meeting on Sunday, where the panel voted to approve the House version of the legislation, HB 2312, and refer it to the House Appropriations Committee. If it succeeds there, the measure would next advance to the House floor.

About

Web

VA Legislative Information Systems (LIS), House Committee pages

Subcommittees

Civil Subcommittee

Meets on: Monday and Wednesday at 1/2 hr after adj in House Room 1

Members:  Jeff Bourne (Chair)  Steve HeretickPatrick HopeTerry KilgoreJay Leftwich,   Jason Miyares,   Marcus SimonRip Sullivan

Criminal Subcommittee

Meets on:  Monday and Wednesday at 1/2 hr after adj; Wednesday 1.5 hr after adj. in House Room 3

Members:  Mike Mullin, (Chair),  Les Adams,  Rob Bell,   Karrie Delaney,  Don ScottVivian Watts

Judicial Subcommittee

Meets on:  the call of the Chair in House Room 1

Members:   Jeff Bourne Karrie Delaney,  Terry KilgoreJay Leftwich,  Margaret RansoneDon Scott

Bills

Bills in committee   

SB 1123: Provides that in any case contesting the validity of a decedent’s will where a presumption of undue influence arises, the burden of producing evidence and the burden of persuasion as to the factual issue that undue influence was exerted over the testator shall be on the party against whom the presumption operates. Civil subcommittee recommends laying bill on the table (5 Yes to 3 No)

SB 1125: Requires the Parole Board, within seven days of making any decision regarding the parole of a prisoner, to provide written or electronic notice of such decision to the victim of the crime for which the prisoner was incarcerated, unless the victim has submitted a written request to forgo such notice.

SB 1180: Provides that a circuit court may enter an order joining, coordinating, consolidating, or transferring civil actions upon finding that separate civil actions brought by a plaintiff on behalf of multiple similarly situated persons involve common questions of law or fact and arise out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences. Civil subcommittee failed to recommend reporting (4 Yes to 4 No)

SB 1306: Eliminates the mandatory minimum term of confinement of six months for an assault and battery committed against a judge, magistrate, law-enforcement officer, correctional officer, person directly involved in the care, treatment, or supervision of inmates, firefighter or volunteer firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel.

SB 1324: Provides that no action for damages or other relief alleging that a certified general real estate appraiser, a certified residential real estate appraiser, a licensed residential real estate appraiser, or an appraisal management company committed malpractice or negligence or an error, mistake, omission, or breach in an appraisal or appraisal report, whether based on contract or tort, shall be brought unless it is filed in a court of competent jurisdiction and proper venue within five years from the date of the malpractice, negligence, error, mistake, omission, or breach.

SB 1384: Allows a participating locality, for any procurement solicitation or contract exceeding $10,000 for goods and services, to require the bidder or offeror to disclose certain information regarding pre-dispute arbitration clauses, defined in the bill, in employment, civil rights, and consumer disputes, and provides that a locality may consider the policies and practices related to the arbitration of each bidder and offeror. Civil subcommittee failed to recommend reporting (4 Yes to 4 No)

SB 1437: Eliminates the requirement that a promise to appear be completed after the issuance of a summons for a misdemeanor offense or an administrative violation. Assigned to Criminal subcommittee 

Bills reported out 

HB 1775: Adds the State Corporation Commission to the list of agencies that are exempt from paying fees for remote access to local land records. Senate constitutional reading dispensed (38 Yes to 0 No)

HB 1801: Increases the minimum fine for dumping or disposing of litter, trash, or other unsightly matter on public or private property from $250 to $500. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 1806: Provides that if a motion to suspend or otherwise modify a person’s sentence is filed with the court that heard the case at any time before the person is transferred to the Department of Corrections (the Department), the court may enter an order to retain jurisdiction over the matter for up to 60 days in order to consider and rule on such motion. House voted to adopt (100 Yes to 0 No)

HB 1814: Provides that the Virginia minimum hourly wage shall be used to calculate the amount of a person’s aggregate disposable earnings protected from garnishment if it is greater than the federal minimum hourly wage. Awaiting Governor action 

HB 1821: Prohibits the arrest or prosecution of an individual for the unlawful purchase, possession, or consumption of alcohol, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, intoxication in public, or possession of controlled paraphernalia if (i) such individual, in good faith, renders emergency care or assistance, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or the administration of naloxone or other opioid antagonist for overdose reversal, to an individual experiencing an overdose while another individual seeks or obtains emergency medical attention; (ii) such individual remains at the scene of the overdose or at any location to which he or the individual requiring emergency medical attention has been transported; (iii) such individual identifies himself to the law-enforcement officer who responds; and (iv) the evidence for a prosecution of one of the enumerated offenses would have been obtained only as a result of the individual’s rendering emergency care or assistance. Awaiting Governor action 

HB 1852: Creates the Uniform Collaborative Law Act, which provides a framework for the practice of collaborative law, a process entered into voluntarily by clients for the express purpose of reaching a settlement in a family or domestic relations law matter, including (i) marriage, divorce, dissolution, annulment, and property distribution; (ii) child custody, visitation, and parenting time; (iii) alimony, spousal support, maintenance, and child support; (iv) adoption; (v) parentage; and (vi) negotiation or enforcement of premarital, marital, and separation agreements. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 1853: Repeals the provision prohibiting the Supreme Court of Virginia from adopting a disciplinary rule requiring that lawyers deposit client funds in an interest-bearing account. Passed Senate with amendment (36 Yes to 3 No)

HB 1856: Permits trusts, advance medical directives, and refusals to make anatomical gifts to be signed and notarized, as appropriate, by electronic means. Passed by indefinitely in Senate Judiciary committee with letter (12 Yes to 0 No)

HB 1866: Permits court-appointed special advocates to participate in and verbally share information with family partnership meetings and in meetings of family assessment and planning teams, multidisciplinary child sexual abuse response teams, individualized education program teams, and multidisciplinary teams related to child abuse. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 1867: Provides that the requirement that the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission found that police records show the crime was promptly reported no more than 120 hours after it occurred in order to award a claimant funds from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund does not apply to claims of sexual abuse. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 1878: Limits the ability to appeal a decision by an intake officer not to authorize a petition relating to an offense that, if committed by an adult, would be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor or felony, when the decision is based solely upon a finding of no probable cause. Awaiting Governor action 

HB 1882: Provides that a deed of trust that has been recorded and that states that it secures indebtedness or other obligations under a loan document and that it also secures indebtedness or other obligations under such loan document as it may be amended, modified, supplemented, or restated shall secure such loan document as amended, modified, supplemented, or restated from time to time, without the necessity of recording an amendment to such deed of trust. Awaiting Governor action 

HB 1895: Provides that no interest shall accrue on any fine or costs imposed in a criminal case or in a case involving a traffic infraction (i) for a period of 180 days following the date of the final judgment imposing such fine or costs; (ii) during any period the defendant is incarcerated; and (iii) for a period of 180 days following the date of the defendant’s release from incarceration if the sentence includes an active term of incarceration. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 1897: Requires any summons for unlawful detainer to include a notice to the tenant that it is unlawful for his employer to discharge him from employment or take any adverse personnel action against him for appearing at an initial or subsequent hearing on such summons, provided that he has given reasonable notice of such hearing to his employer. Defeated in Senate Judiciary (7 Yes to 8 No)

HB 1911: Removes the corroborating witness requirement for no-fault divorces. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 1912: Provides that the Department of Juvenile Justice is no longer required to apply for child support from, and the parent of a juvenile is no longer responsible to pay child support to, the Department of Social Services for a juvenile who is in the temporary custody of or committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 1936: Creates degrees of punishment corresponding to the severity of a robbery offense. Any person who commits a robbery and causes serious bodily injury to or the death of another person is guilty of a Class 2 felony. House voted to adopt (54 Yes to 45 No)

HB 1951: Abolishes the common-law crime of suicide. Defeated in Senate Judiciary (5 Yes to 10 No)

HB 1991: Clarifies that the Department of Juvenile Justice (the Department) may petition the court that committed a juvenile for a hearing for an earlier release of a juvenile when good cause exists for an earlier release as permitted under current law and shall petition the committing court for a determination as to the continued commitment of each juvenile committed as a serious offender at least 60 days prior to the second anniversary of the juvenile’s date of commitment and at least 60 days prior to each annual anniversary thereafter as required under current law, notwithstanding the terms of any plea agreement. Passed Senate with amendments (23 Yes to 16 No)

HB 1992: Prohibits a person who has been convicted of assault and battery of a family or household member, as defined in the bill, from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm. A person who violates this provision is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. House voted to adopt (52 Yes to 46 No)

HB 2002: Provides that in any case in which a petitioner is seeking to establish child support, the intake officer shall provide the petitioner information on the possible availability of medical assistance through the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) plan or other government-sponsored coverage through the Department of Medical Assistance Services. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2010:Contains a technical amendment. This bill is declarative of existing law. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2012: Changes the punishment and sentencing requirements for a violation of a preliminary child protective order so that the maximum penalty is a Class 1 misdemeanor and the court is no longer required to enter a permanent family abuse protective order (i.e., a protective order with a maximum duration of two years) upon a conviction of a violation of a preliminary child protective order.  Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2017: Authorizes any jurisdiction to establish a youth justice diversion program, defined in the bill as a diversionary program that (i) is monitored by a local youth justice diversion program advisory committee; (ii) uses juvenile volunteers as lawyers, jurors, and other court personnel; (iii) uses volunteer attorneys as judges; (iv) conducts peer trials, subject to the juvenile and domestic relations court’s jurisdiction, of juveniles who are referred to the program by an intake officer; and (v) imposes various sentences emphasizing restitution, rehabilitation, accountability, competency building, and education, but not incarceration. Reported from Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee (15 Yes to 0 No)

HB 2018: Allows the circuit court, upon a finding that an incapacitated adult has been, within a reasonable period of time, subjected to an act of violence, force, or threat or been subjected to financial exploitation, to include in an emergency order for adult protective services one or more of the following conditions to be imposed on the alleged perpetrator: (i) a prohibition on acts of violence, force, or threat or criminal offenses that may result in injury to person or property; (ii) a prohibition on such other contacts by the alleged perpetrator with the adult or the adult’s family or household members as the court deems necessary for the health and safety of such persons; or (iii) such other conditions as the court deems necessary to prevent (a) acts of violence, force, or threat; (b) criminal offenses that may result in injury to persons or property; (c) communication or other contact of any kind by the alleged perpetrator; or (d) financial exploitation by the alleged perpetrator. Passed Senate (39 Yes to 0 No)

HB 2038: Limits the amount of active incarceration a court can impose as a result of a revocation hearing for a probation violation. Passed Senate with substitute (23 Yes to 16 No)

HB 2047: Permits the admission of evidence concerning a defendant’s mental condition at the time of an alleged offense, including expert testimony, if such evidence (i) tends to show the defendant did or did not have the specific mental state required for the offense charged and (ii) is otherwise admissible pursuant to the general rules of evidence. Senate requested a conference committee

HB 2055: Provides that a party’s incarceration for 180 or more consecutive days shall not ordinarily be deemed voluntary unemployment or underemployment for the purposes of calculating child support and imputing income for such calculation. Passed Senate with amendments (21 Yes to 18 No)

HB 2056: Removes the option for a court to order that a status offender be detained in a secure facility for a willful and material violation of a court order or term of probation. Defeated in Senate Judiciary Committee (7 Yes to 7 No to 1 Abstain)

HB 2064: Provides that if a clerk has an eRecording System, the clerk shall follow the provisions of the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2073: Provides that, in a civil action for the wrongful death of an injured person, such an action may be brought by a personal representative of a decedent within two years after the death of the person or, if applicable, within two years of the conclusion of a criminal investigation by law enforcement of such death, whichever is longer. Passed by indefinitely in Senate Judiciary committee with letter (15 Yes to 0 No)

HB 2099: Reduces from 20 years to 10 years from the date of a judgment the period of time within which an execution may be issued or action may be taken on such judgment. Reported from Senate Finance and Appropriations with amendment (12 Yes to 2 No) 

HB 2110: Requires the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to collect and disseminate, on an annual basis, statewide and locality-level data related to adults charged with criminal offenses punishable by confinement in jail or a term of imprisonment. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2113: Establishes a process for the automatic expungement, defined in the bill, of criminal records for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have not been prosecuted or otherwise dismissed. Reported from Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee (10 Yes to 4 No)

HB 2132: Provides that the discovery of, perception of, or belief about another person’s actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation, whether or not accurate, is not a defense to any charge of capital murder, murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, voluntary manslaughter, or assault and bodily wounding-related crimes and is not provocation negating or excluding malice as an element of murder. Reported from Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee (14 Yes to 1 No)

HB 2133: Establishes a procedure for victims of sex trafficking to file a petition of vacatur in circuit court to have certain convictions vacated and the police and court records expunged for such convictions. House voted to adopt (98 Yes to 0 No)

HB 2139: Provides that a cause of action for a latent injury shall accrue when such injury and its causal connection to an injurious or disease-causing substance, product, or circumstance is first communicated to the injured person or his agent by a physician. Passed Senate with substitute (30 Yes to 8 No)

HB 2147: Renames the Division of Human Rights in the Department of Law as the Office of Civil Rights. Passed Senate (23 Yes to 16 No)

HB 2150: Provides that upon (i) certification by the general district court of any felony charge and ancillary misdemeanor charge or when an appeal of a conviction of an offense in general district court is noted or (ii) certification by the juvenile and domestic relations district court of any felony charge and ancillary misdemeanor charge committed by an adult or when an appeal of a conviction or adjudication of an offense is noted, jurisdiction as to such charges shall vest in the circuit court unless such case is reopened, modified, vacated, or suspended or the appeal has been withdrawn in the district court within 10 days. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2167: Provides that the Department of Corrections shall set the release date for an inmate granted discretionary parole or conditional release no sooner than 30 business days from the date that the Department of Corrections receives notification from the Chairman of the Parole Board of the Board’s decision to grant discretionary parole or conditional release, except that the Department of Corrections may set an earlier release date in the case of a terminally ill inmate granted conditional release. Senate requested a conference committee

HB 2168: Provides that any person who conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs, or owns a gambling device that is located in an unregulated location is subject to a civil penalty of $25,000. Senate requested a conference committee

HB 2169: Reorganizes the statute penalizing prostitution into two distinct sections. The penalties for all offenses remain unchanged.  Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2190: Provides that an award in a wrongful death action, where there is no surviving spouse of the decedent, children of the decedent, or children of a deceased child of the decedent, shall be distributed to the parents, brothers and sisters of the decedent, and any other family member who is primarily dependent on the decedent and the same member of the decedent’s household. Passed Senate with substitute (39 Yes to 0 No)

HB 2192: Requires support orders to contain a provision requiring an obligor to keep the Department of Social Services or a court informed of, in addition to the name, address, and telephone number of his current employer, any change to his employment status and if he has filed a claim for or is receiving unemployment benefits. Passed Senate (39 Yes to 0 No)

HB 2193: Provides that, in any case in which a plaintiff or counterclaim plaintiff is seeking a civil judgment against a defendant or counterclaim defendant, if the parties enter into a written settlement agreement, upon request of the parties, dismissal of such case shall be stayed to allow for full compliance with such settlement agreement. Passed Senate with amendment (39 Yes to 0 No)

HB 2194: Provides that any person 18 years of age or older who communicates a threat in writing, including an electronically transmitted communication producing a visual or electronic message, to another to kill or to do serious bodily injury to any other person and makes such threat with the intent to (i) intimidate a civilian population at large; (ii) influence the conduct or activities of a government, including the government of the United States, a state, or a locality, through intimidation; or (iii) compel the emergency evacuation, or avoidance, of any place of assembly, any building or other structure, or any means of mass transportation is guilty of a Class 5 felony. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2233: Provides that an order of restitution shall be docketed in the name of the Commonwealth, or a locality if applicable, on behalf of a victim, unless the victim named in the order of restitution requests in writing that the order be docketed in the name of the victim. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2234: Provides an affirmative defense to prosecution for prostitution and keeping, residing in, or frequenting a bawdy place if, at the time of the offense leading to such charge, such person was a victim of sex trafficking, as defined in the bill, and (i) was coerced to engage in the offense through the use of force or intimidation of another, (ii) such offense was committed as part of a commercial sex trafficking scheme, or (iii) such offense was committed at the direction of an operator of a commercial sex trafficking scheme. Passed Senate with substitute (39 Yes to 0 No)

HB 2236: Provides that if an offender determined to be eligible to participate in a behavioral health docket resides in a locality other than that in which the behavioral health docket is located, or such offender desires to move to a locality other than that in which the behavioral health docket is located, and the court determines it is practicable and appropriate, the supervision of such offender may be transferred to a supervising agency in the new locality. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2254: Provides that any person who, with the intent to coerce, harass, or intimidate, disseminates to any person 18 years of age or older any unsolicited, obscene videographic or still image created by any means whatsoever that depicts himself totally nude, or in a state of undress so as to expose his own genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Passed by indefinitely in Senate Judiciary committee with letter (8 Yes to 5 No to 1 Abstain)

HB 2258: Authorizes the Department of State Police to release Substantial Risk Order Registry information upon request to institutions of higher education and other research organizations or institutions for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating the impact of substantial risk orders on public safety. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2263: Abolishes the death penalty, including for those persons currently under a death sentence. The bill incorporates HB 1779. Passed Senate (22 Yes to 16 No)

HB 2290: Repeals the enhanced penalties for a second or subsequent misdemeanor larceny conviction. Bill passed both the House and Senate

HB 2312: Eliminates criminal penalties for simple possession of marijuana, modifies several other criminal penalties related to marijuana, and provides for an automatic expungement process for those convicted of certain marijuana-related crimes to have such crimes automatically expunged by July 1, 2026. Senate requested a conference committee

HB 2317: Increases from 15 to 19 the total number of members of the Advisory Committee on Sexual and Domestic Violence (the Advisory Committee) by adding the Executive Director of the Virginia Victim Assistance Network and by increasing from six to nine the number of nonlegislative citizen members. Passed Senate (39 Yes to 0 No)

HB 2331: Eliminates mandatory minimum sentences of confinement for certain crimes. Reported from Senate Finance and Appropriations with substitute (10 Yes to 3 No to  1 Abstain)

HJ 629: Confirms the appointment by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia of the Honorable Edward L. Hogshire as Chairman of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission. Agreed to by Senate (38 Yes to 0 No)

Bills Passed

  • HB 1806:  Suspension or modification of sentence; transfer to the Department of Corrections
    Provides that if a person has been sentenced for a felony to the Department of Corrections (the Department), the court that heard the case, if it appears compatible with the public interest and there are circumstances in mitigation of the offense, may, at any time before the person is transferred to the Department, or within 60 days of such transfer, suspend or otherwise modify the unserved portion of such a sentence. Under current law, the court may only suspend or otherwise modify the unserved portion of such a sentence prior to the transfer of such person to the Department.
  • HB 1814: Garnishment of wages; protected portion of disposable earnings
    Provides that the Virginia minimum hourly wage shall be used to calculate the amount of a person’s aggregate disposable earnings protected from garnishment if it is greater than the federal minimum hourly wage.
  • HB 1821: Experiencing or reporting overdoses; prohibits arrest and prosecution 
    Prohibits the arrest or prosecution of an individual for the unlawful purchase, possession, or consumption of alcohol, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, intoxication in public, or possession of controlled paraphernalia if (i) such individual, in good faith, renders emergency care or assistance, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or the administration of naloxone or other opioid antagonist for overdose reversal, to an individual experiencing an overdose while another individual seeks or obtains emergency medical attention; (ii) such individual remains at the scene of the overdose or at any location to which he or the individual requiring emergency medical attention has been transported; (iii) such individual identifies himself to the law-enforcement officer who responds; and (iv) the evidence for a prosecution of one of the enumerated offenses would have been obtained only as a result of the individual’s rendering emergency care or assistance. Current law prohibits arrest or prosecution for such offenses only to an individual who seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for himself or another individual or who is experiencing an overdose when another individual seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for him.
  • HB 1852: Uniform Collaborative Law Act; created
    Creates the Uniform Collaborative Law Act, which provides a framework for the practice of collaborative law, a process entered into voluntarily by clients for the express purpose of reaching a settlement in a family or domestic relations law matter, including (i) marriage, divorce, dissolution, annulment, and property distribution; (ii) child custody, visitation, and parenting time; (iii) alimony, spousal support, maintenance, and child support; (iv) adoption; (v) parentage; and (vi) negotiation or enforcement of premarital, marital, and separation agreements. The Act governs disclosure of information, privilege against disclosure of communications, and scope of representation by the attorneys in the proceeding.
  • HB 1853: Lawyers; client accounts
    Repeals the provision prohibiting the Supreme Court of Virginia from adopting a disciplinary rule requiring that lawyers deposit client funds in an interest-bearing account. The bill provides that any rule promulgated by the Supreme Court of Virginia requiring attorney participation in the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program clearly state that an attorney or law firm has no responsibility to remit interest earned to the IOLTA program.
  • HB 1864: Virginia Human Rights Act; expands definition of employer
    Expands the definition of “employer” for all purposes of the Virginia Human Rights Act to include a person employing one or more domestic workers, as defined in the bill.
  • HB 1866: Court-appointed special advocates; information sharing
    Permits court-appointed special advocates to participate in and verbally share information with family partnership meetings and in meetings of family assessment and planning teams, multidisciplinary child sexual abuse response teams, individualized education program teams, and multidisciplinary teams related to child abuse.
  • HB 1867: Victims of crime; compensation, reporting requirement
    Provides that the requirement that the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission find that police records show the crime was promptly reported no more than 120 hours after it occurred in order to award a claimant funds from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund does not apply to claims of sexual abuse. Under current law, the exception to such requirement applies only to claims of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor.
  • HB 1878: Juvenile intake and petition; appeal to a magistrate on a finding of no probable cause
    Limits the ability to appeal a decision by an intake officer not to authorize a petition relating to an offense that, if committed by an adult, would be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor or felony, when the decision is based solely upon a finding of no probable cause. The bill requires the application for a warrant to the magistrate to be filed within 10 days of the issuance of the written notification from the intake officer to the complainant of the refusal to authorize a petition. The bill also provides that such written notification shall indicate that the intake officer made a finding that no probable cause exists and provide notice that the complainant has 10 days to apply for a warrant to the magistrate. The bill requires the complainant to provide the magistrate with a copy of the written notification upon application to the magistrate. The bill also specifies that if an intake officer finds (i) probable cause and (ii) that the matter is appropriate for diversion, this decision is final, and the complainant shall not have the right to appeal the decision to a magistrate.
  • HB 1882: Deeds of trust; amendment to loan document, statement of interest rate of a refinanced mortgage 
    Provides that a deed of trust that has been recorded and that states that it secures indebtedness or other obligations under a loan document and that it also secures indebtedness or other obligations under such loan document as it may be amended, modified, supplemented, or restated shall secure such loan document as amended, modified, supplemented, or restated from time to time, without the necessity of recording an amendment to such deed of trust. The bill further requires that the interest rate of a prior mortgage be stated on the first page of a refinance mortgage.
  • HB 1895: Fines and costs; accrual of interest, deferral or installment payment agreements
    Provides that no interest shall accrue on any fine or costs imposed in a criminal case or in a case involving a traffic infraction (i) for a period of 180 days following the date of the final judgment imposing such fine or costs; (ii) during any period the defendant is incarcerated; and (iii) for a period of 180 days following the date of the defendant’s release from incarceration if the sentence includes an active term of incarceration. Current law prohibits interest from accruing on such fines or costs for a period of 40 days from the date of the final judgment imposing such fine or costs or during any period the defendant is incarcerated. The bill also removes the requirement that a defendant be unable to make payment of a fine, restitution, forfeiture, or penalty and costs within 30 days of sentencing in order to be eligible to enter into a deferred or installment payment agreement and allows any defendant to enter such payment agreements. The bill removes the requirement that a defendant make a down payment upon entering a deferred, modified deferred, or installment payment agreement.
  • HB 1911: No-fault divorce; corroboration requirement
    Removes the corroborating witness requirement for no-fault divorces.
  • HB 1912: Child support payments; juvenile in custody of or committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice
    Provides that the Department of Juvenile Justice is no longer required to apply for child support from, and the parent of a juvenile is no longer responsible to pay child support to, the Department of Social Services for a juvenile who is in the temporary custody of or committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
  • HB 1936: Robbery; penalties
    Creates degrees of punishment corresponding to the severity of a robbery offense. Any person who commits a robbery and causes serious bodily injury to or the death of another person is guilty of a Class 2 felony. Any person who commits robbery by using or displaying a firearm in a threatening manner is guilty of a Class 3 felony. Any person who commits robbery by using physical force not resulting in serious bodily injury, or by using or displaying a deadly weapon other than a firearm in a threatening manner, is guilty of a Class 5 felony. Any person who commits robbery by using threat or intimidation or by any other means not involving a deadly weapon is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Under current law, any robbery is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for life or any term not less than five years.
  • HB 1991: Juveniles; release and review hearing for serious offender, plea agreement
    Clarifies that the Department of Juvenile Justice (the Department) may petition the court that committed a juvenile for a hearing for an earlier release of a juvenile when good cause exists for an earlier release as permitted under current law and shall petition the committing court for a determination as to the continued commitment of each juvenile committed as a serious offender at least 60 days prior to the second anniversary of the juvenile’s date of commitment and at least 60 days prior to each annual anniversary thereafter as required under current law, notwithstanding the terms of any plea agreement or commitment order. Similarly, at the conclusion of such hearing, the bill provides that notwithstanding the terms of any plea agreement, the court shall order any of the dispositions permitted under current law such as continued commitment to the Department or release of the juvenile under terms and conditions after considering the statutory factors.
  • HB 1992: Firearms; purchase, etc., following conviction for assault and battery of a family member
    Prohibits a person who has been convicted of assault and battery of a family or household member, as defined in the bill, from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm. The prohibition expires three years after the date of conviction, at which point the person’s firearms rights are restored, unless he receives another disqualifying conviction. A person who violates the provisions of the bill is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • HB 2002: Child support; health care coverage, eligibility requirements
    Provides that in any case in which a petitioner is seeking to establish child support, the intake officer shall provide the petitioner information on the possible availability of medical assistance through the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) plan or other government-sponsored coverage through the Department of Medical Assistance Services. The bill also requires the Department of Social Services to refer children for whom it has issued an order directing the payment of child support to the FAMIS plan if it appears that the gross income of the custodial parent is equal to or less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • HB 2009: Chamberlin Hotel at Fort Monroe; reverts certain property to the Commonwealth
    Provides that the property upon which a hotel known as the Chamberlin Hotel at Fort Monroe, Virginia, is located and that is leased to an operator for use as a senior living facility with an assisted living component shall revert to the Commonwealth subject to such lease or with such lease being assigned or otherwise conveyed to the Commonwealth by the United States. The bill also repeals provisions of the Acts of Assembly suspending the provision of the deed from the Commonwealth to the United States by which such site would revert and revest in the Commonwealth.
  • HB 2010: Earned sentence credits; rate at which sentence rates may be earned, prerequisites
    Contains a technical amendment. This bill is declarative of existing law.
  • HB 2012: Protective orders; violations of preliminary child protective order, changes punishment, etc
    Changes the punishment and sentencing requirements for a violation of a preliminary child protective order so that the maximum penalty is a Class 1 misdemeanor and the court is no longer required to enter a permanent family abuse protective order (i.e., a protective order with a maximum duration of two years) upon a conviction of a violation of a preliminary child protective order. The bill provides that a violation of a preliminary child protective order is punishable as contempt of court; however, if the violation involves an act or acts of commission or omission that endanger the child’s life, health, or normal development or result in bodily injury to the child, it is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Under current law, violations of preliminary child protective orders constitute contempt of court and are also subject to the same penalties as violations of preliminary, emergency, and permanent family abuse protective orders, including enhanced penalties for certain violations. As introduced, this bill was a recommendation of the Virginia Criminal Justice Conference.
  • HB 2017: Juvenile offenders; youth justice diversion programs
    Authorizes any jurisdiction to establish a youth justice diversion program, defined in the bill as a diversionary program that (i) is monitored by a local youth justice diversion program advisory committee; (ii) uses juvenile volunteers as lawyers, jurors, and other court personnel; (iii) uses volunteer attorneys as judges; (iv) conducts peer trials, subject to the juvenile and domestic relations court’s jurisdiction, of juveniles who are referred to the program by an intake officer; and (v) imposes various sentences emphasizing restitution, rehabilitation, accountability, competency building, and education, but not incarceration. The bill provides that a jurisdiction may establish a youth justice diversion program upon establishment of a local youth justice diversion program advisory committee and approval of the program by the chief judge of the juvenile and domestic relations court that serves such jurisdiction The bill requires each local youth justice diversion program advisory committee to establish criteria for the eligibility and participation of juveniles alleged to have committed a delinquent act other than an act that would be a felony or a Class 1 misdemeanor if committed by an adult, with the consent of the juvenile’s parent or legal guardian, and to establish policies and procedures for the operation of such program. The bill provides that whenever an intake officer takes informal action on a complaint alleging that a child committed a delinquent act other than an act that would be a felony or a Class 1 misdemeanor if committed by an adult, the intake officer may refer the juvenile to a youth justice diversion program. The bill also adds provisions that the Department of Juvenile Justice shall develop a statewide evaluation model and conduct ongoing evaluations of the effectiveness and efficiency of youth justice diversion programs and report these evaluations to the General Assembly by December 1 of each year.
  • HB 2018: Emergency order for adult protective services; acts of violence, etc., or financial exploitation
    Allows the circuit court, upon a finding that an incapacitated adult has been, within a reasonable period of time, subjected to an act of violence, force, or threat or been subjected to financial exploitation, to include in an emergency order for adult protective services one or more of the following conditions to be imposed on the alleged perpetrator: (i) a prohibition on acts of violence, force, or threat or criminal offenses that may result in injury to person or property; (ii) a prohibition on such other contacts by the alleged perpetrator with the adult or the adult’s family or household members as the court deems necessary for the health and safety of such persons; or (iii) such other conditions as the court deems necessary to prevent (a) acts of violence, force, or threat; (b) criminal offenses that may result in injury to persons or property; (c) communication or other contact of any kind by the alleged perpetrator; or (d) financial exploitation by the alleged perpetrator. The bill provides that any person who violates any such condition is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Also, the bill provides that hearings on emergency orders for adult protective services shall be held no earlier than 24 hours and no later than 72 hours after the notice required has been given, unless such notice has been waived by the court. Current law just requires such hearing be held no earlier than 24 hours. Lastly, the bill provides that if the court enters an order containing any of the aforementioned conditions, the primary law-enforcement agency providing service and entry of protective orders shall enter the name of the perpetrator into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and the order shall be served forthwith on the perpetrator. This bill is identical to SB 1297.
  • HB 2038: Probation, revocation, and suspension of sentence; limitations on sentence, technical violation
    Limits the amount of active incarceration a court can impose as a result of a revocation hearing for a probation violation. The bill provides that if the court finds the basis of a violation of the terms and conditions of a suspended sentence or probation is that the defendant was convicted of a criminal offense or violated another condition other than a technical violation, the court may pronounce whatever sentence might have been originally imposed. The bill defines “technical violation” and provides specific limitations on the sentence a court may impose depending on whether the violation is a first, second, or third or subsequent technical violation. The bill also provides that a court may fix the period of probation for up to the statutory maximum period for which the defendant might originally have been sentenced to be imprisoned and any period of supervised probation shall not exceed five years from the release of the defendant from any active period of incarceration. The bill also provides that a court must measure any period of suspension of sentence from the date of entry of the original sentencing order.
  • HB 2047: Criminal proceedings; consideration of mental condition and intellectual, etc
    Permits the admission of evidence concerning a defendant’s mental condition at the time of an alleged offense, including expert testimony, if such evidence (i) tends to show the defendant did or did not have the specific mental state required for the offense charged and (ii) is otherwise admissible pursuant to the general rules of evidence. The bill provides that to establish a mental condition for such purposes, the defendant must show that his condition existed at the time of the offense and that such condition satisfies the diagnostic criteria for (a) an autism spectrum disorder as defined in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association or (b) an intellectual or developmental disability. If a defendant intends to present such evidence, the bill requires him or his counsel to give notice in writing to the attorney for the Commonwealth within specified time periods. The bill also clarifies that a diagnosis of an intellectual or developmental disability shall be considered by a judicial officer for the purpose of rebuttal of a presumption against bail and that a court may order that a sentencing report prepared by a probation officer contain any diagnosis of an intellectual or developmental disability. The bill also adds to the requirements to be met for qualification as a court-appointed attorney two hours of continuing legal education, which shall cover the representation of individuals with behavioral or mental health disorders and individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
  • HB 2055: Child support obligations; party’s incarceration not deemed voluntary unemployment/underemployment
    Provides that a party’s incarceration alone for 180 or more consecutive days shall not ordinarily be deemed voluntary unemployment or underemployment for the purposes of calculating child support and imputing income for such calculation. The bill further provides that a party’s incarceration for 180 or more days shall be a material change of circumstances upon which a modification of a child support order may be based.
  • HB 2064: Recording an electronic document; electronic notarial certificate
    Provides that if a clerk has an eRecording Sytem, the clerk shall follow the provisions of the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. The bill further provides that if a clerk does not have an eRecording System, the clerk shall record a legible paper copy of an electronic document, provided that such copy otherwise meets the requirements for recordation and is certified to be a true and accurate copy of the electronic original by the party who submits the document for recordation. The bill requires an electronic notarial certificate to include the county or city in the Commonwealth where the notary public was physically located and indicate whether the notarization was done in person or by remote online notarization, defined in the bill as an electronic notarization where the signer is not in the physical presence of the notary. The bill also adds additional forms of “satisfactory evidence of identity” when a notary is using video and audio communication. The bill contains an emergency clause.
  • HB 2081: Polling places; prohibited activities, unlawful possession of a firearm, penalty
    Prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a firearm within 40 feet of any building, or part thereof, used as a polling place, including one hour before and one hour after its use as a polling place, except for (i) a qualified law-enforcement officer or retired law-enforcement officer, (ii) any person occupying his own private property that falls within 40 feet of the polling place, or (iii) a licensed armed security officer whose employment or performance of his duties occurs within 40 feet of the polling place. The bill further provides that no person shall knowingly possess a firearm within 40 feet of a meeting place for the local electoral board while the electoral board meets to ascertain the results of an election or any place used as the setting for a recount. A violation of the provisions of the bill is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • HB 2099: Judgments; limitations on enforcement, judgment liens, settlement agents, effective date
    Reduces from 20 years to 10 years from the date of a judgment the period of time within which an execution may be issued or action may be taken on such judgment.  The bill provides that the limitation of the enforcement of a judgment may be extended up to two times by a recordation of a certificate prior to the expiration period in the clerk’s office in which a judgment lien is recorded. The bill provides that such recordation shall extend the limitations period for 10 years per recordation from the date of such recordation. Under current law, such limitation period may be extended on motion of the judgment creditor or his assignee. The bill allows a settlement agent or title insurance company to release a judgment lien, in addition to a deed of trust as provided under current law, provided that the obligation secured by such judgment lien has been satisfied by payment made by the settlement agent and whether or not the settlement agent or title insurance company is named as a trustee under such lien or received authority to release such lien. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2022.
  • HB 2110: Pretrial data collection; VCSC to collect and disseminate on an annual basis
    Requires the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to collect and disseminate, on an annual basis, statewide and locality-level data related to adults charged with criminal offenses punishable by confinement in jail or a term of imprisonment. The bill provides that any personal or case identifying information within the data shall not be subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and shall not be made publicly available. The bill does not require that the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission submit such annual report prior to December 1, 2022. Additionally, the bill requires the Virginia State Crime Commission to provide the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission with the final dataset of all adults charged with a criminal offense punishable by confinement in jail or a term of imprisonment in October 2017 and that the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission make such statewide and locality-level data publicly available on a website established and maintained by the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission as an electronic dataset, excluding any personal and case identifying information, by October 1, 2021, and on an electronic interactive data dashboard tool that displays aggregated data based on characteristics or indicators selected by the user, by December 1, 2022. As introduced, this bill was a recommendation of the Virginia State Crime Commission. This bill incorporates HB 1945 and is identical to SB 1391.
  • HB 2113: Criminal records; sealing of records, Sealing Fee fund created
    Establishes a process for the automatic expungement, defined in the bill, of criminal records for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have been nolle prossed or otherwise dismissed. The bill also provides a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for charges arising from mistaken identity or the unauthorized use of identifying information. The bill has staggered delayed effective dates in order to develop systems for implementing the provisions of the bill. As introduced, this bill was a recommendation of the Virginia State Crime Commission.
  • HB 2128: Firearms; criminal history record information check delay increased to five days
    Increases from three business days to five business days the time provided for the Department of State Police to complete a background check before a firearm may be transferred. If a dealer who has otherwise fulfilled all requirements is told by the State Police that a response will not be available by the end of the dealer’s fifth business day, the dealer may complete the sale or transfer without being deemed in violation.
  • HB 2132: Homicides and assaults and bodily woundings; certain matters not to constitute defenses
    Provides that the discovery of, perception of, or belief about another person’s actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation, whether or not accurate, is not a defense to any charge of capital murder, murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, voluntary manslaughter, or assault and bodily wounding-related crimes and is not provocation negating or excluding malice as an element of murder.
  • HB 2133: Commercial sex trafficking; issuance of writ of vacatur for victims
    Establishes a procedure for victims of sex trafficking to file a petition of vacatur in circuit court to have certain convictions vacated and the police and court records expunged for such convictions. The bill requires the court to grant the writ and vacate a qualifying offense if it finds the petitioner (i) was convicted or adjudicated delinquent of a qualifying offense and (ii) committed the qualifying offense as a direct result of being a victim of sex trafficking, as defined in the bill. As introduced, the bill is a recommendation of the Virginia State Crime Commission.
  • HB 2139: Accrual of cause of action; diagnosis of latent injury
    Provides that a cause of action for a latent injury resulting from the exposure to a substance or the use of a product shall accrue when the person knew or should have known of the injury and its causal connection to an injury-causing substance or product.
  • HB 2147: Human Rights, Division of; renamed as Office of Civil Rights
    Renames the Division of Human Rights in the Department of Law as the Office of Civil Rights.
  • HB 2150: Jurisdiction over criminal cases; certification or appeal of charges
    Provides that upon (i) certification by the general district court of any felony charge and ancillary misdemeanor charge or when an appeal of a conviction of an offense in general district court is noted or (ii) certification by the juvenile and domestic relations district court of any felony charge and ancillary misdemeanor charge committed by an adult or when an appeal of a conviction or adjudication of an offense is noted, jurisdiction as to such charges shall vest in the circuit court, unless such case is reopened, modified, vacated, or suspended or the appeal has been withdrawn in the district court within 10 days. As introduced, this bill was a recommendation of the Virginia Criminal Justice Conference.
  • HB 2167: Parole; notice and certification, monthly reports, discretionary early consideration
    Provides that the Department of Corrections shall set the release date for an inmate granted discretionary parole or conditional release no sooner than 30 business days from the date that the Department of Corrections receives notification from the Chairman of the Parole Board of the Board’s decision to grant discretionary parole or conditional release, except that the Department of Corrections may set an earlier release date in the case of a terminally ill inmate granted conditional release. The bill provides that in the case of an inmate granted parole who was convicted of a felony and sentenced to a term of 10 or more years, or an inmate granted conditional release, the Board shall notify the attorney for the Commonwealth in the jurisdiction where the inmate was sentenced (i) by electronic means at least 21 business days prior to such inmate’s release that such inmate has been granted discretionary parole or conditional release or (ii) by telephone or other electronic means prior to release that a terminally ill inmate has been granted conditional release where death is imminent. The bill requires that the monthly reports issued by the Board regarding actions taken on the parole of prisoners (a) be published on the fifteenth day of the month and (b) include the name of each prisoner considered for parole, the offense of which the prisoner was convicted, the jurisdiction in which such offense was committed, the amount of time the prisoner has served, whether the prisoner was granted or denied parole, and the basis for the grant or denial of parole. However, in the case of a prisoner granted parole, the bill provides that such information shall be included in the statement published in the month immediately succeeding the month in which notification of such decision was given to the attorney for the Commonwealth and any victim. The bill also provides that if additional victim research is necessary, electronic notification shall be sent to the attorney for the Commonwealth and the director of the victim/witness program, if one exists, of the jurisdiction in which the offense occurred. The bill provides that the provisions regarding the monthly reports issued by the Board shall become effective on July 1, 2022.
  • HB 2168: Illegal gambling; skill games, enforcement by localities and Attorney General, civil penalty
    Provides that any person who conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs, or owns a gambling device that is located in an unregulated location is subject to a civil penalty of up to $25,000. The bill provides that the Attorney General, an attorney for the Commonwealth, or the attorney for any locality may cause an action in equity to be brought in the name of the Commonwealth or of the locality, as applicable, to enjoin the operation of a gambling device in violation of this section and may request attachment against all such devices and any moneys within such devices. The bill provides that any civil penalties brought in the name of the Commonwealth shall be paid into the Literary Fund and that any civil penalties brought in the name of a locality shall be paid into the general fund of the locality. The bill also provides that any organization or person that conducted bingo, network bingo, instant bingo, pull tabs, seal cards, raffles, duck races, Texas Hold’em poker tournaments, or regulated gaming outside of the county, city, or town in which the organization’s or person’s principal office or registered agent, as registered with the State Corporation Commission, is located or outside of an adjoining county, city, or town on or before February 1, 2021, may continue such activities only at those locations until June 30, 2022.
  • HB 2169: Prostitution; reorganizes the statute penalizing into two distinct sections
    Reorganizes the statute penalizing prostitution into two distinct sections. The penalties for all offenses remain unchanged. This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia State Crime Commission.
  • HB 2190: Wrongful death; beneficiaries
    Provides that an award in a wrongful death action, where there is no surviving spouse of the decedent, children of the decedent, or children of a deceased child of the decedent, shall be distributed to the parents, brothers and sisters of the decedent, and any other relative who is primarily dependent on the decedent for support or services and is also a member of the same household as the decedent.
  • HB 2192: Support orders; contents of orders, change in employment status, unemployment benefits
    Requires support orders to contain a provision requiring an obligor to keep the Department of Social Services or a court informed of, in addition to the name, address, and telephone number of his current employer, any change to his employment status and if he has filed a claim for or is receiving unemployment benefits. The bill further requires that the provision shall further specify that any such change or filing be communicated to the Department of Social Services or the court in writing within 30 days of such change or filing.
  • HB 2194: Communicating threats of death or bodily injury to a person with intent to intimidate; penalty
    Provides that any person 18 years of age or older who communicates a threat in writing, including an electronically transmitted communication producing a visual or electronic message, to another to kill or to do serious bodily injury to any other person and makes such threat with the intent to (i) intimidate a civilian population at large; (ii) influence the conduct or activities of a government, including the government of the United States, a state, or a locality, through intimidation; or (iii) compel the emergency evacuation, or avoidance, of any place of assembly, any building or other structure, or any means of mass transportation is guilty of a Class 5 felony. The bill provides that any person younger than 18 years of age who commits such offense is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. This bill is identical to SB 1113.
  • HB 2233: Orders of restitution; docketed on behalf of victim, enforcement
    Provides that an order of restitution shall be docketed in the name of the Commonwealth, or a locality if applicable, on behalf of a victim, unless the victim named in the order of restitution requests in writing that the order be docketed in the name of the victim. The bill provides that an order of restitution docketed in the name of the victim shall be enforced by the victim as a civil judgment. The bill also states that the clerk of such court shall record and disburse restitution payments in accordance with orders of restitution or judgments for restitution docketed in the name of the Commonwealth or a locality. The bill provides that at any time before a judgment for restitution docketed in the name of the Commonwealth or a locality is satisfied, the court shall, at the written request of the victim, order the circuit court clerk to execute and docket an assignment of the judgment to the victim and remove from its automated financial system the amount of unpaid restitution. Similarly, the bill provides that if a judge of the district court orders the circuit court clerk to execute and docket an assignment of the judgment to the victim, the district court clerk shall remove from its automated financial system the amount of unpaid restitution. Additionally, the bill states that if the victim requests that the order of restitution be docketed in the name of the victim or that a judgment for restitution previously docketed in the name of the Commonwealth or a locality be assigned to the victim, the victim shall provide to the court an address where the defendant can mail payment for the amount due and such address shall not be confidential. This bill is identical to SB 1426.
  • HB 2234: Victims of sex trafficking; affirmative defense to prosecution for certain offenses
    Provides an affirmative defense to prosecution for prostitution and keeping, residing in, or frequenting a bawdy place if, at the time of the offense leading to such charge, such person was a victim of sex trafficking, as defined in the bill, and (i) was coerced to engage in the offense through the use of force or intimidation or (ii) such offense was committed at the direction of another person other than the individual with whom the person engaged in the acts of prostitution or unlawful sexual intercourse for such money or its equivalent.
  • HB 2236Behavioral health docket; transfer of supervision
    Provides that if an offender determined to be eligible to participate in a behavioral health docket resides in a locality other than that in which the behavioral health docket is located, or such offender desires to move to a locality other than that in which the behavioral health docket is located, and the court determines it is practicable and appropriate, the supervision of such offender may be transferred to a supervising agency in the new locality. The bill states that if the receiving agency accepts the transfer, it shall confirm in writing that it can and will comply with all of the conditions of supervision of the behavioral health docket, including the frequency of in-person and other contact with the offender and updates from the offender’s treatment providers and that if the receiving agency cannot comply with the conditions of supervision, the agency shall deny the transfer in writing and the sending agency shall notify the court. The bill also provides that where supervision is transferred, the sending agency shall be responsible for providing to the court reports on an offender’s conduct, treatment, and compliance with the conditions of supervision. Additionally, the bill provides that the standards prescribed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services for the development, implementation, operation, and evaluation of local community-based probation services and facilities shall include standards for the transfer of supervision between local community-based probation agencies.
  • HB 2038: Probation, revocation, and suspension of sentence; limitations on sentence, technical violation
    Limits the amount of active incarceration a court can impose as a result of a revocation hearing for a probation violation. The bill provides that if the court finds the basis of a violation of the terms and conditions of a suspended sentence or probation is that the defendant was convicted of a criminal offense or violated another condition other than a technical violation, the court may pronounce whatever sentence might have been originally imposed. The bill defines “technical violation” and provides specific limitations on the sentence a court may impose depending on whether the violation is a first, second, or third or subsequent technical violation. The bill also provides that a court may fix the period of probation for up to the statutory maximum period for which the defendant might originally have been sentenced to be imprisoned and any period of supervised probation shall not exceed five years from the release of the defendant from any active period of incarceration. The bill also provides that a court must measure any period of suspension of sentence from the date of entry of the original sentencing order.
  • HB 2252: Tazewell County; quitclaim and conveyance of easement by Board of Wildlife Resources
    Authorizes the Board of Wildlife Resources to quitclaim any interest in a parcel of land and convey a right-of-way easement to the Valerie H. MacDowell Trust. The quitclaim is a result of a boundary line correction of an acquisition by the Board and applies to an unimproved parcel of land containing about 13.6 acres on the watershed of Little Tumbling Creek. The easement, which will follow an existing road and bridge across a portion of the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area, will allow ingress and egress to the MacDowell Trust property from State Route 607. The MacDowell Trust shall be solely responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the easement. This bill is identical to SB 1400.
  • HB 2258Substantial Risk Order Registry; maintenance by State Police
    Authorizes the Department of State Police to release Substantial Risk Order Registry information upon request to institutions of higher education and other research organizations or institutions for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating the impact of substantial risk orders on public safety. The bill requires the Department of State Police to remove the names and other personal identifying information from the data before it releases such information.
  • HB 2263: Death penalty; abolition of current penalty.
    Abolishes the death penalty, including for those persons currently under a death sentence. The bill provides that no person may be sentenced to death or put to death on or after its effective date for any violation of law. The bill incorporates HB 1779 and is identical to SB 1165.
  • HB 2290: Larceny; repeals punishment for conviction of second or subsequent misdemeanor
    Repeals the enhanced penalties for a second or subsequent misdemeanor larceny conviction. Under current law, when a person is convicted of a second larceny offense, he shall be confined in jail not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months, and for a third, or any subsequent offense, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.
  • HB 2298: Muzzleloading rifle and shotgun; clarifies definitions
    Removes the requirement that the propellant be loaded along with the projectile or projectiles in the definitions of muzzleloading rifle and muzzleloading shotgun.
  • HB 2310: Concealed handgun permits; demonstration of competence
    Provides that any applicant for a concealed handgun permit who completed an online course to demonstrate competence with a handgun and contacted the circuit court clerk’s office prior to January 1, 2021, but was prohibited from appearing in person at a circuit court clerk’s office because of COVID-19 restrictions is eligible to apply for such permit through April 30, 2021. The bill contains an emergency clause.
  • HB 2317: Sexual and Domestic Violence, Advisory Committee on; increases membership, duties
    Increases from 15 to 19 the total number of members of the Advisory Committee on Sexual and Domestic Violence (the Advisory Committee) by adding the Executive Director of the Virginia Victim Assistance Network and by increasing from six to nine the number of nonlegislative citizen members. The bill streamlines the responsibilities and duties of the Advisory Committee to (i) promotion of appropriate and effective responses, services, and prevention for sexual assault and domestic violence across the Commonwealth and (ii) promotion of strong communication, coordination, and strategy at state, regional, and local levels. The bill also reorganizes the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Professional Standards Committee (the Professional Standards Committee) to consist of 12 nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Governor and three nonvoting members. Under current law, the Professional Standards Committee consists of six directors of local and domestic violence programs appointed by the Advisory Committee, six directors of local sexual and domestic violence programs appointed by the Virginia sexual and domestic violence coalition, one nonvoting member appointed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and one nonvoting member appointed by the Virginia sexual and domestic violence coalition. The bill further outlines the duties and responsibilities of the Professional Standards Committee and of the Department of Criminal Justice Services with regard to the Professional Standards Committee.

Commissions & Boards

Joint Subcommittee to Study Barrier Crimes and Criminal History Records Checks

Source: Webpage

Study of the Commonwealth’s laws related to barrier crimes and criminal history records checks and development of recommendations related to (i) whether statutory provisions related to criminal history records checks, barrier crimes, and barrier crime exceptions should be reorganized and consolidated into a central location in the Code of Virginia; (ii) whether certain crimes should be removed from the list of barrier crimes; (iii) whether barrier crime exceptions and waiver processes should be broadened; (iv) whether the required amount of time that must lapse after conviction of certain barrier crimes should be shortened; and (v) other changes that could be made to criminal history records check and barrier crimes requirements that would improve the organization, effectiveness, and fairness of such provisions.

Criminal Justice Services Board

Source: Webpage

Supervisory board of the Department of Criminal Justice Services which is the planning and coordinating agency responsible for the implementation and administration of any federal programs for strengthing and improving law enforcement, and the administration of criminal justice, and delinquency prevention and control throughout the Commonwealth.

Criminal Sentencing Commission

Source: Website

To develop discretionary sentencing guidelines to achieve the goals of certainty, consistency, and adequacy of punishment with due regard to the seriousness of the offense, the dangerousness of the offender, deterrence of individuals from committing criminal offenses,and the use of alternative sanctions, where appropriate.

Disbursement Review Committee

Source: Webpage

Provide input to the Attorney General on forfeitures through the U.S. Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program or the U.S. Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture

Committee on District Courts

Source: Webpage

Authorizing the appointment of substitute judges pursuant to § 16.1-69.14, authorizing the establishment of clerks’ offices in counties or cities as may be required and establishing when such offices are open for business, authorizing the appointment of personnel for the district courts and establishing procedures for administrative review of appeals from personnel actions for district court personnel and magistrates, fixing salary classification schedules of court personnel and establishing vacation and sick leave for district court judges, district court personnel and magistrates, and for such other duties or matters as may be conferred upon by law.

Forensic Science Board

Source: Webpage

Policy Board

VA Council Interstate Compact for Juveniles

Source: Webpage

The Council shall exercise oversight and advocacy concerning its participation in interstate commission activities and other duties as may be determined by the Council, including development of policies concerning operations and procedures of the compact within Virginia.

Judicial Conference of Virginia for District Courts

Source: Webpage

There is hereby established a Judicial Conference of Virginia for District Courts whose active members shall be the judge of every general district court and juvenile and domestic relations district court of the Commonwealth. The Attorney General of Virginia, the chairmen of the Courts of Justice Committees of the Senate and House of Delegates or their designees who shall be members of the Courts of Justice committees, the president and secretary of the Virginia State Bar, the president and secretary of the Virginia Bar Association, the president and secretary of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, the president and secretary of the Old Dominion Bar Association, the president and secretary of the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys, the president and secretary of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association, the president and secretary of the Virginia College of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the president and secretary of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys shall be honorary members of the Conference without voting privilege.

Judicial Council of Virginia

Source: Webpage

Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission

Source: Webpage

To investigate charges arising out of the present or any prior term of office which would be the basis for retirement, censure, or removal of a judge under Article VI, Section 10 of the Constitution of Virginia.

Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice

Source: Webpage

Advise and assist all agencies on matters related to the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency and the administration of juvenile justice in the Commonwealth.

Virginia Advisory Committee on Sexual and Domestic Violence

Source: Webpage

The Advisory Committee shall have the responsibility for advising and assisting the Board, the Department, all agencies, departments, boards, and institutions of the Commonwealth, and units of local government, or combinations thereof, on matters related to the prevention and reduction of sexual and domestic violence in the Commonwealth, and to promote the efficient administration of grant funds to state and local programs that work in these areas.

Commission To Study Slavery and Subsequent De Jure and De Facto Racial and Economic Discrimination Against African Americans

Source: Webpage

To study the current impact and long-term inequities of slavery and subsequent de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African Americans

Virginia African American Advisory Board

Source: Webpage

The Virginia African American Advisory Board (the Board) is established as an advisory board in the executive branch of state government.

Qualifications: The Board shall have a total membership of 26 members that shall consist of 21 nonlegislative citizen members and five ex officio members. Nonlegislative citizen members shall be appointed as follows: 21 members, at least 15 of whom shall be African American, to be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. The Secretaries of the Commonwealth, Commerce and Trade, Education, Health and Human Resources, and Public Safety and Homeland Security or their designees shall serve ex officio with nonvoting privileges.

Virginia Indigent Defense Commission

Source: Website

To develop and publicize a list of and develop and enforce the qualification standards for attorneys seeking eligibility to serve as court-appointed counsel for indigent defendants pursuant to § 19.2-159.

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