Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 16.1. Courts Not of Record
5/23/2018

Article 3. Jurisdiction and Venue.

§ 16.1-241. Jurisdiction; consent for abortion.

The judges of the juvenile and domestic relations district court elected or appointed under this law shall be conservators of the peace within the corporate limits of the cities and the boundaries of the counties for which they are respectively chosen and within one mile beyond the limits of such cities and counties. Except as hereinafter provided, each juvenile and domestic relations district court shall have, within the limits of the territory for which it is created, exclusive original jurisdiction, and within one mile beyond the limits of said city or county, concurrent jurisdiction with the juvenile court or courts of the adjoining city or county, over all cases, matters and proceedings involving:

A. The custody, visitation, support, control or disposition of a child:

1. Who is alleged to be abused, neglected, in need of services, in need of supervision, a status offender, or delinquent except where the jurisdiction of the juvenile court has been terminated or divested;

2. Who is abandoned by his parent or other custodian or who by reason of the absence or physical or mental incapacity of his parents is without parental care and guardianship;

2a. Who is at risk of being abused or neglected by a parent or custodian who has been adjudicated as having abused or neglected another child in the care of the parent or custodian;

3. Whose custody, visitation or support is a subject of controversy or requires determination. In such cases jurisdiction shall be concurrent with and not exclusive of courts having equity jurisdiction, except as provided in § 16.1-244;

4. Who is the subject of an entrustment agreement entered into pursuant to § 63.2-903 or 63.2-1817 or whose parent or parents for good cause desire to be relieved of his care and custody;

5. Where the termination of residual parental rights and responsibilities is sought. In such cases jurisdiction shall be concurrent with and not exclusive of courts having equity jurisdiction, as provided in § 16.1-244;

6. Who is charged with a traffic infraction as defined in § 46.2-100; or

7. Who is alleged to have refused to take a blood test in violation of § 18.2-268.2.

In any case in which the juvenile is alleged to have committed a violent juvenile felony enumerated in subsection B of § 16.1-269.1, and for any charges ancillary thereto, the jurisdiction of the juvenile court shall be limited to conducting a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile committed the act alleged and that the juvenile was 14 years of age or older at the time of the commission of the alleged offense, and any matters related thereto. In any case in which the juvenile is alleged to have committed a violent juvenile felony enumerated in subsection C of § 16.1-269.1, and for all charges ancillary thereto, if the attorney for the Commonwealth has given notice as provided in subsection C of § 16.1-269.1, the jurisdiction of the juvenile court shall be limited to conducting a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile committed the act alleged and that the juvenile was 14 years of age or older at the time of the commission of the alleged offense, and any matters related thereto. A determination by the juvenile court following a preliminary hearing pursuant to subsection B or C of § 16.1-269.1 to certify a charge to the grand jury shall divest the juvenile court of jurisdiction over the charge and any ancillary charge. In any case in which a transfer hearing is held pursuant to subsection A of § 16.1-269.1, if the juvenile court determines to transfer the case, jurisdiction of the juvenile court over the case shall be divested as provided in § 16.1-269.6.

In all other cases involving delinquent acts, and in cases in which an ancillary charge remains after a violent juvenile felony charge has been dismissed or a violent juvenile felony has been reduced to a lesser offense not constituting a violent juvenile felony, the jurisdiction of the juvenile court shall not be divested unless there is a transfer pursuant to subsection A of § 16.1-269.1.

The authority of the juvenile court to adjudicate matters involving the custody, visitation, support, control or disposition of a child shall not be limited to the consideration of petitions filed by a mother, father or legal guardian but shall include petitions filed at any time by any party with a legitimate interest therein. A party with a legitimate interest shall be broadly construed and shall include, but not be limited to, grandparents, step-grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relatives and family members. A party with a legitimate interest shall not include any person (i) whose parental rights have been terminated by court order, either voluntarily or involuntarily, (ii) whose interest in the child derives from or through a person whose parental rights have been terminated by court order, either voluntarily or involuntarily, including, but not limited to, grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relatives and family members, if the child subsequently has been legally adopted, except where a final order of adoption is entered pursuant to § 63.2-1241, or (iii) who has been convicted of a violation of subsection A of § 18.2-61, § 18.2-63, subsection B of § 18.2-366, or an equivalent offense of another state, the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction, when the child who is the subject of the petition was conceived as a result of such violation. The authority of the juvenile court to consider a petition involving the custody of a child shall not be proscribed or limited where the child has previously been awarded to the custody of a local board of social services.

B. The admission of minors for inpatient treatment in a mental health facility in accordance with the provisions of Article 16 (§ 16.1-335 et seq.) and the involuntary admission of a person with mental illness or judicial certification of eligibility for admission to a training center for persons with intellectual disability in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 8 (§ 37.2-800 et seq.) of Title 37.2. Jurisdiction of the involuntary admission and certification of adults shall be concurrent with the general district court.

C. Except as provided in subsections D and H, judicial consent to such activities as may require parental consent may be given for a child who has been separated from his parents, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis and is in the custody of the court when such consent is required by law.

D. Judicial consent for emergency surgical or medical treatment for a child who is neither married nor has ever been married, when the consent of his parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis is unobtainable because such parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis (i) is not a resident of the Commonwealth, (ii) has his whereabouts unknown, (iii) cannot be consulted with promptness, reasonable under the circumstances, or (iv) fails to give such consent or provide such treatment when requested by the judge to do so.

E. Any person charged with deserting, abandoning or failing to provide support for any person in violation of law.

F. Any parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis of a child:

1. Who has been abused or neglected;

2. Who is the subject of an entrustment agreement entered into pursuant to § 63.2-903 or 63.2-1817 or is otherwise before the court pursuant to subdivision A 4; or

3. Who has been adjudicated in need of services, in need of supervision, or delinquent, if the court finds that such person has by overt act or omission induced, caused, encouraged or contributed to the conduct of the child complained of in the petition.

G. Petitions filed by or on behalf of a child or such child's parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis for the purpose of obtaining treatment, rehabilitation or other services that are required by law to be provided for that child or such child's parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis. Jurisdiction in such cases shall be concurrent with and not exclusive of that of courts having equity jurisdiction as provided in § 16.1-244.

H. Judicial consent to apply for a work permit for a child when such child is separated from his parents, legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis.

I. The prosecution and punishment of persons charged with ill-treatment, abuse, abandonment or neglect of children or with any violation of law that causes or tends to cause a child to come within the purview of this law, or with any other offense against the person of a child. In prosecution for felonies over which the court has jurisdiction, jurisdiction shall be limited to determining whether or not there is probable cause.

J. All offenses in which one family or household member is charged with an offense in which another family or household member is the victim and all offenses under § 18.2-49.1.

In prosecution for felonies over which the court has jurisdiction, jurisdiction shall be limited to determining whether or not there is probable cause. Any objection based on jurisdiction under this subsection shall be made before a jury is impaneled and sworn in a jury trial or, in a nonjury trial, before the earlier of when the court begins to hear or receive evidence or the first witness is sworn, or it shall be conclusively waived for all purposes. Any such objection shall not affect or be grounds for challenging directly or collaterally the jurisdiction of the court in which the case is tried.

K. Petitions filed by a natural parent, whose parental rights to a child have been voluntarily relinquished pursuant to a court proceeding, to seek a reversal of the court order terminating such parental rights. No such petition shall be accepted, however, after the child has been placed in the home of adoptive parents.

L. Any person who seeks spousal support after having separated from his spouse. A decision under this subdivision shall not be res judicata in any subsequent action for spousal support in a circuit court. A circuit court shall have concurrent original jurisdiction in all causes of action under this subdivision.

M. Petitions filed for the purpose of obtaining an order of protection pursuant to § 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, or 16.1-279.1, and all petitions filed for the purpose of obtaining an order of protection pursuant to § 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9, or 19.2-152.10 if either the alleged victim or the respondent is a juvenile.

N. Any person who escapes or remains away without proper authority from a residential care facility in which he had been placed by the court or as a result of his commitment to the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice.

O. Petitions for emancipation of a minor pursuant to Article 15 (§ 16.1-331 et seq.).

P. Petitions for enforcement of administrative support orders entered pursuant to Chapter 19 (§ 63.2-1900 et seq.) of Title 63.2, or by another state in the same manner as if the orders were entered by a juvenile and domestic relations district court upon the filing of a certified copy of such order in the juvenile and domestic relations district court.

Q. Petitions for a determination of parentage pursuant to Chapter 3.1 (§ 20-49.1 et seq.) of Title 20. A circuit court shall have concurrent original jurisdiction to the extent provided for in § 20-49.2.

R. [Repealed.]

S. Petitions filed by school boards against parents pursuant to §§ 16.1-241.2 and 22.1-279.3.

T. Petitions to enforce any request for information or subpoena that is not complied with or to review any refusal to issue a subpoena in an administrative appeal regarding child abuse and neglect pursuant to § 63.2-1526.

U. Petitions filed in connection with parental placement adoption consent hearings pursuant to § 63.2-1233. Such proceedings shall be advanced on the docket so as to be heard by the court within 10 days of filing of the petition, or as soon thereafter as practicable so as to provide the earliest possible disposition.

V. Petitions filed for the purpose of obtaining the court's assistance with the execution of consent to an adoption when the consent to an adoption is executed pursuant to the laws of another state and the laws of that state provide for the execution of consent to an adoption in the court of the Commonwealth.

W. Petitions filed by a juvenile seeking judicial authorization for a physician to perform an abortion if a minor elects not to seek consent of an authorized person.

After a hearing, a judge shall issue an order authorizing a physician to perform an abortion, without the consent of any authorized person, if he finds that (i) the minor is mature enough and well enough informed to make her abortion decision, in consultation with her physician, independent of the wishes of any authorized person, or (ii) the minor is not mature enough or well enough informed to make such decision, but the desired abortion would be in her best interest.

If the judge authorizes an abortion based on the best interests of the minor, such order shall expressly state that such authorization is subject to the physician or his agent giving notice of intent to perform the abortion; however, no such notice shall be required if the judge finds that such notice would not be in the best interest of the minor. In determining whether notice is in the best interest of the minor, the judge shall consider the totality of the circumstances; however, he shall find that notice is not in the best interest of the minor if he finds that (i) one or more authorized persons with whom the minor regularly and customarily resides is abusive or neglectful, and (ii) every other authorized person, if any, is either abusive or neglectful or has refused to accept responsibility as parent, legal guardian, custodian or person standing in loco parentis.

The minor may participate in the court proceedings on her own behalf, and the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor. The court shall advise the minor that she has a right to counsel and shall, upon her request, appoint counsel for her.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subsection shall govern proceedings relating to consent for a minor's abortion. Court proceedings under this subsection and records of such proceedings shall be confidential. Such proceedings shall be given precedence over other pending matters so that the court may reach a decision promptly and without delay in order to serve the best interests of the minor. Court proceedings under this subsection shall be heard and decided as soon as practicable but in no event later than four days after the petition is filed.

An expedited confidential appeal to the circuit court shall be available to any minor for whom the court denies an order authorizing an abortion without consent or without notice. Any such appeal shall be heard and decided no later than five days after the appeal is filed. The time periods required by this subsection shall be subject to subsection B of § 1-210. An order authorizing an abortion without consent or without notice shall not be subject to appeal.

No filing fees shall be required of the minor at trial or upon appeal.

If either the original court or the circuit court fails to act within the time periods required by this subsection, the court before which the proceeding is pending shall immediately authorize a physician to perform the abortion without consent of or notice to an authorized person.

Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to authorize a physician to perform an abortion on a minor in circumstances or in a manner that would be unlawful if performed on an adult woman.

A physician shall not knowingly perform an abortion upon an unemancipated minor unless consent has been obtained or the minor delivers to the physician a court order entered pursuant to this section and the physician or his agent provides such notice as such order may require. However, neither consent nor judicial authorization nor notice shall be required if the minor declares that she is abused or neglected and the attending physician has reason to suspect that the minor may be an abused or neglected child as defined in § 63.2-100 and reports the suspected abuse or neglect in accordance with § 63.2-1509; or if there is a medical emergency, in which case the attending physician shall certify the facts justifying the exception in the minor's medical record.

For purposes of this subsection:

"Authorization" means the minor has delivered to the physician a notarized, written statement signed by an authorized person that the authorized person knows of the minor's intent to have an abortion and consents to such abortion being performed on the minor.

"Authorized person" means (i) a parent or duly appointed legal guardian or custodian of the minor or (ii) a person standing in loco parentis, including, but not limited to, a grandparent or adult sibling with whom the minor regularly and customarily resides and who has care and control of the minor. Any person who knows he is not an authorized person and who knowingly and willfully signs an authorization statement consenting to an abortion for a minor is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

"Consent" means that (i) the physician has given notice of intent to perform the abortion and has received authorization from an authorized person, or (ii) at least one authorized person is present with the minor seeking the abortion and provides written authorization to the physician, which shall be witnessed by the physician or an agent thereof. In either case, the written authorization shall be incorporated into the minor's medical record and maintained as a part thereof.

"Medical emergency" means any condition which, on the basis of the physician's good faith clinical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of the pregnant minor as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or for which a delay will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.

"Notice of intent to perform the abortion" means that (i) the physician or his agent has given actual notice of his intention to perform such abortion to an authorized person, either in person or by telephone, at least 24 hours previous to the performance of the abortion; or (ii) the physician or his agent, after a reasonable effort to notify an authorized person, has mailed notice to an authorized person by certified mail, addressed to such person at his usual place of abode, with return receipt requested, at least 72 hours prior to the performance of the abortion.

"Perform an abortion" means to interrupt or terminate a pregnancy by any surgical or nonsurgical procedure or to induce a miscarriage as provided in § 18.2-72, 18.2-73, or 18.2-74.

"Unemancipated minor" means a minor who has not been emancipated by (i) entry into a valid marriage, even though the marriage may have been terminated by dissolution; (ii) active duty with any of the Armed Forces of the United States; (iii) willingly living separate and apart from his or her parents or guardian, with the consent or acquiescence of the parents or guardian; or (iv) entry of an order of emancipation pursuant to Article 15 (§ 16.1-331 et seq.).

X. Petitions filed pursuant to Article 17 (§ 16.1-349 et seq.) relating to standby guardians for minor children.

The ages specified in this law refer to the age of the child at the time of the acts complained of in the petition.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no fees shall be charged by a sheriff for the service of any process in a proceeding pursuant to subdivision A 3, except as provided in subdivision A 6 of § 17.1-272, or subsection B, D, M, or R.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 18.2-71, any physician who performs an abortion in violation of subsection W shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 16.1-158; 1956, c. 555; 1960, c. 388; 1968, c. 225; 1970, cc. 232, 600; 1973, c. 440; 1976, cc. 42, 324; 1977, cc. 525, 559; 1978, c. 648; 1979, cc. 597, 605, 628; 1980, cc. 527, 529; 1981, cc. 454, 475, 488, 491, 501, 502, 510; 1982, c. 46; 1983, c. 280; 1984, cc. 631, 645, 651, 665, 669; 1985, c. 270; 1986, cc. 59, 506; 1987, c. 632; 1988, cc. 797, 906; 1989, cc. 368, 733; 1990, cc. 704, 975; 1991, cc. 511, 715; 1992, cc. 585, 742; 1994, cc. 575, 719, 813, 859, 949; 1995, cc. 7, 665, 772, 826, 852; 1996, cc. 755, 914; 1997, cc. 690, 708; 1998, c. 829; 1999, cc. 697, 721, 1028; 2000, c. 830; 2003, cc. 229, 960, 962; 2004, c. 588; 2005, cc. 716, 839, 890; 2007, cc. 284, 370; 2008, cc. 164, 201; 2010, c. 402; 2012, cc. 424, 476, 507, 637; 2014, c. 653; 2017, c. 623.

§ 16.1-241.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2002, c. 305.

§ 16.1-241.2. Proceedings against certain parents.

A. Upon the failure of a parent to comply with the provisions of § 22.1-279.3, the school board may, by petition to the juvenile and domestic relations court, proceed against such parent for willful and unreasonable refusal to participate in efforts to improve the student's behavior as follows:

1. If the court finds that the parent has willfully and unreasonably failed to meet, pursuant to a request of the principal as set forth in subsection D of § 22.1-279.3, to review the school board's standards of student conduct and the parent's responsibility to assist the school in disciplining the student, maintaining order, or ensuring the child's school attendance, and to discuss improvement of the child's behavior, school attendance, or educational progress, it may order the parent to so meet; or

2. If the court finds that the parent has willfully and unreasonably failed to accompany a suspended student to meet with school officials pursuant to subsection F of § 22.1-279.3, or upon the student receiving a second suspension or being expelled, it may order (i) the student or his parent to participate in such programs or such treatment as the court deems appropriate to improve the student's behavior, including, but not limited to, extended day programs and summer school or other education programs and counseling, or (ii) the student or his parent to be subject to such conditions and limitations as the court deems appropriate for the supervision, care, and rehabilitation of the student or his parent; in addition, the court may order the parent to pay a civil penalty not to exceed $500.

The court may use its contempt power to enforce any order entered under this section.

B. The civil penalties established pursuant to this section shall be enforceable in the juvenile and domestic relations court or its successor in interest in which the student's school is located and shall be paid into a fund maintained by the appropriate local governing body to support programs or treatments designed to improve the behavior and school attendance of students as described in subdivision 2 of subsection G of § 22.1-279.3. Upon the failure to pay any civil penalties imposed by this section and § 22.1-279.3, the attorney for the appropriate county, city, or town shall enforce the collection of such civil penalties.

C. For the purposes of this section and § 22.1-279.3, "parent" or "parents" means any parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person having control or charge of a child.

1994, c. 813; 1995, c. 852; 1996, c. 771; 2004, c. 573.

§ 16.1-241.3. Newborn children; substance abuse.

Upon the filing of a petition alleging that an investigation has been commenced in response to a report of suspected abuse or neglect of the child based upon a factor specified in subsection B of § 63.2-1509, the court may enter any order authorized pursuant to this chapter which the court deems necessary to protect the health and welfare of the child pending final disposition of the investigation pursuant to Chapter 15 (§ 63.2-1500 et seq.) of Title 63.2 or other proceedings brought pursuant to this chapter. Such orders may include, but shall not be limited to, an emergency removal order pursuant to § 16.1-251, a preliminary protective order pursuant to § 16.1-253 or an order authorized pursuant to subdivisions A 1 through 4 of § 16.1-278.2. The fact that an order was entered pursuant to this section shall not be admissible as evidence in any criminal, civil or administrative proceeding other than a proceeding to enforce the order.

The order shall be effective for a limited duration not to exceed the period of time necessary to conclude the investigation and any proceedings initiated pursuant to Chapter 15 (§ 63.2-1500 et seq.) of Title 63.2, but shall be a final order subject to appeal.

1998, cc. 704, 716; 2002, c. 860; 2012, cc. 504, 640.

§ 16.1-242. Retention of jurisdiction.

When jurisdiction has been obtained by the court in the case of any child, such jurisdiction may be retained by the court until such person becomes twenty-one years of age, except when the person is in the custody of the Department or when jurisdiction is divested under the provisions of § 16.1-244. In any event, when such person reaches the age of twenty-one and a prosecution has not been commenced against him, he shall be proceeded against as an adult, even if he was a juvenile when the offense was committed.

Code 1950, § 16.1-159; 1956, c. 555; 1977, c. 559; 1978, c. 740; 1992, c. 509.

§ 16.1-242.1. Retention of jurisdiction; appeals involving children in foster care.

Upon appeal to the circuit court of any case involving a child placed in foster care and in any appeal to the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court of Virginia, the juvenile court shall retain jurisdiction to continue to hear petitions filed pursuant to §§ 16.1-282 and 16.1-282.1. Orders of the juvenile court in such cases shall continue to be reviewed and enforced by the juvenile court until the circuit court, Court of Appeals or Supreme Court rules otherwise.

1998, c. 550.

§ 16.1-243. Venue.

A. Original venue:

1. Cases involving children, other than support or where protective order issued: Proceedings with respect to children under this law, except support proceedings as provided in subdivision 2 or family abuse proceedings as provided in subdivision 3, shall:

a. Delinquency: If delinquency is alleged, be commenced in the city or county where the acts constituting the alleged delinquency occurred or they may, with the written consent of the child and the attorney for the Commonwealth for both jurisdictions, be commenced in the city or county where the child resides;

b. Custody or visitation: In cases involving custody or visitation, be commenced in the court of the city or county which, in order of priority, (i) is the home of the child at the time of the filing of the petition, or had been the home of the child within six months before the filing of the petition and the child is absent from the city or county because of his removal or retention by a person claiming his custody or for other reasons, and a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in the city or county, (ii) has significant connection with the child and in which there is substantial evidence concerning the child's present or future care, protection, training and personal relationships, (iii) is where the child is physically present and the child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because he has been subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse or is otherwise neglected or dependent or (iv) it is in the best interest of the child for the court to assume jurisdiction as no other city or county is an appropriate venue under the preceding provisions of this subdivision;

c. Adoption: In parental placement adoption consent hearings pursuant to §§ 16.1-241, 63.2-1233, and 63.2-1237, be commenced in any city or county, provided, however, that diligent efforts shall first be made to commence such hearings (i) in the city or county where the child to be adopted was born, (ii) in the city or county where the birth parent(s) reside, or (iii) in the city or county where the prospective adoptive parent(s) reside. In cases in which a hearing is commenced in a city or county other than one described in clauses (i) through (iii), the petitioner shall certify in writing to the court that diligent efforts to commence a hearing in such city or county have been made but have proven ineffective; and

d. All other cases: In all other proceedings, be commenced in the city or county where the child resides or in the city or county where the child is present when the proceedings are commenced.

2. Support: Proceedings that involve child or spousal support or child and spousal support, exclusive of proceedings arising under Chapter 5 (§ 20-61 et seq.) of Title 20, shall be commenced in the city or county where either party resides or in the city or county where the respondent is present when the proceeding commences.

3. Family abuse: Proceedings in which an order of protection is sought as a result of family abuse shall be commenced where (i) either party has his or her principal residence (ii) the abuse occurred or (iii) a protective order was issued if at the time the proceeding is commenced the order is in effect to protect the petitioner or a family or household member of the petitioner.

B. Transfer of venue:

1. Generally: Except in custody, visitation and support cases, if the child resides in a city or county of the Commonwealth and the proceeding is commenced in a court of another city or county, that court may at any time, on its own motion or a motion of a party for good cause shown, transfer the proceeding to the city or county of the child's residence for such further action or proceedings as the court receiving the transfer may deem proper. However, such transfer may occur only after adjudication in delinquency proceedings.

2. Custody and visitation: In custody and visitation cases, if venue lies in one of several cities or counties, the court in which the motion for transfer is made shall determine which such city or county is the most appropriate venue unless the parties mutually agree to the selection of venue. In the consideration of the motion, the best interests of the child shall determine the most appropriate forum.

3. Support: In support proceedings, exclusive of proceedings arising under Chapter 5 of Title 20, if the respondent resides in a city or county in the Commonwealth and the proceeding is commenced in a court of another city or county, that court may, at any time on its own motion or a motion of a party for good cause shown or by agreement of the parties, transfer the proceeding to the city or county of the respondent's residence for such further action or proceedings as the court receiving the transfer may deem proper. For the purposes of determining venue of cases involving support, the respondent's residence shall include any city or county in which the respondent has resided within the last six months prior to the commencement of the proceeding or in which the respondent is residing at the time that the motion for transfer of venue is made. If venue is transferable to one of several cities or counties, the court in which the motion for transfer is made shall determine which such city or county is the most appropriate venue unless the parties mutually agree to the selection of such venue.

When the support proceeding is a companion case to a child custody or visitation proceeding, the provisions governing venue in the proceeding involving the child's custody or visitation shall govern.

4. Subsequent transfers: Any court receiving a transferred proceeding as provided in this section may in its discretion transfer such proceeding to a court in an appropriate venue for good cause shown based either upon changes in circumstances or mistakes of fact or upon agreement of the parties. In any transfer of venue in cases involving children, the best interests of the child shall be considered in deciding if and to which court a transfer of venue would be appropriate.

5. Enforcement of orders for support, maintenance and custody: Any juvenile and domestic relations district court to which a suit is transferred for enforcement of orders pertaining to support, maintenance, care or custody pursuant to § 20-79 (c) may transfer the case as provided in this section.

C. Records: Originals of all legal and social records pertaining to the case shall accompany the transfer of venue. Records imaged from the original documents shall be considered original documents for purposes of the transfer of venue. The transferor court may, in its discretion, retain copies as it deems appropriate.

Code 1950, § 16.1-160; 1956, c. 555; 1977, c. 559; 1985, c. 367; 1987, cc. 598, 608, 620; 1989, c. 545; 1995, cc. 772, 826; 1996, c. 866; 2000, c. 830; 2010, cc. 717, 760; 2012, c. 424.

§ 16.1-244. Concurrent jurisdiction; exceptions.

A. Nothing contained in this law shall deprive any other court of the concurrent jurisdiction to determine the custody of children upon a writ of habeas corpus under the law, or to determine the custody, guardianship, visitation or support of children when such custody, guardianship, visitation or support is incidental to the determination of causes pending in such courts, nor deprive a circuit court of jurisdiction to determine spousal support in a suit for separate maintenance. However, when a suit for divorce has been filed in a circuit court, in which the custody, guardianship, visitation or support of children of the parties or spousal support is raised by the pleadings and a hearing, including a pendente lite hearing, is set by the circuit court on any such issue for a date certain or on a motions docket to be heard within 21 days of the filing, the juvenile and domestic relations district courts shall be divested of the right to enter any further decrees or orders to determine custody, guardianship, visitation or support when raised for such hearing and such matters shall be determined by the circuit court unless both parties agreed to a referral to the juvenile court. Nothing in this section shall deprive a circuit court of the authority to refer any such case to a commissioner for a hearing or shall deprive the juvenile and domestic relations district courts of the jurisdiction to enforce its valid orders prior to the entry of a conflicting order of any circuit court for any period during which the order was in effect or to temporarily place a child in the custody of any person when that child has been adjudicated abused, neglected, in need of services or delinquent subsequent to the order of any circuit court.

B. Jurisdiction of cases involving violations of federal law by a child shall be concurrent and shall be assumed only if waived by the federal court or the United States attorney.

Code 1950, § 16.1-161; 1956, c. 555; 1977, c. 559; 1978, c. 740; 1984, cc. 657, 669; 1985, c. 183; 1987, c. 36; 1989, c. 509; 1990, c. 600; 2000, c. 781; 2003, c. 129.

§ 16.1-245. Transfer from other courts.

If, during the pendency of a proceeding in any other court, it is ascertained for the first time that exclusive jurisdiction lies within the juvenile and domestic relations district court, such court shall forthwith transfer the case, together with all papers, documents and evidence connected therewith, to the juvenile and domestic relations district court of the city or county having jurisdiction. The court making the transfer shall determine who is to have custody of the child pending action by the juvenile and domestic relations district court pursuant to § 16.1-247. If, during the pendency of a proceeding in the juvenile and domestic relations district court, it is ascertained for the first time that exclusive jurisdiction lies in the general district or circuit court, the juvenile and domestic relations district court shall likewise transfer the case to the appropriate court.

Code 1950, § 16.1-175; 1956, c. 555; 1977, c. 559; 1992, c. 496.

§ 16.1-245.1. Medical evidence admissible in juvenile and domestic relations district court.

In any civil case heard in a juvenile and domestic relations district court involving allegations of child abuse or neglect or family abuse, any party may present evidence, by a report from the treating or examining health care provider as defined in § 8.01-581.1 or the records of a hospital, medical facility or laboratory at which the treatment, examination or laboratory analysis was performed, or both, as to the extent, nature, and treatment of any physical condition or injury suffered by a person and the examination of the person or the result of the laboratory analysis.

A medical report shall be admitted if the party intending to present such evidence at trial or hearing gives the opposing party or parties a copy of the evidence and written notice of intention to present it at least ten days, or in the case of a preliminary removal hearing under § 16.1-252 or § 16.1-253.1 at least twenty-four hours, prior to the trial or hearing and if attached to such evidence is a sworn statement of the treating or examining health care provider or laboratory analyst who made the report that (i) the information contained therein is true, accurate, and fully describes the nature and extent of the physical condition or injury and (ii) the patient named therein was the person treated or examined by such health care provider; or, in the case of a laboratory analysis, that the information contained therein is true and accurate.

A hospital or other medical facility record shall be admitted if attached to it is a sworn statement of the custodian thereof that the same is a true and accurate copy of the record of such hospital or other medical facility. If thereafter a party summons the health care provider or custodian making such statement to testify in proper person or by deposition taken de bene esse, the court shall determine which party shall pay the fees and costs for such appearance or depositions, or may apportion the same among the parties in such proportion as the ends of justice may require. If such health care provider or custodian is not subject to subpoena for cross-examination in court or by a deposition de bene esse, then the court shall allow a reasonable opportunity for the party seeking the subpoena for such health care provider or custodian to obtain his testimony as the ends of justice may require.

1990, c. 560; 1996, c. 866; 2000, c. 163.

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.

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