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Virginia Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Virginia: How might an inmate pursue sentence relief after transfer to the VADOC if they feel they were over-sentenced?

An inmate was sentenced to 90 years (suspended 63) for three robberies and one attempted robbery in 2001 long before the passing of Virginia House Bill 1936 which establishes classifications and sentencing guidelines for robberies. The inmate did not use a firearm in the commission of the... Read more »

Ashley Robinson Winn
Ashley Robinson Winn answered on Oct 14, 2021

Since the law is not retroactive, hire an attorney to bring up all of the positive factors at the inmate’s next parole hearing. It is too late to do a Motion to Reconsider under Virginia Law. You have 21 days from entry of the final order to have the motion heard. It must be ruled on within those... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: How can I get a settlement on this case because I have used these products for awhile now and I have had some hair loss?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Aug 6, 2021

A Virginia attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for three weeks. As a starting point, you could research online whether there are any law firms handling cases for the products that were involved. With some product liability law firms, this can change from month to month - the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Virginia Property Law, Adult Dependent

We lease an apartment, our adult child listed as a dependent moved out for the first time and left books behind. Can those books be legally removed, donated, sold? Are we required to hold them for a particular period of time?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 1, 2021

Given the facts that you reported, it appears that the property of the person who moved out was abandoned. Property that is abandoned is no longer the property of the person who moved out and can be disposed of as you see fit.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Question on real estate fixtures and Law of Fixtures and how to interpret outdoor grill connected to natural gas pipe:

There is an outdoor grill that looks like a large portable grill on wheels and it has wheels, but the grill is connected to a natural gas pipe that was extended from the back of the house. The grill uses natural gas from the pipe as fuel for normal operation. The grill has been in the same spot for... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 29, 2021

In Virginia, a fixture is attached (i.e., bolted) to the ground and becomes an intricate part of the land. A grill which is movable is personal property, notwithstanding that it is attached to a gas line, and is thus not a fixture.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: I bought the house that I was renting from the owner, he is supposed to do some minor repair that we agreed on

now all papers are signed and he still did not do the repairs, I also did not get a refund for my security deposit, my deposit was not part of the deal. What are my options.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 18, 2021

You obviously have a breach of contract case. You should file a Complaint in the Court where the property is located and seek an award for damages of the failure to make the repairs in accordance with the contract.

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can I take legal action against my school?

My college sent me an email with a balance back in December 2020. I have emailed them and never received a response even when I tried to make a payment. I was sent to collections and started receiving phone calls this month constantly. I have emailed my college and they claim to have never received... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on May 1, 2021

A Virginia attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for a month. One could only speculate as to why the university is not responding to you. One reason could be (and this is only a guess) that once they send a matter to collection, they will stay clear - where the only line of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Found puppy at work no collar, in rough shape. $600 in vet bills, p.o. charged me w/ larceny and refuse reimbursement.

Ultimately want to regain custody of dog due to previous owners neglect, (also found that she has 4 previous unrelated missing dog posts on fb in the last few years) the puppy was not on their property, had no collar or chip, and was in need of medical attention. I had her 5 weeks and then saw... Read more »

Daniel P Leavitt
Daniel P Leavitt answered on Nov 10, 2020

You will want to hire a lawyer for the felony charges. Usually those should play out first and then if you are successful in getting those dismissed you may or may not want to talk to a civil lawyer about potential remedies.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can/should I sue ex for Stimulus check funds?

Spouse and I are separated...still legally married. No property settlement. I am sole custodial of our two children. 100% timeshare. She walked away and never contacts the children.

We filed taxes jointly in 2019. She filed primary as I am disabled on SSI.

We were separated when the... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 22, 2020

I regret that I do not handle domestic relations maters. This issue should have been covered in your Property Settlement Agreement so you may want to look at it, if you have one.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can our landlord keep our full security deposit and cite it’s because we broke our lease?

We notified our landlord more than 30 days in advance that our offer was approved on a house and that we would be moving our prior to Oct 1. Our landlord knew months in advance we were house hunting. We asked multiple times what the process was and if we need to find a sublease, were responsible... Read more »

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

In Virginia, a security deposit in a residential lease is to protect the landlord from any property damages that the tenant has caused to the premises during the term of the lease and such damages are identified in a condition report at the time of the tenant's move-out walk through. There... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Business Formation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Hi..i am in VA. made a payment 2 days late. Can any type of late fee be imposed?

I let the company know VA has 10 day grace period. They changed the 'late fee' wording to 'payroll system fee'.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 17, 2020

A Virginia attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for three weeks. As a general matter, it could depend on the company's terms, and whether their revision is merely a change of terminology for the same thing. The most economical and reliable way to find out could be to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can you sue someone for saying they would pay something off for you?

My now ex boyfriend agreed for me to purchase a laptop for school and agreed he would make the monthly payments. Now that we aren’t together he tells me he’s not going to pay it . It is now going to affect my credit because I can’t afford to pay it since I’m not working. The total amount is... Read more »

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

Given this was an oral agreement, and you claim it was breached for nonpayment, you can bring a Warrant in Debt in General District Court in the jurisdiction (county/city) where the agreement was reached. Since the amount is less than $5,000.00, this is a small claims court case in which no lawyers... Read more »

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.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Collections and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Warrant in Debt for a tenant; judgement 9/2/15 Wants to settle. Do we go to Clerk of Court or how do I proceed?

Contacted me yesterday. I want to make sure I do everything right!

Do we go to Clerk of Court to exchange money, does she bring $ to me then I contact courts its settled?

5 years have passed so its over $20k with the 6% interest. Can bankruptcy be filed to get out of it? But... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 26, 2020

At anytime in the process, the parties to the dispute can settle the dispute/judgment by one paying the other an amount of money that is agreed upon. A simple written and signed settlement agreement should be made part of the settlement to memorialized the agreement. After the funds have cleared... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Antitrust and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: What happens if you're a arrested and the wrong name is on the warrant?

If a police officers charges you with a crime but didn't spell the name on the summons or warrant correctly what happens?

Daniel P Leavitt
Daniel P Leavitt answered on May 7, 2020

They will fix it for you if you tell them it's not spelled right.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: A collection agency is trying to collect a debt from 11 years ago with Wachovia bank.Wachovia said it’s written off

I have phone recordings of both collections and bank. Wachovia says they stopped collections 2-3 years ago of statute of limitations.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 23, 2020

If the origin of the debt was in Virginia and was connected to a written agreement, there is a 5 year statute of limitations that applies to the debt. The Statute of Limitations defense is an affirmative defense so it must be raised after a lawsuit is filed.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can you send a warrant in debt to place of employment if you don't have a forwarding address for someone that has moved
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 20, 2020

Generally in Virginia, a Warrant in Debt is served by the Sheriff or a Deputy Sheriff on the Defendant at that person's place of residence, however, it is possible to file a Motion based on good cause shown to request a judge to give permission for the Warrant in Debt to be served at the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can text messages be binding as proof and used in court?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 20, 2020

Subject to the procedural and substantive rules of evidence that are followed in Court, it is possible that text messages will be admissible evidence in a trial in Virginia.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: A roommate,not on a lease,2 & a half months late on rent, moved out, refuses to pay. Can they be taken to court to pay

They moved in feb. Chased rent a few times. Late Sept they contacted landlord stating they would pay an extra 50 for being late on oct rent. They Contacted again in late oct goin to be late nov. But in nov made a partial payment for oct. Still no payment for nov. With promise to pay dec 21st.... Read more »

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

The claim is for money owed. You can file a civil Warrant in Debt in the jurisdiction in which the premises is located and against the person who owes the money. Your hurdle may be to find the former roommates since the Court requires that person be served in order for the Curt to have jurisdiction... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can we file a lawsuit against Ashley furniture for false advertising and misinformation?

We purchased bedroom and dining room furniture from Ashley furniture about a year ago. The furniture's cost us about $8000 plus insurance coverage of $600. In about a year, the coating of the furniture has been peeling off, the chairs legs are lose and the joints are broken. We reached out to... Read more »

Robert R Weed
Robert R Weed answered on Dec 3, 2019

Virginia has some of the weakest consumer protection laws in the country.

One place to look for a lawyer who could be able to take it on is National Association of Consumer Advocates. https://www.consumeradvocates.org/find-an-attorney

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Should a person provide a written estimate to someone who responsible for the repairs to damage cause in their home?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Nov 13, 2019

As a general matter, it's customary to do so if the damages are for anything substantial. It could be a showing of good faith to present more than one estimate, preferably from a person(s) or entity(s) with validation or credentials in the type of repairs involved. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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