General Assembly>Division of Legislative Services>Publications>Session Summaries>2006>Civil Remedies and Procedure


Civil Remedies and Procedure


P HB115

Garnishment forms and summonses. Requires that garnishment summonses and forms contain language declaring if the garnishment is of wages, salary, or other compensation or if the garnishment is of some other property of the judgment debtor.
Patron - Albo

P HB244

Property; authority of sheriffs to store and sell personal property removed from certain leased or rented premises. Includes commercial property that has been leased or rented within the scope of the statute that allows a landlord, pursuant to an action of unlawful detainer or ejectment and after proper notice, to remove and place the personal property of the tenant into the public way.
Patron - Shannon

P HB436

Evidence of motor vehicle value. Provides that any vehicle valuation service regularly used and recognized in the automobile industry may be used as evidence of a vehicle's value and not just the National Automobile Dealers' Association "black" or "yellow" book.
Patron - Griffith

P HB443

Marriage and family therapists; professional counselors. Adds marriage and family therapists to the definition of "health care provider" under medical malpractice provisions, specifies that such therapists be licensed to receive immunity as a member of a substance abuse intervention team for health professionals and to give treatment under substance abuse insurance coverage provisions, and adds licensed marriage and family therapists and licensed professional counselors to the definition of "medical professional" for insurance information and privacy protection provisions.
Patron - Shuler

P HB888

Prisoner civil litigation; subpoenas; summary judgment; access to records. Requires that any subpoena for witnesses or documents be specifically authorized by a judge of the court in which the case is filed. The bill requires the court to exercise its discretion in determining the scope of the subpoena and allows the court to condition the subpoena on such terms as the court finds appropriate considering the burden placed on the object of the subpoena in relation to the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, and the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation. The bill also provides that a summary judgment motion may be made by any party after the commencement of a pro se civil action by a prisoner. The bill allows access to all records maintained by the Department of Corrections in the name of individual prisoners to counsel for the Commonwealth, an agency of the Commonwealth, a Commonwealth employee, or a private contractor providing services to the Department of Corrections in a pro se civil action brought by prisoner.
Patron - Kilgore

P HB889

Civil remedies; immunity from lead-based paint poisoning. Defines "lead-based paint maintenance" under the immunity from liability statute for lead-based paint poisoning. The bill grants immunity to the owner or agent of residential property if the owner or agent who is responsible for lead-based paint maintenance discloses to the lessee the presence of any known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards about which the owner has actual knowledge. Such disclosure requirements continue through the tenancy if new information arises. Prior to the case in chief, the bill allows a hearing on responsive pleadings that assert such immunity.
Patron - Kilgore

P HB1009

Check 21 Evidence Act. Creates the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Evidence Act, which allows any check created pursuant to the federal Check Clearing for the 21st Century Evidence Act (provides for an official copy of a check) to be admissible in evidence to the same extent as the original check would be.
Patron - Hurt

P HB1023

Privileged communications. Provides that any document prepared in the pursuit of compliance with requirements or standards of an accreditation or certification body, including the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, is privileged.
Patron - Hurt

P HB1110

Immunity of physicians for laboratory results and examinations. Creates a new Code section that provides that a physician is not liable for failure to review or act on results of laboratory tests or examinations that he did not request or authorize unless the physician is provided the report with a request for consultation, the physician assumes responsibility for the report, or the physician has reason to know that the report result is needed. The physician must additionally prove one of the following in order to be immune: (i) no physician-patient relationship existed; (ii) the physician received the results without a request for consultation; (iii) the results were not part of the physician's management of the patient; or (iv) interpreting the results would exceed the physician's scope of practice.
Patron - Athey

P HB1267

Effect of promise not to plead statute of limitations. Makes a written promise to not plead the statute of limitations valid when (i) it is made to avoid or defer litigation, (ii) it is not made contemporaneously with any other contract, and (iii) it is made for an additional term not longer than the applicable limitations period.
Patron - Janis

P HB1352

Laboratory results; physician immunity. Adds podiatry to the definition of physician under this section.
Patron - Bell

P HB1424

Failure to serve process. Provides that a defendant who has not been served within one year of the filing of a suit may file a motion to dismiss and if the court finds that the plaintiff did not exercise due diligence to have timely service, may dismiss the suit with prejudice. The bill also preserves the plaintiff's right to a non-suit prior to the entry of an order to dismiss. These provisions shall not pertain to cases involving asbestos.
Patron - Iaquinto

P HB1518

Fraudulent procurement of telephone records; penalty. Creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for the fraudulent procurement, sale, or receipt of telephone records. The misdemeanor involves (i) knowingly procuring, attempting to procure, soliciting, or conspiring with another to procure a telephone record without authorization by fraudulent means; (ii) knowingly selling, or attempting to sell, a telephone record without authorization; or (iii) receiving a telephone record knowing that such record has been obtained without authorization by fraudulent means.
Patron - Albo

P SB38

Agritourism activity liability. Limits the liability of persons engaged in the business of providing agritourism activities, which include activities carried out on a farm, ranch, or winery that allow members of the public to view or enjoy rural activities or natural activities and attractions. The immunity from liability applies only if the agritourism provider has posted a warning notice. Liability is not limited if the agritourism provider acts with negligence or willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, has actual or imputed knowledge of a dangerous condition used in the activity and does not make the danger known to the participant, or intentionally injures the participant. In addition, the provider is required to plead the affirmative defense of assumption of risk of agritourism activity by the participant.
Patron - Reynolds

P SB114

Courts; certain matters to be entered on the civil order book. Makes technical amendments clarifying that the former common-law order book is now known as the civil order book.
Patron - Marsh

P SB402

Garnishment liens. Allows a writ of fieri facias to be applicable to newly acquired property for the same period of time that a wage garnishment is valid. In 2003 the return date for a wage garnishment was extended to 180 days but no change was made to allow a fieri facias to be extended from 90 to 180 days. Rule 3:2 of the Rules of Supreme Court provides that a writ is not returnable more than 90 days after its date unless a longer period is authorized by statute.
Patron - Hanger

P SB543

Child and spousal support proceedings. Provides that in civil proceedings for the determination of child or spousal support, the court may allow one expert witness for each party to remain in the courtroom throughout the hearing upon the request of any party.
Patron - Stosch


F HB27

Exemplary damages for persons injured by intoxicated drivers. Allows the award of exemplary damages in a civil case to a plaintiff or plaintiff's decedent injured or killed by the actions of a person convicted of DUI when the convicted person was charged with both unreasonable refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test and DUI, irrespective of the ability of the plaintiff to prove the civil defendant's blood alcohol content. Currently, a person convicted of DUI is subject to exemplary damages in such a civil case only when his blood alcohol content is proven to be 0.15 percent or more or he is convicted of unreasonable refusal.
Patron - Bryant

F HB289

Admissibility of expressions of sympathy. States that expressions of sympathy are inadmissible in any civil action if they are made to the injured party or a family member. Current law provides that such expressions are inadmissible in wrongful death and medical malpractice cases only.
Patron - Cox

F HB303

Persons under disability; incarcerated persons. Provides that "person under a disability" shall not include an incarcerated person for purposes of executing a will, powers of attorney, deeds, or deeds of trust.
Patron - Jones, S.C.

F HB506

Jury trial of right; who deemed parties. Provides that for purposes of a jury trial only named plaintiffs, defendants, and third-party defendants are to be deemed parties, although insurers which file pleadings and take other actions under uninsured motorist provisions may also request a jury.
Patron - Armstrong

F HB719

Notice to all parties of additional nonsuits. Requires that all parties must be properly notified if additional nonsuits are granted by the court.
Patron - McQuigg

F HB720

Admissibility of criminal pleas in civil cases; Alford pleas. Makes Alford pleas in criminal cases inadmissible in civil actions.
Patron - McQuigg

F HB721

Garnishment proceedings; garnishee's answer to summons. Requires the garnishee to mail the answer to a summons to the judgment creditor or, if the judgment creditor is represented by counsel, to the judgment creditor's counsel.
Patron - McQuigg

F HB807

Civil cases; expert opinion testimony. Incorporates the current version of Federal Rule of Evidence 702 into the Code of Virginia for civil cases. In 2000, Federal Rule of Evidence 702 was amended in response to the United States Supreme Court decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), which directed the court to analyze the importance of expert testimony based on specified factors and gave rise to the "Daubert" pre-trial hearing used to judge the admissibility of expert testimony outside the presence of a jury. Additionally, the bill adds a relevance requirement to the admissibility of opinion testimony by experts.
Patron - Fralin

F HB1191

Action for wrongful death; pre-born child. Creates a cause of action for the wrongful death of a pre-born child.
Patron - Marshall, R.G.

F HB1234

Discovery available in misdemeanor cases in district court. Provides that the parties in a misdemeanor prosecution in a district court shall have the right to subpoena evidence via subpoena duces tecum in accordance with Rule 3A:12(b) of the Rules of the Supreme Court.
Patron - Melvin

F HB1285

Exposure to asbestos, silica, or products containing asbestos or silica. Prevents a person from bringing an action for exposure to asbestos, silica, or products containing asbestos or silica unless they have the type of cancer that is specific to those products or that person makes a prima facie showing that the physical ailment is related to exposure to asbestos or silica. The changes explicitly lay out the type of medical evidence necessary to prove a physical ailment is related to asbestos or silica exposure and states that no action may be brought for fear of developing cancer from exposure. Adds a scope of liability section that caps damages for noneconomic loss at $250,000, unless the plaintiff has mesothiloma, in which case the noneconomic loss damages are capped at $500,000. Also requires, even in cases that are active at the time of enactment, the plaintiff to file a report containing evidence of the medical condition related to asbestos or silica exposure.
Patron - Fralin

F HB1337

Civil immunity; retired law-enforcement officer. States that a retired law enforcement officer, not acting in the scope of his employment, has civil immunity for actions he may take in the response to an emergency or to thwart the commission of a crime.
Patron - Bell

F HB1560

Tolling of limitations; civil matter arising from criminal prosecution. Provides that the statute of limitations will not run while a criminal prosecution of a party is on-going, if the cause of action arises out of the criminal prosecution. Also, prohibits the prosecuted party from bringing the action during the criminal proceeding.
Patron - Bell

F SB68

Distribution of punitive damages to the Literary Fund. Requires that any punitive damages awarded in the Commonwealth be distributed to the Literary Fund and that no attorneys' fees may be had on that portion of a civil award.
Patron - Chichester

F SB135

Civil procedure; persons exempt from liability. Exempts from liability first responders who, in good faith and without compensation, render emergency care or assistance, whether or not in the locality of his employment as a first responder, to any injured or ill person, at the scene of an accident, fire, or life threatening emergency, or en route therefrom to any hospital, medical clinic or doctor's office.
Patron - O'Brien

F SB166

Service of process; personal service on agent. Requires personal service where a natural person is sued in such person's capacity as a registered agent, officer, director, trustee, administrator, or other representative of an entity recognized by law. This bill is a recommendation of the Committee on District Courts.
Patron - Quayle

F SB171

Ex parte affidavit or written statement. Provides that in a personal injury or wrongful death case the witness' ex parte affidavit or written statement (other than a deposition) and extrajudicial voice recording, is not admissible for any purpose. Under current law the prohibition against use is for the purpose of contradicting the witness in the case.
Patron - Quayle

F SB339

Attorney-issued subpoenas. Requires a sheriff to serve an attorney-issued subpoena even if it is not issued within the time frame if there is a court order. Under current law a sheriff is not required to serve an attorney-issued subpoena that is not issued at least five days prior to the date production of evidence, a record or attendance is desired. This bill is a recommendation of the Boyd Graves Conference.
Patron - Obenshain

F SB509

Special damages for intentional injury to real property. Provides for special damages, including the costs of repair, expert witnesses, and attorney fees in situations where a person acts willfully, intentionally, or with careless disregard and damages, mutilates, defaces, or injures another person's interest in real property.
Patron - Puckett

F SB629

Employment of illegal aliens; cause of action. Provides that a business has a cause of action against any other entity in the same business if the other entity employs or employed persons it knew or should have known were illegal aliens who are ineligible for employment in the United States. In addition to economic damages, the plaintiff may recover $500 for each such illegal alien employed by the defendant.
Patron - Cuccinelli

F SB660

Immunity for physicians. Extends immunity to any physician receiving an unsolicited report of a test or examination for any failure to review or to take any action in response to any report of the results of any laboratory test or other examination that such physician neither requested nor authorized in writing.
Patron - McDougle

Carried Over

C HB950

Attorney fees deducted from Commonwealth medical liens. Clarifies that in actions where a Commonwealth medical lien is asserted, the attorney fees shall be deducted from the lien total and not the total amount recovered, if the attorney distributes such fees to the injured person.
Patron - Joannou

C HB1176

Actions against parents for conduct of a minor. Amends statute to allow a cause of action against a parent or parents of a minor for personal injuries inflicted willfully and maliciously by that minor. Currently a cause of action only exists for damages inflicted to property.
Patron - Rapp

C HB1221

Distribution of award; wrongful death action. Provides that if a person dies testate, and a wrongful death action lies following the death of such person, an award pursuant to the same shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions of the will.
Patron - Barlow

C HB1559

Civil immunity; witnesses in a criminal case. Provides that no person shall be liable in a civil action for any misidentification of a person made in the course of a criminal investigation of an alleged criminal sexual assault in violation as long as the misidentification was made with the good faith belief in its veracity and authenticity.
Patron - Bell

C SB338

Privileged communications with professionals; civil proceedings. Provides that certain professionals (practitioners of the healing arts, ministers, priests, rabbis, accredited practitioners of religious organizations or denominations, licensed professional counselors, clinical social workers and psychologists), when testifying in civil matters, shall not be permitted to disclose confidential information communicated in a professional capacity. There are exceptions for request or consent of the client and various other circumstances. Under current law these Code sections address situations where the professional is required to disclose information and do not apply when a professional voluntarily discloses information. This bill is a recommendation of the Boyd Graves Conference.
Patron - Obenshain


General Assembly>Division of Legislative Services>Publications>Session Summaries>2006>Civil Remedies and Procedure

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