Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 25. Extraordinary Writs
6/22/2021

Article 1. Writ of Quo Warranto.

§ 8.01-635. Common-law writ of quo warranto and information in the nature of writ of quo warranto abolished; statutory writ of quo warranto established.

The common-law writ of quo warranto and information in the nature of writ of quo warranto is hereby abolished and superseded by the statutory writ of quo warranto.

1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-636. In what cases writ issued.

A writ of quo warranto may be issued and prosecuted in the name of the Commonwealth in any of the following cases:

1. Against a domestic corporation, other than a municipal corporation, for the misuse or nonuse of its corporate privileges and franchises, or for the exercise of a privilege or franchise not conferred upon it by law, or when a charter of incorporation has been obtained by it for a fraudulent purpose, or for a purpose not authorized by law;

2. Against a person for the misuse or nonuse of any privilege conferred upon him by law;

2a. Against a person engaged in the practice of any profession without being duly authorized or licensed to do so;

3. Against any person or persons acting as a corporation, other than a municipal corporation, without authority of law; and

4. Against any person who intrudes into or usurps any public office. But no writ shall be issued or prosecuted against any person now in office for any cause which would have been available in support of a proceeding to contest his election.

Provided that nothing herein shall be construed to give jurisdiction to any court to judge the election, qualifications, or returns of the members of either house of the General Assembly.

Code 1950, § 8-857; 1977, c. 617; 1980, c. 705.

§ 8.01-637. By whom filed; when leave granted and writ issued.

A. The Attorney General or attorney for the Commonwealth of any county or city of which the circuit court has jurisdiction of the proceeding, at his own instance or at the relation of any interested person, or any interested person, may apply to such court by petition verified by oath for a writ of quo warranto. In case of an application under § 8.01-636 2a the term "any interested person" shall include any attorney licensed to practice law in this Commonwealth and qualified to practice before the Supreme Court of Virginia, or the circuit court in which the petition is filed.

B. If, in the opinion of the court, the matters stated in the petition are sufficient in law to authorize the issuance of such writ, a writ shall issue thereon, commanding the sheriff to summon the defendant to appear at a date set forth in the writ.

C. If the petition is filed on the relation of any person or by any person at his own instance, before the clerk shall issue the writ the court shall require the relator or person to give bond with sufficient surety, to be approved by the clerk, to indemnify the Commonwealth against all costs and expenses of the proceedings, in case the same shall not be recovered from and paid by the defendant.

Code 1950, §§ 8-858, 8-859, 8-860; 1977, c. 617; 1980, c. 705.

§ 8.01-638. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1987, c. 567.

§ 8.01-639. How summons directed and served.

The writ and a copy of the petition attached thereto may be directed to the sheriff of any county or city and shall be served as in other actions.

Code 1950, § 8-861; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-640. Judgment when defendant fails to appear.

If the defendant fails to appear in accordance with the writ, the court may hear proof of the allegations of the petition, and if the allegations are sustained, shall give judgment accordingly.

Code 1950, § 8-862; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-641. Reopening same when made on service by publication.

But if service is made by publication, the defendant against whom the judgment is rendered may file a motion within thirty days from the rendition of judgment to have such judgment set aside, upon giving bond with good security as prescribed by the court, with condition to pay all such costs as shall be awarded in the cause against the defendant. The defendant may then make such defense to the petition as he might have made, and in the same manner, before the judgment was rendered.

Code 1950, § 8-863; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-642. Pleading when defendant appears.

The defendant against whom the writ was issued may plead, demur or answer the petition within the time set forth in the writ for his appearance.

Code 1950, § 8-864; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-643. Trial; verdict; judgment; costs; attorney's fee.

Unless the defendant shall ask for a trial by jury, the court shall hear the same. If the case is tried by jury and the defendant is found guilty as to only a part of the charges, the verdict shall be guilty as to such part and shall particularly specify the same. As to the residue of such charges, the verdict shall be not guilty.

If the defendant appears and is found guilty the court shall give such judgment as is appropriate and authorized by law and for costs incurred in the prosecution of the information, including a reasonable attorney's fee to be prescribed by the court.

Code 1950, § 8-865; 1977, c. 617.