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Virginia Civil Litigation Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: My HOA BOD has vacancies, has not held meetings or elections in 12 months. What are my options?

We have a Assoc. management company that takes us for granted and does the minimal required work. Last election saw a "coup" by several BOD members who rarely showed up for meetings. Two board members resigned in protest and the positions were not filled, despite two people who stood for... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 14, 2020

The HOA's Bylaws should provide you with the available options in a situation like you described.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Contracts for Virginia on
Q: What is the statute of limitations on a settlement agreement as a result of a warrant in debt in Virginia?

I was sued almost 20 years ago for damages related to an auto accident. I made a settlement agreement with them in court, made large initial payment, and had to make payments over time, but I lost the paperwork and forgot about it after a few years. It's now been about 18 years since a payment... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 13, 2020

In Virginia, the statute of limitations on a written agreement is 5 years and 3 years on an oral agreement.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Animal / Dog Law for Virginia on
Q: Does a lease voids when the home is sold in VA? I signed the lease in 2007 and it stated nothing about not having pets

On the bottom of each page on the lease states this contract is for use by ___. Use by any other party is illegal and voids the contract. So can the new landlord put an X where the pets section is without us both signing? Is this contract valid? Is my landlord in the wrong for threatening me about... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 11, 2020

Generally in Virginia, when there is an existing lease in place and the owner/landlord sells the premises to a buyer, the lease remains in place, the buyer assumes the rights and obligations under the existing lease, and the lease's terms remain unchanged between the new owner/landlord and the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Landlord Intentionally Ignoring Me and refusing to set up payment plan as I have been affected by COVID-19

My business was shut down until we reopened (still slow). Apartment management and I agreed verbally with the management office to set up a payment plan. A week later they said they want rent paid in full. I argued my case about the agreement, they said they will talk to the manager. Next day,... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 3, 2020

It sounds like these are discussions and negotiations about paying rent. It is not a question is it legal or illegal. It is a question of whether opposing parties can come to an agreement. It takes two to reach an agreement so if one side will not agree, there is no agreement in the eyes of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I need help Ny lease apparently ends tomorrow but I can’t leave

I signed a 12 month lease with my landlord and it’s the 7th month and my landlord says the july31st at 8 am everyone who didn’t renew is the last day of their lease but I can’t leave that soon I prepared for a 12 month lease I also lost my job due to COVID and domestic violence so I haven’t... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 31, 2020

Even if you have a 12 month written lease, the nonpayment of rent is a breach of the leased and as such the landlord can proceed with a notice for you to pay or quit and then begin legal proceedings to have you evicted. The loss of your job or the domestic abuse is not a defense to nonpayment of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: Can a pool company bill held liable for improper installation of drains around home and pool 25yrs later?

My home was initially my dad's. He had the pool installed in 1995. Sometime later he began to have issues of water coming thru one wall in the basement only when it was a heavy rain. Dad passed and I remained in the family home. I begun to search for the answer to the water issue and... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 28, 2020

Unless the contract extended the statute of limitations period, in Virginia there is a 5 year statute of limitations based on a written contract.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: How long after installation of inground pool can a company be held liable for damages?

My dad had a pool installed in 1995. Since his passing I now live in the home. For several yrs my dad struggled with a water issue in the basement when the rain was heavy and it has continued since I have been here. I decided to take a look at the routing of the gutter downfall that is on the... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 28, 2020

Generally, in Virginia there is no waiting period for making a claim for faulty workmanship in a construction project like an in ground pool, unless your contract states otherwise and you must give the contractor an opportunity to fix the damages.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Do I need to retain a lawyer for my small claim case? Is there specific evidence I must present to validate my claim?

In Henrico, VA - I had filed a small claims court case against my neighbor for damages, maxed at $5000. He has requested it be removed to general district court and has retained counsel. I suing my neighbor for damaging my front, side and back yard resulting in me paying out of pocket for... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 27, 2020

By court rules, no lawyers are allowed in a small claims case matter in Virginia.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Collections and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If a UD case is non-suited, is there any way to seal this or otherwise keep it from being uploaded to the Internet?

Related to the prior question: "Can I seal or expunge an eviction record in Virginia pursuant to § 19.2-392.2

The case did not result in an eviction nor a collection" You will see a lot of these as first time civil defendants seek to pay arrears after Unlawful Detainer (UD)... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 20, 2020

In Virginia, eviction matters are generally not under seal. You may want to seek a formal opinion from an attorney in the jurisdiction where you reside on your questions.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I seal or expunge an eviction record in Virginia pursuant to § 19.2-392.2

The case did not result in an eviction nor a collection

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 20, 2020

In Virginia , expungement relates to criminal cases. In a civil case like an eviction, the proper procedure is to file a Motion to Vacate and Set Aside the Judgment.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: Will you please provide a case law on excessive use of force with k-9 .proferably in the 4th courit.
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 18, 2020

I regret that I do not handle criminal cases. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Civil Litigation, Collections and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Does anyone know if agencies reporting derogatory information upload non-suited cases? Does this affect one's credit?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 18, 2020

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, a federal law, would be where you would find the answers to your questions. I do not handle those cases. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights, Collections and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How does one "erase" the filing of a UD petition that is later non-suited without judgment?

This will be an issue for many "first time civil defendants" who are filed upon by landlords for UD during the COVID period. There is legislation that enables relief in 2022, but that will be too late for many.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 18, 2020

The general procedure to accomplish your goal is to file a Motion to Vacate the Judgment, however, a non-suit means that the plaintiff withdrew the case and claims so there is no judgment to vacate. The original case's information cannot be "erased" as you described it. These are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights, Collections and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If a suit is in general district is later found to be in error, what is the best way to have this matter "erased"?

It appears that expunction is not available for civil cases. Can the court "seal" the file? Are there any other options that an attorney can do?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 18, 2020

The proper procedure for a civil matter as you describe is to file a Motion to Vacate and Set Aside the Judgment. It will be your burden to demonstrate to the Judge that the judgment was entered in error. If the other party agrees that there was an error, that party should endorse your Motion and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Collections and Contracts for Virginia on
Q: If you pay a demand letter from a community association attorney by the date stated can they later collect lawyer fees

The lawyer via email when I asked “ we are clear now” said I’m will confirm with Hoa I believe so” then 96 days later I receive statement of account from hoa with 4 bills for professional services for 1116$ I call propert mgr the accountant calls me back and says she will look into it then... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 16, 2020

Generally, there is a provision in the HOA Bylaws for the right of the HOA to collect attorney's fees. However, the right to claim attorney's fees is not a statutory right but must be awarded by a Judge. I suspect that is the reason the HOA filed the Warrant in Debt and is probably... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: our partner who was running business took unilateral decisions with our knowledge and incurring huge loss to us

penalties form from franchise & Credit Card Debts

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 15, 2020

It seems like a criminal matter so you should call the police or the FBI.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: Is it legal to transfer someone across state lines in reference to a civil case without any extradition hearing?

I have filed a Habeas petition in the 4th circuit on this issue. See Hommel v. Unknown, et al. I was civilly commited in virginia in 2007, but never was commited, as the order was stayed. Instead i was transfered to Federal custody in the northern district of ohio where i served approx. 10.9... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 1, 2020

I regret that I do not handle criminal law matter. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: He is renting basement apartment, been very rude, threatening past month.
Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jun 29, 2020

Of course, it's your choice whether or not to hire a lawyer, but we've (most likely) handled many more evictions, so if you can afford a lawyer, it'll save you the hassle and headache. I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help if you decide to hire a lawyer. Good luck!

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: Is it best to get lawyer to remove tenant trespassing without lease, or not?

Lease expired over year ago, he has been late multiple times, now is not paying rent past month, harassing us. Saying he will turn power off, water, block driveway.

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jun 29, 2020

Of course, it's your choice whether or not to hire a lawyer, but we've (most likely) handled many more evictions, so if you can afford a lawyer, it'll save you the hassle and headache. I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help if you decide to hire a lawyer. Good luck!

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: On 5/29/20 my poodle went to the groomer. When he was ready my husband brought him home. He texted me at work that the

dog was acting strange and had reddish diarrhea. The dog rested on sofa for the afternoon. I was at work til 6pm & he texted me at 6:02 that this wasn't our dog (after 5 hours) & to meet him at groomer, which was closed. My dog is diabetic and nearly blind and was due for insulin in an... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 1, 2020

I regret that I do not handle dog injury or animal law matters. Sorry.

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