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For nearly a decade, Petitioner, as a pro se litigant, has filed numerous pleadings in the Supreme Court, all of which have been meritless. In 2017, the Supreme Court issued a rule to show cause against Petitioner, directing her to show cause why she should not be prohibited from filing any future pro se petition for appeal, or other pleading in the court, without first obtaining leave of court. In the underlying case, Petitioner field a complaint against Defendant alleging breach of contract and gross negligence. The trial court dismissed the case with prejudice. Petitioner unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court for an appeal. The Supreme Court denied Adkins’ petition for rehearing and instructed the clerk to comply with this order as it pertains to future filings, finding it necessary to impose a pre-filing injunction against Petitioner in this court. View "Adkins v. CP/IPERS Arlington Hotel LLC" on Justia Law

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A rational fact-finder could reasonably find that the totality of the circumstances proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Defendant was the criminal agent in each of the offenses charged in this case. Defendant was convicted of two counts of breaking and entering and two counts of grand larceny. At the close of the Commonwealth’s case-in-chief and again at the close of all of the evidence Defendant moved to strike the evidence, arguing that the Commonwealth was not entitled to the inference that he committed the larcenies and burglaries. The circuit court denied the motions, finding the evidence sufficient despite the circumstantial nature of the evidence. The court of appeals reversed all four convictions, concluding (1) the burglary and larceny inferences were inapplicable because the evidence did not prove that Defendant had exclusive dominion and control over the stolen property, and (2) without the benefit of those inferences, the evidence was insufficient. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and reinstated the circuit court’s order of conviction, holding that the court of appeals erred in reversing the convictions. View "Commonwealth v. Moseley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Defendant was convicted of second-degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding, and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. After unsuccessfully appealing to the court of appeals, Defendant petitioned the Supreme Court for an appeal, asserting eight assignments of error. The Supreme Court awarded an appeal limited to two assignments of error challenging Instruction 7, which instructed the jury on the definition of intent. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the jury instruction clearly and correctly stated the applicable law and covered all of the issues fairly raised by the evidence. View "Howsare v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Defendant recorded a mechanic’s lien for work done on two properties that had been placed in a trust. The trustee filed a petition challenging the validity of the liens, arguing that the memoranda for mechanic’s lien were defective because they failed to specifically name the trustee, improperly identified the claimant, and failed to list either a date from which interest was claimed or a date on which the debt was due. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the memoranda for mechanic’s lien either complied with the relevant statutes outright or were substantially compliant. View "Desai v. A. R. Design Group, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Construction Law

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Defendant pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana. After both the conviction order and the sentencing order were entered, Defendant asked the trial court to reconsider the felony conviction. The trial court eventually dismissed Defendant’s motion to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor, concluding that it lacked the discretion to reduce the charge. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals did not err in affirming the trial court’s ruling that it lacked the authority to amend the conviction after more than twenty-one days had passed since entry of the conviction and sentencing orders. View "Hackett v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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An indictment returned by a grand jury as a true bill in open court is not invalid when the order recording the indictment was not entered until after the trial on the indictment and no objection was made to the indictment until after trial. The court of appeals affirmed Defendant’s convictions for assault and battery and abduction, concluding that Defendant was properly indicted even where no order recording the presentation of the indictment in open court had been entered prior to Defendant’s trial. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there is no time requirement for entry of an order recording the return of an indictment in open court; and (2) therefore, the circuit court’s delay in entering the order recording the grand jury’s action did not render Defendant’s indictment invalid. Further, Defendant waived his right to object to the indictment. View "Epps v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The court of appeals reversed Defendant’s conviction for possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, third or subsequent offense, concluding that the trial court erred in denying Defendant’s pretrial motion to suppress evidence obtained after a search of Defendant’s person and that the error was not harmless. The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals and reinstated the conviction, holding that the alleged trial court error, if error at all, was harmless as a matter of law because a rational fact-finder, beyond a reasonable doubt, would have found Defendant guilty absent the error. View "Commonwealth v. White" on Justia Law

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Ebenezer Manu filed a complaint against GEICO Casualty Company alleging that GEICO violated Va. Code Ann. 8.01-66.1 for its bad faith conduct in adjusting his uninsured motorist bodily injury claim. Specifically, Manu alleged that GEICO, his uninsured motorist (UM) carrier, violated its duty of good faith by refusing to pay its UM policy limits prior to Manu obtaining a judgment against the uninsured tortfeasor. GEICO filed a demurrer. The circuit court ultimately granted GEICO’s motion to compel and dismissed the complaint with prejudice, concluding that section 8.01-66.1(D)(1) did not provide Manu a remedy against GEICO. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 8.01-66.1(D)(1) does not create a duty for UM carriers to settle a case prior to trial but, rather, creates a remedy for the conduct of UM carriers that refuse in bad faith to pay once the insured has obtained judgment; and (2) accordingly, Manu’s complaint failed to state a cognizable claim. View "Manu v. GEICO Casualty Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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After his employment as the Town of Warrenton’s Building Official ended, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint against the Town requesting a writ of mandamus to reappoint him as “the executive official in charge of the Warrenton building division” as a remedy for the Town’s alleged violation of a local regulation. The Town filed a demurrer, contending that Plaintiff did not allege facts demonstrating that he was ever permanently appointed as the Town’s Building Official. The circuit court sustained the demurrer, concluding that the alleged facts did not demonstrate that the Town had made a “permanent appointment” of Plaintiff as Building Official. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to survive a demurrer and to permit the reasonable inference that he was permanently appointed as the Building Official for the Town. Remanded. View "Hale v. Town of Warrenton" on Justia Law

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Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (together, Nationwide) brought a claim for declaratory judgment requesting that the trial court determine the priority of five separate insurance policies provided by Nationwide and Erie Insurance Exchange (Erie). The trial court determined the priority of coverage as (1) Nationwide Business Auto Policy, $1 million; (2) Nationwide Commercial General Liability Policy, $1 million; (3) Nationwide Commercial Umbrella Policy, $1 million; (4) Erie Commercial Auto Policy, $1 million; and (5) Erie Business Catastrophe Liability Policy, $5 million. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the order of priorities for the applicable insurance policies in this case was (1) Erie Auto Policy; (2) Nationwide Auto Policy; (3) Nationwide Umbrella Policy and Erie Umbrella Policy, pro rata. View "Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Erie Insurance Exchange" on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law