Legal Information: Virginia

Statutes: Virginia

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Statutes: Virginia

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

The statutes are current through the end of 2017 Regular Session and 2018 Regular Session cc. 1, 2, 10, 14, 15, 45, 82, 94, 97, 116, 231, 237, 246, 248, 297, 298 & 332. Please check to make sure there have been no changes since this time. You will find these and additional statutes online at the Virginia General Assembly website.

Chapter 1. Natural and Testamentary Guardians

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

31-1. Natural guardians

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

The father and mother of every legitimate unmarried minor child, if living together and being themselves respectively competent to transact their own business and not otherwise unsuitable, shall be the joint natural guardians of the person of such child, with equal legal powers and equal legal rights in regard to such child; and upon the death of either parent the survivor shall be the natural guardian of the person of such child. If either parent has abandoned his family, the other shall be the natural guardian of the person of such child.

Title 16.1. Courts Not of Record

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Chapter 4.1. District Courts

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 5. Financing of the District System

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

16.1-69.48:5. Fees for services of juvenile and domestic relations district court judges and clerks in certain civil cases

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Except as otherwise provided, upon the initial commencement of any case in the juvenile and domestic relations district court pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 16.1-241 when the custody or visitation of a child is a subject of controversy or requires determination, there shall be a filing fee of $25. However, only one $25 fee shall be required for all custody and visitation petitions simultaneously initiated by a single petitioner. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, there shall be no other fees or costs added to this fee as a condition of filing. No case to which this fee is applicable shall be set for hearing by the clerk until this fee has been paid except on account of poverty as provided in § 17.1-606. Fees shall be paid to the clerk in the jurisdiction in which the petition is filed.

This fee shall not be charged in any case brought by an agent of the Commonwealth or of a local government entity.

When service of process is had on the respondent named in a petition for which the filing fee established by this section has been paid, such petition may be reissued once by changing the return day of such process, for which service there shall be no charge; however, reissuance of such process shall be within three months after the original return day.

In the case of an appeal filed pursuant to § 16.1-296, the clerk shall collect any applicable fees for service of process of the notice of appeal in the circuit court from the appellant prior to transmitting the case to the clerk of the circuit court. For purposes of this section, service of process in the circuit court may include service on the appellee by the sheriff or private process server or certified or registered mail, and service on the attorney for the appellee by regular mail.

Chapter 6. Venue, Jurisdiction and Procedure in Civil Matters

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 5. Small Claims Court

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

16.1-122.2. Jurisdiction

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the small claims court shall have jurisdiction, concurrent with that of the general district court, over the civil action specified in § 16.1-77 (1) when the amount claimed does not exceed $5,000, exclusive of interest.

Chapter 11. Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 1. General Provisions

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

16.1-228. Definitions

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

When used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
“Abused or neglected child” means any child:
1. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care creates or inflicts, threatens to create or inflict, or allows to be created or inflicted upon such child a physical or mental injury by other than accidental means, or creates a substantial risk of death, disfigurement or impairment of bodily or mental functions, including, but not limited to, a child who is with his parent or other person responsible for his care either (i) during the manufacture or attempted manufacture of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, or (ii) during the unlawful sale of such substance by that child's parents or other person responsible for his care, where such manufacture, or attempted manufacture or unlawful sale would constitute a felony violation of § 18.2-248;
2. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care neglects or refuses to provide care necessary for his health; however, no child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination shall for that reason alone be considered to be an abused or neglected child;
3. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care abandons such child;
4. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care commits or allows to be committed any sexual act upon a child in violation of the law;
5. Who is without parental care or guardianship caused by the unreasonable absence or the mental or physical incapacity of the child's parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person standing in loco parentis;
6. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care creates a substantial risk of physical or mental injury by knowingly leaving the child alone in the same dwelling, including an apartment as defined in § 55-79.2, with a person to whom the child is not related by blood or marriage and who the parent or other person responsible for his care knows has been convicted of an offense against a minor for which registration is required as a violent sexual offender pursuant to § 9.1-902; or
7. Who has been identified as a victim of sex trafficking or severe forms of trafficking as defined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, 22 U.S.C § 7102 et seq., and in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, 42 U.S.C. § 5101 et seq.
If a civil proceeding under this chapter is based solely on the parent having left the child at a hospital or emergency medical services agency, it shall be an affirmative defense that such parent safely delivered the child to a hospital that provides 24-hour emergency services or to an attended emergency medical services agency that employs emergency medical services personnel, within 14 days of the child's birth. For purposes of terminating parental rights pursuant to § 16.1-283 and placement for adoption, the court may find such a child is a neglected child upon the ground of abandonment.
“Adoptive home” means the place of residence of any natural person in which a child resides as a member of the household and in which he has been placed for the purposes of adoption or in which he has been legally adopted by another member of the household.
“Adult” means a person 18 years of age or older.
“Ancillary crime” or “ancillary charge” means any delinquent act committed by a juvenile as a part of the same act or transaction as, or which constitutes a part of a common scheme or plan with, a delinquent act which would be a felony if committed by an adult.
“Boot camp” means a short term secure or nonsecure juvenile residential facility with highly structured components including, but not limited to, military style drill and ceremony, physical labor, education and rigid discipline, and no less than six months of intensive aftercare.
“Child,” “juvenile,” or “minor” means a person less than 18 years of age.
“Child in need of services” means (i) a child whose behavior, conduct or condition presents or results in a serious threat to the well-being and physical safety of the child or (ii) a child under the age of 14 whose behavior, conduct or condition presents or results in a serious threat to the well-being and physical safety of another person; however, no child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination shall for that reason alone be considered to be a child in need of services, nor shall any child who habitually remains away from or habitually deserts or abandons his family as a result of what the court or the local child protective services unit determines to be incidents of physical, emotional or sexual abuse in the home be considered a child in need of services for that reason alone.
However, to find that a child falls within these provisions, (i) the conduct complained of must present a clear and substantial danger to the child's life or health or to the life or health of another person, (ii) the child or his family is in need of treatment, rehabilitation or services not presently being received, and (iii) the intervention of the court is essential to provide the treatment, rehabilitation or services needed by the child or his family.
“Child in need of supervision” means:
1. A child who, while subject to compulsory school attendance, is habitually and without justification absent from school, and (i) the child has been offered an adequate opportunity to receive the benefit of any and all educational services and programs that are required to be provided by law and which meet the child's particular educational needs, (ii) the school system from which the child is absent or other appropriate agency has made a reasonable effort to effect the child's regular attendance without success, and (iii) the school system has provided documentation that it has complied with the provisions of § 22.1-258; or
2. A child who, without reasonable cause and without the consent of his parent, lawful custodian or placement authority, remains away from or deserts or abandons his family or lawful custodian on more than one occasion or escapes or remains away without proper authority from a residential care facility in which he has been placed by the court, and (i) such conduct presents a clear and substantial danger to the child's life or health, (ii) the child or his family is in need of treatment, rehabilitation or services not presently being received, and (iii) the intervention of the court is essential to provide the treatment, rehabilitation or services needed by the child or his family.
“Child welfare agency” means a child-placing agency, child-caring institution or independent foster home as defined in § 63.2-100.
“The court” or the “juvenile court” or the “juvenile and domestic relations court” means the juvenile and domestic relations district court of each county or city.
“Delinquent act” means (i) an act designated a crime under the law of the Commonwealth, or an ordinance of any city, county, town, or service district, or under federal law, (ii) a violation of § 18.2-308.7, or (iii) a violation of a court order as provided for in § 16.1-292, but shall not include an act other than a violation of § 18.2-308.7, which is otherwise lawful, but is designated a crime only if committed by a child. For purposes of §§ 16.1-241 and 16.1-278.9, the term shall include a refusal to take a breath test in violation of § 18.2-268.2 or a similar ordinance of any county, city, or town.
“Delinquent child” means a child who has committed a delinquent act or an adult who has committed a delinquent act prior to his 18th birthday, except where the jurisdiction of the juvenile court has been terminated under the provisions of § 16.1-269.6.
“Department” means the Department of Juvenile Justice and “Director” means the administrative head in charge thereof or such of his assistants and subordinates as are designated by him to discharge the duties imposed upon him under this law.
“Family abuse” means any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury and that is committed by a person against such person's family or household member. Such act includes, but is not limited to, any forceful detention, stalking, criminal sexual assault in violation of Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, or any criminal offense that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury.
“Family or household member” means (i) the person's spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person, (ii) the person's former spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person, (iii) the person's parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, regardless of whether such persons reside in the same home with the person, (iv) the person's mother-in-law, father-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who reside in the same home with the person, (v) any individual who has a child in common with the person, whether or not the person and that individual have been married or have resided together at any time, or (vi) any individual who cohabits or who, within the previous 12 months, cohabited with the person, and any children of either of them then residing in the same home with the person.
“Foster care services” means the provision of a full range of casework, treatment and community services for a planned period of time to a child who is abused or neglected as defined in § 63.2-100 or in need of services as defined in this section and his family when the child (i) has been identified as needing services to prevent or eliminate the need for foster care placement, (ii) has been placed through an agreement between the local board of social services or a public agency designated by the community policy and management team and the parents or guardians where legal custody remains with the parents or guardians, (iii) has been committed or entrusted to a local board of social services or child welfare agency, or (iv) has been placed under the supervisory responsibility of the local board pursuant to § 16.1-293.
“Independent living arrangement” means placement of a child at least 16 years of age who is in the custody of a local board or licensed child-placing agency and has been placed by the local board or licensed child-placing agency in a living arrangement in which he does not have daily substitute parental supervision.
“Independent living services” means services and activities provided to a child in foster care 14 years of age or older and who has been committed or entrusted to a local board of social services, child welfare agency, or private child-placing agency. “Independent living services” may also mean services and activities provided to a person who was in foster care on his 18th birthday and has not yet reached the age of 21 years. Such services shall include counseling, education, housing, employment, and money management skills development and access to essential documents and other appropriate services to help children or persons prepare for self-sufficiency.
“Intake officer” means a juvenile probation officer appointed as such pursuant to the authority of this chapter.
“Jail” or “other facility designed for the detention of adults” means a local or regional correctional facility as defined in § 53.1-1, except those facilities utilized on a temporary basis as a court holding cell for a child incident to a court hearing or as a temporary lock-up room or ward incident to the transfer of a child to a juvenile facility.
“The judge” means the judge or the substitute judge of the juvenile and domestic relations district court of each county or city.
“This law” or “the law” means the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Law embraced in this chapter.
“Legal custody” means (i) a legal status created by court order which vests in a custodian the right to have physical custody of the child, to determine and redetermine where and with whom he shall live, the right and duty to protect, train and discipline him and to provide him with food, shelter, education and ordinary medical care, all subject to any residual parental rights and responsibilities or (ii) the legal status created by court order of joint custody as defined in § 20-107.2.
“Permanent foster care placement” means the place of residence in which a child resides and in which he has been placed pursuant to the provisions of §§ 63.2-900 and 63.2-908 with the expectation and agreement between the placing agency and the place of permanent foster care that the child shall remain in the placement until he reaches the age of majority unless modified by court order or unless removed pursuant to § 16.1-251 or 63.2-1517. A permanent foster care placement may be a place of residence of any natural person or persons deemed appropriate to meet a child's needs on a long-term basis.
“Residual parental rights and responsibilities” means all rights and responsibilities remaining with the parent after the transfer of legal custody or guardianship of the person, including but not limited to the right of visitation, consent to adoption, the right to determine religious affiliation and the responsibility for support.
“Secure facility” or “detention home” means a local, regional or state public or private locked residential facility that has construction fixtures designed to prevent escape and to restrict the movement and activities of children held in lawful custody.
“Shelter care” means the temporary care of children in physically unrestricting facilities.
“State Board” means the State Board of Juvenile Justice.
“Status offender” means a child who commits an act prohibited by law which would not be criminal if committed by an adult.
“Status offense” means an act prohibited by law which would not be an offense if committed by an adult.
“Violent juvenile felony” means any of the delinquent acts enumerated in subsection B or C of § 16.1-269.1 when committed by a juvenile 14 years of age or older.

Article 3. Jurisdiction and Venue

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

16.1-243. Venue

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Original venue:

1. Cases involving children, other than support or where protective order issued: Proceedings with respect to children under this law, except support proceedings as provided in subdivision 2 or family abuse proceedings as provided in subdivision 3, shall:

a. Delinquency: If delinquency is alleged, be commenced in the city or county where the acts constituting the alleged delinquency occurred or they may, with the written consent of the child and the attorney for the Commonwealth for both jurisdictions, be commenced in the city or county where the child resides;

b. Custody or visitation: In cases involving custody or visitation, be commenced in the court of the city or county which, in order of priority, (i) is the home of the child at the time of the filing of the petition, or had been the home of the child within six months before the filing of the petition and the child is absent from the city or county because of his removal or retention by a person claiming his custody or for other reasons, and a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in the city or county, (ii) has significant connection with the child and in which there is substantial evidence concerning the child's present or future care, protection, training and personal relationships, (iii) is where the child is physically present and the child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because he has been subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse or is otherwise neglected or dependent or (iv) it is in the best interest of the child for the court to assume jurisdiction as no other city or county is an appropriate venue under the preceding provisions of this subdivision;

c. Adoption: In parental placement adoption consent hearings pursuant to §§ 16.1-241, 63.2-1233, and 63.2-1237, be commenced in any city or county, provided, however, that diligent efforts shall first be made to commence such hearings (i) in the city or county where the child to be adopted was born, (ii) in the city or county where the birth parent(s) reside, or (iii) in the city or county where the prospective adoptive parent(s) reside. In cases in which a hearing is commenced in a city or county other than one described in clauses (i) through (iii), the petitioner shall certify in writing to the court that diligent efforts to commence a hearing in such city or county have been made but have proven ineffective; and

d. All other cases: In all other proceedings, be commenced in the city or county where the child resides or in the city or county where the child is present when the proceedings are commenced.

2. Support: Proceedings that involve child or spousal support or child and spousal support, exclusive of proceedings arising under Chapter 5 (§ 20-61 et seq.) of Title 20, shall be commenced in the city or county where either party resides or in the city or county where the respondent is present when the proceeding commences.

3. Family abuse: Proceedings in which an order of protection is sought as a result of family abuse shall be commenced where (i) either party has his or her principal residence (ii) the abuse occurred or (iii) a protective order was issued if at the time the proceeding is commenced the order is in effect to protect the petitioner or a family or household member of the petitioner.

B. Transfer of venue:

1. Generally: Except in custody, visitation and support cases, if the child resides in a city or county of the Commonwealth and the proceeding is commenced in a court of another city or county, that court may at any time, on its own motion or a motion of a party for good cause shown, transfer the proceeding to the city or county of the child's residence for such further action or proceedings as the court receiving the transfer may deem proper. However, such transfer may occur only after adjudication in delinquency proceedings.

2. Custody and visitation: In custody and visitation cases, if venue lies in one of several cities or counties, the court in which the motion for transfer is made shall determine which such city or county is the most appropriate venue unless the parties mutually agree to the selection of venue. In the consideration of the motion, the best interests of the child shall determine the most appropriate forum.

3. Support: In support proceedings, exclusive of proceedings arising under Chapter 5 of Title 20, if the respondent resides in a city or county in the Commonwealth and the proceeding is commenced in a court of another city or county, that court may, at any time on its own motion or a motion of a party for good cause shown or by agreement of the parties, transfer the proceeding to the city or county of the respondent's residence for such further action or proceedings as the court receiving the transfer may deem proper. For the purposes of determining venue of cases involving support, the respondent's residence shall include any city or county in which the respondent has resided within the last six months prior to the commencement of the proceeding or in which the respondent is residing at the time that the motion for transfer of venue is made. If venue is transferable to one of several cities or counties, the court in which the motion for transfer is made shall determine which such city or county is the most appropriate venue unless the parties mutually agree to the selection of such venue.

When the support proceeding is a companion case to a child custody or visitation proceeding, the provisions governing venue in the proceeding involving the child's custody or visitation shall govern.

4. Subsequent transfers: Any court receiving a transferred proceeding as provided in this section may in its discretion transfer such proceeding to a court in an appropriate venue for good cause shown based either upon changes in circumstances or mistakes of fact or upon agreement of the parties. In any transfer of venue in cases involving children, the best interests of the child shall be considered in deciding if and to which court a transfer of venue would be appropriate.

5. Enforcement of orders for support, maintenance and custody: Any juvenile and domestic relations district court to which a suit is transferred for enforcement of orders pertaining to support, maintenance, care or custody pursuant to § 20-79 (c) may transfer the case as provided in this section.

C. Records: Originals of all legal and social records pertaining to the case shall accompany the transfer of venue. Records imaged from the original documents shall be considered original documents for purposes of the transfer of venue. The transferor court may, in its discretion, retain copies as it deems appropriate.

Article 4. Immediate Custody, Arrest, Detention and Shelter Care

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

16.1-253.1. Preliminary protective orders in cases of family abuse; confidentiality

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Upon the filing of a petition alleging that the petitioner is or has been, within a reasonable period of time, subjected to family abuse, the court may issue a preliminary protective order against an allegedly abusing person in order to protect the health and safety of the petitioner or any family or household member of the petitioner. The order may be issued in an ex parte proceeding upon good cause shown when the petition is supported by an affidavit or sworn testimony before the judge or intake officer. Immediate and present danger of family abuse or evidence sufficient to establish probable cause that family abuse has recently occurred shall constitute good cause. Evidence that the petitioner has been subjected to family abuse within a reasonable time and evidence of immediate and present danger of family abuse may be established by a showing that (i) the allegedly abusing person is incarcerated and is to be released from incarceration within 30 days following the petition or has been released from incarceration within 30 days prior to the petition, (ii) the crime for which the allegedly abusing person was convicted and incarcerated involved family abuse against the petitioner, and (iii) the allegedly abusing person has made threatening contact with the petitioner while he was incarcerated, exhibiting a renewed threat to the petitioner of family abuse.

A preliminary protective order may include any one or more of the following conditions to be imposed on the allegedly abusing person:

1. Prohibiting acts of family abuse or criminal offenses that result in injury to person or property.

2. Prohibiting such contacts by the respondent with the petitioner or family or household members of the petitioner as the court deems necessary for the health or safety of such persons.

3. Granting the petitioner possession of the premises occupied by the parties to the exclusion of the allegedly abusing person; however, no such grant of possession shall affect title to any real or personal property.

4. Enjoining the respondent from terminating any necessary utility service to a premises that the petitioner has been granted possession of pursuant to subdivision 3 or, where appropriate, ordering the respondent to restore utility services to such premises.

5. Granting the petitioner temporary possession or use of a motor vehicle owned by the petitioner alone or jointly owned by the parties to the exclusion of the allegedly abusing person; however, no such grant of possession or use shall affect title to the vehicle.

6. Requiring that the allegedly abusing person provide suitable alternative housing for the petitioner and any other family or household member and, where appropriate, requiring the respondent to pay deposits to connect or restore necessary utility services in the alternative housing provided.

7. Granting the petitioner the possession of any companion animal as defined in § 3.2-6500 if such petitioner meets the definition of owner in § 3.2-6500.

8. aAny other relief necessary for the protection of the petitioner and family or household members of the petitioner.

B. The court shall forthwith, but in all cases no later than the end of the business day on which the order was issued, enter and transfer electronically to the Virginia Criminal Information Network the respondent's identifying information and the name, date of birth, sex, and race of each protected person provided to the court. A copy of a preliminary protective order containing any such identifying information shall be forwarded forthwith to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders. Upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52 and the order shall be served forthwith on the allegedly abusing person in person as provided in § 16.1-264 and due return made to the court. However, if the order is issued by the circuit court, the clerk of the circuit court shall forthwith forward an attested copy of the order containing the respondent's identifying information and the name, date of birth, sex, and race of each protected person provided to the court to the primary law-enforcement agency providing service and entry of protective orders and upon receipt of the order, the primary law-enforcement agency shall enter the name of the person subject to the order and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52 and the order shall be served forthwith on the allegedly abusing person in person as provided in § 16.1-264. Upon service, the agency making service shall enter the date and time of service and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and make due return to the court. The preliminary order shall specify a date for the full hearing. The hearing shall be held within 15 days of the issuance of the preliminary order. If the respondent fails to appear at this hearing because the respondent was not personally served, or if personally served was incarcerated and not transported to the hearing, the court may extend the protective order for a period not to exceed six months. The extended protective order shall be served forthwith on the respondent. However, upon motion of the respondent and for good cause shown, the court may continue the hearing. The preliminary order shall remain in effect until the hearing. Upon request after the order is issued, the clerk shall provide the petitioner with a copy of the order and information regarding the date and time of service. The order shall further specify that either party may at any time file a motion with the court requesting a hearing to dissolve or modify the order. The hearing on the motion shall be given precedence on the docket of the court.

Upon receipt of the return of service or other proof of service pursuant to subsection C of § 16.1-264, the clerk shall forthwith forward an attested copy of the preliminary protective order to the primary law-enforcement agency, and the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary into the Virginia Criminal Information Network as described above. If the order is later dissolved or modified, a copy of the dissolution or modification order shall also be attested, forwarded forthwith to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders, and upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network as described above and the order shall be served forthwith and due return made to the court.

C. The preliminary order is effective upon personal service on the allegedly abusing person. Except as otherwise provided in § 16.1-253.2, a violation of the order shall constitute contempt of court.

D. At a full hearing on the petition, the court may issue a protective order pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 if the court finds that the petitioner has proven the allegation of family abuse by a preponderance of the evidence.

E. Neither a law-enforcement agency, the attorney for the Commonwealth, a court nor the clerk's office, nor any employee of them, may disclose, except among themselves, the residential address, telephone number, or place of employment of the person protected by the order or that of the family of such person, except to the extent that disclosure is (i) required by law or the Rules of the Supreme Court, (ii) necessary for law-enforcement purposes, or (iii) permitted by the court for good cause.

F. As used in this section, “copy” includes a facsimile copy.

G. No fee shall be charged for filing or serving any petition or order pursuant to this section.

16.1-253.2. Violation of provisions of protective orders; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who violates any provision of a protective order issued pursuant to § 16.1-253, 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-278.14, or 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103, when such violation involves a provision of the protective order that prohibits such person from (i) going or remaining upon land, buildings, or premises; (ii) further acts of family abuse; or (iii) committing a criminal offense, or which prohibits contacts by the respondent with the allegedly abused person or family or household members of the allegedly abused person as the court deems appropriate, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The punishment for any person convicted of a second offense of violating a protective order, when the offense is committed within five years of the prior conviction and when either the instant or prior offense was based on an act or threat of violence, shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement of 60 days. Any person convicted of a third or subsequent offense of violating a protective order, when the offense is committed within 20 years of the first conviction and when either the instant or one of the prior offenses was based on an act or threat of violence is guilty of a Class 6 felony and the punishment shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement of six months. The mandatory minimum terms of confinement prescribed for violations of this section shall be served consecutively with any other sentence.

B. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who, while knowingly armed with a firearm or other deadly weapon, violates any provision of a protective order with which he has been served issued pursuant to § 16.1-253, 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-278.14, or 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103 is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

C. If the respondent commits an assault and battery upon any party protected by the protective order resulting in bodily injury to the party or stalks any party protected by the protective order in violation of § 18.2-60.3, he is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Any person who violates such a protective order by furtively entering the home of any protected party while the party is present, or by entering and remaining in the home of the protected party until the party arrives, is guilty of a Class 6 felony, in addition to any other penalty provided by law.

D. Upon conviction of any offense hereunder for which a mandatory minimum term of confinement is not specified, the person shall be sentenced to a term of confinement and in no case shall the entire term imposed be suspended. Upon conviction, the court shall, in addition to the sentence imposed, enter a protective order pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 for a specified period not exceeding two years from the date of conviction.

16.1-253.4. Emergency protective orders authorized in certain cases; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any judge of a circuit court, general district court, juvenile and domestic relations district court or magistrate may issue a written or oral ex parte emergency protective order pursuant to this section in order to protect the health or safety of any person.

B. When a law-enforcement officer or an allegedly abused person asserts under oath to a judge or magistrate, and on that assertion or other evidence the judge or magistrate (i) finds that a warrant for a violation of § 18.2-57.2 has been issued or issues a warrant for violation of § 18.2-57.2 and finds that there is probable danger of further acts of family abuse against a family or household member by the respondent or (ii) finds that reasonable grounds exist to believe that the respondent has committed family abuse and there is probable danger of a further such offense against a family or household member by the respondent, the judge or magistrate shall issue an ex parte emergency protective order, except if the respondent is a minor, an emergency protective order shall not be required, imposing one or more of the following conditions on the respondent:

1. Prohibiting acts of family abuse or criminal offenses that result in injury to person or property;

2. Prohibiting such contacts by the respondent with the allegedly abused person or family or household members of the allegedly abused person, including prohibiting the respondent from being in the physical presence of the allegedly abused person or family or household members of the allegedly abused person, as the judge or magistrate deems necessary to protect the safety of such persons;

3. Granting the family or household member possession of the premises occupied by the parties to the exclusion of the respondent; however, no such grant of possession shall affect title to any real or personal property; and

4. Granting the petitioner the possession of any companion animal as defined in § 3.2-6500 if such petitioner meets the definition of owner in § 3.2-6500.

When the judge or magistrate considers the issuance of an emergency protective order pursuant to clause (i), he shall presume that there is probable danger of further acts of family abuse against a family or household member by the respondent unless the presumption is rebutted by the allegedly abused person.

C. An emergency protective order issued pursuant to this section shall expire at 11:59 p.m. on the third day following issuance. If the expiration occurs on a day that the court is not in session, the emergency protective order shall be extended until 11:59 p.m. on the next day that the juvenile and domestic relations district court is in session. When issuing an emergency protective order under this section, the judge or magistrate shall provide the protected person or the law-enforcement officer seeking the emergency protective order with the form for use in filing petitions pursuant to § 16.1-253.1 and written information regarding protective orders that shall include the telephone numbers of domestic violence agencies and legal referral sources on a form prepared by the Supreme Court. If these forms are provided to a law-enforcement officer, the officer may provide these forms to the protected person when giving the emergency protective order to the protected person. The respondent may at any time file a motion with the court requesting a hearing to dissolve or modify the order issued hereunder. The hearing on the motion shall be given precedence on the docket of the court.

D. A law-enforcement officer may request an emergency protective order pursuant to this section and, if the person in need of protection is physically or mentally incapable of filing a petition pursuant to § 16.1-253.1 or 16.1-279.1, may request the extension of an emergency protective order for an additional period of time not to exceed three days after expiration of the original order. The request for an emergency protective order or extension of an order may be made orally, in person or by electronic means, and the judge of a circuit court, general district court, or juvenile and domestic relations district court or a magistrate may issue an oral emergency protective order. An oral emergency protective order issued pursuant to this section shall be reduced to writing, by the law-enforcement officer requesting the order or the magistrate on a preprinted form approved and provided by the Supreme Court of Virginia. The completed form shall include a statement of the grounds for the order asserted by the officer or the allegedly abused person.

E. The court or magistrate shall forthwith, but in all cases no later than the end of the business day on which the order was issued, enter and transfer electronically to the Virginia Criminal Information Network the respondent's identifying information and the name, date of birth, sex, and race of each protected person provided to the court or magistrate. A copy of an emergency protective order issued pursuant to this section containing any such identifying information shall be forwarded forthwith to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders. Upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52 and the order shall be served forthwith upon the respondent and due return made to the court. However, if the order is issued by the circuit court, the clerk of the circuit court shall forthwith forward an attested copy of the order containing the respondent's identifying information and the name, date of birth, sex, and race of each protected person provided to the court to the primary law-enforcement agency providing service and entry of protective orders and upon receipt of the order, the primary law-enforcement agency shall enter the name of the person subject to the order and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52 and the order shall be served forthwith on the respondent. Upon service, the agency making service shall enter the date and time of service and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and make due return to the court. One copy of the order shall be given to the allegedly abused person when it is issued, and one copy shall be filed with the written report required by subsection D of § 19.2-81.3. The judge or magistrate who issues an oral order pursuant to an electronic request by a law-enforcement officer shall verify the written order to determine whether the officer who reduced it to writing accurately transcribed the contents of the oral order. The original copy shall be filed with the clerk of the juvenile and domestic relations district court within five business days of the issuance of the order. If the order is later dissolved or modified, a copy of the dissolution or modification order shall also be attested, forwarded forthwith to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders, and upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network as described above and the order shall be served forthwith and due return made to the court. Upon request, the clerk shall provide the allegedly abused person with information regarding the date and time of service.

F. The availability of an emergency protective order shall not be affected by the fact that the family or household member left the premises to avoid the danger of family abuse by the respondent.

G. The issuance of an emergency protective order shall not be considered evidence of any wrongdoing by the respondent.

H. As used in this section, “law-enforcement officer” means (i) any full-time or part-time employee of a police department or sheriff's office which is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof and who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the penal, traffic, or highway laws of the Commonwealth; (ii) any member of an auxiliary police force established pursuant to § 15.2-1731; and (iii) any special conservator of the peace who meets the certification requirements for a law-enforcement officer as set forth in § 15.2-1706. Part-time employees are compensated officers who are not full-time employees as defined by the employing police department or sheriff's office.

I. Neither a law-enforcement agency, the attorney for the Commonwealth, a court nor the clerk's office, nor any employee of them, may disclose, except among themselves, the residential address, telephone number, or place of employment of the person protected by the order or that of the family of such person, except to the extent that disclosure is (i) required by law or the Rules of the Supreme Court, (ii) necessary for law-enforcement purposes, or (iii) permitted by the court for good cause.

J. As used in this section:

“Copy” includes a facsimile copy.

“Physical presence” includes (i) intentionally maintaining direct visual contact with the petitioner or (ii) unreasonably being within 100 feet from the petitioner's residence or place of employment.

K. No fee shall be charged for filing or serving any petition or order pursuant to this section.

L. Except as provided in § 16.1-253.2, a violation of a protective order issued under this section shall constitute contempt of court.

Article 9. Disposition

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

16.1-278.14. Criminal jurisdiction; protective orders; family offenses

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

In cases involving the violation of any law, regulation or ordinance for the education, protection or care of children or involving offenses committed by one family or household member against another, the juvenile court or the circuit court may impose a penalty prescribed by applicable sections of the Code and may impose conditions and limitations upon the defendant to protect the health or safety of family or household members, including, but not limited to, a protective order as provided in § 16.1-279.1, treatment and counseling for the defendant and payment by the defendant for crisis shelter care for the complaining family or household member.

16.1-278.15. Custody or visitation, child or spousal support generally

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. In cases involving the custody, visitation or support of a child pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 16.1-241, the court may make any order of disposition to protect the welfare of the child and family as may be made by the circuit court. The parties to any petition where a child whose custody, visitation, or support is contested shall show proof that they have attended within the 12 months prior to their court appearance or that they shall attend within 45 days thereafter an educational seminar or other like program conducted by a qualified person or organization approved by the court. The court may require the parties to attend such seminar or program in uncontested cases only if the court finds good cause. The seminar or other program shall be a minimum of four hours in length and shall address the effects of separation or divorce on children, parenting responsibilities, options for conflict resolution and financial responsibilities. Once a party has completed one educational seminar or other like program, the required completion of additional programs shall be at the court's discretion. Parties under this section shall include natural or adoptive parents of the child, or any person with a legitimate interest as defined in § 20-124.1. The fee charged a party for participation in such program shall be based on the party's ability to pay; however, no fee in excess of $50 may be charged. Whenever possible, before participating in mediation or alternative dispute resolution to address custody, visitation or support, each party shall have attended the educational seminar or other like program. The court may grant an exemption from attendance of such program for good cause shown or if there is no program reasonably available. Other than statements or admissions by a party admitting criminal activity or child abuse or neglect, no statement or admission by a party in such seminar or program shall be admissible into evidence in any subsequent proceeding. If support is ordered for a child, the order shall also provide that support will continue to be paid for a child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support, until the child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first. The court may also order that support be paid or continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (a) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, and such disability existed prior to the child reaching the age of 18 or the age of 19 if the child met the requirements of clauses (i), (ii), and (iii); (b) unable to live independently and support himself; and (c) residing in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support. Upon request of either party, the court may also order that support payments be made to a special needs trust or an ABLE savings trust account as defined in § 23.1-700.
B. In any case involving the custody or visitation of a child, the court may award custody upon petition to any party with a legitimate interest therein, including, but not limited to, grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relatives and family members. The term “legitimate interest” shall be broadly construed to accommodate the best interest of the child. The authority of the juvenile court to consider a petition involving the custody of a child shall not be proscribed or limited where the custody of the child has previously been awarded to a local board of social services.
C. In any determination of support obligation under this section, the support obligation as it becomes due and unpaid creates a judgment by operation of law. Such judgment becomes a lien against real estate only when docketed in the county or city where such real estate is located. Nothing herein shall be construed to alter or amend the process of attachment of any lien on personal property.
D. Orders entered prior to July 1, 2008, shall not be deemed void or voidable solely because the petition or motion that resulted in the order was completed, signed and filed by a nonattorney employee of the Department of Social Services.
E. In cases involving charges for desertion, abandonment or failure to provide support by any person in violation of law, disposition shall be made in accordance with Chapter 5 (§ 20-61 et seq.) of Title 20.
F. In cases involving a spouse who seeks spousal support after having separated from his spouse, the court may enter any appropriate order to protect the welfare of the spouse seeking support.
G. In any case or proceeding involving the custody or visitation of a child, the court shall consider the best interest of the child, including the considerations for determining custody and visitation set forth in Chapter 6.1 (§ 20-124.1 et seq.) of Title 20.
G1. In any case or proceeding involving the custody or visitation of a child, as to a parent, the court may, in its discretion, use the phrase “parenting time” to be synonymous with the term “visitation.”
H. In any proceeding before the court for custody or visitation of a child, the court may order a custody or a psychological evaluation of any parent, guardian, legal custodian or person standing in loco parentis to the child, if the court finds such evaluation would assist it in its determination. The court may enter such orders as it deems appropriate for the payment of the costs of the evaluation by the parties.
I. When deemed appropriate by the court in any custody or visitation matter, the court may order drug testing of any parent, guardian, legal custodian or person standing in loco parentis to the child. The court may enter such orders as it deems appropriate for the payment of the costs of the testing by the parties.
J. In any custody or visitation case or proceeding wherein an order prohibiting a party from picking the child up from school is entered pursuant to this section, the court shall order a party to such case or proceeding to provide a copy of such custody or visitation order to the school at which the child is enrolled within three business days of such party's receipt of such custody or visitation order.
If a custody determination affects the school enrollment of the child subject to such custody order and prohibits a party from picking the child up from school, the court shall order a party to provide a copy of such custody order to the school at which the child will be enrolled within three business days of such party's receipt of such order. Such order directing a party to provide a copy of such custody or visitation order shall further require such party, upon any subsequent change in the child's school enrollment, to provide a copy of such custody or visitation order to the new school at which the child is subsequently enrolled within three business days of such enrollment.
If the court determines that a party is unable to deliver the custody or visitation order to the school, such party shall provide the court with the name of the principal and address of the school, and the court shall cause the order to be mailed by first class mail to such school principal.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any school staff to interpret or enforce the terms of such custody or visitation order.

16.1-279.1. Protective order in cases of family abuse

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. In cases of family abuse, including any case involving an incarcerated or recently incarcerated respondent against whom a preliminary protective order has been issued pursuant to § 16.1-253.1, the court may issue a protective order to protect the health and safety of the petitioner and family or household members of the petitioner. A protective order issued under this section may include any one or more of the following conditions to be imposed on the respondent:

1. Prohibiting acts of family abuse or criminal offenses that result in injury to person or property;

2. Prohibiting such contacts by the respondent with the petitioner or family or household members of the petitioner as the court deems necessary for the health or safety of such persons;

3. Granting the petitioner possession of the residence occupied by the parties to the exclusion of the respondent; however, no such grant of possession shall affect title to any real or personal property;

4. Enjoining the respondent from terminating any necessary utility service to the residence to which the petitioner was granted possession pursuant to subdivision 3 or, where appropriate, ordering the respondent to restore utility services to that residence;

5. Granting the petitioner temporary possession or use of a motor vehicle owned by the petitioner alone or jointly owned by the parties to the exclusion of the respondent and enjoining the respondent from terminating any insurance, registration, or taxes on the motor vehicle and directing the respondent to maintain the insurance, registration, and taxes, as appropriate; however, no such grant of possession or use shall affect title to the vehicle;

6. Requiring that the respondent provide suitable alternative housing for the petitioner and, if appropriate, any other family or household member and where appropriate, requiring the respondent to pay deposits to connect or restore necessary utility services in the alternative housing provided;

7. Ordering the respondent to participate in treatment, counseling or other programs as the court deems appropriate;

8. Granting the petitioner the possession of any companion animal as defined in § 3.2-6500 if such petitioner meets the definition of owner in § 3.2-6500; and

9. Any other relief necessary for the protection of the petitioner and family or household members of the petitioner, including a provision for temporary custody or visitation of a minor child.

A1. If a protective order is issued pursuant to subsection A, the court may also issue a temporary child support order for the support of any children of the petitioner whom the respondent has a legal obligation to support. Such order shall terminate upon the determination of support pursuant to § 20-108.1.

B. The protective order may be issued for a specified period of time up to a maximum of two years. The protective order shall expire at 11:59 p.m. on the last day specified or at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the two-year period if no date is specified. Prior to the expiration of the protective order, a petitioner may file a written motion requesting a hearing to extend the order. Proceedings to extend a protective order shall be given precedence on the docket of the court. If the petitioner was a family or household member of the respondent at the time the initial protective order was issued, the court may extend the protective order for a period not longer than two years to protect the health and safety of the petitioner or persons who are family or household members of the petitioner at the time the request for an extension is made. The extension of the protective order shall expire at 11:59 p.m. on the last day specified or at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the two-year period if no date is specified. Nothing herein shall limit the number of extensions that may be requested or issued.

C. A copy of the protective order shall be served on the respondent and provided to the petitioner as soon as possible. The court, including a circuit court if the circuit court issued the order, shall forthwith, but in all cases no later than the end of the business day on which the order was issued, enter and transfer electronically to the Virginia Criminal Information Network the respondent's identifying information and the name, date of birth, sex, and race of each protected person provided to the court and shall forthwith forward the attested copy of the protective order containing any such identifying information to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders. Upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52 and the order shall be served forthwith upon the respondent and due return made to the court. Upon service, the agency making service shall enter the date and time of service and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and make due return to the court. If the order is later dissolved or modified, a copy of the dissolution or modification order shall also be attested, forwarded forthwith to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders, and upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network as described above and the order shall be served forthwith and due return made to the court.

D. Except as otherwise provided in § 16.1-253.2, a violation of a protective order issued under this section shall constitute contempt of court.

E. The court may assess costs and attorneys' fees against either party regardless of whether an order of protection has been issued as a result of a full hearing.

F. Any judgment, order or decree, whether permanent or temporary, issued by a court of appropriate jurisdiction in another state, the United States or any of its territories, possessions or Commonwealths, the District of Columbia or by any tribal court of appropriate jurisdiction for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts or harassment against or contact or communication with or physical proximity to another person, including any of the conditions specified in subsection A, shall be accorded full faith and credit and enforced in the Commonwealth as if it were an order of the Commonwealth, provided reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard were given by the issuing jurisdiction to the person against whom the order is sought to be enforced sufficient to protect such person's due process rights and consistent with federal law. A person entitled to protection under such a foreign order may file the order in any juvenile and domestic relations district court by filing with the court an attested or exemplified copy of the order. Upon such a filing, the clerk shall forthwith forward an attested copy of the order to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders which shall, upon receipt, enter the name of the person subject to the order and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52. Where practical, the court may transfer information electronically to the Virginia Criminal Information Network.

Upon inquiry by any law-enforcement agency of the Commonwealth, the clerk shall make a copy available of any foreign order filed with that court. A law-enforcement officer may, in the performance of his duties, rely upon a copy of a foreign protective order or other suitable evidence which has been provided to him by any source and may also rely upon the statement of any person protected by the order that the order remains in effect.

G. Either party may at any time file a written motion with the court requesting a hearing to dissolve or modify the order. Proceedings to dissolve or modify a protective order shall be given precedence on the docket of the court.

H. As used in this section:

“Copy” includes a facsimile copy; and

“Protective order” includes an initial, modified or extended protective order.

I. Neither a law-enforcement agency, the attorney for the Commonwealth, a court nor the clerk's office, nor any employee of them, may disclose, except among themselves, the residential address, telephone number, or place of employment of the person protected by the order or that of the family of such person, except to the extent that disclosure is (i) required by law or the Rules of the Supreme Court, (ii) necessary for law-enforcement purposes, or (iii) permitted by the court for good cause.

J. No fee shall be charged for filing or serving any petition or order pursuant to this section.

Title 17.1. Courts of Record

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Chapter 6. Costs Generally

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

17.1-606. Persons allowed services without fees or costs

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Any person who is (i) a plaintiff in a civil action in a court of the Commonwealth and a resident of the Commonwealth or (ii) a defendant in a civil action in a court of the Commonwealth, and who is on account of his poverty unable to pay fees or costs, may be allowed by a court to sue or defend a suit therein, without paying fees or costs; whereupon he shall have, from any counsel whom the court may assign him, and from all officers, all needful services and process, without any fees, except what may be included in the costs recovered from the opposite party. In determining a person's inability to pay fees or costs on account of his poverty, the court shall consider the factors set forth in subsection B of § 19.2-159.

Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Chapter 1. In General

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 3. Classification of Criminal Offenses and Punishment Therefor

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-8. Felonies, misdemeanors and traffic infractions defined

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Offenses are either felonies or misdemeanors. Such offenses as are punishable with death or confinement in a state correctional facility are felonies; all other offenses are misdemeanors. Traffic infractions are violations of public order as defined in § 46.2-100 and not deemed to be criminal in nature.

18.2-10. Punishment for conviction of felony; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

The authorized punishments for conviction of a felony are:
(a) For Class 1 felonies, death, if the person so convicted was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense and is not determined to be a person with intellectual disability pursuant to § 19.2-264.3:1.1, or imprisonment for life and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000. If the person was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense or is determined to be a person with intellectual disability pursuant to § 19.2-264.3:1.1, the punishment shall be imprisonment for life and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.
(b) For Class 2 felonies, imprisonment for life or for any term not less than 20 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.
(c) For Class 3 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than 20 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.
(d) For Class 4 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than 10 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.
(e) For Class 5 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.
(f) For Class 6 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.
(g) Except as specifically authorized in subdivision (e) or (f), or in Class 1 felonies for which a sentence of death is imposed, the court shall impose either a sentence of imprisonment together with a fine, or imprisonment only. However, if the defendant is not a natural person, the court shall impose only a fine.
For any felony offense committed (i) on or after January 1, 1995, the court may, and (ii) on or after July 1, 2000, shall, except in cases in which the court orders a suspended term of confinement of at least six months, impose an additional term of not less than six months nor more than three years, which shall be suspended conditioned upon successful completion of a period of post-release supervision pursuant to § 19.2-295.2 and compliance with such other terms as the sentencing court may require. However, such additional term may only be imposed when the sentence includes an active term of incarceration in a correctional facility.
For a felony offense prohibiting proximity to children as described in subsection A of § 18.2-370.2, the sentencing court is authorized to impose the punishment set forth in that section in addition to any other penalty provided by law.

18.2-11. Punishment for conviction of misdemeanor

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

The authorized punishments for conviction of a misdemeanor are:

(a) For Class 1 misdemeanors, confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

(b) For Class 2 misdemeanors, confinement in jail for not more than six months and a fine of not more than $1,000, either or both.

(c) For Class 3 misdemeanors, a fine of not more than $500.

(d) For Class 4 misdemeanors, a fine of not more than $250.

For a misdemeanor offense prohibiting proximity to children as described in subsection A of § 18.2-370.2, the sentencing court is authorized to impose the punishment set forth in subsection B of that section in addition to any other penalty provided by law.

Chapter 4. Crimes Against the Person

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 3. Kidnapping and Related Offenses

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-47. Abduction and kidnapping defined; punishment

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another person with the intent to deprive such other person of his personal liberty or to withhold or conceal him from any person, authority or institution lawfully entitled to his charge, shall be deemed guilty of “abduction.”

B. Any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another person with the intent to subject him to forced labor or services shall be deemed guilty of “abduction.” For purposes of this subsection, the term “intimidation” shall include destroying, concealing, confiscating, withholding, or threatening to withhold a passport, immigration document, or other governmental identification or threatening to report another as being illegally present in the United States.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duty. The terms “abduction” and “kidnapping” shall be synonymous in this Code. Abduction for which no punishment is otherwise prescribed shall be punished as a Class 5 felony.

D. If an offense under subsection A is committed by the parent of the person abducted and punishable as contempt of court in any proceeding then pending, the offense shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor in addition to being punishable as contempt of court. However, such offense, if committed by the parent of the person abducted and punishable as contempt of court in any proceeding then pending and the person abducted is removed from the Commonwealth by the abducting parent, shall be a Class 6 felony in addition to being punishable as contempt of court.

18.2-49.1. Violation of court order regarding custody and visitation; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any person who knowingly, wrongfully and intentionally withholds a child from either of a child's parents or other legal guardian in a clear and significant violation of a court order respecting the custody or visitation of such child, provided such child is withheld outside of the Commonwealth, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

B. Any person who knowingly, wrongfully and intentionally engages in conduct that constitutes a clear and significant violation of a court order respecting the custody or visitation of a child is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor upon conviction of a first offense. Any person who commits a second violation of this section within 12 months of a first conviction is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, and any person who commits a third violation occurring within 24 months of the first conviction is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Article 4. Assaults and Bodily Woundings

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-51.4. Maiming, etc., of another resulting from driving while intoxicated

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any person who, as a result of driving while intoxicated in violation of § 18.2-266 or any local ordinance substantially similar thereto in a manner so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life, unintentionally causes the serious bodily injury of another person resulting in permanent and significant physical impairment shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. The driver's license of any person convicted under this section shall be revoked pursuant to subsection B of § 46.2-391.

B. The provisions of Article 2 (§ 18.2-266 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, upon arrest for a violation of this section.

18.2-57.2. Assault and battery against a family or household member

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any person who commits an assault and battery against a family or household member is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Upon a conviction for assault and battery against a family or household member, where it is alleged in the warrant, petition, information, or indictment on which a person is convicted, that such person has been previously convicted of two offenses against a family or household member of (i) assault and battery against a family or household member in violation of this section, (ii) malicious wounding or unlawful wounding in violation of § 18.2-51, (iii) aggravated malicious wounding in violation of § 18.2-51.2, (iv) malicious bodily injury by means of a substance in violation of § 18.2-52, (v) strangulation in violation of § 18.2-51.6, or (vi) an offense under the law of any other jurisdiction which has the same elements of any of the above offenses, in any combination, all of which occurred within a period of 20 years, and each of which occurred on a different date, such person is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

C. Whenever a warrant for a violation of this section is issued, the magistrate shall issue an emergency protective order as authorized by § 16.1-253.4, except if the defendant is a minor, an emergency protective order shall not be required.

D. The definition of “family or household member” in § 16.1-228 applies to this section.

Article 6. Extortion and Other Threats

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-60.3. Stalking; penalty.

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any person, except a law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101, and acting in the performance of his official duties, and a registered private investigator, as defined in § 9.1-138, who is regulated in accordance with § 9.1-139 and acting in the course of his legitimate business, who on more than one occasion engages in conduct directed at another person with the intent to place, or when he knows or reasonably should know that the conduct places that other person in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault, or bodily injury to that other person or to that other person's family or household member is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the person contacts or follows or attempts to contact or follow the person at whom the conduct is directed after being given actual notice that the person does not want to be contacted or followed, such actions shall be prima facie evidence that the person intended to place that other person, or reasonably should have known that the other person was placed, in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault, or bodily injury to himself or a family or household member.

B. Any person who is convicted of a second offense of subsection A occurring within five years of a prior conviction of such an offense under this section or for a substantially similar offense under the law of any other jurisdiction is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

C. A person may be convicted under this section irrespective of the jurisdiction or jurisdictions within the Commonwealth wherein the conduct described in subsection A occurred, if the person engaged in that conduct on at least one occasion in the jurisdiction where the person is tried. Evidence of any such conduct that occurred outside the Commonwealth may be admissible, if relevant, in any prosecution under this section provided that the prosecution is based upon conduct occurring within the Commonwealth.

D. Upon finding a person guilty under this section, the court shall, in addition to the sentence imposed, issue an order prohibiting contact between the defendant and the victim or the victim's family or household member.

E. The Department of Corrections, sheriff or regional jail director shall give notice prior to the release from a state correctional facility or a local or regional jail of any person incarcerated upon conviction of a violation of this section, to any victim of the offense who, in writing, requests notice, or to any person designated in writing by the victim. The notice shall be given at least 15 days prior to release of a person sentenced to a term of incarceration of more than 30 days or, if the person was sentenced to a term of incarceration of at least 48 hours but no more than 30 days, 24 hours prior to release. If the person escapes, notice shall be given as soon as practicable following the escape. The victim shall keep the Department of Corrections, sheriff or regional jail director informed of the current mailing address and telephone number of the person named in the writing submitted to receive notice.

All information relating to any person who receives or may receive notice under this subsection shall remain confidential and shall not be made available to the person convicted of violating this section.

For purposes of this subsection, “release” includes a release of the offender from a state correctional facility or a local or regional jail (i) upon completion of his term of incarceration or (ii) on probation or parole.

No civil liability shall attach to the Department of Corrections nor to any sheriff or regional jail director or their deputies or employees for a failure to comply with the requirements of this subsection.

F. For purposes of this section:

“Family or household member” has the same meaning as provided in § 16.1-228.

18.2-60.4. Violation of protective orders; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any person who violates any provision of a protective order issued pursuant to § 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9, or 19.2-152.10 is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Conviction hereunder shall bar a finding of contempt for the same act. The punishment for any person convicted of a second offense of violating a protective order, when the offense is committed within five years of the prior conviction and when either the instant or prior offense was based on an act or threat of violence, shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement of 60 days. Any person convicted of a third or subsequent offense of violating a protective order, when the offense is committed within 20 years of the first conviction and when either the instant or one of the prior offenses was based on an act or threat of violence, is guilty of a Class 6 felony and the punishment shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement of six months. The mandatory minimum terms of confinement prescribed for violations of this section shall be served consecutively with any other sentence.

B. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who, while knowingly armed with a firearm or other deadly weapon, violates any provision of a protective order with which he has been served issued pursuant to § 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9, or 19.2-152.10 is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

C. If the respondent commits an assault and battery upon any party protected by the protective order resulting in bodily injury to the party or stalks any party protected by the protective order in violation of § 18.2-60.3, he is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Any person who violates such a protective order by furtively entering the home of any protected party while the party is present, or by entering and remaining in the home of the protected party until the party arrives, is guilty of a Class 6 felony, in addition to any other penalty provided by law.

D. Upon conviction of any offense hereunder for which a mandatory minimum term of confinement is not specified, the person shall be sentenced to a term of confinement and in no case shall the entire term imposed be suspended.

E. Upon conviction, the court shall, in addition to the sentence imposed, enter a protective order pursuant to § 19.2-152.10 for a specified period not exceeding two years from the date of conviction.

18.2-60.5. Unauthorized use of electronic tracking device; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any person who installs or places an electronic tracking device through intentionally deceptive means and without consent, or causes an electronic tracking device to be installed or placed through intentionally deceptive means and without consent, and uses such device to track the location of any person is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the installation, placement, or use of an electronic tracking device by:

1. A law-enforcement officer, judicial officer, probation or parole officer, or employee of the Department of Corrections when any such person is engaged in the lawful performance of official duties and in accordance with other state or federal law;

2. The parent or legal guardian of a minor when tracking (i) the minor or (ii) any person authorized by the parent or legal guardian as a caretaker of the minor at any time when the minor is under the person's sole care;

3. A legally authorized representative of an incapacitated adult, as defined in § 18.2-369;

4. The owner of fleet vehicles, when tracking such vehicles;

5. An electronic communications provider to the extent that such installation, placement, or use is disclosed in the provider's terms of use, privacy policy, or similar document made available to the customer; or

6. A registered private investigator, as defined in § 9.1-138, who is regulated in accordance with § 9.1-139 and is acting in the normal course of his business and with the consent of the owner of the property upon which the electronic tracking device is installed and placed. However, such exception shall not apply if the private investigator is working on behalf of a client who is subject to a protective order under § 16.1-253, 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-279.1, 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9, 19.2-152.10, or subsection B of § 20-103, or if the private investigator knows or should reasonably know that the client seeks the private investigator's services to aid in the commission of a crime.

C. For the purposes of this section:

“Electronic tracking device” means an electronic or mechanical device that permits a person to remotely determine or track the position and movement of another person.

“Fleet vehicle” means (i) one or more motor vehicles owned by a single entity and operated by employees or agents of the entity for business or government purposes, (ii) motor vehicles held for lease or rental to the general public, or (iii) motor vehicles held for sale by motor vehicle dealers.

Article 7. Criminal Sexual Assault

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-67.3. Aggravated sexual battery; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. An accused shall be guilty of aggravated sexual battery if he or she sexually abuses the complaining witness, and

1. The complaining witness is less than 13 years of age, or

2. The act is accomplished through the use of the complaining witness's mental incapacity or physical helplessness, or

3. The offense is committed by a parent, step-parent, grandparent, or step-grandparent and the complaining witness is at least 13 but less than 18 years of age, or

4. The act is accomplished against the will of the complaining witness by force, threat or intimidation, and

a. The complaining witness is at least 13 but less than 15 years of age, or

b. The accused causes serious bodily or mental injury to the complaining witness, or

c. The accused uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon.

B. Aggravated sexual battery is a felony punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for a term of not less than one nor more than 20 years and by a fine of not more than $100,000.

18.2-67.4. Sexual battery

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. An accused is guilty of sexual battery if he sexually abuses, as defined in § 18.2-67.10, (i) the complaining witness against the will of the complaining witness, by force, threat, intimidation, or ruse, (ii) within a two-year period, more than one complaining witness or one complaining witness on more than one occasion intentionally and without the consent of the complaining witness, (iii) an inmate who has been committed to jail or convicted and sentenced to confinement in a state or local correctional facility or regional jail, and the accused is an employee or contractual employee of, or a volunteer with, the state or local correctional facility or regional jail; is in a position of authority over the inmate; and knows that the inmate is under the jurisdiction of the state or local correctional facility or regional jail, or (iv) a probationer, parolee, or a pretrial defendant or posttrial offender under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections, a local community-based probation services agency, a pretrial services agency, a local or regional jail for the purposes of imprisonment, a work program or any other parole/probationary or pretrial services or agency and the accused is an employee or contractual employee of, or a volunteer with, the Department of Corrections, a local community-based probation services agency, a pretrial services agency or a local or regional jail; is in a position of authority over an offender; and knows that the offender is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections, a local community-based probation services agency, a pretrial services agency or a local or regional jail.

B. Sexual battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

18.2-67.10. General definitions

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

As used in this article:

1. “Complaining witness” means the person alleged to have been subjected to rape, forcible sodomy, inanimate or animate object sexual penetration, marital sexual assault, aggravated sexual battery, or sexual battery.

2. “Intimate parts” means the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, or buttocks of any person.

3. “Mental incapacity” means that condition of the complaining witness existing at the time of an offense under this article which prevents the complaining witness from understanding the nature or consequences of the sexual act involved in such offense and about which the accused knew or should have known.

4. “Physical helplessness” means unconsciousness or any other condition existing at the time of an offense under this article which otherwise rendered the complaining witness physically unable to communicate an unwillingness to act and about which the accused knew or should have known.

5. The complaining witness's “prior sexual conduct” means any sexual conduct on the part of the complaining witness which took place before the conclusion of the trial, excluding the conduct involved in the offense alleged under this article.

6. “Sexual abuse” means an act committed with the intent to sexually molest, arouse, or gratify any person, where:

a. The accused intentionally touches the complaining witness's intimate parts or material directly covering such intimate parts;

b. The accused forces the complaining witness to touch the accused's, the witness's own, or another person's intimate parts or material directly covering such intimate parts;

c. If the complaining witness is under the age of 13, the accused causes or assists the complaining witness to touch the accused's, the witness's own, or another person's intimate parts or material directly covering such intimate parts; or

d. The accused forces another person to touch the complaining witness's intimate parts or material directly covering such intimate parts.

Chapter 5. Crimes Against Property

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 7.1. Computer Crimes

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-152.7:1. Harassment by computer; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

If any person, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any person, shall use a computer or computer network to communicate obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language, or make any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature, or threaten any illegal or immoral act, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Chapter 6. Crimes Involving Fraud

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 5. False Representations to Obtain Property or Credit

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-186.3 Identity theft; penalty; restitution; victim assistance

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. It shall be unlawful for any person, without the authorization or permission of the person or persons who are the subjects of the identifying information, with the intent to defraud, for his own use or the use of a third person, to:

1. Obtain, record, or access identifying information which is not available to the general public that would assist in accessing financial resources, obtaining identification documents, or obtaining benefits of such other person;

2. Obtain money, credit, loans, goods, or services through the use of identifying information of such other person;

3. Obtain identification documents in such other person's name; or

4. Obtain, record, or access identifying information while impersonating a law-enforcement officer or an official of the government of the Commonwealth.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person without the authorization or permission of the person who is the subject of the identifying information, with the intent to sell or distribute the information to another to:

1. Fraudulently obtain, record, or access identifying information that is not available to the general public that would assist in accessing financial resources, obtaining identification documents, or obtaining benefits of such other person;

2. Obtain money, credit, loans, goods, or services through the use of identifying information of such other person;

3. Obtain identification documents in such other person's name; or

4. Obtain, record, or access identifying information while impersonating a law-enforcement officer or an official of the Commonwealth.

B1. It shall be unlawful for any person to use identification documents or identifying information of another person, whether that person is dead or alive, or of a false or fictitious person, to avoid summons, arrest, prosecution, or to impede a criminal investigation.

C. As used in this section, "identifying information" shall include but not be limited to: (i) name; (ii) date of birth; (iii) social security number; (iv) driver's license number; (v) bank account numbers; (vi) credit or debit card numbers; (vii) personal identification numbers (PIN); (viii) electronic identification codes; (ix) automated or electronic signatures; (x) biometric data; (xi) fingerprints; (xii) passwords; or (xiii) any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person's financial resources, obtain identification, act as identification, or obtain money, credit, loans, goods, or services.

D. Violations of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any violation resulting in financial loss of greater than $ 200 shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony. Any second or subsequent conviction shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony. Any violation of subsection B where five or more persons' identifying information has been obtained, recorded, or accessed in the same transaction or occurrence shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. Any violation of subsection B where 50 or more persons' identifying information has been obtained, recorded, or accessed in the same transaction or occurrence shall be punishable as a Class 4 felony. Any violation resulting in the arrest and detention of the person whose identification documents or identifying information were used to avoid summons, arrest, prosecution, or to impede a criminal investigation shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. In any proceeding brought pursuant to this section, the crime shall be considered to have been committed in any locality where the person whose identifying information was appropriated resides, or in which any part of the offense took place, regardless of whether the defendant was ever actually in such locality.

E. Upon conviction, in addition to any other punishment, a person found guilty of this offense shall be ordered by the court to make restitution as the court deems appropriate to any person whose identifying information was appropriated or to the estate of such person. Such restitution may include the person's or his estate's actual expenses associated with correcting inaccuracies or errors in his credit report or other identifying information.

F. Upon the request of a person whose identifying information was appropriated, the Attorney General may provide assistance to the victim in obtaining information necessary to correct inaccuracies or errors in his credit report or other identifying information; however, no legal representation shall be afforded such person.

Chapter 7. Crimes Involving Health and Safety

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 6.1. Concealed Weapons and Concealed Handgun Permits

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-308.09. Disqualifications for a concealed handgun permit

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

The following persons shall be deemed disqualified from obtaining a permit:

1. An individual who is ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to § 18.2-308.1:1, 18.2-308.1:2, or 18.2-308.1:3 or the substantially similar law of any other state or of the United States.

2. An individual who was ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to § 18.2-308.1:1 and who was discharged from the custody of the Commissioner pursuant to § 19.2-182.7 less than five years before the date of his application for a concealed handgun permit.

3. An individual who was ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to § 18.2-308.1:2 and whose competency or capacity was restored pursuant to § 64.2-2012 less than five years before the date of his application for a concealed handgun permit.

4. An individual who was ineligible to possess a firearm under § 18.2-308.1:3 and who was released from commitment less than five years before the date of this application for a concealed handgun permit.

5. An individual who is subject to a restraining order, or to a protective order and prohibited by § 18.2-308.1:4 from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm.

6. An individual who is prohibited by § 18.2-308.2 from possessing or transporting a firearm, except that a permit may be obtained in accordance with subsection C of that section.

7. An individual who has been convicted of two or more misdemeanors within the five-year period immediately preceding the application, if one of the misdemeanors was a Class 1 misdemeanor, but the judge shall have the discretion to deny a permit for two or more misdemeanors that are not Class 1. Traffic infractions and misdemeanors set forth in Title 46.2 shall not be considered for purposes of this disqualification.

8. An individual who is addicted to, or is an unlawful user or distributor of, marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, or any controlled substance.

9. An individual who has been convicted of a violation of § 18.2-266 or a substantially similar local ordinance, or of public drunkenness, or of a substantially similar offense under the laws of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or its territories within the three-year period immediately preceding the application, or who is a habitual drunkard as determined pursuant to § 4.1-333.

10. An alien other than an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States.

11. An individual who has been discharged from the armed forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions.

12. An individual who is a fugitive from justice.

13. An individual who the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, based on specific acts by the applicant, is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently to endanger others. The sheriff, chief of police, or attorney for the Commonwealth may submit to the court a sworn, written statement indicating that, in the opinion of such sheriff, chief of police, or attorney for the Commonwealth, based upon a disqualifying conviction or upon the specific acts set forth in the statement, the applicant is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently to endanger others. The statement of the sheriff, chief of police, or the attorney for the Commonwealth shall be based upon personal knowledge of such individual or of a deputy sheriff, police officer, or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth of the specific acts, or upon a written statement made under oath before a notary public of a competent person having personal knowledge of the specific acts.

14. An individual who has been convicted of any assault, assault and battery, sexual battery, discharging of a firearm in violation of § 18.2-280 or 18.2-286.1 or brandishing of a firearm in violation of § 18.2-282 within the three-year period immediately preceding the application.

15. An individual who has been convicted of stalking.

16. An individual whose previous convictions or adjudications of delinquency were based on an offense that would have been at the time of conviction a felony if committed by an adult under the laws of any state, the District of Columbia, the United States or its territories. For purposes of this disqualifier, only convictions occurring within 16 years following the later of the date of (i) the conviction or adjudication or (ii) release from any incarceration imposed upon such conviction or adjudication shall be deemed to be “previous convictions.” Disqualification under this subdivision shall not apply to an individual with previous adjudications of delinquency who has completed a term of service of no less than two years in the Armed Forces of the United States and, if such person has been discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States, received an honorable discharge.

17. An individual who has a felony charge pending or a charge pending for an offense listed in subdivision 14 or 15.

18. An individual who has received mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment in a residential setting within five years prior to the date of his application for a concealed handgun permit.

19. An individual not otherwise ineligible pursuant to this article, who, within the three-year period immediately preceding the application for the permit, was found guilty of any criminal offense set forth in Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) or former § 18.2-248.1:1 or of a criminal offense of illegal possession or distribution of marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, or any controlled substance, under the laws of any state, the District of Columbia, or the United States or its territories.

20. An individual, not otherwise ineligible pursuant to this article, with respect to whom, within the three-year period immediately preceding the application, upon a charge of any criminal offense set forth in Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) or former § 18.2-248.1:1 or upon a charge of illegal possession or distribution of marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, or any controlled substance under the laws of any state, the District of Columbia, or the United States or its territories, the trial court found that the facts of the case were sufficient for a finding of guilt and disposed of the case pursuant to § 18.2-251 or the substantially similar law of any other state, the District of Columbia, or the United States or its territories.

Article 7. Other Illegal Weapons

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-308.1:1. Possession or transportation of firearms by persons acquitted by reason of insanity; penalty; permit

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. It shall be unlawful for any person acquitted by reason of insanity and committed to the custody of the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, pursuant to Chapter 11.1 (§ 19.2-182.2 et seq.) of Title 19.2, on a charge of treason, any felony or any offense punishable as a misdemeanor under Title 54.1 or a Class 1 or Class 2 misdemeanor under this title, except those misdemeanor violations of (i) Article 2 (§ 18.2-266 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of this title, (ii) Article 2 (§ 18.2-415 et seq.) of Chapter 9 of this title, (iii) § 18.2-119, or (iv) an ordinance of any county, city, or town similar to the offenses specified in clause (i), (ii), or (iii), to knowingly and intentionally purchase, possess, or transport any firearm. A violation of this subsection shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. Any person so acquitted may, upon discharge from the custody of the Commissioner, petition the general district court in the city or county in which he resides or, if the person is not a resident of the Commonwealth, the general district court of the city or county in which the most recent of the proceedings described in subsection A occurred to restore his right to purchase, possess, or transport a firearm. A copy of the petition shall be mailed or delivered to the attorney for the Commonwealth for the jurisdiction where the petition was filed who shall be entitled to respond and represent the interests of the Commonwealth. The court shall conduct a hearing if requested by either party. If the court determines, after receiving and considering evidence concerning the circumstances regarding the disability referred to in subsection A and the person's criminal history, treatment record, and reputation as developed through character witness statements, testimony, or other character evidence, that the person will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest, the court shall grant the petition. Any person denied relief by the general district court may petition the circuit court for a de novo review of the denial. Upon a grant of relief in any court, the court shall enter a written order granting the petition, in which event the provisions of subsection A do not apply. The clerk of court shall certify and forward forthwith to the Central Criminal Records Exchange, on a form provided by the Exchange, a copy of any such order.
C. As used in this section, “treatment record” shall include copies of health records detailing the petitioner's psychiatric history, which shall include the records pertaining to the commitment or adjudication that is the subject of the request for relief pursuant to this section.

18.2-308.1:2. Purchase, possession or transportation of firearm by persons adjudicated legally incompetent or mentally incapacitated; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. It shall be unlawful for any person who has been adjudicated (i) legally incompetent pursuant to former § 37.1-128.02 or former § 37.1-134, (ii) mentally incapacitated pursuant to former § 37.1-128.1 or former § 37.1-132, or (iii) incapacitated pursuant to Chapter 20 (§ 64.2-2000 et seq.) of Title 64.2 to purchase, possess, or transport any firearm. A violation of this subsection shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. Any person whose competency or capacity has been restored pursuant to former § 37.1-134.1, former § 37.2-1012, or § 64.2-2012may petition the general district court in the city or county in which he resides or, if the person is not a resident of the Commonwealth, the general district court of the city or county in which the most recent of the proceedings described in subsection A occurred to restore his right to purchase, possess or transport a firearm. A copy of the petition shall be mailed or delivered to the attorney for the Commonwealth for the jurisdiction where the petition was filed who shall be entitled to respond and represent the interests of the Commonwealth. The court shall conduct a hearing if requested by either party. If the court determines, after receiving and considering evidence concerning the circumstances regarding the disability referred to in subsection A and the person's criminal history, treatment record, and reputation as developed through character witness statements, testimony, or other character evidence, that the person will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest, the court shall grant the petition. Any person denied relief by the general district court may petition the circuit court for a de novo review of the denial. Upon a grant of relief in any court, the court shall enter a written order granting the petition, in which event the provisions of subsection A do not apply. The clerk of court shall certify and forward forthwith to the Central Criminal Records Exchange, on a form provided by the Exchange, a copy of any such order.
C. As used in this section, “treatment record” shall include copies of health records detailing the petitioner's psychiatric history, which shall include the records pertaining to the commitment or adjudication that is the subject of the request for relief pursuant to this section.

18.2-308.1:3. Purchase, possession or transportation of firearm by persons involuntarily admitted or ordered to outpatient treatment; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. It shall be unlawful for any person involuntarily admitted to a facility or ordered to mandatory outpatient treatment pursuant to § 19.2-169.2, involuntarily admitted to a facility or ordered to mandatory outpatient treatment as the result of a commitment hearing pursuant to Article 5 (§ 37.2-814 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 37.2, or who was the subject of a temporary detention order pursuant to § 37.2-809 and subsequently agreed to voluntary admission pursuant to § 37.2-805 to purchase, possess, or transport a firearm. A violation of this subsection shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. Any person prohibited from purchasing, possessing or transporting firearms under this section may, at any time following his release from involuntary admission to a facility, his release from an order of mandatory outpatient treatment, or his release from voluntary admission pursuant to § 37.2-805 following the issuance of a temporary detention order, petition the general district court in the city or county in which he resides or, if the person is not a resident of the Commonwealth, the general district court of the city or county in which the most recent of the proceedings described in subsection A occurred to restore his right to purchase, possess or transport a firearm. A copy of the petition shall be mailed or delivered to the attorney for the Commonwealth for the jurisdiction where the petition was filed who shall be entitled to respond and represent the interests of the Commonwealth. The court shall conduct a hearing if requested by either party. If the court determines, after receiving and considering evidence concerning the circumstances regarding the disabilities referred to in subsection A and the person's criminal history, treatment record, and reputation as developed through character witness statements, testimony, or other character evidence, that the person will not likely act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that granting the relief would not be contrary to the public interest, the court shall grant the petition. Any person denied relief by the general district court may petition the circuit court for a de novo review of the denial. Upon a grant of relief in any court, the court shall enter a written order granting the petition, in which event the provisions of subsection A do not apply. The clerk of court shall certify and forward forthwith to the Central Criminal Records Exchange, on a form provided by the Exchange, a copy of any such order.
C. As used in this section, “treatment record” shall include copies of health records detailing the petitioner's psychiatric history, which shall include the records pertaining to the commitment or adjudication that is the subject of the request for relief pursuant to this section.

18.2-308.1:5. Purchase or transportation of firearm by persons convicted of certain drug offenses prohibited

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Any person who, within a 36-consecutive-month period, has been convicted of two misdemeanor offenses under subsection B of former § 18.2-248.1:1, § 18.2-250 or 18.2-250.1 shall be ineligible to purchase or transport a handgun. However, upon expiration of a period of five years from the date of the second conviction and provided the person has not been convicted of any such offense within that period, the ineligibility shall be removed.

18.2-308.2. Possession or transportation of firearms, firearms ammunition, stun weapons, explosives or concealed weapons by convicted felons; penalties; petition for permit; when issued

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. It shall be unlawful for (i) any person who has been convicted of a felony; (ii) any person adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense of murder in violation of § 18.2-31 or 18.2-32, kidnapping in violation of § 18.2-47, robbery by the threat or presentation of firearms in violation of § 18.2-58, or rape in violation of § 18.2-61; or (iii) any person under the age of 29 who was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense of a delinquent act which would be a felony if committed by an adult, other than those felonies set forth in clause (ii), whether such conviction or adjudication occurred under the laws of the Commonwealth, or any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States or any territory thereof, to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport any firearm or ammunition for a firearm, any stun weapon as defined by § 18.2-308.1, or any explosive material, or to knowingly and intentionally carry about his person, hidden from common observation, any weapon described in subsection A of § 18.2-308. However, such person may possess in his residence or the curtilage thereof a stun weapon as defined by § 18.2-308.1. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. However, any person who violates this section by knowingly and intentionally possessing or transporting any firearm and who was previously convicted of a violent felony as defined in § 17.1-805 shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years. Any person who violates this section by knowingly and intentionally possessing or transporting any firearm and who was previously convicted of any other felony within the prior 10 years shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years. The mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment prescribed for violations of this section shall be served consecutively with any other sentence.
B. The prohibitions of subsection A shall not apply to (i) any person who possesses a firearm, ammunition for a firearm, explosive material or other weapon while carrying out his duties as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the National Guard of Virginia or of any other state, (ii) any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duties, (iii) any person who has been pardoned or whose political disabilities have been removed pursuant to Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia provided the Governor, in the document granting the pardon or removing the person's political disabilities, may expressly place conditions upon the reinstatement of the person's right to ship, transport, possess or receive firearms, (iv) any person whose right to possess firearms or ammunition has been restored under the law of another state subject to conditions placed upon the reinstatement of the person's right to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms by such state, or (v) any person adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile who has completed a term of service of no less than two years in the Armed Forces of the United States and, if such person has been discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States, received an honorable discharge and who is not otherwise prohibited under clause (i) or (ii) of subsection A.
C. Any person prohibited from possessing, transporting, or carrying a firearm, ammunition for a firearm, or a stun weapon under subsection A may petition the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which he resides or, if the person is not a resident of the Commonwealth, the circuit court of any county or city where such person was last convicted of a felony or adjudicated delinquent of a disqualifying offense pursuant to subsection A, for a permit to possess or carry a firearm, ammunition for a firearm, or a stun weapon; however, no person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to petition for such a permit unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. A copy of the petition shall be mailed or delivered to the attorney for the Commonwealth for the jurisdiction where the petition was filed who shall be entitled to respond and represent the interests of the Commonwealth. The court shall conduct a hearing if requested by either party. The court may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, grant such petition and issue a permit. The provisions of this section relating to firearms, ammunition for a firearm, and stun weapons shall not apply to any person who has been granted a permit pursuant to this subsection.
C1. Any person who was prohibited from possessing, transporting or carrying explosive material under subsection A may possess, transport or carry such explosive material if his right to possess, transport or carry explosive material has been restored pursuant to federal law.
C2. The prohibitions of subsection A shall not prohibit any person other than a person convicted of an act of violence as defined in § 19.2-297.1 or a violent felony as defined in subsection C of § 17.1-805 from possessing, transporting, or carrying (i) antique firearms or (ii) black powder in a quantity not exceeding five pounds if it is intended to be used solely for sporting, recreational, or cultural purposes in antique firearms. For the purposes of this subsection, “antique firearms” means any firearm described in subdivision 3 of the definition of “antique firearm” in subsection G of § 18.2-308.2:2.
D. For the purpose of this section:
“Ammunition for a firearm” means the combination of a cartridge, projectile, primer, or propellant designed for use in a firearm other than an antique firearm as defined in § 18.2-308.2:2.
“Explosive material” means any chemical compound mixture, or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion; the term includes, but is not limited to, dynamite and other high explosives, black powder, pellet powder, smokeless gun powder, detonators, blasting caps and detonating cord but shall not include fireworks or permissible fireworks as defined in § 27-95.

18.2-308.2:01. Possession or transportation of certain firearms by certain persons

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a citizen of the United States or who is not a person lawfully admitted for permanent residence to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport any assault firearm or to knowingly and intentionally carry about his person, hidden from common observation, an assault firearm.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a citizen of the United States and who is not lawfully present in the United States to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport any firearm or to knowingly and intentionally carry about his person, hidden from common observation, any firearm. A violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony.

C. For purposes of this section, “assault firearm” means any semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock.

18.2-308.2:2. Criminal history record information check required for the transfer of certain firearms

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any person purchasing from a dealer a firearm as herein defined shall consent in writing, on a form to be provided by the Department of State Police, to have the dealer obtain criminal history record information. Such form shall include only the written consent; the name, birth date, gender, race, citizenship, and social security number and/or any other identification number; the number of firearms by category intended to be sold, rented, traded, or transferred; and answers by the applicant to the following questions: (i) has the applicant been convicted of a felony offense or found guilty or adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense of a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult; (ii) is the applicant subject to a court order restraining the applicant from harassing, stalking, or threatening the applicant's child or intimate partner, or a child of such partner, or is the applicant subject to a protective order; and (iii) has the applicant ever been acquitted by reason of insanity and prohibited from purchasing, possessing or transporting a firearm pursuant to § 18.2-308.1:1 or any substantially similar law of any other jurisdiction, been adjudicated legally incompetent, mentally incapacitated or adjudicated an incapacitated person and prohibited from purchasing a firearm pursuant to § 18.2-308.1:2 or any substantially similar law of any other jurisdiction, or been involuntarily admitted to an inpatient facility or involuntarily ordered to outpatient mental health treatment and prohibited from purchasing a firearm pursuant to § 18.2-308.1:3 or any substantially similar law of any other jurisdiction.

B. 1. No dealer shall sell, rent, trade or transfer from his inventory any such firearm to any other person who is a resident of Virginia until he has (i) obtained written consent and the other information on the consent form specified in subsection A, and provided the Department of State Police with the name, birth date, gender, race, citizenship, and social security and/or any other identification number and the number of firearms by category intended to be sold, rented, traded or transferred and (ii) requested criminal history record information by a telephone call to or other communication authorized by the State Police and is authorized by subdivision 2 to complete the sale or other such transfer. To establish personal identification and residence in Virginia for purposes of this section, a dealer must require any prospective purchaser to present one photo-identification form issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth or by the United States Department of Defense that demonstrates that the prospective purchaser resides in Virginia. For the purposes of this section and establishment of residency for firearm purchase, residency of a member of the armed forces shall include both the state in which the member's permanent duty post is located and any nearby state in which the member resides and from which he commutes to the permanent duty post. A member of the armed forces whose photo identification issued by the Department of Defense does not have a Virginia address may establish his Virginia residency with such photo identification and either permanent orders assigning the purchaser to a duty post, including the Pentagon, in Virginia or the purchaser's Leave and Earnings Statement. When the photo identification presented to a dealer by the prospective purchaser is a driver's license or other photo identification issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, and such identification form contains a date of issue, the dealer shall not, except for a renewed driver's license or other photo identification issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, sell or otherwise transfer a firearm to the prospective purchaser until 30 days after the date of issue of an original or duplicate driver's license unless the prospective purchaser also presents a copy of his Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles driver's record showing that the original date of issue of the driver's license was more than 30 days prior to the attempted purchase.

In addition, no dealer shall sell, rent, trade, or transfer from his inventory any assault firearm to any person who is not a citizen of the United States or who is not a person lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

Upon receipt of the request for a criminal history record information check, the State Police shall (a) review its criminal history record information to determine if the buyer or transferee is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm by state or federal law, (b) inform the dealer if its record indicates that the buyer or transferee is so prohibited, and (c) provide the dealer with a unique reference number for that inquiry.

2. The State Police shall provide its response to the requesting dealer during the dealer's request, or by return call without delay. If the criminal history record information check indicates the prospective purchaser or transferee has a disqualifying criminal record or has been acquitted by reason of insanity and committed to the custody of the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the State Police shall have until the end of the dealer's next business day to advise the dealer if its records indicate the buyer or transferee is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm by state or federal law. If not so advised by the end of the dealer's next business day, a dealer who has fulfilled the requirements of subdivision 1 may immediately complete the sale or transfer and shall not be deemed in violation of this section with respect to such sale or transfer. In case of electronic failure or other circumstances beyond the control of the State Police, the dealer shall be advised immediately of the reason for such delay and be given an estimate of the length of such delay. After such notification, the State Police shall, as soon as possible but in no event later than the end of the dealer's next business day, inform the requesting dealer if its records indicate the buyer or transferee is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm by state or federal law. A dealer who fulfills the requirements of subdivision 1 and is told by the State Police that a response will not be available by the end of the dealer's next business day may immediately complete the sale or transfer and shall not be deemed in violation of this section with respect to such sale or transfer.

3. Except as required by subsection D of § 9.1-132, the State Police shall not maintain records longer than 30 days, except for multiple handgun transactions for which records shall be maintained for 12 months, from any dealer's request for a criminal history record information check pertaining to a buyer or transferee who is not found to be prohibited from possessing and transporting a firearm under state or federal law. However, the log on requests made may be maintained for a period of 12 months, and such log shall consist of the name of the purchaser, the dealer identification number, the unique approval number and the transaction date.

4. On the last day of the week following the sale or transfer of any firearm, the dealer shall mail or deliver the written consent form required by subsection A to the Department of State Police. The State Police shall immediately initiate a search of all available criminal history record information to determine if the purchaser is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm under state or federal law. If the search discloses information indicating that the buyer or transferee is so prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm, the State Police shall inform the chief law-enforcement officer in the jurisdiction where the sale or transfer occurred and the dealer without delay.

5. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, rifles and shotguns may be purchased by persons who are citizens of the United States or persons lawfully admitted for permanent residence but residents of other states under the terms of subsections A and B upon furnishing the dealer with one photo-identification form issued by a governmental agency of the person's state of residence and one other form of identification determined to be acceptable by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

6. For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase “dealer's next business day” shall not include December 25.

C. No dealer shall sell, rent, trade or transfer from his inventory any firearm, except when the transaction involves a rifle or a shotgun and can be accomplished pursuant to the provisions of subdivision B 5 to any person who is not a resident of Virginia unless he has first obtained from the Department of State Police a report indicating that a search of all available criminal history record information has not disclosed that the person is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm under state or federal law. The dealer shall obtain the required report by mailing or delivering the written consent form required under subsection A to the State Police within 24 hours of its execution. If the dealer has complied with the provisions of this subsection and has not received the required report from the State Police within 10 days from the date the written consent form was mailed to the Department of State Police, he shall not be deemed in violation of this section for thereafter completing the sale or transfer.

D. Nothing herein shall prevent a resident of the Commonwealth, at his option, from buying, renting or receiving a firearm from a dealer in Virginia by obtaining a criminal history record information check through the dealer as provided in subsection C.

E. If any buyer or transferee is denied the right to purchase a firearm under this section, he may exercise his right of access to and review and correction of criminal history record information under § 9.1-132 or institute a civil action as provided in § 9.1-135, provided any such action is initiated within 30 days of such denial.

F. Any dealer who willfully and intentionally requests, obtains, or seeks to obtain criminal history record information under false pretenses, or who willfully and intentionally disseminates or seeks to disseminate criminal history record information except as authorized in this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

G. For purposes of this section:

“Actual buyer” means a person who executes the consent form required in subsection B or C, or other such firearm transaction records as may be required by federal law.

“Antique firearm” means:

1. Any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898;

2. Any replica of any firearm described in subdivision 1 of this definition if such replica (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition or (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade;

3. Any muzzle-loading rifle, muzzle-loading shotgun, or muzzle-loading pistol that is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and that cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subdivision, the term “antique firearm” shall not include any weapon that incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm that is converted into a muzzle-loading weapon, or any muzzle-loading weapon that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breech-block, or any combination thereof; or

4. Any curio or relic as defined in this subsection.

“Assault firearm” means any semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol which expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock.

“Curios or relics” means firearms that are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons. To be recognized as curios or relics, firearms must fall within one of the following categories:

1. Firearms that were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, which use rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade, but not including replicas thereof;

2. Firearms that are certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum that exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and

3. Any other firearms that derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collectors' items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.

“Dealer” means any person licensed as a dealer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq.

“Firearm” means any handgun, shotgun, or rifle that will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material.

“Handgun” means any pistol or revolver or other firearm originally designed, made and intended to fire single or multiple projectiles by means of an explosion of a combustible material from one or more barrels when held in one hand.

“Lawfully admitted for permanent residence” means the status of having been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws, such status not having changed.

H. The Department of Criminal Justice Services shall promulgate regulations to ensure the identity, confidentiality and security of all records and data provided by the Department of State Police pursuant to this section.

I. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) transactions between persons who are licensed as firearms importers or collectors, manufacturers or dealers pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq.; (ii) purchases by or sales to any law-enforcement officer or agent of the United States, the Commonwealth or any local government, or any campus police officer appointed under Article 3 (§ 23.1-809 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 23.1; or (iii) antique firearms, curios or relics.

J. The provisions of this section shall not apply to restrict purchase, trade or transfer of firearms by a resident of Virginia when the resident of Virginia makes such purchase, trade or transfer in another state, in which case the laws and regulations of that state and the United States governing the purchase, trade or transfer of firearms shall apply. A National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check shall be performed prior to such purchase, trade or transfer of firearms.

J1. All licensed firearms dealers shall collect a fee of $2 for every transaction for which a criminal history record information check is required pursuant to this section, except that a fee of $5 shall be collected for every transaction involving an out-of-state resident. Such fee shall be transmitted to the Department of State Police by the last day of the month following the sale for deposit in a special fund for use by the State Police to offset the cost of conducting criminal history record information checks under the provisions of this section.

K. Any person willfully and intentionally making a materially false statement on the consent form required in subsection B or C or on such firearm transaction records as may be required by federal law, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

L. Except as provided in § 18.2-308.2:1, any dealer who willfully and intentionally sells, rents, trades or transfers a firearm in violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

L1. Any person who attempts to solicit, persuade, encourage, or entice any dealer to transfer or otherwise convey a firearm other than to the actual buyer, as well as any other person who willfully and intentionally aids or abets such person, shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. This subsection shall not apply to a federal law-enforcement officer or a law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101, in the performance of his official duties, or other person under his direct supervision.

M. Any person who purchases a firearm with the intent to (i) resell or otherwise provide such firearm to any person who he knows or has reason to believe is ineligible to purchase or otherwise receive from a dealer a firearm for whatever reason or (ii) transport such firearm out of the Commonwealth to be resold or otherwise provided to another person who the transferor knows is ineligible to purchase or otherwise receive a firearm, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony and sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year. However, if the violation of this subsection involves such a transfer of more than one firearm, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years. The prohibitions of this subsection shall not apply to the purchase of a firearm by a person for the lawful use, possession, or transport thereof, pursuant to § 18.2-308.7, by his child, grandchild, or individual for whom he is the legal guardian if such child, grandchild, or individual is ineligible, solely because of his age, to purchase a firearm.

N. Any person who is ineligible to purchase or otherwise receive or possess a firearm in the Commonwealth who solicits, employs or assists any person in violating subsection M shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony and shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years.

O. Any mandatory minimum sentence imposed under this section shall be served consecutively with any other sentence.

P. All driver's licenses issued on or after July 1, 1994, shall carry a letter designation indicating whether the driver's license is an original, duplicate or renewed driver's license.

Q. Prior to selling, renting, trading, or transferring any firearm owned by the dealer but not in his inventory to any other person, a dealer may require such other person to consent to have the dealer obtain criminal history record information to determine if such other person is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm by state or federal law. The Department of State Police shall establish policies and procedures in accordance with 28 C.F.R. § 25.6 to permit such determinations to be made by the Department of State Police, and the processes established for making such determinations shall conform to the provisions of this section.

18.2-308.1:4. Purchase or transportation of firearm by persons subject to protective orders; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. It is unlawful for any person who is subject to (i) a protective order entered pursuant to § 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-278.2, 16.1-279.1, 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9, or 19.2-152.10; (ii) an order issued pursuant to subsection B of § 20-103; (iii) an order entered pursuant to subsection E of § 18.2-60.3; (iv) a preliminary protective order entered pursuant to subsection F of § 16.1-253 where a petition alleging abuse or neglect has been filed; or (v) an order issued by a tribunal of another state, the United States or any of its territories, possessions, or commonwealths, or the District of Columbia pursuant to a statute that is substantially similar to those cited in clauses (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) to purchase or transport any firearm while the order is in effect. Any person with a concealed handgun permit shall be prohibited from carrying any concealed firearm, and shall surrender his permit to the court entering the order, for the duration of any protective order referred to herein. A violation of this subsection is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. In addition to the prohibition set forth in subsection A, it is unlawful for any person who is subject to a protective order entered pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 or an order issued by a tribunal of another state, the United States or any of its territories, possessions, or commonwealths, or the District of Columbia pursuant to a statute that is substantially similar to § 16.1-279.1 to knowingly possess any firearm while the order is in effect, provided that for a period of 24 hours after being served with a protective order in accordance with subsection C of § 16.1-279.1 such person may continue to possess and, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, transport any firearm possessed by such person at the time of service for the purposes of selling or transferring any such firearm to any person who is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing such firearm. A violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony.

Chapter 8. Crimes Involving Morals and Decency

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 4. Family Offenses; Crimes Against Children, Etc.

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-369. Abuse and neglect of incapacitated adults; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. It shall be unlawful for any responsible person to abuse or neglect any incapacitated adult as defined in this section. Any responsible person who abuses or neglects an incapacitated adult in violation of this section and the abuse or neglect does not result in serious bodily injury or disease to the incapacitated adult is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any responsible person who is convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this subsection is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

B. Any responsible person who abuses or neglects an incapacitated adult in violation of this section and the abuse or neglect results in serious bodily injury or disease to the incapacitated adult is guilty of a Class 4 felony. Any responsible person who abuses or neglects an incapacitated adult in violation of this section and the abuse or neglect results in the death of the incapacitated adult is guilty of a Class 3 felony.

C. For purposes of this section:

“Abuse” means (i) knowing and willful conduct that causes physical injury or pain or (ii) knowing and willful use of physical restraint, including confinement, as punishment, for convenience or as a substitute for treatment, except where such conduct or physical restraint, including confinement, is a part of care or treatment and is in furtherance of the health and safety of the incapacitated person.

“Incapacitated adult” means any person 18 years of age or older who is impaired by reason of mental illness, intellectual disability, physical illness or disability, advanced age or other causes to the extent the adult lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make, communicate or carry out reasonable decisions concerning his well-being.

“Neglect” means the knowing and willful failure by a responsible person to provide treatment, care, goods or services which results in injury to the health or endangers the safety of an incapacitated adult.

“Responsible person” means a person who has responsibility for the care, custody or control of an incapacitated person by operation of law or who has assumed such responsibility voluntarily, by contract or in fact.

“Serious bodily injury or disease” shall include but not be limited to (i) disfigurement, (ii) a fracture, (iii) a severe burn or laceration, (iv) mutilation, (v) maiming, or (vi) life-threatening internal injuries or conditions, whether or not caused by trauma.

D. No responsible person shall be in violation of this section whose conduct was (i) in accordance with the informed consent of the incapacitated person or a person authorized to consent on his behalf; (ii) in accordance with a declaration by the incapacitated person under the Natural Death Act of Virginia (§ 54.1-2981 et seq.) or with the provisions of a valid medical power of attorney; (iii) in accordance with the wishes of the incapacitated person or a person authorized to consent on behalf of the incapacitated person and in accord with the tenets and practices of a church or religious denomination; (iv) incident to necessary movement of, placement of or protection from harm to the incapacitated person; or (v) a bona fide, recognized or approved practice to provide medical care.

Article 5. Obscenity and Related Offenses

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-386.2. Unlawful dissemination or sale of images of another; penalty

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any person who, with the intent to coerce, harass, or intimidate, maliciously disseminates or sells any videographic or still image created by any means whatsoever that depicts another person who is totally nude, or in a state of undress so as to expose the genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast, where such person knows or has reason to know that he is not licensed or authorized to disseminate or sell such videographic or still image is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, if a person uses services of an Internet service provider, an electronic mail service provider, or any other information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server in committing acts prohibited under this section, such provider shall not be held responsible for violating this section for content provided by another person.

B. Venue for a prosecution under this section may lie in the jurisdiction where the unlawful act occurs or where any videographic or still image created by any means whatsoever is produced, reproduced, found, stored, received, or possessed in violation of this section.

C. The provisions of this section shall not preclude prosecution under any other statute.

Chapter 9. Crimes Against Peace and Order

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 6. Unlawful Use of Telephones

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

18.2-429. Causing telephone or pager to ring with intent to annoy

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any person who, with or without intent to communicate but with intent to annoy any other person, causes any telephone or digital pager, not his own, to ring or to otherwise signal, and any person who permits or condones the use of any telephone under his control for such purpose, is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction under this subsection is punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor if such prior conviction occurred before the date of the offense charged.
B. Any person who, with or without intent to converse, but with intent to annoy, harass, hinder or delay emergency personnel in the performance of their duties as such, causes a telephone to ring, which is owned or leased for the purpose of receiving emergency calls by a public or private entity providing fire, police or emergency medical services, and any person who knowingly permits the use of a telephone under his control for such purpose, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Chapter 7. Arrest

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

19.2-81.3 Arrest without a warrant authorized in cases of assault and battery against a family or household member and stalking and for violations of protective orders; procedure, etc.

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any law-enforcement officer with the powers of arrest may arrest without a warrant for an alleged violation of § 18.2-57.2, 18.2-60.4, or 16.1-253.2 regardless of whether such violation was committed in his presence, if such arrest is based on probable cause or upon personal observations or the reasonable complaint of a person who observed the alleged offense or upon personal investigation.

B. A law-enforcement officer having probable cause to believe that a violation of § 18.2-57.2 or 16.1-253.2 has occurred shall arrest and take into custody the person he has probable cause to believe, based on the totality of the circumstances, was the predominant physical aggressor unless there are special circumstances which would dictate a course of action other than an arrest. The standards for determining who is the predominant physical aggressor shall be based on the following considerations: (i) who was the first aggressor, (ii) the protection of the health and safety of family and household members, (iii) prior complaints of family abuse by the allegedly abusing person involving the family or household members, (iv) the relative severity of the injuries inflicted on persons involved in the incident, (v) whether any injuries were inflicted in self-defense, (vi) witness statements, and (vii) other observations.

C. A law-enforcement officer having probable cause to believe that a violation of § 18.2-60.4 has occurred that involves physical aggression shall arrest and take into custody the person he has probable cause to believe, based on the totality of the circumstances, was the predominant physical aggressor unless there are special circumstances which would dictate a course of action other than an arrest. The standards for determining who is the predominant physical aggressor shall be based on the following considerations: (i) who was the first aggressor, (ii) the protection of the health and safety of the person to whom the protective order was issued and the person's family and household members, (iii) prior acts of violence, force, or threat, as defined in § 19.2-152.7:1, by the person against whom the protective order was issued against the person protected by the order or the protected person's family or household members, (iv) the relative severity of the injuries inflicted on persons involved in the incident, (v) whether any injuries were inflicted in self-defense, (vi) witness statements, and (vii) other observations.

D. Regardless of whether an arrest is made, the officer shall file a written report with his department, which shall state whether any arrests were made, and if so, the number of arrests, specifically including any incident in which he has probable cause to believe family abuse has occurred, and, where required, including a complete statement in writing that there are special circumstances that would dictate a course of action other than an arrest. The officer shall provide the allegedly abused person or the person protected by an order issued pursuant to § 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9, or 19.2-152.10, both orally and in writing, information regarding the legal and community resources available to the allegedly abused person or person protected by the order. Upon request of the allegedly abused person or person protected by the order, the department shall make a summary of the report available to the allegedly abused person or person protected by the order.

E. In every case in which a law-enforcement officer makes an arrest under this section for a violation of § 18.2-57.2, he shall petition for an emergency protective order as authorized in § 16.1-253.4 when the person arrested and taken into custody is brought before the magistrate, except if the person arrested is a minor, a petition for an emergency protective order shall not be required. Regardless of whether an arrest is made, if the officer has probable cause to believe that a danger of acts of family abuse exists, the law-enforcement officer shall seek an emergency protective order under § 16.1-253.4, except if the suspected abuser is a minor, a petition for an emergency protective order shall not be required.

F. A law-enforcement officer investigating any complaint of family abuse, including but not limited to assault and battery against a family or household member shall, upon request, transport, or arrange for the transportation of an abused person to a hospital or safe shelter, or to appear before a magistrate. Any local law-enforcement agency may adopt a policy requiring an officer to transport or arrange for transportation of an abused person as provided in this subsection.

G. The definition of “family or household member” in § 16.1-228 applies to this section.

H. As used in this section, “law-enforcement officer” means (i) any full-time or part-time employee of a police department or sheriff's office which is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, and any campus police officer appointed under Chapter 17 (§ 23-232 et seq.) of Title 23, and who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the penal, traffic or highway laws of this Commonwealth; (ii) any member of an auxiliary police force established pursuant to § 15.2-1731; and (iii) any special conservator of the peace who meets the certification requirements for a law-enforcement officer as set forth in § 15.2-1706. Part-time employees are compensated officers who are not full-time employees as defined by the employing police department or sheriff's office.

Chapter 9. Bail and Recognizances

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 5. Pretrial Services Act

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

19.2-152.7:1. Definitions

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

As used in this chapter:

“Act of violence, force, or threat” means any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury. Such act includes, but is not limited to, any forceful detention, stalking, criminal sexual assault in violation of Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, or any criminal offense that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury.

Chapter 9.1. Protective Orders

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

19.2-152.10. Protective order

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. The court may issue a protective order pursuant to this chapter to protect the health and safety of the petitioner and family or household members of a petitioner upon (i) the issuance of a petition or warrant for, or a conviction of, any criminal offense resulting from the commission of an act of violence, force, or threat or (ii) a hearing held pursuant to subsection D of § 19.2-152.9. A protective order issued under this section may include any one or more of the following conditions to be imposed on the respondent:

1. Prohibiting acts of violence, force, or threat or criminal offenses that may result in injury to person or property;

2. Prohibiting such contacts by the respondent with the petitioner or family or household members of the petitioner as the court deems necessary for the health or safety of such persons;

3. Any other relief necessary to prevent (i) acts of violence, force, or threat, (ii) criminal offenses that may result in injury to person or property, or (iii) communication or other contact of any kind by the respondent; and

4. Granting the petitioner the possession of any companion animal as defined in § 3.2-6500 if such petitioner meets the definition of owner in § 3.2-6500.

B. The protective order may be issued for a specified period of time up to a maximum of two years. The protective order shall expire at 11:59 p.m. on the last day specified or at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the two-year period if no date is specified. Prior to the expiration of the protective order, a petitioner may file a written motion requesting a hearing to extend the order. Proceedings to extend a protective order shall be given precedence on the docket of the court. The court may extend the protective order for a period not longer than two years to protect the health and safety of the petitioner or persons who are family or household members of the petitioner at the time the request for an extension is made. The extension of the protective order shall expire at 11:59 p.m. on the last day specified or at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the two-year period if no date is specified. Nothing herein shall limit the number of extensions that may be requested or issued.

C. A copy of the protective order shall be served on the respondent and provided to the petitioner as soon as possible. The court, including a circuit court if the circuit court issued the order, shall forthwith, but in all cases no later than the end of the business day on which the order was issued, enter and transfer electronically to the Virginia Criminal Information Network the respondent's identifying information and the name, date of birth, sex, and race of each protected person provided to the court and shall forthwith forward the attested copy of the protective order and containing any such identifying information to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders. Upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52 and the order shall be served forthwith upon the respondent and due return made to the court. Upon service, the agency making service shall enter the date and time of service and other appropriate information required into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and make due return to the court. If the order is later dissolved or modified, a copy of the dissolution or modification order shall also be attested, forwarded forthwith to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders, and upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network as described above and the order shall be served forthwith and due return made to the court.

D. Except as otherwise provided, a violation of a protective order issued under this section shall constitute contempt of court.

E. The court may assess costs and attorneys' fees against either party regardless of whether an order of protection has been issued as a result of a full hearing.

F. Any judgment, order or decree, whether permanent or temporary, issued by a court of appropriate jurisdiction in another state, the United States or any of its territories, possessions or Commonwealths, the District of Columbia or by any tribal court of appropriate jurisdiction for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts or harassment against or contact or communication with or physical proximity to another person, including any of the conditions specified in subsection A, shall be accorded full faith and credit and enforced in the Commonwealth as if it were an order of the Commonwealth, provided reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard were given by the issuing jurisdiction to the person against whom the order is sought to be enforced sufficient to protect such person's due process rights and consistent with federal law. A person entitled to protection under such a foreign order may file the order in any appropriate district court by filing with the court, an attested or exemplified copy of the order. Upon such a filing, the clerk shall forthwith forward an attested copy of the order to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders which shall, upon receipt, enter the name of the person subject to the order and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52. Where practical, the court may transfer information electronically to the Virginia Criminal Information Network.

Upon inquiry by any law-enforcement agency of the Commonwealth, the clerk shall make a copy available of any foreign order filed with that court. A law-enforcement officer may, in the performance of his duties, rely upon a copy of a foreign protective order or other suitable evidence which has been provided to him by any source and may also rely upon the statement of any person protected by the order that the order remains in effect.

G. Either party may at any time file a written motion with the court requesting a hearing to dissolve or modify the order. Proceedings to modify or dissolve a protective order shall be given precedence on the docket of the court.

H. Neither a law-enforcement agency, the attorney for the Commonwealth, a court nor the clerk's office, nor any employee of them, may disclose, except among themselves, the residential address, telephone number, or place of employment of the person protected by the order or that of the family of such person, except to the extent that disclosure is (i) required by law or the Rules of the Supreme Court, (ii) necessary for law-enforcement purposes, or (iii) permitted by the court for good cause.

I. No fees shall be charged for filing or serving petitions pursuant to this section.

J. As used in this section:

“Copy” includes a facsimile copy; and

“Protective order” includes an initial, modified or extended protective order.

19.2-152.8. Emergency protective orders authorized

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any judge of a circuit court, general district court, juvenile and domestic relations district court or magistrate may issue a written or oral ex parte emergency protective order pursuant to this section in order to protect the health or safety of any person.

B. When a law-enforcement officer or an alleged victim asserts under oath to a judge or magistrate that such person is being or has been subjected to an act of violence, force, or threat and on that assertion or other evidence the judge or magistrate finds that (i) there is probable danger of a further such act being committed by the respondent against the alleged victim or (ii) a petition or warrant for the arrest of the respondent has been issued for any criminal offense resulting from the commission of an act of violence, force, or threat, the judge or magistrate shall issue an ex parte emergency protective order imposing one or more of the following conditions on the respondent:

1. Prohibiting acts of violence, force, or threat or criminal offenses resulting in injury to person or property;

2. Prohibiting such contacts by the respondent with the alleged victim or the alleged victim's family or household members, including prohibiting the respondent from being in the physical presence of the alleged victim or the alleged victim's family or household members, as the judge or magistrate deems necessary to protect the safety of such persons;

3. Such other conditions as the judge or magistrate deems necessary to prevent (i) acts of violence, force, or threat, (ii) criminal offenses resulting in injury to person or property, or (iii) communication or other contact of any kind by the respondent; and

4. Granting the petitioner the possession of any companion animal as defined in § 3.2-6500 if such petitioner meets the definition of owner in § 3.2-6500.

C. An emergency protective order issued pursuant to this section shall expire at 11:59 p.m. on the third day following issuance. If the expiration occurs on a day that the court is not in session, the emergency protective order shall be extended until 11:59 p.m. on the next day that the court which issued the order is in session. The respondent may at any time file a motion with the court requesting a hearing to dissolve or modify the order. The hearing on the motion shall be given precedence on the docket of the court.

D. A law-enforcement officer may request an emergency protective order pursuant to this section and, if the person in need of protection is physically or mentally incapable of filing a petition pursuant to § 19.2-152.9 or 19.2-152.10, may request the extension of an emergency protective order for an additional period of time not to exceed three days after expiration of the original order. The request for an emergency protective order or extension of an order may be made orally, in person or by electronic means, and the judge of a circuit court, general district court, or juvenile and domestic relations district court or a magistrate may issue an oral emergency protective order. An oral emergency protective order issued pursuant to this section shall be reduced to writing, by the law-enforcement officer requesting the order or the magistrate, on a preprinted form approved and provided by the Supreme Court of Virginia. The completed form shall include a statement of the grounds for the order asserted by the officer or the alleged victim of such crime.

E. The court or magistrate shall forthwith, but in all cases no later than the end of the business day on which the order was issued, enter and transfer electronically to the Virginia Criminal Information Network the respondent's identifying information and the name, date of birth, sex, and race of each protected person provided to the court or magistrate. A copy of an emergency protective order issued pursuant to this section containing any such identifying information shall be forwarded forthwith to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders. Upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52 and the order shall be served forthwith upon the respondent and due return made to the court. However, if the order is issued by the circuit court, the clerk of the circuit court shall forthwith forward an attested copy of the order containing the respondent's identifying information and the name, date of birth, sex, and race of each protected person provided to the court to the primary law-enforcement agency providing service and entry of protective orders and upon receipt of the order, the primary law-enforcement agency shall enter the name of the person subject to the order and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52 and the order shall be served forthwith upon the respondent. Upon service, the agency making service shall enter the date and time of service and other appropriate information required into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and make due return to the court. One copy of the order shall be given to the alleged victim of such crime. The judge or magistrate who issues an oral order pursuant to an electronic request by a law-enforcement officer shall verify the written order to determine whether the officer who reduced it to writing accurately transcribed the contents of the oral order. The original copy shall be filed with the clerk of the appropriate district court within five business days of the issuance of the order. If the order is later dissolved or modified, a copy of the dissolution or modification order shall also be attested, forwarded forthwith to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders, and upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network as described above and the order shall be served forthwith and due return made to the court. Upon request, the clerk shall provide the alleged victim of such crime with information regarding the date and time of service.

F. The issuance of an emergency protective order shall not be considered evidence of any wrongdoing by the respondent.

G. As used in this section, a “law-enforcement officer” means any (i) person who is a full-time or part-time employee of a police department or sheriff's office which is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof and who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the penal, traffic or highway laws of the Commonwealth and (ii) member of an auxiliary police force established pursuant to § 15.2-1731. Part-time employees are compensated officers who are not full-time employees as defined by the employing police department or sheriff's office.

H. Neither a law-enforcement agency, the attorney for the Commonwealth, a court nor the clerk's office, nor any employee of them, may disclose, except among themselves, the residential address, telephone number, or place of employment of the person protected by the order or that of the family of such person, except to the extent that disclosure is (i) required by law or the Rules of the Supreme Court, (ii) necessary for law-enforcement purposes, or (iii) permitted by the court for good cause.

I. As used in this section:

“Copy” includes a facsimile copy.

“Physical presence” includes (i) intentionally maintaining direct visual contact with the petitioner or (ii) unreasonably being within 100 feet from the petitioner's residence or place of employment.

J. No fee shall be charged for filing or serving any petition pursuant to this section.

K. No emergency protective order shall be issued pursuant to this section against a law-enforcement officer for any action arising out of the lawful performance of his duties.

19.2-152.9. Preliminary protective orders

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Upon the filing of a petition alleging that (i) the petitioner is or has been, within a reasonable period of time, subjected to an act of violence, force, or threat, or (ii) a petition or warrant has been issued for the arrest of the alleged perpetrator for any criminal offense resulting from the commission of an act of violence, force, or threat, the court may issue a preliminary protective order against the alleged perpetrator in order to protect the health and safety of the petitioner or any family or household member of the petitioner. The order may be issued in an ex parte proceeding upon good cause shown when the petition is supported by an affidavit or sworn testimony before the judge or intake officer. Immediate and present danger of any act of violence, force, or threat or evidence sufficient to establish probable cause that an act of violence, force, or threat has recently occurred shall constitute good cause.

A preliminary protective order may include any one or more of the following conditions to be imposed on the respondent:

1. Prohibiting acts of violence, force, or threat or criminal offenses that may result in injury to person or property;

2. Prohibiting such other contacts by the respondent with the petitioner or the petitioner's family or household members as the court deems necessary for the health and safety of such persons;

3. Such other conditions as the court deems necessary to prevent (i) acts of violence, force, or threat, (ii) criminal offenses that may result in injury to person or property, or (iii) communication or other contact of any kind by the respondent; and

4. Granting the petitioner the possession of any companion animal as defined in § 3.2-6500 if such petitioner meets the definition of owner in § 3.2-6500.

B. The court shall forthwith, but in all cases no later than the end of the business day on which the order was issued, enter and transfer electronically to the Virginia Criminal Information Network the respondent's identifying information and the name, date of birth, sex, and race of each protected person provided to the court. A copy of a preliminary protective order containing any such identifying information shall be forwarded forthwith to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders. Upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52 and the order shall be served forthwith on the alleged perpetrator in person as provided in § 16.1-264, and due return made to the court. However, if the order is issued by the circuit court, the clerk of the circuit court shall forthwith forward an attested copy of the order containing the respondent's identifying information and the name, date of birth, sex, and race of each protected person provided to the court to the primary law-enforcement agency providing service and entry of protective orders and upon receipt of the order, the primary law-enforcement agency shall enter the name of the person subject to the order and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network established and maintained by the Department pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52 and the order shall be served forthwith on the alleged perpetrator in person as provided in § 16.1-264. Upon service, the agency making service shall enter the date and time of service and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and make due return to the court. The preliminary order shall specify a date for the full hearing. The hearing shall be held within 15 days of the issuance of the preliminary order. If the respondent fails to appear at this hearing because the respondent was not personally served, the court may extend the protective order for a period not to exceed six months. The extended protective order shall be served as soon as possible on the respondent. However, upon motion of the respondent and for good cause shown, the court may continue the hearing. The preliminary order shall remain in effect until the hearing. Upon request after the order is issued, the clerk shall provide the petitioner with a copy of the order and information regarding the date and time of service. The order shall further specify that either party may at any time file a motion with the court requesting a hearing to dissolve or modify the order. The hearing on the motion shall be given precedence on the docket of the court.

Upon receipt of the return of service or other proof of service pursuant to subsection C of § 16.1-264, the clerk shall forthwith forward an attested copy of the preliminary protective order to primary law-enforcement agency and the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary into the Virginia Criminal Information Network as described above. If the order is later dissolved or modified, a copy of the dissolution or modification order shall also be attested, forwarded forthwith to the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders, and upon receipt of the order by the primary law-enforcement agency, the agency shall forthwith verify and enter any modification as necessary to the identifying information and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia Criminal Information Network as described above and the order shall be served forthwith and due return made to the court.

C. The preliminary order is effective upon personal service on the alleged perpetrator. Except as otherwise provided, a violation of the order shall constitute contempt of court.

D. At a full hearing on the petition, the court may issue a protective order pursuant to § 19.2-152.10 if the court finds that the petitioner has proven the allegation that the petitioner is or has been, within a reasonable period of time, subjected to an act of violence, force, or threat by a preponderance of the evidence.

E. No fees shall be charged for filing or serving petitions pursuant to this section.

F. Neither a law-enforcement agency, the attorney for the Commonwealth, a court nor the clerk's office, nor any employee of them, may disclose, except among themselves, the residential address, telephone number, or place of employment of the person protected by the order or that of the family of such person, except to the extent that disclosure is (i) required by law or the Rules of the Supreme Court, (ii) necessary for law-enforcement purposes, or (iii) permitted by the court for good cause.

G. As used in this section, “copy” includes a facsimile copy.

Chapter 22.2. Miscellaneous Forfeiture Provisions

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

19.2-386.28. Forfeiture of weapons that are concealed, possessed, transported or carried in violation of law

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Any firearm, stun weapon as defined by § 18.2-308.1, or any weapon concealed, possessed, transported or carried in violation of § 18.2-283.1, 18.2-287.01, 18.2-287.4, 18.2-308.1:2, 18.2-308.1:3, 18.2-308.1:4, 18.2-308.2, 18.2-308.2:01, 18.2-308.2:1, 18.2-308.4, 18.2-308.5, 18.2-308.7, or 18.2-308.8 shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth and disposed of as provided in § 19.2-386.29.

19.2-386.29. Forfeiture of certain weapons used in commission of criminal offense

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

All pistols, shotguns, rifles, dirks, bowie knives, switchblade knives, ballistic knives, razors, slingshots, brass or metal knucks, blackjacks, stun weapons, and other weapons used by any person in the commission of a criminal offense, shall, upon conviction of such person, be forfeited to the Commonwealth by order of the court trying the case. The court shall dispose of such weapons as it deems proper by entry of an order of record. Such disposition may include the destruction of the weapons or, subject to any registration requirements of federal law, sale of the firearms to a licensed dealer in such firearms in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 22.1 (§ 19.2-386.1 et seq.) regarding sale of property forfeited to the Commonwealth.

The court may authorize the seizing law-enforcement agency to use the weapon for a period of time as specified in the order. When the seizing agency ceases to so use the weapon, it shall be disposed of as otherwise provided in this section.

However, upon petition to the court and notice to the attorney for the Commonwealth, the court, upon good cause shown, shall return any such weapon to its lawful owner after conclusion of all relevant proceedings if such owner (i) did not know and had no reason to know of the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture and (ii) is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the weapon. The owner shall acknowledge in a sworn affidavit to be filed with the record in the case or cases that he has retaken possession of the weapon involved.

Chapter 23. Central Criminal Records Exchange

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

19.2-387.1. Protective Order Registry; maintenance; access

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. The Department of State Police shall keep and maintain a computerized Protective Order Registry. The purpose of the Registry shall be to assist the efforts of law-enforcement agencies to protect their communities and their citizens. The Department of State Police shall make Registry information available, upon request, to criminal justice agencies, including local law-enforcement agencies, through the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN). Registry information provided under this section shall be used only for the purposes of the administration of criminal justice.

B. No liability shall be imposed upon any law-enforcement official who disseminates information or fails to disseminate information in good faith compliance with the requirements of this section, but this provision shall not be construed to grant immunity for gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Title 20. Domestic Relations

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Chapter 3.1. Proceedings to Determine Parentage

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

20-49.1. How parent and child relationship established

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. The parent and child relationship between a child and a woman may be established prima facie by proof of her having given birth to the child, or as otherwise provided in this chapter.

B. The parent and child relationship between a child and a man may be established by:

1. Scientifically reliable genetic tests, including blood tests, which affirm at least a ninety-eight percent probability of paternity. Such genetic test results shall have the same legal effect as a judgment entered pursuant to § 20-49.8.

2. A voluntary written statement of the father and mother made under oath acknowledging paternity and confirming that prior to signing the acknowledgment, the parties were provided with a written and oral description of the rights and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity and the consequences arising from a signed acknowledgment, including the right to rescind. The acknowledgement may be rescinded by either party within sixty days from the date on which it was signed unless an administrative or judicial order relating to the child in an action to which the party seeking rescission was a party is entered prior to the rescission. A written statement shall have the same legal effect as a judgment entered pursuant to § 20-49.8 and shall be binding and conclusive unless, in a subsequent judicial proceeding, the person challenging the statement establishes that the statement resulted from fraud, duress or a material mistake of fact. In any subsequent proceeding in which a statement acknowledging paternity is subject to challenge, the legal responsibilities of any person signing it shall not be suspended during the pendency of the proceeding, except for good cause shown. Written acknowledgments of paternity made under oath by the father and mother prior to July 1, 1990, shall have the same legal effect as a judgment entered pursuant to § 20-49.8.

3. In the absence of such acknowledgment or if the probability of paternity is less than ninety-eight percent, such relationship may be established as otherwise provided in this chapter.

C. The parent and child relationship between a child and an adoptive parent may be established by proof of lawful adoption.

20-49.4. Evidence relating to parentage

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

The standard of proof in any action to establish parentage shall be by clear and convincing evidence. All relevant evidence on the issue of paternity shall be admissible. Such evidence may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

1. Evidence of open cohabitation or sexual intercourse between the known parent and the alleged parent at the probable time of conception;

2. Medical or anthropological evidence relating to the alleged parentage of the child based on tests performed by experts. If a person has been identified by the mother as the putative father of the child, the court may, and upon request of a party shall, require the child, the known parent, and the alleged parent to submit to appropriate tests;

3. The results of scientifically reliable genetic tests, including blood tests, if available, weighted with all the evidence;

4. Evidence of the alleged parent consenting to or acknowledging, by a general course of conduct, the common use of such parent's surname by the child;

5. Evidence of the alleged parent claiming the child as his child on any statement, tax return or other document filed by him with any state, local or federal government or any agency thereof;

6. A true copy of an acknowledgment pursuant to § 20-49.5; and

7. An admission by a male between the ages of fourteen and eighteen pursuant to § 20-49.6.

Chapter 6. Divorce, Affirmation and Annulment

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

20-103. Court may make orders pending suit for divorce, custody or visitation, etc.

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. In suits for divorce, annulment and separate maintenance, and in proceedings arising under subdivision A 3 or subsection L of § 16.1-241, the court having jurisdiction of the matter may, at any time pending a suit pursuant to this chapter, in the discretion of such court, make any order that may be proper (i) to compel a spouse to pay any sums necessary for the maintenance and support of the petitioning spouse, including (a) an order that the other spouse provide health care coverage for the petitioning spouse, unless it is shown that such coverage cannot be obtained, or (b) an order that a party pay secured or unsecured debts incurred jointly or by either party, (ii) to enable such spouse to carry on the suit, (iii) to prevent either spouse from imposing any restraint on the personal liberty of the other spouse, (iv) to provide for the custody and maintenance of the minor children of the parties, including an order that either party or both parties provide health care coverage or cash medical support, or both, for the children, (v) to provide support, calculated in accordance with § 20-108.2, for any child of the parties to whom a duty of support is owed and to pay or continue to pay support for any child over the age of 18 who meets the requirements set forth in subsection C of § 20-124.2, (vi) for the exclusive use and possession of the family residence during the pendency of the suit, (vii) to preserve the estate of either spouse, so that it be forthcoming to meet any decree which may be made in the suit, (viii) to compel either spouse to give security to abide such decree, or (ix) (a) to compel a party to maintain any existing policy owned by that party insuring the life of either party or to require a party to name as a beneficiary of the policy the other party or an appropriate person for the exclusive use and benefit of the minor children of the parties and (b) to allocate the premium cost of such life insurance between the parties, provided that all premiums are billed to the policyholder. Nothing in clause (ix) shall be construed to create an independent cause of action on the part of any beneficiary against the insurer or to require an insurer to provide information relating to such policy to any person other than the policyholder without the written consent of the policyholder. The parties to any petition where a child whose custody, visitation, or support is contested shall show proof that they have attended within the 12 months prior to their court appearance or that they shall attend within 45 days thereafter an educational seminar or other like program conducted by a qualified person or organization approved by the court except that the court may require the parties to attend such seminar or program in uncontested cases only if the court finds good cause. The seminar or other program shall be a minimum of four hours in length and shall address the effects of separation or divorce on children, parenting responsibilities, options for conflict resolution and financial responsibilities. Once a party has completed one educational seminar or other like program, the required completion of additional programs shall be at the court's discretion. Parties under this section shall include natural or adoptive parents of the child, or any person with a legitimate interest as defined in § 20-124.1. The fee charged a party for participation in such program shall be based on the party's ability to pay; however, no fee in excess of $50 may be charged. Whenever possible, before participating in mediation or alternative dispute resolution to address custody, visitation or support, each party shall have attended the educational seminar or other like program. The court may grant an exemption from attendance of such program for good cause shown or if there is no program reasonably available. Other than statements or admissions by a party admitting criminal activity or child abuse, no statement or admission by a party in such seminar or program shall be admissible into evidence in any subsequent proceeding.

A1. Any award or order made by the court pursuant to subsection A shall be paid from the post-separation income of the obligor unless the court, for good cause shown, orders otherwise. Upon the request of either party, the court may identify and state in such order or award the specific source from which the financial obligation imposed is to be paid.

B. In addition to the terms provided in subsection A, upon a showing by a party of reasonable apprehension of physical harm to that party by such party's family or household member as that term is defined in § 16.1-228, and consistent with rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the court may enter an order excluding that party's family or household member from the jointly owned or jointly rented family dwelling. In any case where an order is entered under this paragraph, pursuant to an ex parte hearing, the order shall not exclude a family or household member from the family dwelling for a period in excess of 15 days from the date the order is served, in person, upon the person so excluded. The order may provide for an extension of time beyond the 15 days, to become effective automatically. The person served may at any time file a written motion in the clerk's office requesting a hearing to dissolve or modify the order. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the court from extending an order entered under this subsection for such longer period of time as is deemed appropriate, after a hearing on notice to the parties. If the party subject to the order fails to appear at this hearing, the court may extend the order for a period not to exceed six months.

C. In cases other than those for divorce in which a custody or visitation arrangement for a minor child is sought, the court may enter an order providing for custody, visitation or maintenance pending the suit as provided in subsection A. The order shall be directed to either parent or any person with a legitimate interest who is a party to the suit.

D. Orders entered pursuant to this section which provide for custody or visitation arrangements pending the suit shall be made in accordance with the standards set out in Chapter 6.1 (§ 20-124.1 et seq.). Orders entered pursuant to subsection B shall be certified by the clerk and forwarded as soon as possible to the local police department or sheriff's office which shall, on the date of receipt, enter the name of the person subject to the order and other appropriate information required by the Department of State Police into the Virginia crime information network system established and maintained by the Department of State Police pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52. If the order is later dissolved or modified, a copy of the dissolution or modification shall also be certified, forwarded and entered in the system as described above.

E. An order entered pursuant to this section shall have no presumptive effect and shall not be determinative when adjudicating the underlying cause.

20-107.1. Court may decree as to maintenance and support of spouses

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Pursuant to any proceeding arising under subsection L of § 16.1-241 or upon the entry of a decree providing (i) for the dissolution of a marriage, (ii) for a divorce, whether from the bond of matrimony or from bed and board, (iii) that neither party is entitled to a divorce, or (iv) for separate maintenance, the court may make such further decree as it shall deem expedient concerning the maintenance and support of the spouses, notwithstanding a party's failure to prove his grounds for divorce, provided that a claim for support has been properly pled by the party seeking support. However, the court shall have no authority to decree maintenance and support payable by the estate of a deceased spouse.

B. Any maintenance and support shall be subject to the provisions of § 20-109, and no permanent maintenance and support shall be awarded from a spouse if there exists in such spouse's favor a ground of divorce under the provisions of subdivision A (1) of § 20-91. However, the court may make such an award notwithstanding the existence of such ground if the court determines from clear and convincing evidence, that a denial of support and maintenance would constitute a manifest injustice, based upon the respective degrees of fault during the marriage and the relative economic circumstances of the parties.

C. The court, in its discretion, may decree that maintenance and support of a spouse be made in periodic payments for a defined duration, or in periodic payments for an undefined duration, or in a lump sum award, or in any combination thereof.

D. In addition to or in lieu of an award pursuant to subsection C, the court may reserve the right of a party to receive support in the future. In any case in which the right to support is so reserved, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the reservation will continue for a period equal to 50 percent of the length of time between the date of the marriage and the date of separation. Once granted, the duration of such a reservation shall not be subject to modification.

E. The court, in determining whether to award support and maintenance for a spouse, shall consider the circumstances and factors which contributed to the dissolution of the marriage, specifically including adultery and any other ground for divorce under the provisions of subdivision A (3) or (6) of § 20-91 or § 20-95. In determining the nature, amount and duration of an award pursuant to this section, the court shall consider the following:

1. The obligations, needs and financial resources of the parties, including but not limited to income from all pension, profit sharing or retirement plans, of whatever nature;

2. The standard of living established during the marriage;

3. The duration of the marriage;

4. The age and physical and mental condition of the parties and any special circumstances of the family;

5. The extent to which the age, physical or mental condition or special circumstances of any child of the parties would make it appropriate that a party not seek employment outside of the home;

6. The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;

7. The property interests of the parties, both real and personal, tangible and intangible;

8. The provisions made with regard to the marital property under § 20-107.3;

9. The earning capacity, including the skills, education and training of the parties and the present employment opportunities for persons possessing such earning capacity;

10. The opportunity for, ability of, and the time and costs involved for a party to acquire the appropriate education, training and employment to obtain the skills needed to enhance his or her earning ability;

11. The decisions regarding employment, career, economics, education and parenting arrangements made by the parties during the marriage and their effect on present and future earning potential, including the length of time one or both of the parties have been absent from the job market;

12. The extent to which either party has contributed to the attainment of education, training, career position or profession of the other party; and

13. Such other factors, including the tax consequences to each party and the circumstances and factors that contributed to the dissolution, specifically including any ground for divorce, as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.

F. In contested cases in the circuit courts, any order granting, reserving or denying a request for spousal support shall be accompanied by written findings and conclusions of the court identifying the factors in subsection E which support the court's order. If the court awards periodic support for a defined duration, such findings shall identify the basis for the nature, amount and duration of the award and, if appropriate, a specification of the events and circumstances reasonably contemplated by the court which support the award.

G. For purposes of this section and § 20-109, “date of separation” means the earliest date at which the parties are physically separated and at least one party intends such separation to be permanent provided the separation is continuous thereafter and “defined duration” means a period of time (i) with a specific beginning and ending date or (ii) specified in relation to the occurrence or cessation of an event or condition other than death or termination pursuant to § 20-110.

H. Where there are no minor children whom the parties have a mutual duty to support, an order directing the payment of spousal support, including those orders confirming separation agreements, entered on or after October 1, 1985, whether they are original orders or modifications of existing orders, shall contain the following:

1. If known, the name, date of birth and social security number of each party and, unless otherwise ordered, each party's residential and, if different, mailing address, residential and employer telephone number, driver's license number, and the name and address of his employer; however, when a protective order has been issued or the court otherwise finds reason to believe that a party is at risk of physical or emotional harm from the other party, information other than the name of the party at risk shall not be included in the order;

2. The amount of periodic spousal support expressed in fixed sums, together with the payment interval, the date payments are due, and the date the first payment is due;

3. A statement as to whether there is an order for health care coverage for a party;

4. If support arrearages exist, (i) to whom an arrearage is owed and the amount of the arrearage, (ii) the period of time for which such arrearage is calculated, and (iii) a direction that all payments are to be credited to current spousal support obligations first, with any payment in excess of the current obligation applied to arrearages;

5. If spousal support payments are ordered to be paid directly to the obligee, and unless the court for good cause shown orders otherwise, the parties shall give each other and the court at least 30 days' written notice, in advance, of any change of address and any change of telephone number within 30 days after the change; and

6. Notice that in determination of a spousal support obligation, the support obligation as it becomes due and unpaid creates a judgment by operation of law.

20-108. Revision and alteration of such decrees

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

The court may, from time to time after decreeing as provided in § 20-107.2, on petition of either of the parents, or on its own motion or upon petition of any probation officer or the Department of Social Services, which petition shall set forth the reasons for the relief sought, revise and alter such decree concerning the care, custody, and maintenance of the children and make a new decree concerning the same, as the circumstances of the parents and the benefit of the children may require. The intentional withholding of visitation of a child from the other parent without just cause may constitute a material change of circumstances justifying a change of custody in the discretion of the court.

No support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified with respect to any period during which there is a pending petition for modification in any court, but only from the date that notice of such petition has been given to the responding party.

Any member of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, or any other reserve component thereof, who files a petition or is a party to a petition requesting the adjudication of the custody, visitation or support of a child based on a change of circumstances due to one of the parent's deployment, as that term is defined in § 20-124.7, shall be entitled to have such a petition expedited on the docket of the court.

20-108.2. Guideline for determination of child support; quadrennial review by Child Support Guidelines Review Panel; executive summary

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. There shall be a rebuttable presumption in any judicial or administrative proceeding for child support under this title or Title 16.1 or 63.2, including cases involving split custody or shared custody, that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the guidelines set forth in this section is the correct amount of child support to be awarded. In order to rebut the presumption, the court shall make written findings in the order as set out in § 20-108.1, which findings may be incorporated by reference, that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case as determined by relevant evidence pertaining to the factors set out in § 20-108.1. The Department of Social Services shall set child support at the amount resulting from computations using the guidelines set out in this section pursuant to the authority granted to it in Chapter 19 (§ 63.2-1900 et seq.) of Title 63.2 and subject to the provisions of § 63.2-1918.

B. For purposes of application of the guideline, a basic child support obligation shall be computed using the schedule set out below. For combined monthly gross income amounts falling between amounts shown in the schedule, basic child support obligation amounts shall be extrapolated. However, unless one of the following exemptions applies where the sole custody child support obligation as computed pursuant to subdivision G 1 is less than the statutory minimum per month, there shall be a presumptive minimum child support obligation of the statutory minimum per month payable by the payor parent. If the gross income of the obligor is equal to or less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from time to time, then the court, upon hearing evidence that there is no ability to pay the presumptive statutory minimum, may set an obligation below the presumptive statutory minimum provided doing so does not create or reduce a support obligation to an amount which seriously impairs the custodial parent's ability to maintain minimal adequate housing and provide other basic necessities for the child. Exemptions from this presumptive minimum monthly child support obligation shall include: parents unable to pay child support because they lack sufficient assets from which to pay child support and who, in addition, are institutionalized in a psychiatric facility; are imprisoned for life with no chance of parole; are medically verified to be totally and permanently disabled with no evidence of potential for paying child support, including recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI); or are otherwise involuntarily unable to produce income. “Number of children” means the number of children for whom the parents share joint legal responsibility and for whom support is being sought.

SCHEDULE OF MONTHLY BASIC CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS [NOTE FROM WOMENSLAW.ORG: SEE ORIGINAL STATUTE FOR THE CHART THAT IS INSERTED HERE - WE COULD NOT COPY IT IN A READABLE FORMAT]

C. For purposes of this section, “gross income” means all income from all sources, and shall include, but not be limited to, income from salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits except as listed below, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, veterans' benefits, spousal support, rental income, gifts, prizes or awards.

If a parent's gross income includes disability insurance benefits, it shall also include any amounts paid to or for the child who is the subject of the order and derived by the child from the parent's entitlement to disability insurance benefits. To the extent that such derivative benefits are included in a parent's gross income, that parent shall be entitled to a credit against his or her ongoing basic child support obligation for any such amounts, and, if the amount of the credit exceeds the parent's basic child support obligations, the credit may be used to reduce arrearages.

Gross income shall be subject to deduction of reasonable business expenses for persons with income from self-employment, a partnership, or a closely held business. “Gross income” shall not include:

1. Benefits from public assistance and social services programs as defined in § 63.2-100;

2. Federal supplemental security income benefits;

3. Child support received; or

4. Income received by the payor from secondary employment income not previously included in “gross income,” where the payor obtained the income to discharge a child support arrearage established by a court or administrative order and the payor is paying the arrearage pursuant to the order. “Secondary employment income” includes but is not limited to income from an additional job, from self-employment, or from overtime employment. The cessation of such secondary income upon the payment of the arrearage shall not be the basis for a material change in circumstances upon which a modification of child support may be based.

For purposes of this subsection: (i) spousal support received shall be included in gross income and spousal support paid shall be deducted from gross income when paid pursuant to an order or written agreement and (ii) one-half of any self-employment tax paid shall be deducted from gross income.

Where there is an existing court or administrative order or written agreement relating to the child or children of a party to the proceeding, who are not the child or children who are the subject of the present proceeding, then there is a presumption that there shall be deducted from the gross income of the party subject to such order or written agreement, the amount that the party is actually paying for the support of a child or children pursuant to such order or agreement.

Where a party to the proceeding has a natural or adopted child or children in the party's household or primary physical custody, and the child or children are not the subject of the present proceeding, there is a presumption that there shall be deducted from the gross income of that party the amount as shown on the Schedule of Monthly Basic Child Support Obligations contained in subsection B that represents that party's support obligation based solely on that party's income as being the total income available for the natural or adopted child or children in the party's household or primary physical custody, who are not the subject of the present proceeding. Provided, however, that the existence of a party's financial responsibility for such a child or children shall not of itself constitute a material change in circumstances for modifying a previous order of child support in any modification proceeding. Any adjustment to gross income under this subsection shall not create or reduce a support obligation to an amount which seriously impairs the custodial parent's ability to maintain minimal adequate housing and provide other basic necessities for the child, as determined by the court.

In cases in which retroactive liability for support is being determined, the court or administrative agency may use the gross monthly income of the parties averaged over the period of retroactivity.

D. Except for good cause shown or the agreement of the parties, in addition to any other child support obligations established pursuant to this section, any child support order shall provide that the parents pay in proportion to their gross incomes, as used for calculating the monthly support obligation, any reasonable and necessary unreimbursed medical or dental expenses. The method of payment of those expenses shall be contained in the support order. Each parent shall pay his respective share of expenses as those expenses are incurred. Any amount paid under this subsection shall not be adjusted by, nor added to, the child support calculated in accordance with subsection G. For the purposes of this section, medical or dental expenses shall include but not be limited to eyeglasses, prescription medication, prosthetics, orthodontics, and mental health or developmental disabilities services, including but not limited to services provided by a social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or therapist.

E. The costs for health care coverage as defined in § 63.2-1900, vision care coverage, and dental care coverage for the child or children who are the subject of the child support order that are being paid by a parent or that parent's spouse shall be added to the basic child support obligation. To determine the cost to be added to the basic child support obligation, the cost per person shall be applied to the child or children who are subject of the child support order. If the per child cost is provided by the insurer, that is the cost per person. Otherwise, to determine the cost per person, the cost of individual coverage for the policy holder shall be subtracted from the total cost of the coverage, and the remaining amount shall be divided by the number of remaining covered persons.

F. Any child-care costs incurred on behalf of the child or children due to employment of the custodial parent shall be added to the basic child support obligation. Child-care costs shall not exceed the amount required to provide quality care from a licensed source. When requested by the noncustodial parent, the court may require the custodial parent to present documentation to verify the costs incurred for child care under this subsection. Where appropriate, the court shall consider the willingness and availability of the noncustodial parent to provide child care personally in determining whether child-care costs are necessary or excessive. Upon the request of either party, and upon a showing of the tax savings a party derives from child-care cost deductions or credits, the court shall factor actual tax consequences into its calculation of the child-care costs to be added to the basic child support obligation.

G. 1. Sole custody support. The sole custody total monthly child support obligation shall be established by adding (i) the monthly basic child support obligation, as determined from the schedule contained in subsection B, (ii) costs for health care coverage to the extent allowable by subsection E, and (iii) work-related child-care costs and taking into consideration all the factors set forth in subsection B of § 20-108.1. The total monthly child support obligation shall be divided between the parents in the same proportion as their monthly gross incomes bear to their monthly combined gross income. The monthly obligation of each parent shall be computed by multiplying each parent's percentage of the parents' monthly combined gross income by the total monthly child support obligation.

However, the monthly obligation of the noncustodial parent shall be reduced by the cost for health care coverage to the extent allowable by subsection E when paid directly by the noncustodial parent or that parent's spouse. Unreimbursed medical and dental expenses shall be calculated and allocated in accordance with subsection D.

2. Split custody support. In cases involving split custody, the amount of child support to be paid shall be the difference between the amounts owed by each parent as a noncustodial parent, computed in accordance with subdivision 1, with the noncustodial parent owing the larger amount paying the difference to the other parent. Unreimbursed medical and dental expenses shall be calculated and allocated in accordance with subsection D.

For the purpose of this section and § 20-108.1, split custody shall be limited to those situations where each parent has physical custody of a child or children born of the parents, born of either parent and adopted by the other parent or adopted by both parents. For the purposes of calculating a child support obligation where split custody exists, a separate family unit exists for each parent, and child support for that family unit shall be calculated upon the number of children in that family unit who are born of the parents, born of either parent and adopted by the other parent or adopted by both parents. Where split custody exists, a parent is a custodial parent to the children in that parent's family unit and is a noncustodial parent to the children in the other parent's family unit.

3. Shared custody support.

(a) Where a party has custody or visitation of a child or children for more than 90 days of the year, as such days are defined in subdivision G 3 (c), a shared custody child support amount based on the ratio in which the parents share the custody and visitation of any child or children shall be calculated in accordance with this subdivision. The presumptive support to be paid shall be the shared custody support amount, unless a party affirmatively shows that the sole custody support amount calculated as provided in subdivision G 1 is less than the shared custody support amount. If so, the lesser amount shall be the support to be paid. For the purposes of this subsection, the following shall apply:

(i) Income share. “Income share” means a parent's percentage of the combined monthly gross income of both parents. The income share of a parent is that parent's gross income divided by the combined gross incomes of the parties.

(ii) Custody share. “Custody share” means the number of days that a parent has physical custody, whether by sole custody, joint legal or joint residential custody, or visitation, of a shared child per year divided by the number of days in the year. The actual or anticipated “custody share” of the parent who has or will have fewer days of physical custody shall be calculated for a one-year period. The “custody share” of the other parent shall be presumed to be the number of days in the year less the number of days calculated as the first parent's “custody share.” For purposes of this calculation, the year may begin on such date as is determined in the discretion of the court, and the day may begin at such time as is determined in the discretion of the court. For purposes of this calculation, a day shall be as defined in subdivision G 3 (c).

(iii) Shared support need. “Shared support need” means the presumptive guideline amount of needed support for the shared child or children calculated pursuant to subsection B of this section, for the combined gross income of the parties and the number of shared children, multiplied by 1.4.

(iv) Sole custody support. “Sole custody support” means the support amount determined in accordance with subdivision G 1.

(b) Support to be paid. The shared support need of the shared child or children shall be calculated pursuant to subdivision G 3 (a) (iii). This amount shall then be multiplied by the other parent's custody share. To that sum for each parent shall be added the other parent's or that parent's spouse's cost of health care coverage to the extent allowable by subsection E, plus the other parent's work-related child-care costs to the extent allowable by subsection F. This total for each parent shall be multiplied by that parent's income share. The support amounts thereby calculated that each parent owes the other shall be subtracted one from the other and the difference shall be the shared custody support one parent owes to the other, with the payor parent being the one whose shared support is the larger. Unreimbursed medical and dental expenses shall be calculated and allocated in accordance with subsection D.

(c) Definition of a day. For the purposes of this section, “day” means a period of 24 hours; however, where the parent who has the fewer number of overnight periods during the year has an overnight period with a child, but has physical custody of the shared child for less than 24 hours during such overnight period, there is a presumption that each parent shall be allocated one-half of a day of custody for that period.

(d) Minimum standards. Any calculation under this subdivision shall not create or reduce a support obligation to an amount which seriously impairs the custodial parent's ability to maintain minimal adequate housing and provide other basic necessities for the child. If the gross income of either party is equal to or less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from time to time, then the shared custody support calculated pursuant to this subsection shall not be the presumptively correct support and the court may consider whether the sole custody support or the shared custody support is more just and appropriate.

(e) Support modification. When there has been an award of child support based on the shared custody formula and one parent consistently fails to exercise custody or visitation in accordance with the parent's custody share upon which the award was based, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the support award should be modified.

(f) In the event that the shared custody support calculation indicates that the net support is to be paid to the parent who would not be the parent receiving support pursuant to the sole custody calculation, then the shared support shall be deemed to be the lesser support.

H. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources shall ensure that the guideline set out in this section is reviewed by October 31, 2001, and every four years thereafter, by the Child Support Guidelines Review Panel, consisting of 15 members comprised of four legislative members and 11 nonlegislative citizen members. Members shall be appointed as follows: three members of the House Committee for Courts of Justice, upon the recommendation of the chairman of such committee, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; one member of the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice, upon the recommendation of the chairman of such committee, to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; and one representative of a juvenile and domestic relations district court, one representative of a circuit court, one representative of the Department of Social Services' Division of Child Support Enforcement, three members of the Virginia State Bar, two custodial parents, two noncustodial parents, and one child advocate, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, to be appointed by the Governor. The Panel shall determine the adequacy of the guideline for the determination of appropriate awards for the support of children by considering current research and data on the cost of and expenditures necessary for rearing children, and any other resources it deems relevant to such review. The Panel shall report its findings to the General Assembly as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports before the General Assembly next convenes following such review.

Legislative members shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office. Nonlegislative citizen members shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. All members may be reappointed. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be made for the unexpired terms. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

Legislative members shall receive such compensation as provided in § 30-19.12, and nonlegislative citizen members shall receive such compensation for the performance of their duties as provided in § 2.2-2813. All members shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825. Funding for the costs of compensation and expenses of the members shall be provided by the Department of Social Services.

The Department of Social Services shall provide staff support to the Panel. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Panel, upon request.

The chairman of the Panel shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly a quadrennial executive summary of the interim activity and work of the Panel no later than the first day of 2006 regular session of the General Assembly and every four years thereafter. The executive summary shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

Chapter 6.1. Custody and Visitation Arrangements for Minor Children

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

20-124.1. Definitions

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

As used in this chapter:

“Joint custody” means (i) joint legal custody where both parents retain joint responsibility for the care and control of the child and joint authority to make decisions concerning the child even though the child's primary residence may be with only one parent, (ii) joint physical custody where both parents share physical and custodial care of the child, or (iii) any combination of joint legal and joint physical custody which the court deems to be in the best interest of the child.

“Person with a legitimate interest” shall be broadly construed and includes, but is not limited to, grandparents, step-grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relatives and family members provided any such party has intervened in the suit or is otherwise properly before the court. The term shall be broadly construed to accommodate the best interest of the child. A party with a legitimate interest shall not include any person (i) whose parental rights have been terminated by court order, either voluntarily or involuntarily, (ii) whose interest in the child derives from or through a person whose parental rights have been terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily, including but not limited to grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relatives and family members, if the child subsequently has been legally adopted, except where a final order of adoption is entered pursuant to § 63.2-1241, or (iii) who has been convicted of a violation of subsection A of § 18.2-61, § 18.2-63, subsection B of § 18.2-366, or an equivalent offense of another state, the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction, when the child who is the subject of the petition was conceived as a result of such violation.

“Sole custody” means that one person retains responsibility for the care and control of a child and has primary authority to make decisions concerning the child.

20-124.2. Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. In any case in which custody or visitation of minor children is at issue, whether in a circuit or district court, the court shall provide prompt adjudication, upon due consideration of all the facts, of custody and visitation arrangements, including support and maintenance for the children, prior to other considerations arising in the matter. The court may enter an order pending the suit as provided in § 20-103. The procedures for determining custody and visitation arrangements shall insofar as practical, and consistent with the ends of justice, preserve the dignity and resources of family members. Mediation shall be used as an alternative to litigation where appropriate. When mediation is used in custody and visitation matters, the goals may include development of a proposal addressing the child's residential schedule and care arrangements, and how disputes between the parents will be handled in the future.
B. In determining custody, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests of the child. The court shall assure minor children of frequent and continuing contact with both parents, when appropriate, and encourage parents to share in the responsibilities of rearing their children. As between the parents, there shall be no presumption or inference of law in favor of either. The court shall give due regard to the primacy of the parent-child relationship but may upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the best interest of the child would be served thereby award custody or visitation to any other person with a legitimate interest. The court may award joint custody or sole custody.
B1. In any case or proceeding involving the custody or visitation of a child, as to a parent, the court may, in its discretion, use the phrase “parenting time” to be synonymous with the term “visitation.”
C. The court may order that support be paid for any child of the parties. Upon request of either party, the court may order that such support payments be made to a special needs trust or an ABLE savings trust account as defined in § 23.1-700. The court shall also order that support will continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the party seeking or receiving child support until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever first occurs. The court may also order that support be paid or continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (a) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, and such disability existed prior to the child reaching the age of 18 or the age of 19 if the child met the requirements of clauses (i), (ii), and (iii); (b) unable to live independently and support himself; and (c) residing in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support. In addition, the court may confirm a stipulation or agreement of the parties which extends a support obligation beyond when it would otherwise terminate as provided by law. The court shall have no authority to decree support of children payable by the estate of a deceased party. The court may make such further decree as it shall deem expedient concerning support of the minor children, including an order that either party or both parties provide health care coverage or cash medical support, or both.
D. In any case in which custody or visitation of minor children is at issue, whether in a circuit or district court, the court may order an independent mental health or psychological evaluation to assist the court in its determination of the best interests of the child. The court may enter such order as it deems appropriate for the payment of the costs of the evaluation by the parties.
E. The court shall have the continuing authority and jurisdiction to make any additional orders necessary to effectuate and enforce any order entered pursuant to this section or § 20-103 including the authority to punish as contempt of court any willful failure of a party to comply with the provisions of the order. A parent or other person having legal custody of a child may petition the court to enjoin and the court may enter an order to enjoin a parent of the child from filing a petition relating to custody and visitation of that child for any period of time up to 10 years if doing so is in the best interests of the child and such parent has been convicted of an offense under the laws of the Commonwealth or a substantially similar law of another state, the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction which constitutes (i) murder or voluntary manslaughter, or a felony attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any such offense, if the victim of the offense was a child of the parent, a child with whom the parent resided at the time the offense occurred, or the other parent of the child, or (ii) felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury, felony bodily wounding resulting in serious bodily injury, or felony sexual assault, if the victim of the offense was a child of the parent or a child with whom the parent resided at the time of the offense. When such a petition to enjoin the filing of a petition for custody and visitation is filed, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the child pursuant to § 16.1-266.
F. In any custody or visitation case or proceeding wherein an order prohibiting a party from picking the child up from school is entered pursuant to this section or § 20-103, the court shall order a party to such case or proceeding to provide a copy of such custody or visitation order to the school at which the child is enrolled within three business days of such party's receipt of such custody or visitation order.
If a custody determination affects the school enrollment of the child subject to such custody order and prohibits a party from picking the child up from school, the court shall order a party to provide a copy of such custody order to the school at which the child will be enrolled within three business days of such party's receipt of such order. Such order directing a party to provide a copy of such custody or visitation order shall further require such party, upon any subsequent change in the child's school enrollment, to provide a copy of such custody or visitation order to the new school at which the child is subsequently enrolled within three business days of such enrollment.
If the court determines that a party is unable to deliver the custody or visitation order to the school, such party shall provide the court with the name of the principal and address of the school, and the court shall cause the order to be mailed by first class mail to such school principal.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any school staff to interpret or enforce the terms of such custody or visitation order.

20-124.3. Best interests of the child; visitation

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

In determining best interests of a child for purposes of determining custody or visitation arrangements including any pendente lite orders pursuant to § 20-103, the court shall consider the following:

1. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child's changing developmental needs;

2. The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;

3. The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child's life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;

4. The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members;

5. The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;

6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child's contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;

7. The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;

8. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference;

9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228 or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and

10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.

The judge shall communicate to the parties the basis of the decision either orally or in writing. Except in cases of consent orders for custody and visitation, this communication shall set forth the judge's findings regarding the relevant factors set forth in this section.

20-124.4. Mediation

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. In any appropriate case the court shall refer the parents or persons with a legitimate interest to a dispute resolution orientation session to be conducted by a mediator certified pursuant to guidelines promulgated by the Judicial Council at no cost and in accordance with the procedures set out in Chapter 20.2 (§ 8.01-576.4 et seq.) of Title 8.01. In assessing the appropriateness of a referral, the court shall ascertain upon motion of a party whether there is a history of family abuse. If an agreement is not reached on any issue through further mediation as agreed to by the parties, prior to the return date set by the court pursuant to § 8.01-576.5, the court shall proceed with a hearing on any unresolved issue, unless a continuance has been granted by the court.

B. The fee of the mediator shall be $100 per appointment mediated and shall be paid by the Commonwealth from the funds appropriated for payment of appointments made pursuant to subsection B of § 16.1-267. Any referral that includes both (i) custody or visitation and (ii) child or spousal support shall be considered two separate appointments.

20-124.5. Notification of relocation

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

In any proceeding involving custody or visitation, the court shall include as a condition of any custody or visitation order a requirement that thirty days' advance written notice be given to the court and the other party by any party intending to relocate and of any intended change of address, unless the court, for good cause shown, orders otherwise. The court may require that the notice be in such form and contain such information as it deems proper and necessary under the circumstances of the case.

20-124.6. Access to minor's records

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, neither parent, regardless of whether such parent has custody, shall be denied access to the academic or health records of that parent's minor child unless otherwise ordered by the court for good cause shown or pursuant to subsection B.

B. In the case of health records, access may also be denied if the minor's treating physician or the minor's treating clinical psychologist has made a part of the minor's record a written statement that, in the exercise of his professional judgment, the furnishing to or review by the requesting parent of such health records would be reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the minor or another person. If a health care entity denies a parental request for access to, or copies of, a minor's health record, the health care entity denying the request shall comply with the provisions of subsection F of § 32.1-127.1:03. The minor or his parent, either or both, shall have the right to have the denial reviewed as specified in subsection F of § 32.1-127.1:03 to determine whether to make the minor's health record available to the requesting parent.

C. For the purposes of this section, the meaning of the term “health record” or the plural thereof and the term “health care entity” shall be as defined in subsection B of § 32.1-127.1:03.

Chapter 7.1. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 1. General Provisions

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

20-146.1. Definitions

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

In this act:

“Child” means an individual who has not attained eighteen years of age.

“Child custody determination” means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, or modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.

“Child custody proceeding” means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence, in which the issue may appear. The term does not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement under Article 3 (§ 20-146.22 et seq.) of this chapter.

“Commencement” means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.

“Court” means a court of competent jurisdiction as determined by otherwise applicable Virginia law to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination or an entity authorized under the law of another state to establish, enforce or modify a child custody determination.

“Home state” means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding. In the case of a child less than six months of age, the term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.

“Initial determination” means the first child custody determination concerning a particular child.

“Issuing court” means the court that makes a child custody determination for which enforcement is sought under this act.

“Issuing state” means the state in which a child custody determination is made.

“Modification” means a child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination.

“Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity.

“Person acting as a parent” means a person, other than a parent, who has (i) physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of six consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within one year immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding and (ii) been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the laws of this Commonwealth.

“Physical custody” means the physical care and supervision of a child.

“State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

“Tribe” means an Indian tribe or band, or Alaskan Native village, which is recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.

Article 2. Jurisdiction

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

20-146.12. Initial child custody jurisdiction

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Except as otherwise provided in § 20-146.15, a court of this Commonwealth has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination only if:

1. This Commonwealth is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this Commonwealth but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this Commonwealth;

2. A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under subdivision 1, or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this Commonwealth is the more appropriate forum under § 20-146.18 or § 20-146.19, and (i) the child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this Commonwealth other than mere physical presence and (ii) substantial evidence is available in this Commonwealth concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships;

3. All courts having jurisdiction under subdivision 1 or 2 have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this Commonwealth is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under § 20-146.18 or § 20-146.19; or

4. No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in subdivision 1, 2, or 3.

B. Subsection A is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child custody determination by a court of this Commonwealth.

C. Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child custody determination.

20-146.15. Temporary emergency jurisdiction

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. A court of this Commonwealth has temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this Commonwealth and the child has been abandoned or if it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to mistreatment or abuse or placed in reasonable apprehension of mistreatment or abuse or there is reasonable apprehension that such person is threatened with mistreatment or abuse.

B. If there is no previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this act and a child custody proceeding has not been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under §§ 20-146.12, 20-146.13 or § 20-146.14, a child custody determination made under this section remains in effect until an order is obtained from a court of a state having jurisdiction under §§ 20-146.12, 20-146.13 or § 20-146.14. If a child custody proceeding has not been or is not commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under §§ 20-146.12, 20-146.13 or § 20-146.14, a child custody determination made under this section becomes a final determination, if it so provides and this Commonwealth becomes the home state of the child.

C. If there is a previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this act, or a child custody proceeding has been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under §§ 20-146.12, 20-146.13 or § 20-146.14, any order issued by a court of this Commonwealth under this section must specify in the order a period that the court considers adequate to allow the person seeking an order to obtain an order from the state having jurisdiction. The order issued in this Commonwealth remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other state within the period specified or until the period expires.

D. A court of this Commonwealth that has been asked to make a child custody determination under this section, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child custody determination has been made by, a court of a state having jurisdiction under §§ 20-146.12, 20-146.13 or § 20-146.14, shall immediately communicate with the other court. A court of this Commonwealth that is exercising jurisdiction pursuant to §§ 20-146.12, 20-146.13 or § 20-146.14, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child custody determination has been made by, a court of another state under a statute similar to this section, shall immediately communicate with the court of that state to resolve the emergency, protect the safety of the parties and the child, and determine a period for the duration of the temporary order.

Article 3. Enforcement

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

20-146.26. Registration of child custody determination

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. A child custody determination issued by a court of another state may be registered in this Commonwealth, with or without a simultaneous request for enforcement, by sending to the appropriate juvenile and domestic relations district court in this Commonwealth:

1. A letter or other document requesting registration;

2. Two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination sought to be registered, and a statement under penalty of perjury that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person seeking registration the order has not been modified; and

3. Except as otherwise provided in § 20-146.20, the name and address of the person seeking registration and any parent or person acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the child custody determination sought to be registered.

B. On receipt of the documents required by subsection A, the registering court shall:

1. Cause the determination to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information, regardless of their form; and

2. Serve notice upon the persons named pursuant to subdivision A 3 and provide them with an opportunity to contest the registration in accordance with this section.

20-146.27. Enforcement of registered determination

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. A court of this Commonwealth may grant any relief normally available under the law of this Commonwealth to enforce a registered child custody determination made by a court of another state.

B. A court of this Commonwealth shall recognize and enforce, but may not modify, except in accordance with Article 2 (§ 20-146.12 et seq.) of this chapter, a registered child custody determination of a court of another state.

Title 32.1. Health

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Chapter 5. Regulation of Medical Care Facilities and Services

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Article 1. Hospital and Nursing Home Licensure and InspectionArticle 1. Hospital and Nursing Home Licensure and Inspection

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

32.1-127.1:03. Health records privacy

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. There is hereby recognized an individual's right of privacy in the content of his health records. Health records are the property of the health care entity maintaining them, and, except when permitted or required by this section or by other provisions of state law, no health care entity, or other person working in a health care setting, may disclose an individual's health records.
Pursuant to this subsection:
1. Health care entities shall disclose health records to the individual who is the subject of the health record, except as provided in subsections E and F and subsection B of § 8.01-413.
2. Health records shall not be removed from the premises where they are maintained without the approval of the health care entity that maintains such health records, except in accordance with a court order or subpoena consistent with subsection C of § 8.01-413 or with this section or in accordance with the regulations relating to change of ownership of health records promulgated by a health regulatory board established in Title 54.1.
3. No person to whom health records are disclosed shall redisclose or otherwise reveal the health records of an individual, beyond the purpose for which such disclosure was made, without first obtaining the individual's specific authorization to such redisclosure. This redisclosure prohibition shall not, however, prevent (i) any health care entity that receives health records from another health care entity from making subsequent disclosures as permitted under this section and the federal Department of Health and Human Services regulations relating to privacy of the electronic transmission of data and protected health information promulgated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)(42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq.) or (ii) any health care entity from furnishing health records and aggregate or other data, from which individually identifying prescription information has been removed, encoded or encrypted, to qualified researchers, including, but not limited to, pharmaceutical manufacturers and their agents or contractors, for purposes of clinical, pharmaco-epidemiological, pharmaco-economic, or other health services research.
4. Health care entities shall, upon the request of the individual who is the subject of the health record, disclose health records to other health care entities, in any available format of the requester's choosing, as provided in subsection E.
B. As used in this section:
“Agent” means a person who has been appointed as an individual's agent under a power of attorney for health care or an advance directive under the Health Care Decisions Act (§ 54.1-2981 et seq.).
“Certification” means a written representation that is delivered by hand, by first-class mail, by overnight delivery service, or by facsimile if the sender obtains a facsimile-machine-generated confirmation reflecting that all facsimile pages were successfully transmitted.
“Guardian” means a court-appointed guardian of the person.
“Health care clearinghouse” means, consistent with the definition set out in 45 C.F.R. § 160.103, a public or private entity, such as a billing service, repricing company, community health management information system or community health information system, and “value-added” networks and switches, that performs either of the following functions: (i) processes or facilitates the processing of health information received from another entity in a nonstandard format or containing nonstandard data content into standard data elements or a standard transaction; or (ii) receives a standard transaction from another entity and processes or facilitates the processing of health information into nonstandard format or nonstandard data content for the receiving entity.
“Health care entity” means any health care provider, health plan or health care clearinghouse.
“Health care provider” means those entities listed in the definition of “health care provider” in § 8.01-581.1, except that state-operated facilities shall also be considered health care providers for the purposes of this section. Health care provider shall also include all persons who are licensed, certified, registered or permitted or who hold a multistate licensure privilege issued by any of the health regulatory boards within the Department of Health Professions, except persons regulated by the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers or the Board of Veterinary Medicine.
“Health plan” means an individual or group plan that provides, or pays the cost of, medical care. “Health plan” includes any entity included in such definition as set out in 45 C.F.R. § 160.103.
“Health record” means any written, printed or electronically recorded material maintained by a health care entity in the course of providing health services to an individual concerning the individual and the services provided. “Health record” also includes the substance of any communication made by an individual to a health care entity in confidence during or in connection with the provision of health services or information otherwise acquired by the health care entity about an individual in confidence and in connection with the provision of health services to the individual.
“Health services” means, but shall not be limited to, examination, diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, pharmaceuticals, aftercare, habilitation or rehabilitation and mental health therapy of any kind, as well as payment or reimbursement for any such services.
“Individual” means a patient who is receiving or has received health services from a health care entity.
“Individually identifying prescription information” means all prescriptions, drug orders or any other prescription information that specifically identifies an individual.
“Parent” means a biological, adoptive or foster parent.
“Psychotherapy notes” means comments, recorded in any medium by a health care provider who is a mental health professional, documenting or analyzing the contents of conversation during a private counseling session with an individual or a group, joint, or family counseling session that are separated from the rest of the individual's health record. “Psychotherapy notes” does not include annotations relating to medication and prescription monitoring, counseling session start and stop times, treatment modalities and frequencies, clinical test results, or any summary of any symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, functional status, treatment plan, or the individual's progress to date.
C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any of the following:
1. The status of and release of information governed by §§ 65.2-604 and 65.2-607 of the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act;
2. Except where specifically provided herein, the health records of minors; or
3. The release of juvenile health records to a secure facility or a shelter care facility pursuant to § 16.1-248.3.
D. Health care entities may, and, when required by other provisions of state law, shall, disclose health records:
1. As set forth in subsection E, pursuant to the written authorization of (i) the individual or (ii) in the case of a minor, (a) his custodial parent, guardian or other person authorized to consent to treatment of minors pursuant to § 54.1-2969 or (b) the minor himself, if he has consented to his own treatment pursuant to § 54.1-2969, or (iii) in emergency cases or situations where it is impractical to obtain an individual's written authorization, pursuant to the individual's oral authorization for a health care provider or health plan to discuss the individual's health records with a third party specified by the individual;
2. In compliance with a subpoena issued in accord with subsection H, pursuant to a search warrant or a grand jury subpoena, pursuant to court order upon good cause shown or in compliance with a subpoena issued pursuant to subsection C of § 8.01-413. Regardless of the manner by which health records relating to an individual are compelled to be disclosed pursuant to this subdivision, nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit any staff or employee of a health care entity from providing information about such individual to a law-enforcement officer in connection with such subpoena, search warrant, or court order;
3. In accord with subsection F of § 8.01-399 including, but not limited to, situations where disclosure is reasonably necessary to establish or collect a fee or to defend a health care entity or the health care entity's employees or staff against any accusation of wrongful conduct; also as required in the course of an investigation, audit, review or proceedings regarding a health care entity's conduct by a duly authorized law-enforcement, licensure, accreditation, or professional review entity;
4. In testimony in accordance with §§ 8.01-399 and 8.01-400.2;
5. In compliance with the provisions of § 8.01-413;
6. As required or authorized by law relating to public health activities, health oversight activities, serious threats to health or safety, or abuse, neglect or domestic violence, relating to contagious disease, public safety, and suspected child or adult abuse reporting requirements, including, but not limited to, those contained in §§ 32.1-36, 32.1-36.1, 32.1-40, 32.1-41, 32.1-127.1:04, 32.1-276.5, 32.1-283, 32.1-283.1, 32.1-320, 37.2-710, 37.2-839, 53.1-40.10, 54.1-2400.6, 54.1-2400.7, 54.1-2400.9, 54.1-2403.3, 54.1-2506, 54.1-2966, 54.1-2967, 54.1-2968, 54.1-3408.2, 63.2-1509, and 63.2-1606;
7. Where necessary in connection with the care of the individual;
8. In connection with the health care entity's own health care operations or the health care operations of another health care entity, as specified in 45 C.F.R. § 164.501, or in the normal course of business in accordance with accepted standards of practice within the health services setting; however, the maintenance, storage, and disclosure of the mass of prescription dispensing records maintained in a pharmacy registered or permitted in Virginia shall only be accomplished in compliance with §§ 54.1-3410, 54.1-3411, and 54.1-3412;
9. When the individual has waived his right to the privacy of the health records;
10. When examination and evaluation of an individual are undertaken pursuant to judicial or administrative law order, but only to the extent as required by such order;
11. To the guardian ad litem and any attorney representing the respondent in the course of a guardianship proceeding of an adult patient who is the respondent in a proceeding under Chapter 20 (§ 64.2-2000 et seq.) of Title 64.2;
12. To the guardian ad litem and any attorney appointed by the court to represent an individual who is or has been a patient who is the subject of a commitment proceeding under § 19.2-169.6, Article 5 (§ 37.2-814 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 37.2, Article 16 (§ 16.1-335 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1, or a judicial authorization for treatment proceeding pursuant to Chapter 11 (§ 37.2-1100 et seq.) of Title 37.2;
13. To a magistrate, the court, the evaluator or examiner required under Article 16 (§ 16.1-335 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1 or § 37.2-815, a community services board or behavioral health authority or a designee of a community services board or behavioral health authority, or a law-enforcement officer participating in any proceeding under Article 16 (§ 16.1-335 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1, § 19.2-169.6, or Chapter 8 (§ 37.2-800 et seq.) of Title 37.2 regarding the subject of the proceeding, and to any health care provider evaluating or providing services to the person who is the subject of the proceeding or monitoring the person's adherence to a treatment plan ordered under those provisions. Health records disclosed to a law-enforcement officer shall be limited to information necessary to protect the officer, the person, or the public from physical injury or to address the health care needs of the person. Information disclosed to a law-enforcement officer shall not be used for any other purpose, disclosed to others, or retained;
14. To the attorney and/or guardian ad litem of a minor who represents such minor in any judicial or administrative proceeding, if the court or administrative hearing officer has entered an order granting the attorney or guardian ad litem this right and such attorney or guardian ad litem presents evidence to the health care entity of such order;
15. With regard to the Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, a minor's health records in accord with § 9.1-156;
16. To an agent appointed under an individual's power of attorney or to an agent or decision maker designated in an individual's advance directive for health care or for decisions on anatomical gifts and organ, tissue or eye donation or to any other person consistent with the provisions of the Health Care Decisions Act (§ 54.1-2981 et seq.);
17. To third-party payors and their agents for purposes of reimbursement;
18. As is necessary to support an application for receipt of health care benefits from a governmental agency or as required by an authorized governmental agency reviewing such application or reviewing benefits already provided or as necessary to the coordination of prevention and control of disease, injury, or disability and delivery of such health care benefits pursuant to § 32.1-127.1:04;
19. Upon the sale of a medical practice as provided in § 54.1-2405; or upon a change of ownership or closing of a pharmacy pursuant to regulations of the Board of Pharmacy;
20. In accord with subsection B of § 54.1-2400.1, to communicate an individual's specific and immediate threat to cause serious bodily injury or death of an identified or readily identifiable person;
21. Where necessary in connection with the implementation of a hospital's routine contact process for organ donation pursuant to subdivision B 4 of § 32.1-127;
22. In the case of substance abuse records, when permitted by and in conformity with requirements of federal law found in 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2 and 42 C.F.R. Part 2;
23. In connection with the work of any entity established as set forth in § 8.01-581.16 to evaluate the adequacy or quality of professional services or the competency and qualifications for professional staff privileges;
24. If the health records are those of a deceased or mentally incapacitated individual to the personal representative or executor of the deceased individual or the legal guardian or committee of the incompetent or incapacitated individual or if there is no personal representative, executor, legal guardian or committee appointed, to the following persons in the following order of priority: a spouse, an adult son or daughter, either parent, an adult brother or sister, or any other relative of the deceased individual in order of blood relationship;
25. For the purpose of conducting record reviews of inpatient hospital deaths to promote identification of all potential organ, eye, and tissue donors in conformance with the requirements of applicable federal law and regulations, including 42 C.F.R. § 482.45, (i) to the health care provider's designated organ procurement organization certified by the United States Health Care Financing Administration and (ii) to any eye bank or tissue bank in Virginia certified by the Eye Bank Association of America or the American Association of Tissue Banks;
26. To the Office of the State Inspector General pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (§ 2.2-307 et seq.) of Title 2.2;
27. To an entity participating in the activities of a local health partnership authority established pursuant to Article 6.1 (§ 32.1-122.10:001 et seq.) of Chapter 4, pursuant to subdivision 1;
28. To law-enforcement officials by each licensed emergency medical services agency, (i) when the individual is the victim of a crime or (ii) when the individual has been arrested and has received emergency medical services or has refused emergency medical services and the health records consist of the prehospital patient care report required by § 32.1-116.1;
29. To law-enforcement officials, in response to their request, for the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, person required to register pursuant to § 9.1-901 of the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act, material witness, or missing person, provided that only the following information may be disclosed: (i) name and address of the person, (ii) date and place of birth of the person, (iii) social security number of the person, (iv) blood type of the person, (v) date and time of treatment received by the person, (vi) date and time of death of the person, where applicable, (vii) description of distinguishing physical characteristics of the person, and (viii) type of injury sustained by the person;
30. To law-enforcement officials regarding the death of an individual for the purpose of alerting law enforcement of the death if the health care entity has a suspicion that such death may have resulted from criminal conduct;
31. To law-enforcement officials if the health care entity believes in good faith that the information disclosed constitutes evidence of a crime that occurred on its premises;
32. To the State Health Commissioner pursuant to § 32.1-48.015 when such records are those of a person or persons who are subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2;
33. To the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry or his designee by each licensed emergency medical services agency when the records consist of the prehospital patient care report required by § 32.1-116.1 and the patient has suffered an injury or death on a work site while performing duties or tasks that are within the scope of his employment;
34. To notify a family member or personal representative of an individual who is the subject of a proceeding pursuant to Article 16 (§ 16.1-335 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1 or Chapter 8 (§ 37.2-800 et seq.) of Title 37.2 of information that is directly relevant to such person's involvement with the individual's health care, which may include the individual's location and general condition, when the individual has the capacity to make health care decisions and (i) the individual has agreed to the notification, (ii) the individual has been provided an opportunity to object to the notification and does not express an objection, or (iii) the health care provider can, on the basis of his professional judgment, reasonably infer from the circumstances that the individual does not object to the notification. If the opportunity to agree or object to the notification cannot practicably be provided because of the individual's incapacity or an emergency circumstance, the health care provider may notify a family member or personal representative of the individual of information that is directly relevant to such person's involvement with the individual's health care, which may include the individual's location and general condition if the health care provider, in the exercise of his professional judgment, determines that the notification is in the best interests of the individual. Such notification shall not be made if the provider has actual knowledge the family member or personal representative is currently prohibited by court order from contacting the individual;
35. To a threat assessment team established by a local school board pursuant to § 22.1-79.4, by a public institution of higher education pursuant to § 23.1-805, or by a private nonprofit institution of higher education; and
36. To a regional emergency medical services council pursuant to § 32.1-116.1, for purposes limited to monitoring and improving the quality of emergency medical services pursuant to § 32.1-111.3.
Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions 1 through 35, a health care entity shall obtain an individual's written authorization for any disclosure of psychotherapy notes, except when disclosure by the health care entity is (i) for its own training programs in which students, trainees, or practitioners in mental health are being taught under supervision to practice or to improve their skills in group, joint, family, or individual counseling; (ii) to defend itself or its employees or staff against any accusation of wrongful conduct; (iii) in the discharge of the duty, in accordance with subsection B of § 54.1-2400.1, to take precautions to protect third parties from violent behavior or other serious harm; (iv) required in the course of an investigation, audit, review, or proceeding regarding a health care entity's conduct by a duly authorized law-enforcement, licensure, accreditation, or professional review entity; or (v) otherwise required by law.
E. Health care records required to be disclosed pursuant to this section shall be made available electronically only to the extent and in the manner authorized by the federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (P.L. 111-5) and implementing regulations and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq.) and implementing regulations. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, a health care entity shall not be required to provide records in an electronic format requested if (i) the electronic format is not reasonably available without additional cost to the health care entity, (ii) the records would be subject to modification in the format requested, or (iii) the health care entity determines that the integrity of the records could be compromised in the electronic format requested. Requests for copies of or electronic access to health records shall (a) be in writing, dated and signed by the requester; (b) identify the nature of the information requested; and (c) include evidence of the authority of the requester to receive such copies or access such records, and identification of the person to whom the information is to be disclosed; and (d) specify whether the requester would like the records in electronic format, if available, or in paper format. The health care entity shall accept a photocopy, facsimile, or other copy of the original signed by the requester as if it were an original.Within 30 days of receipt of a request for copies of or electronic access to health records, the health care entity shall do one of the following: (1) furnish such copies of or allow electronic access to the requested health records to any requester authorized to receive them in electronic format if so requested; (2) inform the requester if the information does not exist or cannot be found; (3) if the health care entity does not maintain a record of the information, so inform the requester and provide the name and address, if known, of the health care entity who maintains the record; or (4) deny the request (A) under subsection F, (B) on the grounds that the requester has not established his authority to receive such health records or proof of his identity, or (C) as otherwise provided by law. Procedures set forth in this section shall apply only to requests for health records not specifically governed by other provisions of state law.
F. Except as provided in subsection B of § 8.01-413, copies of or electronic access to an individual's health records shall not be furnished to such individual or anyone authorized to act on the individual's behalf when the individual's treating physician or the individual's treating clinical psychologist has made a part of the individual's record a written statement that, in the exercise of his professional judgment, the furnishing to or review by the individual of such health records would be reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the individual or another person, or that such health record makes reference to a person other than a health care provider and the access requested would be reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to such referenced person. If any health care entity denies a request for copies of or electronic access to health records based on such statement, the health care entity shall inform the individual of the individual's right to designate, in writing, at his own expense, another reviewing physician or clinical psychologist, whose licensure, training and experience relative to the individual's condition are at least equivalent to that of the physician or clinical psychologist upon whose opinion the denial is based. The designated reviewing physician or clinical psychologist shall make a judgment as to whether to make the health record available to the individual.
The health care entity denying the request shall also inform the individual of the individual's right to request in writing that such health care entity designate, at its own expense, a physician or clinical psychologist, whose licensure, training, and experience relative to the individual's condition are at least equivalent to that of the physician or clinical psychologist upon whose professional judgment the denial is based and who did not participate in the original decision to deny the health records, who shall make a judgment as to whether to make the health record available to the individual. The health care entity shall comply with the judgment of the reviewing physician or clinical psychologist. The health care entity shall permit copying and examination of the health record by such other physician or clinical psychologist designated by either the individual at his own expense or by the health care entity at its expense.
Any health record copied for review by any such designated physician or clinical psychologist shall be accompanied by a statement from the custodian of the health record that the individual's treating physician or clinical psychologist determined that the individual's review of his health record would be reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the individual or would be reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to a person referenced in the health record who is not a health care provider.
Further, nothing herein shall be construed as giving, or interpreted to bestow the right to receive copies of, or otherwise obtain access to, psychotherapy notes to any individual or any person authorized to act on his behalf.
G. A written authorization to allow release of an individual's health records shall substantially include the following information:
AUTHORIZATION TO RELEASE CONFIDENTIAL HEALTH RECORDS
Individual's Name ________________________________________
Health Care Entity's Name ______________________________
Person, Agency, or Health Care Entity to whom disclosure is to be made
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Information or Health Records to be disclosed
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Purpose of Disclosure or at the Request of the Individual
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
As the person signing this authorization, I understand that I am giving my permission to the above-named health care entity for disclosure of confidential health records. I understand that the health care entity may not condition treatment or payment on my willingness to sign this authorization unless the specific circumstances under which such conditioning is permitted by law are applicable and are set forth in this authorization. I also understand that I have the right to revoke this authorization at any time, but that my revocation is not effective until delivered in writing to the person who is in possession of my health records and is not effective as to health records already disclosed under this authorization. A copy of this authorization and a notation concerning the persons or agencies to whom disclosure was made shall be included with my original health records. I understand that health information disclosed under this authorization might be redisclosed by a recipient and may, as a result of such disclosure, no longer be protected to the same extent as such health information was protected by law while solely in the possession of the health care entity.
This authorization expires on (date) or (event) ______________________________
Signature of Individual or Individual's Legal Representative if Individual is Unable to Sign
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Relationship or Authority of Legal Representative
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Date of Signature ________________________________________
H. Pursuant to this subsection:
1. Unless excepted from these provisions in subdivision 9, no party to a civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding shall request the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum for another party's health records or cause a subpoena duces tecum to be issued by an attorney unless a copy of the request for the subpoena or a copy of the attorney-issued subpoena is provided to the other party's counsel or to the other party if pro se, simultaneously with filing the request or issuance of the subpoena. No party to an action or proceeding shall request or cause the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum for the health records of a nonparty witness unless a copy of the request for the subpoena or a copy of the attorney-issued subpoena is provided to the nonparty witness simultaneously with filing the request or issuance of the attorney-issued subpoena.
No subpoena duces tecum for health records shall set a return date earlier than 15 days from the date of the subpoena except by order of a court or administrative agency for good cause shown. When a court or administrative agency directs that health records be disclosed pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum earlier than 15 days from the date of the subpoena, a copy of the order shall accompany the subpoena.
Any party requesting a subpoena duces tecum for health records or on whose behalf the subpoena duces tecum is being issued shall have the duty to determine whether the individual whose health records are being sought is pro se or a nonparty.
In instances where health records being subpoenaed are those of a pro se party or nonparty witness, the party requesting or issuing the subpoena shall deliver to the pro se party or nonparty witness together with the copy of the request for subpoena, or a copy of the subpoena in the case of an attorney-issued subpoena, a statement informing them of their rights and remedies. The statement shall include the following language and the heading shall be in boldface capital letters:
NOTICE TO INDIVIDUAL
The attached document means that (insert name of party requesting or causing issuance of the subpoena) has either asked the court or administrative agency to issue a subpoena or a subpoena has been issued by the other party's attorney to your doctor, other health care providers (names of health care providers inserted here) or other health care entity (name of health care entity to be inserted here) requiring them to produce your health records. Your doctor, other health care provider or other health care entity is required to respond by providing a copy of your health records. If you believe your health records should not be disclosed and object to their disclosure, you have the right to file a motion with the clerk of the court or the administrative agency to quash the subpoena. If you elect to file a motion to quash, such motion must be filed within 15 days of the date of the request or of the attorney-issued subpoena. You may contact the clerk's office or the administrative agency to determine the requirements that must be satisfied when filing a motion to quash and you may elect to contact an attorney to represent your interest. If you elect to file a motion to quash, you must notify your doctor, other health care provider(s), or other health care entity, that you are filing the motion so that the health care provider or health care entity knows to send the health records to the clerk of court or administrative agency in a sealed envelope or package for safekeeping while your motion is decided.
2. Any party filing a request for a subpoena duces tecum or causing such a subpoena to be issued for an individual's health records shall include a Notice in the same part of the request in which the recipient of the subpoena duces tecum is directed where and when to return the health records. Such notice shall be in boldface capital letters and shall include the following language:
NOTICE TO HEALTH CARE ENTITIES
A COPY OF THIS SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO THE INDIVIDUAL WHOSE HEALTH RECORDS ARE BEING REQUESTED OR HIS COUNSEL. YOU OR THAT INDIVIDUAL HAS THE RIGHT TO FILE A MOTION TO QUASH (OBJECT TO) THE ATTACHED SUBPOENA. IF YOU ELECT TO FILE A MOTION TO QUASH, YOU MUST FILE THE MOTION WITHIN 15 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THIS SUBPOENA.
YOU MUST NOT RESPOND TO THIS SUBPOENA UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED WRITTEN CERTIFICATION FROM THE PARTY ON WHOSE BEHALF THE SUBPOENA WAS ISSUED THAT THE TIME FOR FILING A MOTION TO QUASH HAS ELAPSED AND THAT:
NO MOTION TO QUASH WAS FILED; OR
ANY MOTION TO QUASH HAS BEEN RESOLVED BY THE COURT OR THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY AND THE DISCLOSURES SOUGHT ARE CONSISTENT WITH SUCH RESOLUTION.
IF YOU RECEIVE NOTICE THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WHOSE HEALTH RECORDS ARE BEING REQUESTED HAS FILED A MOTION TO QUASH THIS SUBPOENA, OR IF YOU FILE A MOTION TO QUASH THIS SUBPOENA, YOU MUST SEND THE HEALTH RECORDS ONLY TO THE CLERK OF THE COURT OR ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY THAT ISSUED THE SUBPOENA OR IN WHICH THE ACTION IS PENDING AS SHOWN ON THE SUBPOENA USING THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE:
PLACE THE HEALTH RECORDS IN A SEALED ENVELOPE AND ATTACH TO THE SEALED ENVELOPE A COVER LETTER TO THE CLERK OF COURT OR ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY WHICH STATES THAT CONFIDENTIAL HEALTH RECORDS ARE ENCLOSED AND ARE TO BE HELD UNDER SEAL PENDING A RULING ON THE MOTION TO QUASH THE SUBPOENA. THE SEALED ENVELOPE AND THE COVER LETTER SHALL BE PLACED IN AN OUTER ENVELOPE OR PACKAGE FOR TRANSMITTAL TO THE COURT OR ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY.
3. Upon receiving a valid subpoena duces tecum for health records, health care entities shall have the duty to respond to the subpoena in accordance with the provisions of subdivisions 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
4. Except to deliver to a clerk of the court or administrative agency subpoenaed health records in a sealed envelope as set forth, health care entities shall not respond to a subpoena duces tecum for such health records until they have received a certification as set forth in subdivision 5 or 8 from the party on whose behalf the subpoena duces tecum was issued.
If the health care entity has actual receipt of notice that a motion to quash the subpoena has been filed or if the health care entity files a motion to quash the subpoena for health records, then the health care entity shall produce the health records, in a securely sealed envelope, to the clerk of the court or administrative agency issuing the subpoena or in whose court or administrative agency the action is pending. The court or administrative agency shall place the health records under seal until a determination is made regarding the motion to quash. The securely sealed envelope shall only be opened on order of the judge or administrative agency. In the event the court or administrative agency grants the motion to quash, the health records shall be returned to the health care entity in the same sealed envelope in which they were delivered to the court or administrative agency. In the event that a judge or administrative agency orders the sealed envelope to be opened to review the health records in camera, a copy of the order shall accompany any health records returned to the health care entity. The health records returned to the health care entity shall be in a securely sealed envelope.
5. If no motion to quash is filed within 15 days of the date of the request or of the attorney-issued subpoena, the party on whose behalf the subpoena was issued shall have the duty to certify to the subpoenaed health care entity that the time for filing a motion to quash has elapsed and that no motion to quash was filed. Any health care entity receiving such certification shall have the duty to comply with the subpoena duces tecum by returning the specified health records by either the return date on the subpoena or five days after receipt of the certification, whichever is later.
6. In the event that the individual whose health records are being sought files a motion to quash the subpoena, the court or administrative agency shall decide whether good cause has been shown by the discovering party to compel disclosure of the individual's health records over the individual's objections. In determining whether good cause has been shown, the court or administrative agency shall consider (i) the particular purpose for which the information was collected; (ii) the degree to which the disclosure of the records would embarrass, injure, or invade the privacy of the individual; (iii) the effect of the disclosure on the individual's future health care; (iv) the importance of the information to the lawsuit or proceeding; and (v) any other relevant factor.
7. Concurrent with the court or administrative agency's resolution of a motion to quash, if subpoenaed health records have been submitted by a health care entity to the court or administrative agency in a sealed envelope, the court or administrative agency shall: (i) upon determining that no submitted health records should be disclosed, return all submitted health records to the health care entity in a sealed envelope; (ii) upon determining that all submitted health records should be disclosed, provide all the submitted health records to the party on whose behalf the subpoena was issued; or (iii) upon determining that only a portion of the submitted health records should be disclosed, provide such portion to the party on whose behalf the subpoena was issued and return the remaining health records to the health care entity in a sealed envelope.
8. Following the court or administrative agency's resolution of a motion to quash, the party on whose behalf the subpoena duces tecum was issued shall have the duty to certify in writing to the subpoenaed health care entity a statement of one of the following:
a. All filed motions to quash have been resolved by the court or administrative agency and the disclosures sought in the subpoena duces tecum are consistent with such resolution; and, therefore, the health records previously delivered in a sealed envelope to the clerk of the court or administrative agency will not be returned to the health care entity;
b. All filed motions to quash have been resolved by the court or administrative agency and the disclosures sought in the subpoena duces tecum are consistent with such resolution and that, since no health records have previously been delivered to the court or administrative agency by the health care entity, the health care entity shall comply with the subpoena duces tecum by returning the health records designated in the subpoena by the return date on the subpoena or five days after receipt of certification, whichever is later;
c. All filed motions to quash have been resolved by the court or administrative agency and the disclosures sought in the subpoena duces tecum are not consistent with such resolution; therefore, no health records shall be disclosed and all health records previously delivered in a sealed envelope to the clerk of the court or administrative agency will be returned to the health care entity;
d. All filed motions to quash have been resolved by the court or administrative agency and the disclosures sought in the subpoena duces tecum are not consistent with such resolution and that only limited disclosure has been authorized. The certification shall state that only the portion of the health records as set forth in the certification, consistent with the court or administrative agency's ruling, shall be disclosed. The certification shall also state that health records that were previously delivered to the court or administrative agency for which disclosure has been authorized will not be returned to the health care entity; however, all health records for which disclosure has not been authorized will be returned to the health care entity; or
e. All filed motions to quash have been resolved by the court or administrative agency and the disclosures sought in the subpoena duces tecum are not consistent with such resolution and, since no health records have previously been delivered to the court or administrative agency by the health care entity, the health care entity shall return only those health records specified in the certification, consistent with the court or administrative agency's ruling, by the return date on the subpoena or five days after receipt of the certification, whichever is later.
A copy of the court or administrative agency's ruling shall accompany any certification made pursuant to this subdivision.
9. The provisions of this subsection have no application to subpoenas for health records requested under § 8.01-413, or issued by a duly authorized administrative agency conducting an investigation, audit, review or proceedings regarding a health care entity's conduct.
The provisions of this subsection shall apply to subpoenas for the health records of both minors and adults.
Nothing in this subsection shall have any effect on the existing authority of a court or administrative agency to issue a protective order regarding health records, including, but not limited to, ordering the return of health records to a health care entity, after the period for filing a motion to quash has passed.
A subpoena for substance abuse records must conform to the requirements of federal law found in 42 C.F.R. Part 2, Subpart E.
I. Health care entities may testify about the health records of an individual in compliance with §§ 8.01-399 and 8.01-400.2.
J. If an individual requests a copy of his health record from a health care entity, the health care entity may impose a reasonable cost-based fee, which shall include only the cost of supplies for and labor of copying the requested information, postage when the individual requests that such information be mailed, and preparation of an explanation or summary of such information as agreed to by the individual. For the purposes of this section, “individual” shall subsume a person with authority to act on behalf of the individual who is the subject of the health record in making decisions related to his health care.
K. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a health care provider who prescribes or dispenses a controlled substance required to be reported to the Prescription Monitoring Program established pursuant to Chapter 25.2 (§ 54.1-2519 et seq.) of Title 54.1 to a patient from disclosing information obtained from the Prescription Monitoring Program and contained in a patient's health care record to another health care provider when such disclosure is related to the care or treatment of the patient who is the subject of the record.

Title 55. Property and Conveyances

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

Chapter 13. Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

55-225.5. Access following entry of certain court orders

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. A tenant or authorized occupant who has obtained an order from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103 granting such tenant possession of the premises to the exclusion of one or more co-tenants or authorized occupants may provide the landlord with a copy of that court order and request that the landlord either (i) install a new lock or other security devices on the exterior doors of the dwelling unit at the landlord's actual cost or (ii) permit the tenant or authorized occupant to do so, provided:

1. Installation of the new lock or security devices does no permanent damage to any part of the dwelling unit; and

2. A duplicate copy of all keys and instructions of how to operate all devices are given to the landlord.

Upon termination of the tenancy, the tenant shall be responsible for payment to the landlord of the reasonable costs incurred for the removal of all such devices installed and repairs to all damaged areas.

B. A person, who is not a tenant or authorized occupant in the dwelling unit and who has obtained an order from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103 granting such person possession of the premises to the exclusion of one or more co-tenants or authorized occupants, may provide a copy of such order to the landlord and submit a rental application to become a tenant in such dwelling unit within 10 days of the entry of such order. If such person's rental application meets the landlord's tenant selection criteria, such person may become a tenant in such dwelling unit under a written rental agreement. If such person submits a rental application and does not meet the landlord's tenant selection criteria, such person shall vacate the dwelling unit no later than 30 days of the date the landlord gives such person written notice that his rental application has been rejected. If such person does not provide a copy of the protective order to the landlord and submit a rental application to the landlord within 10 days as required by this section, such person shall vacate the dwelling unit no later than 30 days of the date of the entry of such order. Such person shall be liable to the landlord for failure to vacate the dwelling unit as required in this section.

Any tenant obligated on a rental agreement shall pay the rent and otherwise comply with any and all requirements of the rental agreement, and any applicable laws and regulations. The landlord may pursue all of its remedies under the rental agreement and applicable laws and regulations, including filing an unlawful detainer action pursuant to § 8.01-126 to obtain a money judgment and to evict any persons residing in such dwelling unit.

C. A landlord who has received a copy of a court order in accordance with subsection A shall not provide copies of any keys to the dwelling unit to any person excluded from the premises by such order.

D. This section shall not apply when the court order excluding a person was issued ex parte.

55-225.16. Early termination of rental agreements by victims of family abuse, sexual abuse, or criminal sexual assault

Updated: 
April 12, 2018

A. Any tenant who is a victim of (i) family abuse as defined by § 16.1-228, (ii) sexual abuse as defined by § 18.2-67.10, or (iii) other criminal sexual assault under Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 may terminate such tenant's obligations under a rental agreement under the following circumstances:

1. The victim has obtained an order of protection pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 and has given written notice of termination in accordance with subsection B during the period of the protective order or any extension thereof; or

2. A court has entered an order convicting a perpetrator of any crime of sexual assault under Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, sexual abuse as defined by § 18.2-67.10, or family abuse as defined by § 16.1-228 against the victim and the victim gives written notice of termination in accordance with subsection B. A victim may exercise a right of termination under this section to terminate a rental agreement in effect when the conviction order is entered and one subsequent rental agreement based upon the same conviction.

B. A tenant who qualifies to terminate obligations under a rental agreement pursuant to subsection A shall do so by serving on the landlord a written notice of termination to be effective on a date stated therein, such date to be not less than 30 days after the first date on which the next rental payment is due and payable after the date on which the written notice is given. When the tenant serves the termination notice on the landlord, the tenant shall also provide the landlord with a copy of (i) the order of protection issued or (ii) the conviction order.

C. The rent shall be payable at such time as would otherwise have been required by the terms of the rental agreement through the effective date of the termination as provided in subsection B.

D. The landlord may not charge any liquidated damages.

E. The victim's obligations as a tenant under § 55-225.4 shall continue through the effective date of the termination as provided in subsection B. Any co-tenants on the lease with the victim shall remain responsible for the rent for the balance of the term of the rental agreement. If the perpetrator is the remaining sole tenant obligated on the rental agreement, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and collect actual damages for such termination against the perpetrator.