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Courts of Record
Posting of "In God We Trust". Provides that "In God We Trust" shall be posted in every courtroom in the Commonwealth when the General Assembly appropriates funds for such postings.
Patron - Marshall, R.G.
Legal Aid Services Fund. Raises the additional fees collected in all cities and counties in which civil legal representation is provided for the poor, without charge, by a nonprofit legal aid program organized under the auspices of the Virginia State Bar, from two to four dollars in both district and circuit courts.
Patron - Bryant
Clerks fees; information technology fee. Provides an exception where a clerk has implemented a technology plan approved by the Department of Technology Planning allowing allocations to exceed the pro rata share of the collections of the three-dollar fee relative to the chancery and law actions filed in that jurisdiction.
Patron - Reese
Clerks of court; electronic filing. Allows a circuit court clerk to enter into an agreement with banks, mortgage companies or other lending institutions for the purpose of electronically recording certificates of satisfaction and assignments of the underlying notes secured by previously recorded deeds of trust.
Patron - Reese
Technology Trust Fund fee; sunset. Extends the sunset from July 1, 2002, to July 1, 2004. This bill is identical to SB 83.
Patron - Phillips
Grantor/grantee index; clerk's office. Allows a court clerk's office to maintain grantor/grantee indexes on paper.
Patron - Phillips
Judicial performance evaluation program. Requires the Supreme Court to establish a one-year pilot judicial performance evaluation program beginning January 1, 2003, if funds are appropriated by the general appropriation act. There is a January 1, 2004, effective date for the Supreme Court to establish and maintain a judicial performance evaluation program that will provide a self-improvement mechanism for judges and a source of information for the reelection process. By September 1 of each year, the Supreme Court will transmit a final evaluation of each justice and judge whose term expires during the next session to the Chairmen of the House and Senate Committees for Courts of Justice.
Patron - McDonnell
Election of Chief Justice by the justices of the Court. Changes the manner in which the Chief Justice is chosen to a majority vote of the justices as opposed to the ascension of the most senior justice. The bill applies to the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and does not affect the current Chief Justice or his term. This bill is identical to SB 138.
Patron - Kilgore
Clerk of circuit court; military service discharge records. Provides that discharge certificates and reports of separation from active duty recorded with the clerk of circuit court shall be open for inspection and copying only by (i) the subject of the record, (ii) the conservator or guardian of the subject, (iii) the executor or administrator of the subjects estate, (iv) representatives acting on behalf of or at the request of the subject, or (v) any agency of federal, state, or local government. The bill also provides that the clerk may permit the use of discharge certificates or reports of separation from active duty for bona fide research purposes if the subject of the record is deceased.
Patron - Cox
Technology Trust Fund fee; sunset. Extends the sunset from July 1, 2002, to July 1, 2004. This bill is identical to HB 857.
Patron - Wampler
Election of Chief Justice by the justices of the Court. Changes the manner in which the Chief Justice is chosen to a majority vote of the justices as opposed to the ascension of the most senior justice. The bill applies to the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and does not affect the current Chief Justice or his term. This bill is identical to HB 1186.
Patron - Stolle
Court fees. Establishes fixed fees for proceedings for misdemeanors, traffic infractions and other violations in district and circuit court. The fixed fees aggregate the most common costs to be collected by clerks of court, many of which are earmarked for distribution to specific funds. The fees are collected in the case of a conviction, certain deferred dispositions without a finding of guilt, or revocation of probation or a suspended sentence. The bill was recommended by the Committee on District Courts in order to more efficiently process cases, utilize automation and minimize inconvenience to the public.
Patron - Norment
Circuit court clerks. Makes various revisions to the duties and responsibilities of filings, etc., in the circuit court clerks' offices such as: clarifying the limitations on public access to social security numbers; authorizing localities to supplement clerks salaries; giving authority to clerks to sign prisoner transportation orders when authorized by the judge; providing for the disposition of original wills after microfilming; removing the reference to abstracts of executions on judgments that no longer have to be filed; clarifying that partial certificates of satisfaction are to be indexed; deleting obsolete references to fees for applications for tax deeds; clarifying procedure for filing requests for copies of certificates of analysis in criminal cases; requiring court orders to specifically identify the human biological evidence to be preserved in a criminal case; clarifying the fees payable on petitions for approval of proposed distributions from minors' estates; and waiving application fees for deputy circuit court clerks seeking appointment as notaries public.
Patron - Norment
Charitable corporations. Grants the Attorney General authority to act on behalf of the public with respect to charitable corporations and grants circuit courts subject matter jurisdiction over matters pertaining to assets of charitable corporations, thus overruling the decision in Commonwealth of Virginia v. The JOCO Foundation, Record No. 011794 (January 11, 2002).
Patron - Stosch
Court of Appeals of Virginia. Requires that opinions and decisions considered by the Court to have precedential value or significance to the legal system are to be designated as published opinions.
Patron - Albo
Number of circuit court judges. Adds one circuit court judge to Chesapeake. This bill contains an emergency clause.
Patron - Cosgrove
Judicial Qualifications Commission. Establishes a judicial qualifications commission to review and report on the qualifications of candidates for judicial office. The 17-member commission is composed of appointees of each branch of government. The bill includes qualification guidelines and procedures (including requiring public hearing on candidates prior to recommendation) for use by the Commission.
Patron - Plum
Drug Treatment Court. Allows for each jurisdiction to establish drug treatment courts.
Patron - Griffith
Registry of special conservators of the peace. Directs the clerk of the appointing circuit court to record all orders of appointment applicable to that circuit, of special conservators of the peace and special police officers, in a book available for inspection in his office.
Patron - Woodrum
Assignment of judges. Authorizes the Chief Justice to designate and temporarily assign any judge or retired judge to sit at any trial court level. Current law allows circuit court judges (including retired judges) to sit on assignment in circuit court and district court judges (including retired judges) to sit on assignment in district court.
Patron - Jones, J.C.
Number of circuit court judges. Adds one additional circuit court judge to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit (Fredericksburg, Caroline, Essex, Hanover, King George, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland).
Patron - Houck
Assessment for courthouse security. Allows localities to assess each criminal, civil and traffic case a fee of up to $10 for courthouse security.
Patron - Rerras
Assessment for law library. Clarifies that the full assessment allowed for law libraries is available without regard to a county or city's population.
Patron - Marsh
Incorrect defendant named in civil cases. Provides a process for expungement of a civil record where a wrong defendant is named.
Patron - McQuigg
Number of circuit court judges. Increases the number of circuit court judges by adding one to each of the following circuits: First Judicial Circuit (Chesapeake), Fourteenth Judicial Circuit (Henrico), Fifteenth Judicial Circuit (Fredericksburg, Caroline, Essex, Hanover, King George, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond County, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland) and the Twenty-ninth Judicial Circuit (Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell).
Patron - Howell
Electronic dissemination of public records. Requires that all personal information of law-enforcement officers (including names, addresses, telephone numbers and social security numbers) be redacted from records of the circuit courts and tax documents (including real property assessments) that are made public by means of display on the Internet.
Patron - Almand
Mental health courts; pilot program. Directs the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court to establish no less than two and no more than five mental health courts for nonviolent offenders with serious mental illnesses in Virginia by January 1, 2003.
Patron - Edwards
Virginia Supreme Court; duties. Requires the Supreme Court to maintain in their voucher database system, for cases where counsel is appointed for an indigent defendant, the charges and corresponding sections of the Code for which payment was rendered, the dates of service, and hours per case as submitted by an attorney for all cases including those handled on appeal and for habeas petitions.
Patron - Norment
Local judicial nominations committees. Establishes a judicial nominations committee in each circuit, composed of citizens and lawyers appointed by majority vote of the members of the General Assembly who represent any portion of the circuit. The committees are to investigate candidates (including incumbent judges) for circuit and district court vacancies and submit reports on up to three nominations per vacancy to the General Assembly. There is an opt-out provision for those delegations that already have nomination procedures in place.
Patron - Mims
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