Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 27. Fire Protection
Chapter 9. Statewide Fire Prevention Code Act
9/23/2019

§ 27-98.5. Review by courts.

A. No court of the Commonwealth shall have jurisdiction to hear a challenge to the warrant prior to its return to the clerk of the circuit court of the city or county wherein the inspection was made except as a defense in a contempt proceeding, unless the owner or custodian of the building, structure, property or premises to be inspected makes by affidavit a substantial preliminary showing accompanied by an offer of proof that (i) a false statement, knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, was included by the affiant in his affidavit for the inspection warrant and (ii) the false statement was necessary to the finding of probable cause. The court shall conduct such expeditious in camera view as the court may deem appropriate.

B. After the warrant has been executed and returned to the clerk of the circuit court of the city or county wherein the inspection was made, the validity of the warrant may be reviewed either as a defense to any citation issued by the fire official or otherwise by declaratory judgment action brought in a circuit court. In any such action, the review shall be confined to the face of the warrant and affidavits and supporting materials presented to the issuing judge unless the owner, operator, or agent in charge of whose building, structure, property or premises has been inspected makes a substantial showing by affidavit accompanied by an offer of proof that (i) a false statement, knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, was made in support of the warrant and (ii) the false statement was necessary to the finding of probable cause. The review shall only determine whether there is substantial evidence in the record supporting the decision to issue the warrant.

1988, c. 549; 2014, c. 354.

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.