Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 1. General Provisions
5/27/2020

Chapter 2.1. Common Law and Rules of Construction.

Article 1. Common Law and Acts of Parliament.

§ 1-200. The common law.

The common law of England, insofar as it is not repugnant to the principles of the Bill of Rights and Constitution of this Commonwealth, shall continue in full force within the same, and be the rule of decision, except as altered by the General Assembly.

Code 1919, § 2, § 1-10; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-201. Acts of Parliament.

The right and benefit of all writs, remedial and judicial, given by any statute or act of Parliament, made in aid of the common law prior to the fourth year of the reign of James the First, of a general nature, not local to England, shall still be saved, insofar as the same are consistent with the Bill of Rights and Constitution of this Commonwealth and the Acts of Assembly.

Code 1919, § 3, § 1-11; 2005, c. 839.

Article 2. Rules of Construction and Definitions.

§ 1-202. General rule of construction.

The rules and definitions set forth in this chapter shall be used in the construction of this Code and the acts of the General Assembly, unless the construction would be inconsistent with the manifest intention of the General Assembly.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 20; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-203. Adult.

"Adult" means a person 18 years of age or more.

1972, cc. 824, 825, § 1-13.42; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-204. Age of majority.

For the purposes of all laws of the Commonwealth including common law, case law, and the acts of the General Assembly, unless an exception is specifically provided in this Code, a person shall be an adult, shall be of full age, and shall reach the age of majority when he becomes 18 years of age.

1972, cc. 824, 825, § 1-13.42; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-205. Bond with surety.

"Bond with surety" includes the payment in cash of the full amount of the required bond and, in such case, no surety shall be required.

1977, c. 156, § 1-13.1:1; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-206. Certified mail equivalent to registered mail; certain subsequent mail or notice may be sent by regular mail.

A. If any mail or notice is required to be sent by registered mail, it shall constitute compliance with this requirement if such mail or notice is sent by certified mail.

B. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, whenever a state agency is required to send any mail or notice by certified mail and such mail or notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested, then any subsequent, identical mail or notice that is sent by such state agency may be sent by regular mail.

C. As used in this section, "state agency" means the same as that term is defined in § 2.2-4347.

1956, c. 647, § 1-15.1; 2005, c. 839; 2011, c. 566.

§ 1-207. Child; juvenile; minor; infant.

"Child," "juvenile," "minor," "infant," or any combination thereof means a person less than 18 years of age.

1972, cc. 824, 825, § 1-13.42; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-208. City.

"City" means an independent incorporated community which became a city as provided by law before noon on July 1, 1971, or which has within defined boundaries a population of 5,000 or more and which has become a city as provided by law.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 21; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 49, § 1-13.2; 1995, c. 155; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-209. Collegial body.

"Collegial body" means a governmental entity whose power or authority is vested within its membership.

2004, c. 651, § 1-13.4:1; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-210. Computation of time.

A. When an act of the General Assembly or rule of court requires that an act be performed a prescribed amount of time before a motion or proceeding, the day of such motion or proceeding shall not be counted against the time allowed, but the day on which such act is performed may be counted as part of the time. When an act of the General Assembly or rule of court requires that an act be performed within a prescribed amount of time after any event or judgment, the day on which the event or judgment occurred shall not be counted against the time allowed.

B. When the last day for performing an act during the course of a judicial proceeding falls on a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or any day or part of a day on which the clerk's office is closed as authorized by an act of the General Assembly, the act may be performed on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or day or part of a day on which the clerk's office is closed as authorized by an act of the General Assembly.

C. When an act of the General Assembly specifies a maximum period of time in which a legal action may be brought and the last day of that period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or day or part of a day on which the clerk's office is closed as authorized by an act of the General Assembly, the action may be brought on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or day or part of a day on which the clerk's office is closed as authorized by an act of the General Assembly.

D. Any court or proceeding authorized to be adjourned from day to day shall not be required to meet on a Sunday or legal holiday.

E. When an act of the General Assembly or local governing body, order of the court, or administrative regulation or order requires, either by specification of a date or by a prescribed period of time, that an act be performed or an action be filed on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday or on any day or part of a day on which the state or local government office where the act to be performed or the action to be filed is closed, the act may be performed or the action may be filed on the next business day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or day on which the state or local government office is closed.

F. For the purposes of this section, any day on which the Governor authorizes the closing of the state government shall be considered a legal holiday.

Code 1919, § 5; 1932, p. 24; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, pp. 21, 23, §§ 1-13.3, 1-13.27; 1962, cc. 104, 284, § 1-13.3:1; 1977, c. 93; 1986, c. 166; 1987, c. 92; 2005, c. 839; 2008, c. 816; 2010, c. 96; 2014, c. 596.

§ 1-211. Constitutional references.

Whenever any act of the General Assembly in effect at noon on July 1, 1971, refers to any section, article, or provision of the prior Constitution of Virginia, such reference shall apply to any comparable section, article, or provision of the Constitution of Virginia then in effect unless the construction would be contrary to the legislative intent of the act.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 49, § 1-13.41; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-211.1. Courthouse; posting of notices.

If any notice, summons, order, or other official document of any type is required to be posted on or at the front door of a courthouse or on a public bulletin board at a courthouse, it shall constitute compliance with this requirement if the notice, summons, order, or other official document is posted with other such documents where such notice, summons, order or other official document is posted or at or near the principal public entrance to the courthouse in a location that is conspicuous to the public and approved by the chief judge of the circuit in which the courthouse is situated, or both. The requirement to post any notice, summons, order, or other official document of any type is satisfied if such notice, summons, order, or other official document is posted on the public government website of the locality served by the court or the website of the circuit court clerk.

2007, c. 734; 2014, c. 269; 2015, c. 631.

§ 1-212. Courts of record.

"Courts of record" means the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and the circuit courts.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 49, § 1-13.5:1; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-213. Delegation of duties assigned to political subdivision.

The governing body of a political subdivision shall be responsible for any duty or responsibility imposed upon its political subdivision.

1986, c. 239, § 1-17.2; 1987, c. 471; 1988, c. 273; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-214. Effective dates.

A. All laws enacted at a regular session of the General Assembly, including laws which are enacted by reason of actions taken during the reconvened session following a regular session, but excluding general appropriation acts, decennial reapportionment acts, and emergency acts, shall take effect on the first day of July following the adjournment of the regular session at which they were enacted, unless a subsequent date is specified.

B. All laws enacted at a special session of the General Assembly, including laws which are enacted by reason of actions taken during the reconvened session following a special session, but excluding general appropriations acts, decennial reapportionment acts, and emergency acts, shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month following the month of adjournment of the special session at which they were enacted, unless a subsequent date is specified.

C. A general appropriation act shall take effect from its passage, unless another effective date is specified in the act.

D. An emergency act shall take effect from its passage, or on a subsequent date if specified in the act, provided that the emergency shall be expressed in the body of the act and that the emergency shall be approved by a four-fifths vote of the members voting in each house of the General Assembly. The name of each member voting and how he voted shall be recorded in the journal.

E. A decennial reapportionment act to reapportion the Commonwealth into electoral districts shall take effect immediately.

Code 1919, § 4; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 49, § 1-12; 1981, c. 329; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-215. Ex officio.

"Ex officio" means service by virtue of one's office and includes voting privileges for ex officio members unless otherwise provided.

2005, c. 839.

§ 1-216. Gender.

A word used in the masculine includes the feminine and neuter.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 21, § 1-13.7; 1997, c. 406; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-217. Headlines of sections.

The headlines of the sections printed in black-face type are intended as mere catchwords to indicate the contents of the sections and do not constitute part of the act of the General Assembly.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 21, § 1-13.9; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-218. Includes.

"Includes" means includes, but not limited to.

2005, c. 839.

§ 1-219. Land; real estate.

"Land," "lands," or "real estate" includes lands, tenements and hereditaments, and all rights and appurtenances thereto and interests therein, other than a chattel interest.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 22, § 1-13.12; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-219.1. Limitations on eminent domain.

A. The right to private property being a fundamental right, the General Assembly shall not pass any law whereby private property shall be taken or damaged for public uses without just compensation. The term "public uses" mentioned in Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia is hereby defined as to embrace only the acquisition of property where: (i) the property is taken for the possession, ownership, occupation, and enjoyment of property by the public or a public corporation; (ii) the property is taken for construction, maintenance, or operation of public facilities by public corporations or by private entities provided that there is a written agreement with a public corporation providing for use of the facility by the public; (iii) the property is taken for the creation or functioning of any public service corporation, public service company, or railroad; (iv) the property is taken for the provision of any authorized utility service by a government utility corporation; (v) the property is taken for the elimination of blight provided that the property itself is a blighted property; or (vi) the property taken is in a redevelopment or conservation area and is abandoned or the acquisition is needed to clear title where one of the owners agrees to such acquisition or the acquisition is by agreement of all the owners.

B. For purposes of this section:

"Blighted property" means any property that endangers the public health or safety in its condition at the time of the filing of the petition for condemnation and is (i) a public nuisance or (ii) an individual commercial, industrial, or residential structure or improvement that is beyond repair or unfit for human occupancy or use.

"Government utility corporation" means any county or municipality, or entity or agency thereof, which provides or operates one or more of the following authorized utility services: gas, pipeline, electric light, heat, power, water supply, sewer, telephone, or telegraph.

"Public corporation" means the Commonwealth of Virginia or any political subdivision thereof or any incorporated municipality therein or any public agency of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision thereof or of any municipality therein.

"Public facilities" means (i) airports, landing fields, and air navigation facilities; (ii) educational facilities; (iii) flood control, bank and shore protection, watershed protection, and dams; (iv) hospital facilities; (v) judicial and court facilities; (vi) correctional facilities, including jails and penitentiaries; (vii) library facilities; (viii) military installations; (ix) parks so designated by the Commonwealth or by the locality in its comprehensive plan; (x) properties of historical significance so designated by the Commonwealth; (xi) law enforcement, fire, emergency medical, and rescue facilities; (xii) sanitary sewer, water or stormwater facilities; (xiii) transportation facilities including highways, roads, streets, and bridges, traffic signals, related easements and rights-of-way, mass transit, ports, and any components of federal, state, or local transportation facilities; (xiv) waste management facilities for hazardous, radioactive, or other waste; (xv) office facilities occupied by a public corporation; and (xvi) such other facilities that are necessary to the construction, maintenance, or operation of a public facility as listed in clauses (i) through (xv) and directly related thereto.

C. No more private property may be taken than that which is necessary to achieve the stated public use.

D. Except where property is taken (i) for the creation or functioning of a public service corporation, public service company, or railroad; (ii) for the provision of any authorized utility service by a government utility corporation; or (iii) for sanitary sewer, water or stormwater facilities, or transportation facilities, including highways, roads, streets, and bridges, traffic signals, related easements and rights-of-way, mass transit, ports, and any components of federal, state, or local transportation facilities, by a public corporation, property can only be taken where: (a) the public interest dominates the private gain and (b) the primary purpose is not private financial gain, private benefit, an increase in tax base or tax revenues, an increase in employment, or economic development.

E. During condemnation proceedings, the property owner may challenge whether the taking or damaging is for a public use, the stated public use is a pretext for an unauthorized use, or the taking or damaging of property is a violation of subsection D. Nothing in this section shall be construed as abrogating any defenses or rights otherwise available to the property owner independently of this section.

F. Subject to the provisions of subsection D, the limitations contained in this section shall not abrogate any other provision of law that authorizes a condemnor to dispose of property taken for a public use as surplus property, as otherwise provided by law.

G. If the acquisition of only part of a property would leave its owner with an uneconomic remnant, the condemnor shall offer to acquire the entire property for its fair market value as otherwise provided by law, but the condemnor shall not acquire an uneconomic remnant if the owner objects and desires to maintain ownership of the excess property.

H. The provisions of this section shall control to the extent there are any inconsistencies between this section and any other general or special law; otherwise, nothing herein shall be construed as abrogating the power of eminent domain delegated independently of this section.

I. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the forfeiture of property under Chapters 22.1 (§ 19.2-386.1 et seq.) and 22.2 (§ 19.2-386.15 et seq.) of Title 19.2.

J. The provisions of this section shall not apply to real property that is subject to a certificate of take or a certificate of deposit recorded prior to July 1, 2007, in the circuit court clerk's office for the circuit where the real property is located or real property that is the subject of a petition for condemnation filed prior to July 1, 2007.

K. For the purposes of any taking of private property in accordance with Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia, a government utility corporation shall be considered to be acting as a public service corporation or public service company where the property is taken for the provision of an authorized utility service only; provided, however, that nothing in this subsection shall modify or affect the jurisdiction of the State Corporation Commission.

2007, cc. 882, 901, 926; 2012, cc. 283, 626, 756.

§ 1-220. Local ordinances incorporating state law by reference.

When counties, cities and towns are empowered to incorporate by reference provisions of the Code, acts of the General Assembly, or state regulations into a local ordinance, any ordinance incorporating by reference provisions of the Code, acts of the General Assembly or state regulations may include future amendments to the provisions of the Code, acts of the General Assembly or state regulations provided such intent is specifically stated in such ordinance.

1993, c. 710, § 1-13.39:2; 2001, c. 771; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-221. Locality.

"Locality" means a county, city, or town as the context may require.

2005, c. 839.

§ 1-222. Majority authority.

Whenever authority is conferred by law to three or more persons, a majority of such persons shall have the power to exercise such authority, unless otherwise provided.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 21, § 1-13.1; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-222.1. Manufacturer.

"Manufacturer" shall not include any farm or aggregation of farms that owns and operates facilities within the Commonwealth for the generation of electric energy from waste-to-energy technology. As used in this definition, (i) "farm" means any person that obtains at least 51 percent of its annual gross income from agricultural operations and produces the agricultural waste used as feedstock for the waste-to-energy technology, (ii) "agricultural waste" means biomass waste materials capable of decomposition that are produced from the raising of plants and animals during agricultural operations, including animal manures, bedding, plant stalks, hulls, and vegetable matter, and (iii) "waste-to-energy technology" means any technology, including but not limited to a methane digester, that converts agricultural waste into gas, steam, or heat that is used to generate electricity on-site.

2009, c. 746.

§ 1-223. Month; year.

"Month" means a calendar month and "year" means a calendar year.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, pp. 22, 24, §§ 1-13.13, 1-13.33; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-224. Municipality; incorporated communities; municipal corporation.

"Municipality," "incorporated communities," "municipal corporation," and words or terms of similar import mean cities and towns.

2005, c. 839.

§ 1-225. Nonlegislative citizen member.

"Nonlegislative citizen member" means any natural person who is not a member of the General Assembly of Virginia.

2004, c. 709, § 1-13.13:1; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-226. Notary.

"Notary" means notary public.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 22, § 1-13.14; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-227. Number.

A word used in the singular includes the plural and a word used in the plural includes the singular.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 22, § 1-13.15; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-228. Oath.

"Oath" includes affirmation.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 22, § 1-13.16; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-229. Optional form of county government; effect of change in form.

Whenever any county, city, town, political subdivision, or combination thereof is identified in an act of the General Assembly by reference to its proximity to a county that has adopted an optional form of government provided in Title 15.2, and that county changes its form of government, the act shall continue to apply to such county, city, town, political subdivision, or combination thereof and shall cease to apply only upon the subsequent enactment by the General Assembly of a measure in which such intent clearly is stated.

1990, c. 253, § 1-13.35:1; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-230. Person.

"Person" includes any individual, corporation, partnership, association, cooperative, limited liability company, trust, joint venture, government, political subdivision, or any other legal or commercial entity and any successor, representative, agent, agency, or instrumentality thereof.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 22, § 1-13.19; 1988, c. 36; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-231. When "person" includes business trust and limited liability company.

Whenever the term "person" is defined to include both "corporation" and "partnership," such term shall also include "business trust and limited liability company."

2002, c. 621, § 1-13.19:1; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-232. Person under disability.

"Person under disability" includes a person less than 18 years of age.

1972, cc. 824, 825, § 1-13.42; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-233. Personal estate.

"Personal estate" includes chattels real and such other estate as, upon the death of the owner intestate, would devolve upon his personal representative.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 22, § 1-13.20; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-234. Personal representative.

"Personal representative" includes the executor of a will or the administrator of the estate of a decedent, the administrator of such estate with the will annexed, the administrator of such estate unadministered by a former representative, whether there is a will or not, any person who is under the order of a circuit court to take into his possession the estate of a decedent for administration, and every other curator of a decedent's estate, for or against whom suits may be brought for causes of action that accrued to or against the decedent.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 22, § 1-13.21; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 49; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-235. Population; inhabitants.

"Population" or "inhabitants" means with reference to any county, city, town, political subdivision of the Commonwealth or any combination thereof, the natural persons in such county, city, town, political subdivision or combination as shown by the unadjusted United States decennial census last preceding the time at which any provision dependent upon population is being applied or the time as of which it is being construed. Where two or more political subdivisions are consolidated, the population of the consolidated county or city or other political subdivision shall be the combined population of the consolidating subdivisions, under the last preceding unadjusted United States decennial census.

1942, p. 668; Michie Code 1942, § 5a; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 23, § 1-13.22; 1954, c. 295, § 1-13.10:1; 1958, c. 330; 1966, c. 78; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-236. Population classifications.

Any act of the General Assembly with a population classification applicable to any county, city, town, or subdivision of the Commonwealth or any combination thereof shall continue to apply to any such body notwithstanding any subsequent change in population and shall apply to any county, city, town, or political subdivision of the Commonwealth or any combination thereof subsequently falling within such population classification. The provisions of this section shall not apply to, or limit, the distribution of any state funds, grants-in-aid, or other allocation from the state treasury, to any county, city, town, or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth.

1950, pp. 464, 465, §§ 1-13.35, 1-13.36; 1960, cc. 251, 307; 1962, c. 315; 1964, c. 404; 1966, c. 78; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-237. Process.

"Process" includes subpoenas, the summons and complaint in a civil action, and process in statutory actions.

1954, c. 543, § 1-13.23:1; 1986, c. 155; 2005, cc. 681, 839.

§ 1-238. Reenacted.

"Reenacted," when used in the title or enactment of a bill or act of the General Assembly, means that the changes enacted to a section of the Code of Virginia or an act of the General Assembly are in addition to the existing substantive provisions in that section or act, and are effective prospectively unless the bill expressly provides that such changes are effective retroactively on a specified date.

The provisions of this section are declaratory of existing public policy and law.

2001, c. 720, § 1-13.39:3; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-239. Repeal not to affect liabilities; mitigation of punishment.

No new act of the General Assembly shall be construed to repeal a former law, as to any offense committed against the former law, or as to any act done, any penalty, forfeiture, or punishment incurred, or any right accrued, or claim arising under the former law, or in any way whatever to affect any such offense or act so committed or done, or any penalty, forfeiture, or punishment so incurred, or any right accrued, or claim arising before the new act of the General Assembly takes effect; except that the proceedings thereafter held shall conform, so far as practicable, to the laws in force at the time of such proceedings; and if any penalty, forfeiture, or punishment be mitigated by any provision of the new act of the General Assembly, such provision may, with the consent of the party affected, be applied to any judgment pronounced after the new act of the General Assembly takes effect.

Code 1919, § 6, § 1-16; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-240. Repeal not to revive former act.

When an act of the General Assembly that has repealed another act shall itself be repealed, the previous act shall not be revived without express words to that effect, unless the act repealing it be passed during the same session.

Code 1919, § 7, § 1-17; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-240.1. Rights of parents.

A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent's child.

2013, cc. 668, 678.

§ 1-241. Seal.

"Seal," when required to be affixed by any court or public office to any paper, includes an impression or print of such official seal made upon the paper. When the seal of any natural person is required, it shall be sufficient for the person to place a mark intended as a seal.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 23, § 1-13.25; 1975, c. 500; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-242. Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.

"Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections," whenever the Committee is referred to as an appointing authority, means the Senate Committee designated under the Rules of the Senate to make Senate appointments to study committees and commissions.

2004, c. 709, § 1-13.25:1; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-243. Severability.

The provisions of acts of the General Assembly or the application thereof to any person or circumstances that are held invalid shall not affect the validity of other acts, provisions, or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications. The provisions of all acts, except for the title of the act, are severable unless (i) the act specifically provides that its provisions are not severable; or (ii) it is apparent that two or more acts or provisions must operate in accord with one another.

1986, c. 239, § 1-17.1; 1987, c. 56; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-244. Short title citations.

Whenever a subtitle, chapter, or article does not have a section or provision establishing or authorizing a short title citation for such subtitle, chapter or article, such subtitle, chapter or article may be cited by its caption. The caption is that word or group of words appearing directly below the numerical designation given the subtitle, chapter or article. Captions are intended as mere catchwords to indicate the contents of the subtitles, chapters, and articles and do not constitute part of the act of the General Assembly.

1993, c. 308, § 1-13.9:1; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-245. State.

"State," when applied to a part of the United States, includes any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 23, § 1-13.26; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 49; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-246. Stricken language or italics.

Stricken language for deletions and italics for additions or changes may be used in legislative drafts, printed bills, enrolled bills, and printed Acts of Assembly, in an attempt to call attention to amendments to existing acts of the General Assembly. The stricken language and italics shall not be construed as evidence of amendments to acts of the General Assembly.

1950, p. 24, § 1-13.34; 1986, c. 155; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-247. Summaries of legislation.

Any legislative summary associated with a bill, joint resolution or resolution, including any summary appearing on the face of such legislation, shall not constitute a part of the legislation considered, agreed to, or enacted, and shall not be used to indicate or infer legislative intent.

1997, c. 375, § 30-19.03:2; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-248. Supremacy of federal and state law.

The Constitution and laws of the United States and of the Commonwealth shall be supreme. Any ordinance, resolution, bylaw, rule, regulation, or order of any governing body or any corporation, board, or number of persons shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the Commonwealth.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 22, § 1-13.17; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-249. Supreme Court.

"Supreme Court" means the Supreme Court of Virginia.

1975, c. 36, § 1-13.27:2; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-250. Swear; sworn.

"Swear" or "sworn" means "affirm" or "affirmed."

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 23, § 1-13.28; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-251. Systems of state highways.

"Systems of state highways" means all systems of highways within the Commonwealth over which the Commonwealth Transportation Board exercises jurisdiction and control. In context, such words shall apply to the extent, but only to the extent, that the Commonwealth Transportation Board exercises such jurisdiction and control.

1970, c. 136, § 1-13.40; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-252. Tier-city.

"Tier-city" means an incorporated community within a consolidated county that (i) has within defined boundaries a population of 5,000 or more, (ii) has been designated as a tier-city by the General Assembly, and (iii) has both the powers of a town and such additional powers as may be granted tier-cities by the General Assembly. All references in this Code and the acts of the General Assembly to towns shall be deemed references to tier-cities, except to the extent tier-cities may be specifically excluded or where the context requires otherwise.

1984, c. 695, §§ 1-13.28:1, 1-13.28:2; 1989, c. 493; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-253. Time zone.

The United States Eastern Standard Time shall be in effect in all parts of the Commonwealth except during the period when the United States Eastern Daylight Time shall be in effect as provided by federal law. This section shall not be construed to be in contravention of federal law, or duly authorized orders of the United States Secretary of Transportation with respect to the time zones of the United States and the application of standard time to interstate commerce and other matters within such zones.

In all laws, statutes, orders, decrees, rules and regulations relating to the time of performance of any act by any officer or agency of the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof, or relating to the time in which any rights shall accrue or determine, or within which any act shall or shall not be performed by any person subject to the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, and in all public schools, institutions of the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions, and contracts or choses in action made or to be performed in the Commonwealth, it shall be understood and intended that the time applicable thereto or referred to or implied therein shall be the United States Eastern Standard Time, or the United States Eastern Daylight Time, when and during such is in effect.

1946, p. 103; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 5b; 1952, c. 637, § 1-15; 1962, c. 617; 1964, c. 646; 1966, c. 581; 1988, c. 177; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-254. Town.

"Town" means any existing town or an incorporated community within one or more counties which became a town before noon, July 1, 1971, as provided by law or which has within defined boundaries a population of 1,000 or more and which has become a town as provided by law.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 24, § 1-13.29; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 49; 1995, c. 155; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-255. United States.

"United States" includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 24, § 1-13.31; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-256. Weights and measurements; metric equivalents.

Words or terms relating to the customary system of weights and measurements include their International System (SI) metric equivalents, but shall not require the posting or publishing of the equivalents along with the customary system of weights and measurements.

1980, c. 465. § 1-15.2; 2005, c. 839.

§ 1-257. Written; writing; in writing.

"Written," "writing," and "in writing" include any representation of words, letters, symbols, numbers, or figures, whether (i) printed or inscribed on a tangible medium or (ii) stored in an electronic or other medium and retrievable in a perceivable form and whether an electronic signature authorized by Chapter 42.1 (§ 59.1-479 et seq.) of Title 59.1 is or is not affixed.

Code 1919, § 5; Code 1950, § 1-13; 1950, p. 24, § 1-13.32; 1999, c. 145; 2000, c. 995; 2005, c. 839.

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

The Virginia General Assembly is offering access to the Code of Virginia on the Internet as a service to the public. We are unable to assist users of this service with legal questions nor respond to requests for legal advice or the application of the law to specific facts. Therefore, to understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.

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