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September 15, 2023 by Tom Roberts, Esq.

No “piggyback appeal” from General District Court in Virginia.

When ever there is a counterclaim or cross-claim asserted in General District Court, you should keep in mind that if the adverse party appeals, you do not have a “piggy-back appeal” but must appeal any adverse decision on your own.

Law invites parties to file defensive appeals from General District Court

[T]he “appeal of right,” Code § 16.1-106, belongs to “the party applying for the same,” id. § 16.1-107. See generally 1 Sinclair, supra, at 40. When the GDC enters a final, appealable judgment on claims pleaded in a “warrant, summons or complaint,” Rule 7B:4(a); a “counterclaim” or “cross-claim,” Rule 7B:3(a); or a “third-party civil warrant or complaint,” Rule 7B:10(a), any party seeking on appeal to change or modify an unfavorable disposition of a claim asserted by or against him must file a notice of appeal. The failure to do so will leave the GDC’s judgment on the claim intact and subject to res-judicata principles. See, e.g., Scales v. Lewis, 261 Va. 379, 382-83, 541 S.E.2d 899, 900-01 (2001); Virginia Dynamics Co. v. Payne, 244 Va. 314, 318, 421 S.E.2d 421, 423, 9 Va. Law Rep. 276 (1992). Robert & Bertha Robinson Family, LLC v. Allen, 295 Va. 130, 151-152 (2018)

File the appeal from Virginia General District Court – you can always withdraw it.

If the other side might appeal, and you would want your claim heard if theirs is heard on appeal – file an appeal in General District Court or be at the clerk’s office until closing on the 10th day to make sure the opposing party does not file without you filing your appeal.

Thomas H Roberts & Associates, PC
105 S 1st Street
Richmond, VA 23219
804-783-2105 f


The materials are prepared for information purposes only.  The materials are not legal advice.  You should not act upon the information without seeking the advice of an attorney.  Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship.


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