Virginia Court of Appeal Extended Civil Jurisdiction | Sands Anderson PC

As of January 1, 2022, appellate options in the courts of the state of Virginia increase with the expansion of the jurisdiction of the Virginia Court of Appeals. As a general rule, the Court of Appeal will hear all appeals relating to civil matters, which will (mainly) be appeals of law, rather than by motion for review. Specifically, Virginia Code § 17.1-405 provides that any “injured party” may appeal to the Court of Appeal against:

  • Any final order of a circuit court in a civil case
  • A final circuit court decision on an administrative body appeal
  • A final circuit court decision on an appeal of a government employee’s grievance hearing decision
  • Any final decision of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission
  • Certain interlocutory orders (Virginia Code§ 8.01-267.8 and 8.01-675.5), which proceeds by motion for review
  • The decision of a circuit court to grant or deny an injunction (and related issues) (Virginia Code 8.01-626), which proceeds by motion for review
  • Any final order of a circuit court involving an application for a concealed weapons permit (Virginia Code§ 18.2-307.1 et seq.)
  • Any final order of a circuit court concerning the involuntary treatment of detainees (Virginia Code§ 53.1-40.1 Where 53.1-133.04)
  • Any final order of a circuit court involving a declaratory or injunctive judgment relating to the exercise of religious freedom in certain circumstances (Virginia Code 57-2.02)

As to what is not covered, Virginia Code § 17.1-406 provides that direct appeals still remain with the Supreme Court of Virginia on a limited number of issues: (a) a final order from a circuit court involving a habeas corpus petition, (b) a final order from the State Corporation Commission, and (c) certain proceedings involving the discipline of lawyers and law firms (Virginia Code §§ 54.1-3935 and 54.1-3937). In addition, the Supreme Court retains the original jurisdiction over complaints filed by the Commission of Judicial Inquiry and Review. Additionally, the Virginia Constitution remains unchanged, which states that the original jurisdiction rests with the Supreme Court with respect to:

Habeas Corpus, Mandamus and Prohibition Cases; examine allegations of actual innocence presented by convicted felons in such cases and in the manner that may be provided by the General Assembly; in matters of judicial censorship, retirement and dismissal under Section 10 of this article, and to answer questions of state law certified by a court in the United States or the highest court of appeal in any other state.

Goes. Const. art. VI, § 1.

Thelma J. Longworth