TO: All Members of the Virginia Beach Bar Association
FROM: Hon. Robert G. MacDonald, Chesapeake General District Court
DATE: August 16, 2019
RE: Issuance of subpoenas in automobile accident cases
In automobile accident cases, many attorneys and defendants appear on the first return date merely to set a date for trial, so that the witnesses/victims can be subpoenaed to appear. Concerns have been raised by the Bar, as well as defendants, on our current procedure. In response to the concerns, the Court is modifying the procedure relating to traffic summonses involving an automobile accident.
The following procedure will be effective on January 1, 2020:
When an officer issues a summons at the scene of accident, they will subpoena any necessary witness to appear in court at the same time. The officer will provide the defendant with a copy of DC-217, VIRGINIA PREPAYABLE OFFENSES INFORMATION SHEET (See link below). The DC-217 contains language advising the defendant, “If you were involved in an accident and desire to plead NOT GUILTY and have your case heard on the date set, please notify the court by checking the not guilty box and return this form to the court within 7 calendar days…” For those defendants who notify the court and do not request a continuance, the case can be heard on the original trial date. For those defendants who do not notify and simply appear in court, the case can proceed on the original trial date. Only in those instances where the defendant wishes to plead not guilty and wishes to change the date will the witnesses have to be called off and re-subpoenaed.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
The following candidates submitted applications to the VBBA that were forwarded to the Virginia Beach General Assembly delegation on February 1, 2019 in regard to the Virginia Beach General District Court Vacancy:
- Christopher S. Boynton
- Megan Bradshaw
- John A. Coggeshall
- Wanda Cooper
- Kolleen L. Daniels
- Jonah S. Dickey
- Vonda J. Dunn
- Ryan G. Ferguson
- Eleanor J. Gaines
- Scott F. Hallauer
- Charles D. Hatley
- Vivian F. Henderson
- Michael F. Imprevento
- Aaron F. Kass
- Tariq K. Louka
- Sally J. Moore
- John S. Norris, Jr.
- Stephen P. Pfeiffer
- Sandra L. Sampson
- Gordon C. Ufkes
EFFECTIVE MARCH 15, 2018, the Chesapeake Circuit Court Clerk’s Office will assess an additional $5 fee for every civil case initially filed by paper pursuant to Virginia Code §17.1-258.3.
§17.1-258.3. Electronic filing in civil or criminal proceedings. Any clerk of circuit court with an electronic filing system established in accordance with the Rules of Supreme Court of Virginia may charge an additional $5 fee for every civil case initially filed by paper, except that a person who is determined to be indigent pursuant to § 19.2-159 shall be exempt from the payment of such fee.
Pursuant to Section 17.1-258.3:1 of the Code of Virginia as stated below, the Chesapeake Circuit Court Clerk’s Office WILL begin collecting the $5.00 per paper document fee EFFECTIVE MARCH 15, 2018.
§ 17.1-258.3:1. Electronic filing of land records; paper form.
B. Any clerk of a circuit court with an electronic filing system established in accordance with this section may charge a fee not to exceed $5 per instrument for every land record filed by paper. The fee shall be paid to the clerk’s office and deposited by the clerk into the clerk’s non-reverting local fund to be used exclusively to cover the operational expenses as defined in § 17.1-295.
For clarification, please visit the deed calculator on the state website, www.courts.state.va.us beginning March 15, 2018.