Courts of Record


Circuit court judges. Adds one new judge in the seventh (Newport News) and twentieth (Loudoun, Fauquier and Rappahannock) circuits. The bill is recommended by the Judicial Council.
Patron - Almand

Courts of record; indexing by tax map reference. Adds Augusta and Rockingham Counties and the Cities of Richmond and Roanoke to the list of localities whose clerks may require deeds submitted for recordation to reference in the left margin the tax map reference number or parcel identification number of the affected parcel.
Patron - Landes

Judges; senior status. Increases the maximum number of retired Court of Appeals judges who may serve as senior judges from three to five and increases the number of retired Supreme Court Justices who may similarly serve from four to five. This bill is recommended by the Judicial Council.
Patron - Almand

Judicial Conference; membership. Adds the dean of the Regent University Law School to the list of law school deans who are honorary members of the Judicial Conference.
Patron - McDonnell

Virginia Sentencing Commission; membership. Staggers the terms of the members of the Commission appointed during the year 2000 and allows any current member to be reappointed for a staggered term to ensure that there will not be a complete turn-over of the Commission upon expiration of the current members' second terms. The bill increases the terms of members appointed after 2000 from three years to four and authorizes a vice chairman for the Commission, to be appointed by the chairman. Finally the members are authorized to serve no more than three consecutive terms. The bill is recommended by the Sentencing Commission.
Patron - Almand

Cover sheets; circuit court clerks. Allows the circuit court clerk of Wise County and the City of Norton to request that a cover sheet be filled out on all real estate documents which provides pertinent information to the clerk for indexing purposes.
Patron - Phillips

Electronic filing of documents; sunset. Allows any circuit court clerk to establish a system for electronic filing of documents after submitting an implementation plan to the Council of Information Management; the clerk may use a system authorized by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court may by rule allow for the electronic filing of any papers in civil or criminal actions. The bill also amends the sunset attached to this article of the Code by providing that it will expire on July 1, 2004, instead of July 1, 1998.
Patron - Phillips

Revision of Titles 14.1 and 17. Revises and recodifies the laws pertaining to courts of record and costs, fees, salaries, allowances, and the collection of those by certain officials. The bill preserves the provisions of Title 14.1 by distributing those sections into the more appropriate titles of the Code.
Patron - DeBoer

Sentencing guidelines. Eliminates the 16-year look-back period applicable to prior felony convictions for purposes of applying enhancements to the guideline midpoint sentence. The Sentencing Commission has found that few criminal history records include the date of conviction, making it difficult, if not impossible, to equitably apply the enhancements. This bill is recommended by the Sentencing Commission.
Patron - Gartlan


Judicial training. Requires the Supreme Court to provide cultural sensitivity training to all circuit and district court judges as a part of their annual mandatory training programs.
Patron - McEachin

Courts of record; indexing by tax map reference. Adds Roanoke to the list of cities whose clerks may require deeds submitted for recordation to reference in the left margin the tax map reference number or parcel identification number of the affected parcel. This bill was incorporated into HB 208.
Patron - Woodrum

Circuit courts. Repeals section that requires the date of the opening of each new term to be noted in the order books in a prescribed manner.
Patron - Edwards

Carried Over

Judicial Nominations Commission. Creates the 15-member Judicial Nominations Commission, composed of a lawyer from each congressional district and four citizens from the state at large, to be elected by the General Assembly. After the initial membership, each will be elected for four-year terms. The Commission will assist the General Assembly in making its determinations on judicial elections. Each circuit will have a nine-member volunteer nominations committee appointed by the Commission and approved by the General Assembly to assist the Commission in making circuit and district court nominations for that circuit to the General Assembly. District Two-A (Accomack and Northampton) will have its own nominations committee. The Commission is to submit to the General Assembly a confidential report and the names of no more than three persons for each vacancy on any court. The Division of Legislative Services will provide staff for the Commission. The bill is recommended by the Judicial Council and is identical to the prior years' versions.
Patron - Davies

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 and up to three nominations per vacancy to the General Assembly. The bill includes a table indicating the number of citizens and the number of lawyers to be on each circuit's committee. After the staggered terms for the initial appointments, the terms of the committee members will be four years.
Patron - Clement

Collection of unpaid fines, costs. Transfers primary responsibility for collection of unpaid fines, costs and fees from the attorneys for the Commonwealth to the Department of Taxation, but allows attorneys for the Commonwealth who want to retain the responsibility to do so. The Department is authorized to employ, on a contingency fee basis, private attorneys or collection agencies to collect the "delinquent accounts" (unsatisfied for 30 days)
Patron - Reynolds