Big Changes for Civil Appeals in Virginia

Virginia Appellate Updates

For generations, Virginia appellate practitioners have gotten used to the procedural landscape that dictated civil appeals from circuit court proceedings would be made directly to the Supreme Court of Virginia. As of January 1, 2022, that all changed.

Virginia has long operated to provide appellate jurisdiction in two forums – the Court of Appeals that, in general, enjoyed initial jurisdiction over appeals concerning criminal cases and domestic relations matters, and the Supreme Court of Virginia which enjoyed initial exclusive jurisdiction over appeals in civil matters and appeals of those aggrieved by the decision of the Court of Appeals.

Caseload Impact & Jurisdiction

As of January 1, 2022, the Court of Appeals began its expansion from 11 judges to 17. This change was designed, in part, to accommodate the jurisdictional change and caseload impact. Now, all litigants aggrieved in circuit court in civil matters will appeal their cases to the Court of Appeals. Upon being aggrieved by the decision of the Court of Appeals, then the litigant would have the option to appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

This means now, the Supreme Court of Virginia will have very limited original jurisdiction over those matters of habeas corpus, prohibit, and actual innocence. Also, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in matters filed by the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission relating to the censure, retirement, and removal of judges.

Appellate Practitioners

For all your needs related to appeals and appellate practice, call Ashwell & Ashwell today. The attorneys at Ashwell & Ashwell have handled appeals in all state courts and Federal Courts in the Commonwealth of Virginia.