Litigation Procedure and Law - § 8-1 (F) - § 8-1 (J)

(F) Notice

2011---Dover v. Walker, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0142-11-4
Court of Appeals dismissed guardian ad litem's appeal because guardian failed to provide father, who was an indispensible and necessary party to the matter, with a copy of the guardian's notice of appeal, pursuant to Rule 5A:6(d).

2011---Chavis v. Hopewell Dept. of Soc. Srvc's, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1762-10-2
The circuit court did not err in dismissing mother's appeal of juvenile court orders approving the removal of her children from her and the placement of the children for adoption. Though mother filed notices of appeal from the juvenile court's adjudicatory orders finding that she had abused and neglected the children, those orders are not final orders for purposes of appeal, because they are not entered pursuant to Va. Code §16.1-278.2. When mother subsequently failed to file notices of appeal for the court's dispositional orders, entered over a month after she noted her appeal to the adjudicatory orders, she lost her right to appeal the case.

2010---Leake v. Taylor, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0737-09-4
Trial court did not err in failing to dismiss wife's appeal of a juvenile and domestic relations district court order of spousal support where wife initially noted an appeal of the ruling before the written order was entered, said appeal was dismissed because it was not accompanied by an appeal bond, and wife then properly noted an appeal of the written order after its entry and paid the requisite appeal bond. When the juvenile court did enter its written order, wife's otherwise premature appeal became effective, as “any error, defect, irregularity, or variance which does not affect substantial rights shall be disregarded.”Saunders v. Commonwealth, 12 Va. App. 154 (1991) (quoting Lemke v. U.S., 346 U.S. 325 (1953)). The statutory purpose behind requiring a timely notice of appeal is to afford the opposing party ample time to prepare for the appeal, and wife's premature filing in this case did not undermine that purpose.

2010---McCoy v. McCoy, 55 Va. App. 524
When a party files a notice of appeal, that notice effectively transfers jurisdiction from the lower court to the appellate court. When an appellate court acquires jurisdiction over the parties involved in litigation and the subject matter of their controversy, the jurisdiction of the trial court from which the appeal was taken ends.
Trial court erred in vacating an order of contempt after a notice of appeal of that order had been filed with the Court of Appeals.

2009---Haring v. Haring, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1085-08-4
Mother's appeal not dismissed where her Notice of Appeal mistakenly referred to two orders suspending the final judgment of the trial court rather than the final order itself. Neither Rule 5A:6(a) nor prior case decisions mandate dismissal of an appeal when an error of “reference” rather than the timeliness of the filing of the appeal is at issue. Rules governing a notice of appeal are designed to protect the appellee, not to penalize the appellant. Because the notice filed by mother provided sufficient notice to father that the litigation was continuing, dismissal based on her mistaken reference is unwarranted.

2005---Sharma v. Sharma, 46 Va. App. 584
Neither the J&DR court nor the circuit court judge is required to determine whether an appellant intends to appeal only a portion of a court's rulings and order.

2004---Yopp v. Hodges, 43 Va. App. 427
The mother's failure to provide the guardian ad litem in a custody and visitation case with a copy of her notice of appeal pursuant to Rule 5A:6 did not deprive the Court of Appeals of the subject matterjurisdiction and authority to hear the appeal. By making the appointment of a guardian in a custody case a matter of judicial discretion (see Va. Code §16.1-266(E)), the legislature has determined that the appointment and presence of a guardian in a custody case, while permissible, is not required. Thus, it cannot be said that the guardian is an “indispensible” or “necessary” party to the proceedings, and thus, failure to provide the guardian a copy of the notice of appeal does not require a dismissal of the appeal. The Court of Appeals distinguished this case from Hughes v. York County Dep't of Soc. Services, 36 Va. App. 22 (2001), wherein a party's failure to provide the guardian with a copy of the notice of appeal in a termination of parental rights case was held to have deprived the Court of Appeals of the jurisdiction to hear the matter. Because Va. Code §16.1-266(A) requires a court to appoint a guardian in termination of parental rights cases, the guardian becomes an indispensable party to such suits.

2002---Zhou v. Zhou, 38 Va. App. 126
Va. Code §8.01-428(c) gives the trial court authority to extend the deadline for filing an appeal where the party has not been given notice of the entry of the final order.

2001---Hughes v. York County, 36 Va. App. 22
Appeal dismissed where guardian ad litem not given copy of notice of appeal or opening brief.

1996---Gifford v. Dunkum, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0122-95-2
Trial court properly denied father's motion to dismiss mother's appeal, which father had based upon mother's failure to list the child in the style of the case on her notice of appeal. The case number on the notice of appeal matched the juvenile court case number, giving both the court and the parties sufficient notice of the case that was being appealed.

1992 ---Carlton v. Paxton, 14 Va. App. 105,aff’d en banc, 15 Va. App. 265
The appellant’s appeal could be heard even though the appellant’s notice of appeal incorrectly identified the order from which the appellant had appealed. The notice was styled properly, and simply contained an error of reference regarding the date of the entry of the final order being appealed. The appellee conceded that they were aware of the actual order being appealed. Accordingly, under the facts of this case, dismissal for failure to satisfy the rules governing notice of appeal was unwarranted.

(G) Record

2015---Lee v. Commonwealth, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1896-14-2
A statement of facts offered in lieu of a transcript is properly part of the record on appeal where the statement of facts is timely filed in the circuit court, signed by both parties’ attorneys, and signed or initialed by the circuit judge. A stamp with the circuit court judge’s initials indicating that the judge has “seen” the statement of facts on the same day it was filed is sufficient to constitute a signature under Rule 5A:8(c).

2014---LaBrie v. LaBrie, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1894-14-2
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s attorney’s fees award to Wife because the Court was unable to determine from Husband’s appendix whether the award was reasonable. Rule 5A:25(c) requires the appellant’s appendix to include the testimony germane to the questions presented and the exhibits necessary for an understanding of the case. The filing of an appendix that complies with the Rules is essential to an informed collegiate decision. Here, Husband failed to include Wife’s attorney’s fees affidavit in the appendix, which was essential to his appeal because Wife did not testify at trial regarding the attorney’s fees she incurred.

2012---Moncrief v. DCSE, 60 Va. App. 721
Rule 5A:20 requires the appellant to cite to clear and exact pages where his assignment of error was preserved and to reference specific page numbers in the appendix throughout his statement of facts. However these requirements are not jurisdictional, and dismissal of an appeal should not be undertaken without considering whether a party’s failure to adhere strictly to the rule’s requirements is insignificant, or so substantial as to preclude the court’s addressing the merits of the case. Although the appellant cited to the entirety of two transcripts as his references to preservation of error, said transcripts adequately encompassed his arguments and objections as well as the trial court’s ruling. His failure to include specific page numbers, though inconvenient, was not so substantial as to preclude the court from considering the merits, where the total transcripts cited contained only 45 pages.

2012---Byrd v. Byrd, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0572-12-2
The appendix filed by husband failed to include any testimony or other incidents of the case germane to the assignment of error as required by Rule 5A:25. Where the appendix filed does not contain essential parts of the record, the court will not decide the issue.

2010---Soliman v. Soliman, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0030-10-4
Rule 5A:8 requires that any transcripts or written statements of facts necessary to the disposition of the appeal must be made a part of the record and “when the appellant fails to ensure that the record contains transcripts or a written statement of facts necessary to permit resolution of appellate issues, any assignments of error affected by such omission shall not be considered.” Failure to comply with Rule 5A:8 constitutes a violation of a non-jurisdictional rule requirement and the Court of Appeals is to treat the underlying issue as waived.

2007---Robinson v. Robinson, 50 Va. App. 189
The burden is upon the appellant to provide the appellate court with a record which substantiates the claim of error. In the absence of a sufficient record the appellate court will not consider the point.

An appellate court must dispose of the case upon the record and cannot base its decision upon appellant's petition or brief or statements of counsel in open court. The appellate court acts only upon facts contained in the record.

2007---Whitney v. Whitney, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2192-06-2
Where Husband failed to raise an issue concerning a pendente lite order in a previous appeal contesting a property distribution order, he is barred from raising the issue in a subsequent appeal related to breach of a marital agreement.

2002---Lehman v. Lehman, 38 Va. App. 598
The appellate court can review only the documents in the record of the case on appeal.

2000---Kyhl v. Kyhl, 32 Va. App. 53
Judgment vacated and new trial ordered in case where no court reporter was present and trial court admitted he could not accurately certify facts for appeal.

1992 ---Twardy v. Twardy, 14 Va. App. 651
The Court of Appeals dismissed Husband’s appeal because he represented in his notice of appeal that he would file a transcript, but subsequently failed to do so. Although an appellant has the primary responsibility of ensuring that a complete record is furnished to an appellate court, an appellee also has an obligation to ensure that the appellate record contains the evidence supporting its contention. Nevertheless, an appellee has the right to rely upon an appellant’s statement in its notice of appeal that a transcript will be made part of the record, and the responsibility for failing to provide the transcript as represented necessarily falls upon the appellant.

1990---Klein v. Klein, 11 Va. App. 155
When evidence is excluded by the court, the aggrieved party must make a proper proffer of the excluded testimony to preserve the ruling for appellate review. The proffer may consist of a unilateral representation of counsel, if unchallenged, or a mutual stipulation of the proffered testimony.

(H) Timely Filing

2014---Wright v. Wright, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0660-14-3
The Court of Appeals of Virginia refused to consider Husband’s assignments of error because Husband failed to perfect his appeal within twenty-one days after the trial court entered the final divorce decree. On the same day the trial court entered the final divorce decree, it entered an order appointing a special commissioner for the sale of marital property. Husband waited to perfect his appeal until after the special commissioner auctioned the property and distributed the proceeds, a process that occurred over a six-month period after the trial court entered the final decree. The special commissioner’s acts, however, were purely ministerial. The trial court fully disposed of the case when it entered the final decree and Husband failed to timely perfect his appeal thereafter.

2013---Gunning v. Gunning, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1140-12-1.
A decree of divorce was a final, appealable order, despite the fact that the order continued the matter on the trial court’s docket for purposes of allowing the court to monitor husband’s compliance with the order and enter subsequent orders to divide retirement accounts. The Court of Appeals held that such matters were “ministerial” in nature and, as such, did not undermine the finality of the order. Since husband did not file a timely notice of appeal to the final order, the Court declined to consider his arguments regarding equitable distribution.

2012---Carrithers v. Harrah, 60 Va. App. 69.
Even if an order granting a final judgment on the merits of a case contains express language indicating that the trial court intends to rule on a request for attorneys' fees at a future time, such language does not negate the fact that such an order is in fact a final judgment. If a trial court wishes such an order not to be a final order, it must include specific language in the order rendering judgment stating that the court is retaining jurisdiction to address matters still pending before the court. A mere indication that the trial court intends to rule on pending motions is insufficient to negate the finality of an order rendering a final judgment on the merits of a case.

The Court of Appeals dismissed for lack of jurisdiction father's appeal of an arrearage judgment where father failed to timely note his appeal within thirty days of the circuit court's denial of his motion, despite the fact that the circuit court's order left the case open to determine attorney's fees and costs related to the motion.

2002---Zhou v. Zhou, 38 Va. App. 126
Va. Code §8.01-428(c) gives the trial court authority to extend the deadline for filing an appeal where the party has not been given notice of the entry of the final order.

1998---Vokes v. Vokes, 28 Va. App. 349
The thirty-day period of Rule 5A:6(a) cannot be tolled by either the filing of a post-judgment motion to set aside or reconsider the judgment or the pendency of such a motion on the thirtieth day after final judgment. In order to toll the limitations of Rule 5A:6(a) and Rule 1:1, the trial judge must do more than merely express a desire to consider action or take the issue under advisement; rather, the trial judge must issue an order modifying, vacating, or suspending the order within twenty-one days of entry. • Statement in final order that father's motion to transfer custody “shall remain on the docket of this court for further hearing” was insufficient to toll the thirty-day period of Rule 5A:6(a), where the trial court expressly stated on the record when entering the order that the sole purpose of the future hearing was to hear “after-discovered evidence” on mother's motion to rehear rather than to rehash that which had already been presented.

(I) Dismissal/Waiver

2016---McGeorge v. McGeorge, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0413-16-2
The Court of Appeals dismissed the portion of Husband’s appeal regarding the trial court’s contempt sanctions against Husband’s counsel because the proper party-appellant was Husband’s counsel, not Husband.

2015---Deluca v. Deluca, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1158-14-3
Husband waived his assignments of error on appeal because he failed to cite any authority or principals of law related to his contentions. Rule 5A:20(e) requires an appellant’s opening brief to contain “[t]he principals of law, the argument, and the authorities relating to each question presented.” Unsupported assertions of error do not merit appellate consideration. If a party believes the trial court erred, it is that party’s duty to present the error to the Court of Appeals with legal authority to support the contention.

2015---Bajgain v. Bajgain, 64 Va. App. 439
When the Court of Appeals dismisses an appeal on grounds that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction because the order appealed from was neither a final order nor an interlocutory order dealing the chief objects of a suit, the dismissal is without prejudice and does not bar a later appeal, upon entry of a final order.

2014---Kirschmann v. Kirschmann, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0754-14-1
Although the pro se appellant listed some cases in her opening brief, she failed to explain how the cases related to her assignments of error. The appellant had the burden of showing that reversible error was committed. The Virginia Court of Appeals will not search the record for errors in order to interpret an appellant’s contention and correct deficiencies in a brief. Nor will the Court comb through the record to ferret-out the validity of an appellant’s claims. Even pro se litigants must comply with the rules of court.

2014---Loewinger v. Loewinger, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Published, No. 2383-13-4
The Court of Appeals dismissed Wife’s appeal because she named Husband’s estate, rather than Husband’s personal representative as the party in interest. Code of Virginia § 8.01-229 provides that personal actions may only be prosecuted against or defended by the decedent’s personal representative, whereas claims may be filed against the property of the estate. The statute codifies the established principle that all suits and actions in Virginia, rather than claims against property, must be prosecuted by and against living parties in either an individual or representative capacity. This principle extends to appellate proceedings. Here, Husband died after the trial court’s judgment, but before Wife noted her appeal. In her appeal, Wife assigned error to the trial court’s interpretation and application of the terms of the parties’ premarital agreement. In other words, Wife’s appeal related to a contract action against Husband, not a claim against the property of his estate. Consequently, Code § 8.01-229 required Wife to name Husband’s personal representative, not his estate, as the party in interest. Her failure to do so nullified her appeal.

2014---Wright v. Wright, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0660-14-3
Husband’s assignment of error did not merit appellate consideration because he failed to cite any legal authority to support his argument as required by Rule 5A:20(e). Husband has the burden of showing that reversible error was committed.

2014---Burns v. Sullivan, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0222-14-4
The Court of Appeals of Virginia summarily affirmed the trial court’s decision because the appellant failed to: 1) file a transcript or a written statement of facts in accordance with Rule 5A:8(a) of the Rules of Supreme Court of Virginia; 2) provide an appendix with her opening brief that complied with Rule 5A:25; and 3) failed to include a table of contents and table of authorities, a clear and concise statement of the facts relating to her assignments of error, and a standard of review relating to each assignment of error as required by Rule 5A:20(a), (d), and (e) respectively.

2013--Howard v. Thompson , Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2264-12-4.
Even pro se litigants must comply with the rules of court. Where a pro se party’s failure to present relevant legal authorities is significant, the Court may treat his assignment of error as waived. A party’s pro se status will also not excuse him from the burden of showing that reversible error was committee in the case. The Court will not search the record to identify possible error and correct deficiencies in the appellant’s brief.

2010---Sharp v. Sharp, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2712-09-2
Where the Court of Appeals previously dismissed wife's appeal for failure to timely note the appeal, the doctrine of res judicata barred her subsequent appeal of the same order of the trial court.

2008---Parks v. Parks, 52 Va. App. 663
Appellant’s failure to cite any legal authority in support of her three arguments on appeal as required by Rule 5A:20(e) was “significant,” and therefore permitted the Court of Appeals to deem the questions presented as waived.

2007---Moscona v. Shenhar, 50 Va. App. 238
An appellate court may dismiss the appeal of a defendant who is a fugitive from justice during the pendency of his appeal. This “fugitive disentitlement doctrine” applies in civil cases and criminal cases, and is valid in Virginia.

Father's appeals dismissed based upon “fugitive disentitlement doctrine,” after he refused to comply with a circuit court's orders to return to Virginia with the child, and failed to appear at the show cause hearing on his noncompliance. An appellant can not seek relief from the same judicial system whose authority he evades.

2007---Klein v. Klein, 49 Va. App. 478
Husband's appeal dismissed where, although Husband alleged in his “question presented” that the trial court erred by ruling that his evidence was insufficient to survive Wife's motion to strike, he argued on brief only that the trial court applied the incorrect standard to determine the sufficiency of the evidence. The “standard” for reviewing a plaintiff's evidence on a motion to strike is whether the plaintiff has made a prima facie case, and “sufficiency of the evidence” refers to whether evidence presented by a party meets that standard. Husband's failure to include his “incorrect standard” argument as a “question presented” dictated dismissal of the appeal on that ground, and his failure to argue on brief as to the sufficiency of his actual evidence dictated dismissal of the appeal on that ground.

2006---Jones v. Jones, 49 Va. App. 31
Wife's appeal dismissed where her attorney filed the notice of appeal while suspended from practicing law in Virginia. A pleading signed by an attorney not licensed to practice law in Virginia is invalid and has no legal effect.

(J) Preservation of Objections (Rule5A:18)

2015---Bajgain v. Bajgain, 64 Va. App. 439
Wife’s written trial memorandum in opposition to Husband’s Motion to Dismiss, and the presentation of evidence and argument in opposition to said Motion prior to the entry of an order of dismissal were sufficient to preserve objections pursuant to Rule 5A:18. Code of Virginia §8.01-384(A) provides that “[n]o party shall be deemed to have agreed to, or acquiesced in, any written order of a trial court so as to forfeit his right to contest such order on appeal except by express written agreement in his endorsement of the order.” For a waiver to occur within the meaning of Code § 8-01.384(A), the record must affirmatively show that the party who asserted an objection has abandoned the objection or has demonstrated by conduct the intent to abandon the objection.

2015---Neubert v. Neubert, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1675-14-4
Under Rule 5A:18, the same argument must have been raised, with specificity, at trial before it can be considered on appeal. Making one specific argument on an issue does not preserve a separate legal point on the same issue for review. Here, while Husband objected to the amount of the trial court’s spousal support award, Husband did not contest the award on the basis that it was based on an uncertain future event.

2015---Everett v. Carome, 65 Va. App. 177
Husband did not fail to preserve his objection to the trial court’s ruling by willingly consenting to dismissal of his motion when Husband noted his objection on the order itself, maintained his objection clearly and consistently throughout the proceeding, and agreed to dismissal only in order to avoid the time and cost of a hearing in a court that could not grant him the relief he sought.

2015---Epps v. Epps, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1077-14-1
Husband’s assignments of error were procedurally barred because he failed to make timely specific objections at trial as required by Rule 5A:18. The main purpose of requiring timely specific objections is to afford the trial court an opportunity to rule intelligently on the issues presented, thus avoiding unnecessary appeals and reversals. Additionally, a specific contemporaneous objection gives the opposing party the opportunity to meet the objection at that stage of the proceeding. A general argument or abstract reference to the law is not sufficient to preserve an issue.

2014---Heffernan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2103-13-4
Although the appellant failed to object to the trial court’s finding of summary contempt against the appellant, the appellant demonstrated a miscarriage of justice sufficient to apply the ends of justice exception to Rule 5A:18. The conduct that served as the basis for the appellant’s summary contempt occurred outside of the presence of the trial court. Thus, the trial court’s knowledge of the alleged conduct necessarily depended on statements made by others. Therefore, under established precedent, due process required that the appellant be accorded notice and a fair hearing.

2014---Dritselis v. Dritselis, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0530-14-3
The Court of Appeals refused to consider Husband’s assignment of error because he failed to preserve his objections. Here, Wife provided her untimely and inadequate discovery responses at the hearing on Wife’s motion to modify her spousal support obligation. The trial court provided a thirty minute recess so that Husband could review Wife’s discovery, and then proceeded with the hearing. Although Husband objected to the inadequacy of Wife’s discovery responses at the hearing, Husband waited until the trial court’s entry of the final order to note his objections to the court’s decision to proceed with the hearing and that he did not have sufficient time to prepare for the hearing. Husband’s objections were untimely.

2014---Kirschmann v. Kirschmann, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0754-14-1
The appellant failed to preserve her assignments of error pursuant to Rule 5A:18. Although the appellant endorsed the final order as “seen and strongly object,” she failed to file any post-trial motions. Additionally, although the appellant alleged that she preserved her objections in her statement of facts, the circuit court redacted the majority of the statement of facts pursuant to Rule 5A:8(d), which authorizes circuit courts to correct a parties’ statement of facts.

2014---Azam v. Miah, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0884-14-2
Mother’s failure to object to the trial court’s custody modification, either at the time of the trial court’s ruling or in post-trial motions, precluded appellate review by the Virginia Court of Appeals as mandated by Rule of Supreme Court of Virginia 5A:18. The purpose of Rule 5A:18 is to provide the trial court an opportunity to correct in the trial court any error that is called to its attention.

2013-- Smith v. Smith, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1018-13-2
A statement of “seen and objected to” is insufficient to preserve an issue for appeal unless the ruling made by the trial court is narrow enough to make the basis of the appellant’s objection obvious.

2013-- Howard v. Thompson, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2264-12-4.
The Court will not consider an “ends of justice” argument under Rule 5A:18 sua sponte.

2013---Parsons v. Parsons, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished Opinion, Nos. 2184-12-4, 2352-12-4.
The “ends of justice” exception applies to Rule 5A:18 and objections made at trial. It does not apply to Rule 5A:20(e) and an attorney’s failure to cite to legal authorities to support an argument.

2013---Walker v. Walker, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1616-12-2
The decision of a trial court to dispense with the endorsement of the counsel, pursuant to Rule 1:13, did not deprive the Husband of his opportunity to object to the entry of the final order. The “good cause” exception to Rule 5A:18 did not apply where the record failed to support Husband’s assertion that he did not have an opportunity to object within the twenty-one days allowed by Rule 1:1.

2013---Kolmetz v. Hitchcock, f/k/a Kolmetz, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished Opinion No. 1464-12-2.
Husband’s failure to raise the issue of the court’s authority to exercise its jurisdiction before the trial court precludes review of the issue on appeal. While a party can challenge a court’s lack of subject matter jurisdiction for the first time on appeal, a trial court’s alleged lack of authority to exercise its jurisdiction must be raised before the trial court and preserved like any other argument.

2012---Burns v. Burns, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0359-12-4
Although the father failed to note specific objections to the trial court’s final order, he nonetheless preserved issues for appeal by filing a motion for reconsideration detailing his objections to the court’s initial findings. A hearing was held on his motion and a final order was subsequently entered. The true purpose of Rule 5A:18 requiring preservation of error is to ensure that the trial court has an opportunity to rule intelligently on a party’s objections and avoid unnecessary mistrials or reversals. Formal exceptions to rulings or orders of the court are unnecessary. (Citing Va. Code §8.01-384(A)).

2012---Moncrief v. DCSE, Va. Ct. of Appeals, No. 0051-12-2
A litigant may meet the mandates of Rule 5A:18 in different ways, including: (1) making clear his grounds for objection in a motion to strike the evidence or in a closing argument; and (2) by making the trial court aware of the legal position and not expressly waiving such arguments. Appellant made clear the grounds for his objections in his closing argument, thereby preserving his grounds for appeal.

Here, the father not only filed written pleadings with the trial court setting forth the same objections and arguments on which he appealed, but also made those grounds for objection clear in his closing argument. Despite having signed the final order as merely “seen and objected to for various reasons stated in oral argument,” father nonetheless preserved his objections in compliance with Rule 5A:18 and Va. Code § 8.01-384(A).

2012---Nelson v. Nelson, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2386-11-4
Ordinarily, endorsement of an order “Seen and Objected to” is not specific enough to meet the requirements of Rule 5A:18 because it does not sufficiently alert the trial court to the claimed error. Such an endorsement is sufficient to satisfy Rule 5A:18 only if the ruling made by the trial court was narrow enough to make obvious the basis of appellant's objection. (Citing Herring v. Herring, 33 Va. App. 281 (2000)).

2012---Jordan v. Jordan, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0698-11-2
Husband's argument that the trial court erred in granting wife's motion to strike before issuing a ruling on wife's assertion of privilege in her depositions was rendered waived under Rule 5A:18 because husband failed obtain a ruling from the trial court on such issue and, therefore, provided neither an adverse ruling for the appellate court to review nor a basis for his objection.

2012---Gudino v. Gudino, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2016-11-2
As a precondition to appellate review, Rule 5A:18 requires a contemporaneous objection in the trial court to preserve the issue on appeal. The objection must be both specific and timely. (Citing Thomas v. Commonwealth, 44 Va. App. 741 (2005)).

The “good cause exception” to Rule 5A:18 applies when a litigant does not have the opportunity to object to an alleged error during the proceedings. It does not apply when a litigant had the opportunity to object but elected not to do so, was merely taken by surprise by the trial court's decision, or failed to obtain a ruling from a trial court on a motion or objection asserted before, during, or after trial. Nor does good cause exist when a litigant concludes an objection would be futile because the trial court had already considered the issue in dispute.

Although wife did not file her objections to the trial court's guardian ad litem fee award prior to the entry of the award, the Court of Appeals applied the “good cause” exception to Rule 5A:18. The guardian ad litem had appeared, without any written motion or notice, in a proceeding addressing support and equitable distribution to orally request an award of her fees for a related, but separate custody case. Moreover, though the trial court stated from the bench that it would not enter the order awarding fees for at least three weeks, it nonetheless entered a draft order submitted by the guardian 15 days after the guardian's appearance, thus depriving wife of an opportunity to object to the order. Furthermore, mistakes in the clerk's office regarding the labeling and filing of the order caused further delay to wife in discovering that the order had been entered. The Court of Appeals remanded for reconsideration of the guardian fee award.

2011---Barrett v. Barrett, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0753-10-3
There is a difference between objections related and attached to a final order, and objections that are incidents of trial and must be supported by evidence in the record as to their timeliness during trial. In order for incidents of trial to be properly preserved, a written statement of facts (or the record) must reflect that objections were made, and the grounds therefore stated, when the occasion arose. The contemporaneous objection requirement of Rule 5A:18 is not satisfied when a party summarily includes his objections as part of the objections to a final order at a later date. The record, in whatever form it takes, must affirmatively reflect that any objections were made at a point in time when the trial court could properly act upon them. The mere recitation of objections in an attachment to the final order without an indication of their timeliness and without the reasons advanced to the circuit court in support of those objections does not properly preserve the issues.

2010---In Re: C.J.F. & W.R.F., Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0056-10-4 (Aug. 24, 2010)
The “ends of justice” exception to Rule 5A:18 requires an affirmative showing that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, not that a miscarriage might have occurred, (quoting Redman v. Commonwealth, 25 Va. App. 215 (1997)).

2010-- -White v. White, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Rec. No. 1345-09-4
Exceptions to Rule 5A:18 exist – but the Court of Appeals employs them only in rare cases, and never invokes them sua sponte.

2010---Tucker v. Wilmoth-Tucker, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2008-09-2
Rule 5A:18 may not be invoked to bar the Court of Appeals from considering an appeal that attacks the jurisdiction of the circuit court. (Citing Jones v. Division of Child Support Enforcement ex rel. Owens, 19 Va. App. 184 (1994)).

2005---D’Ambrosio v. D’Ambrosio, 45 Va. App. 323 (2005)
To take advantage of the “ends of justice” exception to Rule 5A:18, one must “affirmatively show that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, not…that a miscarriage might have occurred.” To sustain this burden, the trial court’s error must be clear, substantial, and material.

The merits of the father’s appeal of the trial court’s injunction prohibiting him from making “defamatory comments” about Mother to third parties were heard, despite the fact that the father failed to properly preserve this issue by arguing the merits before the trial court, and failed to properly note his exception to the trial court’s issuance of the injunction. Because the injunction was unlimited in both breadth and duration, the trial court’s decision to grant it constituted “clear, substantial, and material error” to such an extent that the ends of justice required the appeal to be heard.

2004---Cirrito v. Cirrito, 44 Va. App. 287
The purpose of Rule 5A:18 is to allow the trial court to correct any error that is called to its attention. Although wife's counsel endorsed an order requiring her to produce expert reports in response to requests for admissions only as “Seen,” the Court of Appeals held that counsel's comments during the hearing and the court's subsequent responses regarding the issue were sufficient indication that wife took exception to the court's ruling. The Court of Appeals further found that Wife preserved her objection, pursuant to Rule 5A:18, to the trial court's imposition of sanctions by signing the order imposing sanctions “seen and objected to” only. The trial court's ruling was narrow enough to make obvious the basis for wife's objection.

1996--- Breeding v. Breeding, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2238-95-3
Although husband failed to note an objection in the trial court to the entry of an order dealing with previously litigated and adjudicated child support arrearages, the Court of Appeals applied the “ends of justice” exception to Rule 5A:18 and held that res judicata barred the recalculation of previously adjudicated arrearage amounts.

1994---Smith v. Smith, 18 Va. App. 427
A motion for rehearing which is both filed and ruled upon within the twenty-one day period pursuant to Rule 1:1 is sufficient to preserve an assignment of error for appeal under Rule 5A:18.

1991---Lee v. Lee, 12 Va. App. 512
Neither the Virginia Code nor the Rules of the Supreme Court mandate a specific procedure to preserve for appeal an issue objected to in the trial court. A simple statement that embodies the objection and reason for the objection suffices. However, neither the Code nor Rule 5A:18 is complied with by merely objecting generally to an order. Counsel may comply with Rule 5A:18 in many ways, including making the objection and the ground for the objection clear in a motion to strike, in closing argument; during a motion to set aside the verdict or to reconsider, or in a final order.

1989---Emrich v. Emrich, 9 Va. App. 288
A unilateral avowal of counsel, a formal proffer, or a mutual stipulation is sufficient to preserve a question for appeal.

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