Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 18. Buildings, Monuments and Lands Generally

§ 15.2-1812.1. Action for damage to memorials for war veterans.

A. If any monument or memorial for war veterans as designated in § 15.2-1812 is damaged or defaced, an action for the recovery of damages may be commenced as follows:

1. For a publicly owned monument or memorial, such action may be commenced against a person other than a locality or its duly authorized officers, employees, or agents by the attorney for the locality in which it is located with the consent of the governing body or public officer having control of the monument or memorial; and

2. For a privately owned monument or memorial on a locality's public property, such action may be commenced by the private owner of such monument or memorial. No locality or its officers, employees, or agents shall be liable for damages pursuant to this section when taking action pursuant to § 15.2-1812 except for gross negligence by a duly authorized officer, employee, or agent of the locality.

Damages may be awarded in such amounts as necessary for the purposes of rebuilding, repairing, preserving, and restoring such memorials or monuments. Damages other than those litigation costs recovered from any such action shall be used exclusively for said purposes.

B. Punitive damages may be recovered for reckless, willful, or wanton conduct resulting in the defacement of, malicious destruction of, unlawful removal of, or placement of improper markings, monuments, or statues on memorials for war veterans.

C. The party who initiates and prevails in an action authorized by this section shall be entitled to an award of the cost of the litigation, including reasonable attorney fees. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to limit the rights of any person, organization, society, or museum to pursue any additional civil remedy otherwise allowed by law.

2000, c. 812; 2020, cc. 1100, 1101.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.