Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 9. Branch Pilots
9/28/2021

Article 1. Board for Branch Pilots.

§ 54.1-900. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Board" means the Board for Branch Pilots.

"Branch pilots" means pilots who have qualified and been licensed in accordance with the provisions of § 54.1-905.

"Limited branch pilots" means pilots who have qualified and been licensed in accordance with the provisions of § 54.1-909.

"Pilot" means branch pilot and limited branch pilot.

Code 1950, § 54-525; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-901. Appointment and removal of members; quorum; clerk.

The Board for Branch Pilots shall consist of nine members to be appointed as follows: the Circuit Court of the City of Hampton shall appoint three persons, only one of whom shall be a branch pilot, and the Circuit Court of the City of Norfolk shall appoint four persons, only two of whom shall be branch pilots, and the Circuit Court of the City of Portsmouth shall appoint two persons, only one of whom shall be a branch pilot. The court which appointed a member may remove him for incapacity, neglect of duty or misconduct and may fill the vacancy.

Four members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. The Board shall appoint a clerk, who shall keep a record of the Board's proceedings.

Code 1950, §§ 54-527, 54-528, 54-530, 54-531; 1978, c. 834; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-902. Regulations; suspension or revocation of license; penalty for violation.

A. The Board is authorized to promulgate regulations necessary for the proper government and regulation of pilots and to prescribe penalties for the violation of regulations in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). Regulations may include the right to suspend or revoke the branch of any pilot. Such suspension or revocation may be in addition to any other penalty imposed by law for the violation.

Reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the Administrative Process Act shall be given before the Board shall take any action to revoke or suspend the license of any licensee.

B. The Board may suspend a license of any person without a hearing, simultaneously with the institution of proceedings for a hearing, if it finds that there is substantial danger to the public health or safety which warrants such action. The Board may meet by telephone conference call when summarily suspending a license, if a good faith effort to assemble a quorum of the Board has failed and in the judgment of a majority of the members of the Board, the continued practice of the licensee constitutes a substantial danger to the public health or safety. Institution of proceeding for a hearing shall be provided simultaneously with the summary suspension. The hearing shall be scheduled within a reasonable time of the date of the summary suspension.

C. Before any penalty for violation of the regulations may be imposed, a printed copy of the regulations shall be furnished to each pilot.

Code 1950, § 54-529; 1988, c. 765; 1989, c. 584.

§ 54.1-903. Decisions of controversies between pilots and masters, etc.; judgment of Board.

The Board may decide any controversy between pilots or between a pilot and the master, owner, or consignee of any vessel, which may arise under any law concerning pilots in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). If the decision requires the payment of money, the Board shall enter a judgment therefor on the record of its proceedings. When an authorized officer receives a copy of the judgment, he shall enforce the payment as if it were an execution against the property of the debtor.

Code 1950, §§ 54-533, 54-534; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-904. Limitation of powers of Board.

Nothing in this chapter shall authorize the Board to decide upon the liability of a pilot or his apprentice to any person injured by his negligence or misconduct, or to prevent such person from recovering for any damage occasioned thereby.

Code 1950, § 54-535; 1988, c. 765.