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41 Cards in this Set

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In what Virginia Court would a jury trial be held?
Circuit Court
What happens to the money that Courts receive as a result of the fines charged against a defendant?
Fines collected in circuit court for the violation of State laws are transferred to the State Treasury where they are deposited in the Literary Fund.
What are the four reasons that you would appear in court?
• You are a plaintiff because you filed a civil suit
• You are a complainant because you have caused criminal charges to be brought against someone
• You are a defendant because someone is suing you or you have been charged with a traffic violation or a criminal offense
• You are a witness who has been called to testify
If you are indigent, what procedure will a Virginia judge go through to provide you with an attorney?
The judge will examine your financial status, and based on the results and your financial statement under oath the judge may assign an attorney to represent you.
What two types of civil suits may the Virginia District Court hear?
Civil suits involving amounts of money up to $15,000. Unlawful detainer (eviction) suits that include a request for rent can be heard by the General District Court if the amount of rent requested is more than $15,000.
What are misdemeanors and which court handles them?
A misdemeanor is any charge which carries a penalty of no more than one year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500 or both. The General District Court decides cases in which a person is charged with a misdemeanor.
What jurisdiction does a General District Court have in regards to felonies and why?
The General District Court holds preliminary hearings in felony cases. Preliminary hearings in felony cases are held to determine whether there is enough evidence to justify holding the defendant for a grand jury hearing.
If you are found guilty of a crime in Virginia, how must you satisfy your sentence? (four answers)
• Paying the fines and court costs in full to the clerk of the court if so ordered by the judge.
• Surrendering your driver’s license to the clerk if so ordered by the judge.
• Serving time in jail if so ordered by the judge.
• Comply with alternative sentence as ordered by the judge.
A civil suit for less than $4, 500 would be heard in what court?
General District Court
A civil suit for damages in excess of $15,000 would be heard in what court?
Circuit Court
Under what grounds would a District judge send a civil suit to the Circuit Court?
If the civil suit is for damages over $15,000
What must you do to appeal your case to a Circuit Court?
You must file a notice of appeal with the clerk of the General District Court within 10 days after the judgment or conviction by the General District Court.
Over what situations does the Circuit Court have exclusive jurisdiction?
Criminal felonies and civil cases involving more than $15,000
What type of cases does the Circuit Court share with District Courts?
Civil cases involving between $4,500 and $15,000
What type of cases do Juvenile and Domestic Relations handle?
Delinquents, juveniles accused of traffic violations, children in need of services, children in need of supervision, children who have been subjected to abuse or neglect, family or household members who have been subjected to abuse, adults accused of child abuse or neglect, or of offenses against members of their own family, adults involved in disputes concerning the support, visitation, parentage, or custody of a child, abandonment of children, foster care and entrustment agreements, court-ordered rehabilitation services, and court consent for certain medical treatments
What is meant by the statement -“The Circuit Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction in Virginia?”
The court has the authority to try a full range of cases both civil and criminal.
What is the tenure of Circuit Court judge and how is he/she selected?
Elected for an 8 year term by a majority vote of both houses of the General Assembly
How is the Clerk of the Circuit Selected and what is the clerk’s responsibility?
The clerk is elected to an 8 year term by the voters of the locality. The clerk handles administrative matters for the court and also has authority to probate wills, grand administration of estates, and appoint guardians.
Over what type of cases does the Circuit Court share concurrent jurisdiction with the District Court?
Civil cases
What is the Circuit Court’s jurisdiction in criminal cases?
In criminal cases, the circuit court has jurisdiction over the trial of all felonies and of those misdemeanors originally charged in the circuit court.
What jurisdiction does the Circuit Court have over juveniles over 14?
The circuit court has jurisdiction over juveniles age 14 and older who are charged with felonies and whose cases have been certified or transferred by the judge of a juvenile and domestic relations district court for trial in a circuit court.
What is the appellate jurisdiction of the Circuit Courts of Virginia?
The circuit court has appellate jurisdiction over all appeals from general district court in civil and criminal cases and from juvenile and domestic relations district court in matters originating in that court.
What are two purposes for convening a regular grand jury?
To consider indictments prepared by the Commonwealth’s Attorney and to investigate and report concerning any condition which involves or tends to promote criminal activity
What does a grand jury do?
The grand jury hears only the Commonwealth’s side of the case and does not determine the guilt or innocence of the accused.
A special grand jury may be empanelled by the Circuit Court for what two reasons?
A special grand jury may be empanelled by the circuit court at any time upon the court’s own motivation or upon the recommendation of a minority of the members of a regular grand jury.
In regards to jury selection, what must the venire reflect?
The venire must reflect the composition of the community as a whole and may not be discriminatory by race, color, creed, or sex.
What are the grounds for a change of venue?
If the trial judge believes that an impartial jury panel cannot be obtained locally, he may order a change of venue.
If venue is granted, what happens?
In a change of venue, the entire case is transferred to another jurisdiction within the Commonwealth and tried therein.
29. What rule governs appeals from the Circuit Court in regards to:
A. Death penalty and disbarment?
Death penalty and disbarment are appealed to the Supreme Court
29. What rule governs appeals from the Circuit Court in regards to:
B. Traffic infractions, criminal (not death penalty) and domestic relations cases?
Traffic infractions, criminal and domestic relations cases are appealed to the Court of Appeals.
Why was the Court of Appeals of Virginia created?
It was created in order to increase the appellate capacity of the court system and expedite the appellate process.
What does it mean to say that the Court of Appeals sits in panels?
The Court of Appeals sits in panels of at least three judges. The chief judge assigns judges to the panels and rotates the composition of the panels in order to promote homogeneity of case law and to prevent regionalization of the appellate court system. Each panel independently hears and determines petitions for appeal, appeals granted, and the other cases assigned to the panel.
Under what circumstances would the Court of Appeals sit en banc?
• Where there is a dissent in a panel to which a case was originally assigned and an aggrieved party requests an en banc hearing and at least three other judges of the Court vote in favor of such a hearing
• If a judge of a panel certifies that a decision of that panel conflicts with a previous decision of the Court or of any panel and three other judges agree
• In any case in which a majority of the Court, upon its own motion, determines it is appropriate to sit en banc
Appeals to the Court of Appeals come as a matter of right from what type of cases?
• any final judgment, order, or decree of a circuit court involving affimrance or annulment of a marriage, divorce, custody, spousal or child support, or control or disposition of a child, as well as other domestic relations cases
• any final decision of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission
• any final decision of a circuit court on appeal from a decision of an administrative agency
• any interlocutory order granting, dissolving, or denying an injunction or adjudicating the principles of a cause in any of the cases listed above
The Court of Appeals has authority to consider petitions of appeal from what types of cases?
• Final orders of conviction in criminal and traffic matters except where a death penalty is imposed
• Final decisions of a circuit court on an application for a concealed weapons permit
• Certain preliminary rulings in felony cases when requested by the Commonwealth
The Court of Appeals has original jurisdiction to issue what type of writs?
The Court of Appeals has original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, and habeas corpus in any case over which the Court would have appellate jurisdiction. Also, it has original jurisdiction to issue a writ of actual innocence.
Decisions from the Court of Appeals are final in what cases?
When the Court of Appeals has rejected a petition for appeal, dismissed an appeal, or decided on an appeal, its decision is final, without appeal to the Supreme Court in the following cases: Traffic infraction and misdemeanor cases where no incarceration is imposed, cases originating before any administrative agency or the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, and cases involving affirmance or annulment of a marriage, divorce, custody, spousal or child support, cases involving the control or disposition of a juvenile, and all other domestic relations matters.
Upon what grounds may a petition for review be used to send a case from the Court of Appeals to the Virginia Supreme Court?
Each petition for appeal in a criminal case is referred to a judge of the Court for review to determine if an appeal should be awarded. The judge may grant the petition for appeal in whole or part. An appellant may request a panel of three judges of the Court of Appeals to review a petition for appeal that was denied, either in whole, or part, by the judge who initially reviewed the petition. As long as oral argument was preserved in the petition for appeal and a reply brief was not filed, the appellant may present oral argument on the petition for appeal before a panel of three judges.
What is the primary function of the Virginia Supreme Court?
To review decisions of lower courts, including the Court of Appeals
What three types of cases have an automatic right of appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court?
Cases involving the State Corporation Commission, the disbarment of an attorney, and review of the death penalty
What is original jurisdiction of the Virginia Supreme Court?
The Court’s original jurisdiction is limited to cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, and writs of actual innocence.