Tazewell Circuit Court: Rules of Court
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Adopted Pursuant to Section 8.01-4, Code of Virginia (1950), Rule 1:15 of the Supreme Court of Virginia and by Circuit Order of November 13, 1992, effective January 1, 1993.
These rules and any amendments hereto shall apply as of their effective date to all civil cases, as indicated, and to all criminal cases, as indicated, pending or hereafter instituted in this court of this Circuit, except where in pending cases their application in the opinion of the court would not be feasible or would work injustice, and shall rescind and supersede all prior local rules.
- All proceedings shall commence at 9:30 a.m. unless the presiding judge shall designate some other hour.
- Excepting holidays as mentioned in this Rule, the regular business days of this court for the conduct of its proceedings shall be Monday through Friday of each week.
- The regular holidays of this court shall be as set forth in Code Section 2.1-21. In addition there may be special holidays for this court by entry of order pursuant to Code Section 17-41(8).
- Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Rule, in case of emergency or other necessity as determined by the court, it may in its discretion set for hearing or hear any matter on any day other than a regular business day.
- Term Day. By virtue of Code Section 17-127.21, Term Day for this court shall be as follows:
- The second Tuesday in the months of February, May, August and November.
- If the first day, known as Term Day, of any Term as scheduled above shall fall on a legal holiday as set or defined in Section 2.1-21, then such Term shall commence and its Term day be on the day next following.
- Misdemeanor Appeal Day. Misdemeanor Appeal Day for this court shall be as follows:
- The day following Term Day, at which time counsel for the Defendant and the Commonwealth, as well as any unrepresented defendant, shall be present in order to set the misdemeanor appeal for trial.
- If a Misdemeanor Appeal Day is on a legal holiday as defined in Rule 1:2(c), then said Misdemeanor Appeal Day shall be on the day next following.
- The foregoing schedule of regular days notwithstanding, on an ad hoc basis, the date of any one may in case of necessity be omitted, or changed or continued to some other convenient date by timely entry of an order for that purpose.
The clerk of the court shall furnish a copy of such list to the circuit judge and the district courts from which appeals lie to that court and to attorneys regularly practicing before the court, and, upon request, shall furnish a copy to any other attorney or other person having need therefor.
- Plea agreements to be presented in criminal matters are to be filed with the Circuit Court Clerk a minimum of five (5) business days prior to trial. Plea agreements should be executed by the defendant, the attorney for the defendant and the Attorney for the Commonwealth handling the case. Once plea agreements are filed with the Court, the Clerk shall notify the jury and/or court reporter if their attendance will not be necessary on the scheduled trial date.
- In instances where plea agreements are filed less than five (5) business days prior to the trial date, the Court will review and accept or reject the plea agreement or recommendation based on the appropriateness of the agreement to the matter before the Court. After the Court determines the appropriateness of the agreement and either accepts or rejects said plea agreement, therefore disposing of the criminal matter, the Court may then inquire into the reason the agreement was not timely filed. If the Court determines there is not good cause shown for the late filing of the plea agreement, the Court may impose appropriate sanctions on the party causing the late filing.
- The Court may also schedule sanction hearings after disposing of criminal cases if appropriate. Matters may be considered in camera by the Court if the Court feels necessary.
- If the Court determines sanctions are appropriate, sanctions are to be imposed personally/individually on the attorney for the defendant, the Attorney handling the matter for the Commonwealth, and/or the defendant. Sanctions shall not be imposed against a firm or the Commonwealth. Sanctions shall be imposed in monetary amounts appropriate to the matter being reviewed by the Court. In cases involving indigent defendants, sanctions may be imposed and converted to community service to allow satisfaction of sanctions.
- A pretrial conference at which all matters listed under Rule 4:13 of the Supreme Court of Virginia may be considered may be held prior to and as a prerequisite to setting any matter for trial or hearing on its merits.
- Counsel attending a pretrial conference shall have full authority with respect to stipulations, limitation of issues, and the disposition of all other matters considered. The preparation and submission for entry of pretrial orders shall be the responsibility of the parties, unless otherwise advised by the court.
- Trials on issues of facts raised by plea may be, in the discretion of the court, heard separately or in conjunction with trial on the merits. Trials will not be set until:
- The parties are at issue on the matters to be tried and the case is matured.
- Pretrial conference, if required, in accord with Rule 3:3 a) has been had.
- All discovery procedures relating to the issues to be tried have been completed, or a date by which all discovery procedures shall have been completed has been determined by order.
- When scheduling hearings on motions or trials in civil cases at any time other than Docket Call, the attorney desiring to schedule such matter must contact opposing counsel for available Court dates. The attorney desiring to schedule the matter should then contact the Judge's secretary to secure a trial or hearing date on one of the dates on which opposing counsel is available. Upon the scheduling of such matter, the scheduling attorney shall forthwith confirm, by telephone and written notice, the date of the setting of the hearing. Notice shall be sent to opposing counsel, the clerk of the court, and the Judge's secretary. If no agreement is reached concerning the setting of the trial or hearing date, the parties may set the date by telephone conference with the Court. If the attorney desiring to schedule a matter is unable to secure contact with opposing counsel of record, he or she may schedule a hearing, etc. within a reasonable period of time and forward notice of the hearing to opposing counsel of record, to the Court, and the Clerk of Court, together with a Certificate of Good Faith that a good faith attempt was made to set the matter in accordance with provisions of this rule.
- Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, all contested proceedings, upon request of a party, shall be hear ore tenus.
- A statistical report as required by Code Section 32.1-268 shall be furnished to the clerk as a prerequisite to the entry of a decree of divorce a vinculo or of annulment of marriage.
- In all hearings on domestic matters involving temporary or permanent child or spousal support, all attorneys are required to prepare a neat, legible, typewritten list of expenses and incomes, documented by receipts, cancelled checks, check stubs, etc.. A copy of the list and documentation shall be submitted to opposing counsel or the party, if there is no counsel of record, at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing.
- In equitable distribution matters, a list of all assets, designated as marital or separate property, and with the party's valuation thereof, shall be submitted to the Court with copies to counsel. If parties cannot agree on value of assets having a value of more than $2,000.00, and an appraisal by an expert is required, the party whose valuation is farthest from the expert's appraisal will be assessed the cost of appraisal.
- Failure to comply with the requirements of paragraphs c) & d) above may, in the discretion of the presiding judge, result in the hearings being delayed and being rescheduled for another date.
- On a case-by-case basis, for good cause shown and in furtherance of the interests of justice, the presiding judge shall have the discretion to waive the requirements of this rule.
- In all juvenile cases in which an appeal has been noted from the final judgment of a juvenile and domestic relations district court finding a juvenile subject to the provisions of the juvenile law for an offense which if committed by an adult would be a crime, the procedures provided Rule 2:2 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
- In such cases, the provisions of Rule 1:6 shall apply mutatis mutandis.