Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
3/21/2019

Article 2. Actions on Contracts Generally.

§ 8.01-27. Civil action on note or writing promising to pay money.

A civil action may be maintained upon any note or writing by which there is a promise, undertaking, or obligation to pay money, if the same be signed by the party who is to be charged thereby, or his agent. The action may also be maintained on any such note or writing for any past due installment on a debt payable in installments, although other installments thereof be not due.

Code 1950, § 8-509; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-27.1. Additional recovery in certain civil actions concerning checks or rejected electronic funds transfers.

A. Except as otherwise provided in Chapter 13 (§ 55-217 et seq.) or Chapter 13.2 (§ 55-248.2 et seq.) of Title 55, in any civil claim or action made or brought against the drawer of a check, draft or order, payment of which has been refused by the drawee depository because of lack of funds in or credit with such drawee depository, or because such check, draft or order was returned because of a stop-payment order placed in bad faith on the check, draft or order by the drawer, the holder or his agent shall be entitled to claim, in addition to the face amount of the check (i) legal interest from the date of the check, (ii) the protest or bad check return fee, if any, charged to the holder by his bank or other depository, (iii) a processing charge of $50, and (iv) reasonable attorney's fees if awarded by the court.

B. Except as otherwise provided in Chapter 13 (§ 55-217 et seq.) or Chapter 13.2 (§ 55-248.2 et seq.) of Title 55, any holder of a check, draft or order, payment of which has been refused by the drawee for insufficient funds or credit or because of a stop-payment order placed in bad faith, who charges the drawer amounts in excess of those authorized in subsection A on account of payment being so refused shall, upon demand, be liable to the drawer for the lesser of (i) $50 plus the excess of the authorized amount or (ii) twice the amount charged in excess of the authorized amount.

C. If an electronic funds transfer has been rejected because of insufficient funds or a stop-payment order has been placed in bad faith by the authorizing party, the authorizing party and the payee shall have the same rights and remedies as if the drawer had issued a bad check under subsection B. For purposes of this subsection, "electronic funds transfer" has the same meaning as provided in 15 U.S.C. § 1693 (a).

1981, c. 230; 1992, c. 238; 1996, c. 334; 2003, c. 233; 2008, c. 489; 2009, c. 182; 2013, c. 63.

§ 8.01-27.2. Civil recovery for giving bad check.

A. Except as otherwise provided in Chapter 13 (§ 55-217 et seq.) or Chapter 13.2 (§ 55-248.2 et seq.) of Title 55, in the event a check, draft or order, the payment of which has been refused by the drawee because of lack of funds in or credit with such drawee, is not paid in full within thirty days after receipt by the drawer of (i) written notice by registered, certified, or regular mail with the sender retaining an affidavit of service of mailing or other sufficient proof of mailing, which may be a U.S. Postal Certificate of Mailing or (ii) if for nonpayment of rent under § 55-225 or 55-248.31, written notice in accordance therewith, from the payee that the check, draft or order has been returned unpaid, the payee may recover from the drawer in a civil action brought by the filing of a warrant in debt, the lesser of $250 or three times the amount of the check, draft or order. The amount recovered as authorized by this section shall be in addition to the amounts authorized for recovery under § 8.01-27.1. No action may be initiated under this section if any action has been initiated under § 18.2-181. The drawer shall be obligated to pay the cost of service and the cost of mailing, as applicable.

B. If an electronic funds transfer has been rejected because of insufficient funds or a stop-payment order has been placed in bad faith by the authorizing party, the authorizing party and the payee shall have the same rights and remedies as if the drawer had issued a bad check under § 8.01-27.1. For purposes of this subsection, "electronic funds transfer" has the same meaning as provided in 15 U.S.C. § 1693 (a).

1985, c. 579; 1988, c. 433; 1992, c. 501; 2002, c. 763; 2008, c. 489; 2013, c. 63.

§ 8.01-27.3. Evidence in actions regarding issuance of bad check.

In any civil action growing out of an arrest under § 18.2-181 or § 18.2-182, no evidence of statements or representations as to the status of the check, draft, order or deposit involved, or of any collateral agreement with reference to the check, draft, or order, shall be admissible unless such statement, or representation, or collateral agreement, is written upon the instrument at the time it is given by the drawer.

2004, c. 462.

§ 8.01-27.4. Civil recovery for professional services.

In the event any insured or enrollee of an accident and sickness insurance policy, health services plan or health maintenance organization receives payment from the insurance company, health services plan or health maintenance organization licensed under Title 38.2, pursuant to a claim that involves the provision of services to the insured or enrollee by a professional licensed under Title 54.1, and within 30 days of receipt of the payment does not forward the payment with the necessary endorsement to the professional for application towards the unpaid balance on the professional services subject to the claim, the professional may in a civil action brought by the filing of a warrant in debt recover from the insured or enrollee the lesser of $250 or three times the amount of the payment, together with the amount of the payment. The amount recovered as authorized by this section shall be in addition to the amounts authorized for recovery under § 8.01-27.1. No action may be initiated under this section unless the professional, prior to receipt of payment by the insured or enrollee, forwards to the insured or enrollee via first class mail an invoice for services rendered.

2004, c. 909; 2005, c. 141.

§ 8.01-27.5. Duty of in-network providers to submit claims to health insurers; liability of covered patients for unbilled health care services.

A. As used in this section:

"Covered patient" means a patient whose health care services are covered under terms of a health care policy.

"Health care policy" means any health care plan, subscription contract, evidence of coverage, certificate, health services plan, medical or hospital services plan, accident and sickness insurance policy or certificate, or other similar certificate, policy, contract, or arrangement, and any endorsement or rider thereto, offered, arranged, issued, or administered by a health insurer to an individual or a group contract holder to cover all or a portion of the cost of individuals, or their eligible dependents, receiving covered health care services. "Health care policy" includes coverages issued pursuant to (i) Chapter 28 (§ 2.2-2800 et seq.) of Title 2.2 (state employees); (ii) § 2.2-1204 (local choice); (iii) 5 U.S.C. § 8901 et seq. (federal employees); (iv) an employee welfare benefit plan as defined in 29 U.S.C. § 1002 (1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) that is self-insured or self-funded; and (v) Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq. (Medicare), Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq. (Medicaid), or Title XXI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1397aa et seq. (CHIP). "Health care policy" does not include (a) Chapter 55 of Title 10 of the United States Code, 10 U.S.C. § 1071 et seq. (TRICARE); (b) subscription contracts for one or more dental or optometric services plans that are subject to Chapter 45 (§ 38.2-4500 et seq.) of Title 38.2; (c) insurance policies that provide coverage, singly or in combination, for death, dismemberment, disability, or hospital and medical care caused by or necessitated as a result of accident or specified kinds of accidents, including student accident, sports accident, blanket accident, specific accident, and accidental death and dismemberment policies; (d) credit life insurance and credit accident and sickness insurance issued pursuant to Chapter 37.1 (§ 38.2-3717 et seq.) of Title 38.2; (e) insurance policies that provide payments when an insured is disabled or unable to work because of illness, disease, or injury, including incidental benefits; (f) long-term care insurance as defined in § 38.2-5200; (g) plans providing only limited health care services under § 38.2-4300 unless offered by endorsement or rider to a group health benefit plan; (h) TRICARE supplement, Medicare supplement, or workers' compensation coverages; or (i) medical expense coverage issued pursuant to § 38.2-2201.

"Health care provider" has the same meaning ascribed to the term in § 8.01-581.1.

"Health care services" means items or services furnished to any individual for the purpose of preventing, alleviating, curing, or healing human illness, injury, or physical disability.

"Health insurer" means any entity that is the issuer or sponsor of a health care policy.

"In-network provider" means a health care provider that is employed by or has entered into a provider agreement with the health insurer that has issued the health care policy or is a participating provider with such health insurer, under which agreement or conditions of participation the health care provider has agreed to provide health care services to covered patients.

"Patient" means an individual who receives health care services from a health care provider, or any person authorized by law to consent on behalf of the individual incapable of making an informed decision, or, in the case of a minor child, the parent or parents having custody of the child or the child's legal guardian, or as otherwise provided by law.

"Provider agreement" means a contract, agreement, or arrangement between a health care provider and a health insurer, or a health insurer's network, provider panel, intermediary, or representative, under which the health care provider has agreed to provide health care services to patients with coverage under a health care policy issued by the health insurer and to accept payment from the health insurer for the health care services provided.

B. An in-network provider that provides health care services to a covered patient shall submit its claim to the health insurer for the health care services in accordance with the terms of the applicable provider agreement or as permitted under applicable federal or state laws or regulations, provided that the covered patient provides the in-network provider with information required by the terms of the covered patient's health care policy's plan documents, including the information that is required to verify the individual's coverage under the health care policy, within not fewer than 21 business days before the deadline for the in-network provider to submit its claim to the health insurer as required by the terms of the provider agreement. If an in-network provider does not submit its claim to the health insurer in accordance with the requirements of this subsection, then (i) the covered patient shall have no obligation to pay for health care services for which the in-network provider was required to submit its claim, (ii) the in-network provider shall not have the benefit of the liens provided by §§ 8.01-66.2 and 8.01-66.9 with regard to health care services for which the in-network provider was required to submit its claim, and (iii) the in-network provider shall be prohibited from recovering payment for any of the health care services for which it was required to submit its claim from an insurer providing medical expense benefits to the covered patient under a policy of motor vehicle liability insurance pursuant to § 38.2-2201, by exercising an assignment of the covered patient's rights to the medical expense benefits or by other means. If the in-network provider submits its claim to the health insurer in accordance with the requirements of this subsection, the covered patient or the health insurer shall be obligated to pay for the health care services in accordance with the terms of the provider agreement or health care policy's plan documents. To the extent that self-insured or self-funded plans governed by ERISA or Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq. (Medicare), Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq. (Medicaid), or Title XXI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1397aa et seq. (CHIP) provide otherwise, health care providers shall be permitted to submit claims and coordinate benefits as provided for in the provider agreements or plan documents or as required under applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

2013, c. 700; 2014, cc. 157, 417; 2018, c. 788.

§ 8.01-28. When judgment to be given in action upon contract or note unless defendant appears and denies claim under oath.

In any action at law on a note or contract, express or implied, for the payment of money, or unlawful detainer pursuant to § 55-225 or 55-248.31 for the payment of money or possession of the premises, or both, if (i) the plaintiff files with his motion for judgment or civil warrant an affidavit made by himself or his agent, stating therein to the best of the affiant's belief the amount of the plaintiff's claim, that such amount is justly due, and the time from which plaintiff claims interest, and (ii) a copy of the affidavit together with a copy of any account filed with the motion for judgment or warrant and, in actions pursuant to § 55-225 or 55-248.31, proof of required notices is served on the defendant as provided in § 8.01-296 at the time a copy of the motion for judgment or warrant is so served, the plaintiff shall be entitled to a judgment on the affidavit and statement of account without further evidence unless the defendant either appears and pleads under oath or files with the court before the return date an affidavit or responsive pleading denying that the plaintiff is entitled to recover from the defendant on the claim. A denial by the defendant in general district court need not be in writing. The plaintiff or defendant shall, on motion, be granted a continuance whenever the defendant appears and pleads. If the defendant's pleading or affidavit admits that the plaintiff is entitled to recover from the defendant a sum certain less than that stated in the affidavit filed by the plaintiff, judgment may be taken by the plaintiff for the sum so admitted to be due, and the case will be tried as to the residue.

In the event of a defect in the affidavit, the plaintiff shall be entitled to a continuance.

Code 1950, § 8-511; 1954, c. 610; 1960, c. 426; 1977, c. 617; 1983, c. 136; 1991, cc. 56, 503; 2014, c. 688.

§ 8.01-29. Procedure in actions on annuity and installment bonds, and other actions for penalties for nonperformance.

In an action on an annuity bond, or a bond for money payable by installments, when there are further payments of the annuity, or further installments to become due after the commencement of the action, or in any other action for a penalty for the nonperformance of any condition, covenant, or agreement, the plaintiff may assign as many breaches as he may think fit, and shall, in his motion for judgment assign the specific breaches for which the action is brought. The jury impaneled in any such action shall ascertain the damages sustained, or the sum due, by reason of the breaches assigned, and judgment shall be entered for the penalty, to be discharged by the payment of what is so ascertained, and such further sums as may be afterwards assessed. Motion may be made by any person injured against the defendant and, for what may be assessed or found due upon the new breach or breaches assigned, execution may be awarded.

Code 1950, § 8-513; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-30. Procedure in actions on contracts made by several persons.

Upon all contracts hereafter made by more than one person, whether joint only or joint and several, an action may be maintained and judgment rendered against all liable thereon, or any one or any intermediate number, and if, in an action on any contract heretofore or hereafter made, more than one person be sued and process be served on only a part of them, the plaintiff may dismiss or proceed to judgment as to any so served, and either discontinue as to the others, or from time to time as the process is served, proceed to judgment against them until judgment be obtained against all. Such dismissal or discontinuance of the action as to any defendant shall not operate as a bar to any subsequent action which may be brought against him for the same cause.

Code 1950, § 8-514; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-31. Accounting in equity.

An accounting in equity may be had against any fiduciary or by one joint tenant, tenant in common, or coparcener for receiving more than comes to his just share or proportion, or against the personal representative of any such party.

Code 1950, § 8-514.1; 1956, c. 160; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-32. Action on lost evidences of debt.

A. A civil action may be maintained on any past-due lost bond, note, contract, open account agreement, or other written evidence of debt, provided the plaintiff verifies under oath either in open court or by affidavit that said bond, note, contract, open account agreement, or other written evidence of debt has been lost or destroyed.

B. Where a true and accurate copy of the written evidence of debt exists, which copy was produced in the normal course of business, the court shall accept such copy into evidence and shall give effect to its terms as if the original had been placed into evidence.

C. In the event of any inconsistency between this section and any applicable provisions of § 8.3A-309, the provisions of that section shall control.

Code 1950, § 8-517; 1954, c. 333; 1964, c. 219; 1977, c. 617; 2000, c. 245; 2003, c. 125.

§ 8.01-33. Equitable relief in certain cases.

A court shall not grant equitable relief in a suit upon a bond, note, or writing, by an assignee or holder thereof, unless it appears that the plaintiff had no adequate remedy thereon at law.

Code 1950, § 8-518; 1977, c. 617; 2005, c. 681.

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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