Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 53.1. Prisons and Other Methods of Correction
Subtitle .
Chapter 11. Estates of Prisoners

Chapter 11. Estates of Prisoners.

§ 53.1-221. Appointment of committee; bond.

A. When a person is convicted of a felony and sentenced to confinement in a state correctional facility, his estate, both real and personal, may, on motion of any party interested, be committed by the circuit court of the county or city in which his estate, or some part thereof is, to a person selected by the court.

B. If a person so convicted and sentenced, whether a resident or a nonresident of Virginia, has no property or estate in the Commonwealth, a committee may be appointed for him, on motion of any party interested, by the circuit court of the county or city wherein the offense for which he was convicted was committed.

C. A committee appointed pursuant to this section shall give such bond, either secured or unsecured, as is required by the court and shall be subject to all applicable provisions of Part A (§ 64.2-1200 et seq.) of Subtitle IV of Title 64.2.

D. A person for whom a committee is appointed pursuant to this section is not thereby deprived of the capacity to make a will and, unless and until a committee is appointed, such person shall continue to have the same capacity, rights, powers, and authority over his estate, affairs, and property that he had prior to such conviction and sentencing.

Code 1950, §§ 53-305, 53-306; 1952, c. 293; 1982, c. 636; 2007, c. 508.

§ 53.1-222. Powers and liabilities of committee; prosecution and defense of suits to which prisoner is party.

A committee appointed pursuant to § 53.1-221 may sue and be sued in respect to all claims or demands of every nature in favor of or against such prisoner and against any of the prisoner's estate. All actions or suits to which the prisoner is a party at the time of his conviction shall be prosecuted or defended, as the case may be, by such committee after ten days' notice of the pendency thereof, which notice shall be given by the clerk of the court in which the same are pending.

Code 1950, § 53-307; 1980, c. 504; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-223. Restriction on suits against prisoners.

No action or suit on any claim or demand, except suits for divorce, actions to establish a parent and child relationship between a child and a prisoner and actions to establish a prisoner's child support obligation, shall be maintained against a prisoner after judgment of conviction and while he is incarcerated, except through his committee, unless a guardian ad litem is appointed for the prisoner pursuant to § 8.01-9, or an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth has entered of record an appearance for such prisoner. However, in any suit for divorce instituted against a prisoner, the court shall appoint a committee prior to any determination as to the property of the parties under § 20-107.3.

Code 1950, § 53-307.1; 1980, c. 504; 1982, c. 636; 1992, c. 398; 2000, c. 404; 2006, c. 553.

§ 53.1-224. Maintenance of prisoner's family; spouse's portion.

The committee shall allow, subject to the claims of creditors, a sufficient maintenance out of the prisoner's estate for the prisoner's spouse and family, if any. The spouse shall be entitled, so long as the prisoner is confined, to the profits of such portion of the prisoner's estate as the spouse would have if the prisoner had died intestate.

Code 1950, § 53-308; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-225. Accounting and motion for discharge when prisoner released; delivery of estate to prisoner.

Within ten days from the date of a prisoner's release from confinement, his committee shall file with the circuit court a statement of accounts of all real or personal property or both which the committee received, disbursed or was chargeable with on behalf of the prisoner. Such accounting shall be accompanied by a motion requesting the court to discharge the committee from his duties. Thereafter, the committee shall deliver the estate of the prisoner to the prisoner or his personal representatives on his death.

Code 1950, §§ 53-309, 53-310; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-226. When estate committed to sheriff.

If any person appointed committee refuse the trust or fail to give bond as required, the court, on motion of an interested party, shall commit the estate to the sheriff of the county or city who shall be the committee. The sheriff and the sureties on his official bond shall be bound for the faithful performance of the trust.

Code 1950, § 53-311; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-227. When and how real estate of prisoner sold or encumbered.

The real estate of a prisoner may be leased or sold, when necessary for the payment of his debts, in accordance with Article 8 (§ 8.01-67 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 8.01. Any such real estate or the real estate in which such prisoner is interested with others, infants or adults, may be sold, exchanged for other real estate, or encumbered for the purpose of borrowing money to be used to erect buildings or other improvements on the same.

Code 1950, § 53-312; 1982, c. 636; 1997, c. 801.

§ 53.1-228. Disposal of unclaimed personal property of prisoner.

If any prisoner in a state, local or community correctional facility, upon being transferred to another facility, leaves personal property valued at less than $100 in the custody of such facility for 30 days after his transfer without making a claim therefor, or if any prisoner, upon being released or having escaped, leaves such property at the time of his release or escape, the Director or the sheriff, as the case may be, may sell such property at public sale or may otherwise dispose of the property. The proceeds of such sale shall escheat to the Commonwealth and shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Literary Fund.

Code 1950, § 53-312.1; 1956, c. 344; 1981, c. 497; 1982, c. 636; 2010, c. 124.

§ 53.1-228.1. Inmate payment for damaged property.

The Director, and each jail superintendent or sheriff who operates a correctional facility, are authorized to establish administrative procedures for recovering, from an inmate, the cost of replacing or repairing any facility-owned or facility-issued property which is proven to have been intentionally damaged or destroyed by the inmate. Such administrative procedures shall ensure that the inmate is afforded due process.

1996, c. 669; 2020, c. 759.