Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 3. Actions
1/22/2021

Article 17. Declaratory Judgments.

§ 8.01-184. Power to issue declaratory judgments.

In cases of actual controversy, circuit courts within the scope of their respective jurisdictions shall have power to make binding adjudications of right, whether or not consequential relief is, or at the time could be, claimed and no action or proceeding shall be open to objection on the ground that a judgment order or decree merely declaratory of right is prayed for. Controversies involving the interpretation of deeds, wills, and other instruments of writing, statutes, municipal ordinances and other governmental regulations, may be so determined, and this enumeration does not exclude other instances of actual antagonistic assertion and denial of right.

Code 1950, § 8-578; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-184.1. Declaratory judgment to adjudicate constitutional nexus.

A. Circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction over civil actions seeking declaratory judgment where:

1. The party seeking declaratory relief is a business that (i) is organized under the laws of the Commonwealth or a sole proprietorship owned by a Commonwealth domiciliary, or (ii) has qualified to do business in the Commonwealth; and

2. The responding party is a government official of another state, or political subdivision of another state, who asserts that the business in question is or was in the past obliged to collect sales or use taxes for such state or political subdivision based upon conduct of the business occurring wholly or partially within the Commonwealth.

B. Any business meeting the requirements and facing the circumstances described in subsection A shall be entitled to declaratory relief on the issue of whether the requirement of another state, or political subdivision of another state, that the business collect and remit sales or use taxes to that state, or political subdivision, in the factual circumstances of the business' operations giving rise to the demand, constitutes an undue burden on interstate commerce within the meaning of Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution.

C. Any government official meeting the requirements of subdivision A 2 shall be subject to the personal jurisdiction of Virginia circuit courts to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States. This subsection shall govern personal jurisdiction in actions under this section, and shall constitute authorization for purposes of § 8.01-330.

2004, cc. 609, 647; 2005, cc. 736, 800.

§ 8.01-185. Venue.

The venue of actions seeking declarations of right with or without consequential relief shall be determined in accordance with provisions of Chapter 5 (§ 8.01-257 et seq.) of this title.

Code 1950, § 8-579; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-186. Further relief.

Further relief based on a declaratory judgment order or decree may be granted whenever necessary or proper. The application shall be by motion to a court having jurisdiction to grant the relief. If the application is deemed sufficient the court shall, on reasonable notice, require an adverse party whose rights have been adjudicated by the declaration of right to show cause why further relief should not be granted forthwith.

Code 1950, § 8-581; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-187. Commissioners or condemnation jurors to determine compensation for property taken or damaged.

Whenever it is determined in a declaratory judgment proceeding that a person's property has been taken or damaged within the meaning of Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia and compensation has not been paid or any action taken to determine the compensation within 60 days following the entry of such judgment order or decree, the court which entered the order or decree may, upon motion of such person after reasonable notice to the adverse party, enter a further order appointing commissioners or condemnation jurors to determine the compensation. The appointment of commissioners or condemnation jurors and all proceedings thereafter shall be governed by the procedure prescribed for the condemning authority. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 25.1-100, the date of valuation in actions pursuant to this section shall be the date determined by the court to be the date the property was taken or damaged.

Code 1950, § 8-581.1; 1968, c. 782; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1977, c. 617; 2007, cc. 450, 720; 2010, c. 835; 2014, c. 618.

§ 8.01-188. Jury trial.

When a declaration of right or the granting of further relief based thereon shall involve the determination of issues of fact triable by a jury, such issues may be submitted to a jury in the form of interrogatories, with proper instructions by the court, whether a general verdict be required or not.

Code 1950, § 8-582; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-189. Injunction.

The pendency of any action at law or suit in equity brought merely to obtain a declaration of rights or a determination of a question of construction shall not be sufficient grounds for the granting of any injunction.

Code 1950, § 8-583; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-190. Costs.

The costs, or such part thereof as the court may deem proper and just in view of the particular circumstances of the case, may be awarded to any party.

Code 1950, § 8-584; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-191. Construction of article.

This article is declared to be remedial. Its purpose is to afford relief from the uncertainty and insecurity attendant upon controversies over legal rights, without requiring one of the parties interested so to invade the rights asserted by the other as to entitle him to maintain an ordinary action therefor. It is to be liberally interpreted and administered with a view to making the courts more serviceable to the people.

Code 1950, § 8-585; 1977, c. 617.