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How does one force the courts to prove jurisdiction or nullify another courts order?

Petersburg, VA |
Filed under: Civil motions

Virginia Circuit Court Judges recused selves from case, one of recused Judges asked another Judge to hear case (at variance of VA code). Substitue Judge heard case and issued orders, some before his jurisdiction was questioned and some after his juridiction was questioned on the record. No statement was made on jurisdiction, but it was ignored like an elephant in the courtroom.

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

Does 'questioned' mean objected to in the form of a motion by a pro se litigant or attorney or objected to on the record?

Do you mean in personam jurisdiction or subject matter jurisdiction?

I am going to assume you mean Personal (in personam) Jurisdiction. PJ is a reference to the court's authority over the individual. The court's power over the individual is based on defendant's physical presence in Virginia, being served process in Virginia, or on the happening of some element of the cause of action in Virginia.

As a general rule, Virginia courts can exercise personal jurisdiction over a party residing in Virginia, or transacting substantial business in Virginia, or over a party who caused a tort or injury in Virginia. Individuals must appear in court to contest personal jurisdiction--failing to to that FIRST, waives the right to contest it latter.

For example, If a party answered the bill of particulars and showed up for trial, without first making a special appearance to challenge personal jurisdiction, the right to challenge the jurisdiction is lost. It's possible in the brief scenario you described the attorney challenged jurisdiction, after it was too late, and the judge ignored the challenge in an effort to not embarrass the attorney/pro se litigant (I've seen it happen before—I’ve also seen the judge go the other way and NAIL the objecting party—the affect ends up the same).

See the Code of Virginia at § 8.01-277.1. ‘Objections to personal jurisdiction or defective process; what constitutes waiver’.
"A. Except as provided in § 8.01-277, a person waives any objection to personal jurisdiction or defective process if he engages in conduct related to adjudicating the merits of the case, including, but not limited to:
1. Filing a demurrer, plea in bar, answer, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim;
2. Conducting discovery, except as provided in subsection B;
3. Seeking a ruling on the merits of the case; or
4. Actively participating in proceedings related to determining the merits of the case.
B. A person does not waive any objection to personal jurisdiction or defective process if he engages in conduct unrelated to adjudicating the merits of the case, including, but not limited to:
1. Requesting or agreeing to an extension of time;
2. Agreeing to a scheduling order;
3. Conducting discovery authorized by the court related to adjudicating the objection;
4. Observing or attending proceedings in the case;
5. Filing a motion to transfer venue pursuant to § 8.01-264 when such motion is filed contemporaneously with the objection; or
6. Removing the case to federal court."

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. Addressing your issue does not create an attorney-client relationship and I AM providing you educational information NOT legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

I assume I did not make my question clear. As I understand once all the Judges of a Virginia circuit (such as the 11th)have signed orders recusing themselves VA code section 17.1-105 B comes into play. The Judges who have recused themselves no longer have authority to ask another Judge to take their place. This has happened, how does one get the Commonwealth to play by their own rules?

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

Ahh, I didn't catch in your first post that ALL the judges had submitted written recusals. Depending on the subject matter of the cause of action, appeal to the VACOA or VASC would be the next step.

Asker

Posted

The VA court of Appeals claims they do not have jurisdiction. (I assume trying to suggest that if a Judge is appointed by the VASC that they do not have authority over the higher court. The last appeal to the VASC that I made in which I thought I had itemized the errors was denied with a statement that I had not noted the errors. Yes the Judge was given a written notice of my view. Thank you for your assistance and sorry for my bad attitude. Point of clarification: one order recusing all three judges of the 11th circuit was signed by Judge D'Alton, the second order recusing all three judges from another case from the same root cause was signed by Judge Baskervill.