Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – February 26, 2015

By: Andrew McRoberts, Editor. This was posted Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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This term resulted in two cases which, in our opinion, affect Virginia local government law.  One, decided by order, deals with the effect of a failure to name a necessary party (a governing body) in appealing a BZA decision.  The other addresses the difference between a local government and its constitutional officers (a sheriff) in the context of a claim under Va. Code section 15.2-1512.4 (right of local employees to contact elected officials).

The case summaries are taken from the Virginia Supreme Court opinions website. Click on the case number to read the opinion.

140676 Frace v. Johnson (ORDER) 02/26/2015 The circuit court did not err in dismissing a certiorari proceeding to review a board of zoning appeals decision because petitioner failed to timely name the county board of supervisors, a necessary party. Under Code § 15.2-2314, an aggrieved person must timely notice the necessary parties identified by statute. While the 30-day period is not an aspect of the circuit court’s subject matter jurisdiction and may be waived, no waiver occurred in the present case. The judgment of the circuit court dismissing the certiorari proceeding is affirmed.

140836 Roop v. Whitt 02/26/2015 A Virginia sheriff is a constitutional officer, and sheriff’s deputies, who are employees of the sheriff, are not “local employees” for the purposes of Code § 15.2-1512.4. The circuit court therefore did not err in sustaining the defendant sheriff’s demurrer to a civil action brought by a deputy claiming unlawful retaliation under this statute based on termination of his employment in the sheriff’s office. The judgment dismissing the lawsuit is affirmed.

 

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