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Can an unpublished opinion from the Court of Appeals of Virginia be cited in a Juvenile and Domestic Relations case?

Chesapeake, VA |

I'm a father that is in the middle of a custody, visitation, and relocation case in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court system of Virginia. I've come across a case that was originally heard in Circuit Court, and later affirmed in the Court of Appeals. The case, details and all, fit my current situation like a glove, but the only problem is, the case is unpublished.

I know that since January 1, 2007, unpublished opinions could be cited in Federal Court, but I have not be able to find any information with regards to the Virginia court system... Please point me to any documentation on the matter at hand...

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    Rule 5:1 and 5A:1 state "(f) Citing Unpublished Judicial Dispositions. The citation of judicial opinions, orders, judgments, or other written dispositions that are not officially reported, whether designated as “unpublished,” “not for publication,” “non precedential,” or the like, is
    permitted as informative, but shall not be received as binding authority. If the cited disposition is not available in a publicly accessible electronic database, a copy of that disposition must be filed with the brief or other paper in which it is cited."


  2. You can reference it. It will be up to the judge to determine how much weight to give to it. The court can use the reasoning in the case to support its decision.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only. For specific information regarding your case, call my office at 757-533-5400 to schedule a consultation.

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