Litigation Procedure and Law - § 8-15 - § 8-15 (G)

§ 8-15. Orders / Judgments

  (A)       Default

  (B)       Full Faith and Credit

2015---Bajgain v. Bajgain, 64 Va. App. 439
The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution does not apply to the judgments of foreign nations. Instead, principles of comity apply to such judgments.

2009---Prashad v. Copeland and Spivey, 55 Va. App 247
Pursuant to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution and 28 U.S.C. §1738, acts, records, and judicial proceedings or copies thereof of a state other than that in which the court is sitting shall have the same full faith and credit in every court within the U.S. and its territories and possessions as they have by law or usage in the courts of such state, territory, or possession from which they are taken. While Full Faith and Credit does not require a state to substitute the statutes of other states for its own statutes, or require a state to apply another state's law in violation of its own legitimate public policy, the full faith and credit obligation is exacting when dealing with judgments of other state courts. "A final judgment in one state, if rendered by a court with adjudicatory authority over the subject matter and persons governed by the judgment, qualifies for recognition throughout the land. For claim and issue preclusion purposes, in other words, the judgment of the rendering state gains nationwide force." Baker v. Gen. Motors Corp., 522 U.S. 222, 232 (1998).

2006---Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins, 49 Va. App. 88
Case was remanded to trial court with instruction to extend full faith and credit to the custody and visitation orders of a Vermont court even though the Vermont orders were made during a same-sex divorce proceeding and Virginia law prohibits same sex marriages. (Affirmed by 276 Va. 19)

1996---Bullis v. Bullis, 22 Va. App. 24
The effect of the “full faith and credit” clause is to render a foreign judgment immune from reexamination for error in the domestic court. Even if the state court whose judgment is being enforced had erred with respect to the enforceability of the underlying transaction, the remedy for that error was direct appeal, not collateral attack in the courts of a sister state.

  (C)       Mistakes

2012---Goodwin v. Goodwin, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1413-11-2
The trial court did not err in correcting a clerical mistake in its final order subsequent to wife’s filing notice of her appeal, but prior to the record being filed in the office of the Clerk of the Court of Appeals. Ordinarily, when a party files a notice of appeal, that notice effectively transfers jurisdiction from the lower court to the appellate court. Pursuant to Va. Code §8.01-428(B), any clerical mistakes in the trial court’s order may be corrected by the trial court on its own initiative or on motion of the parties prior to the time at which the appeal is pending. Once the appeal is docketed however, such mistakes may only be corrected with leave of the appellate court. However, for appeals of right, Rule 5A:16 specifies that appeals are considered mature for purposes of further proceedings from the date the record is filed in the office of the Clerk of the Court of Appeals. Thus, an appeal of right is considered “docketed” when the record is so filed.

The trial court did not err in entering an order nunc pro tunc, which revised its previous written order to specifically note that wife was found in contempt. Despite wife’s argument that the court’s change did not amount to the mere correction of a clerical error or inadvertent omission, but instead constituted a substantive addition to an otherwise complete order, the transcript from the original hearing clearly established that the trial court had indeed found wife in contempt. The fact that a clerical error may affect a substantive right does not alter the fact that such clerical errors may be corrected, provided the error truly is clerical in nature.

2002---White v. White, 38 Va. App. 389
Va. Code §8.01-428  authorizes a trial court to correct clerical mistakes in judgment or other parts of record.

2001---Hart v. Hart, 35 Va. App. 221
Trial court exceeded its authority when, on remand from the Court of Appeals, it elaborated on a portion of its order which was not appealed to the Court of Appeals, nor otherwise addressed or challenged by either party or the court within 21 days after the original order was issued. The original order divided a portion of land, giving husband and wife each a parcel, and ordered that each party enjoy an easement over the other party’s parcel for purposes of accessing a common boat ramp. The issue of maintenance costs for the easements was appealed, and the Court of Appeals remanded the case to the trial court for purposes of reapportioning those costs. However, on remand, the trial court amended its original rulings on the easement to include specific width and boundary requirements that had not been otherwise argued or addressed at the original trial. The Court of Appeals held that these additional rulings were not simply the correction of a “clerical error” as contemplated by Va. Code §8.01-428. Furthermore, the additional rulings went beyond the scope of the specific maintenance cost issue for which the case had been remanded.

1996---Tutunjian v. Tutunjian, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1694-95-1

Where the original divorce decree repeatedly characterized as spousal support certain moneys payable to Wife pursuant to the parties settlement agreement, and the settlement agreement itself characterized the payments as spousal support, the trial court erred in determining that the classification in the original decree was a “clerical error” as contemplated under Va. Code §8.01-428(B).

1981---Dorn v. Dorn, 222 Va. 288
Rule 1:1 does not prohibit a trial court for correcting, nunc pro tunc, a mutually unintended drafting error contained in a divorce decree under Code of Virginia § 8.01-428(B). Rule 1:1 was not intended to limit, and in fact cannot limit, the trial court’s statutory authority to correct clerical errors in judgments under Code § 8.01-428(B). Where the parties to a settlement agreement initially drafted the child support provision to provide for payments of $100.00 per month per child, and “per month” was subsequently erased and replaced with “bi-weekly,” and the drafting attorney testified that he had substituted “bi-weekly” for “per month” in order to ensure that payments were made every other week and not to change the total amount due each month, the drafting error was an “oversight” under Code § 8.01-428(B) and could be corrected by a nunc pro tunc order.

  (D)       Prior Orders

2010---Johnson v. Johnson, 56 Va. App. 511
It is firmly established that trial courts have the authority to interpret their own orders. On appeal, when construing a lower court’s order, a reviewing court should give deference to the interpretation adopted by the lower court.

2009---Brown v. Brown, 53 Va. App. 723
Where a court’s decree does not expressly or by necessity supplant the provisions of the former decree incorporating the agreement or where the two are not incompatible, the valid provisions of both decrees will be enforced.  (citing Schmidt v. Schmidt, 6 Va. App. 501 (1988)).

1988---Schmidt v. Schmidt, 6 Va. App. 501
When a subsequent modification order is entered, all previous orders not specifically modified remain in full effect.

  (E)       Re-open Case

2015---Pope v. Pope, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1512-14-4
Generally, a court has the inherent power, based upon any competent evidence, to amend the record at any time when the justice and truth of the case requires it, so as to cause its acts and proceedings to be set forth correctly.

1998---Shooltz v. Shooltz, 27 Va. App. 264
The trial has the authority to re-open an equitable distribution hearing to obtain most current and accurate information available.

  (F)       Finality of Judgments (Rule 1:1)

2016---Lewis v. Lewis, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1042-15-1
The trial court had jurisdiction to determine whether a mutual mistake resulted in a scrivener’s error in the parties’ settlement agreement. Although the divorce order incorporating the agreement became final twenty-one days after entry pursuant to Rule 1:1, Va. Code § 8.01-428(B) provides an exception to Rule 1:1 to allow for the correction of clerical mistakes in judgments or other errors in the record.

2015---Groo v. Burton, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0408-15-4
The trial court did not err in granting Father an extension to file his appeal because he did not receive notice of the order denying his motion to reconsider. A trial court may extend a party’s time to notice an appeal under Code §8.01-428(C) if that party received no notice of the entry of the final order. Here, the trial court stayed its order granting Mother’s motion to strike before denying Father’s motion to reconsider. Under Rule 5A:3(a) the time period for filing an appeal is not extended by a motion for new trial or similar motion unless the final judgment is modified, vacated, or suspended pursuant to Rule 1:1, in which case the time for filing an appeal is computed from the date of the final judgment following such modification, vacation, or suspension. Because the trial suspended its order granting Mother’s motion to strike before denying Father’s motion to reconsider, the order denying Father’s motion to reconsider was the final order.

2015---Bracaloni v. Edge, Va. Court of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1722-14-2
Rule 1:1 barred Mother’s assignment of error on appeal. Although the trial court orally denied Mother’s motion to reconsider a final order within twenty-one days of entry, the court did not enter a written order memorializing its oral ruling, or an order suspending or vacating the final order, until more than twenty-one days after it entered the final order. Consequently the trial court lost jurisdiction over the case twenty-one days after it entered the final order. Although Mother filed written objections to the final order, she failed to do so within twenty-one days of the entry of the final order. Accordingly, Mother failed to preserve her objections for appeal.

2015---Pope v. Pope, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1512-14-4
The trial court erred by concluding that Rule 1:1 prevented the court from clarifying and modifying its prior equitable distribution order. Code of Virginia § 20-107.3(K) authorizes a court to exercise its continuing authority and jurisdiction to make additional orders necessary to effectuate and enforce a prior equitable distribution order, even after Rule 1:1’s twenty-one day deadline has expired. A court’s modification under Code § 20-107.3(K) must be consistent with the substantive provisions of the original decree and not simply an adjustment of the decree’s terms in light of the parties’ changed circumstances. A court cannot avoid the bar of Rule 1:1 if it rules on a substantive, contested issue that was encompassed by the terms of the original decree. Here, in the final decree, the trial court awarded property to Wife in exchange for her payment of debt that Husband incurred in acquiring the property. However, neither party offered evidence regarding the amount of Husband’s debt. Because the trial court had previously ruled that Wife was to pay Husband’s debt in exchange for the property, Code § 20-107.3(K) allowed the trial court to enter an order clarifying the final decree.

2014---Grenadier v. Grenadier, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2141-13-4
The trial court did not err by denying Wife’s request to reopen the case and present new evidence of Husband’s alleged fraud because the court entered its final divorce decree thirteen years earlier. Rule 1:1 of the Supreme Court of Virginia governs final divorce decrees no less than any other final order.

2013---Cabral v. Cabral, 62 Va. App. 600
The trial court erred in reopening a divorce case and in awarding wife a portion of an asset not owned by either party, but instead by a business in which Husband had an interest. Because of the asset of the business was not an asset of the parties, and thus never subject to equitable distribution, Wife’s request fell outside the scope of the exceptions to Rule 1:1 found in Va. Code §20-107.3.

2013---Forest v. Forest, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0836-12-4
Rule 1:1 states that a final order cannot be modified more than twenty-one days after its entry. Code of Virginia §20-107.3(K)(4) creates a limited exception to Rule 1:1 to allow for the entry of additional orders needed to effectuate and enforce orders entered pursuant to §20-107.3 after twenty-one days.

2013---Guirguis v. Salib, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0038-12-1
The trial court did not err in finding that it had jurisdiction to vacate a show cause order more than 21 days after entering the order. Though the order reaffirmed the parties settlement agreement, found Husband in contempt for failing to pay in accordance with the agreement, referred all future issues to a juvenile court pursuant to Va. Code §20-79, and contained language ending the matter, the Order did not dispense with the parties’ pending divorce action, and thus, with the “whole subject of the cause.” Upon later vacating the settlement agreement upon which the show cause order was based, the trial court had jurisdiction to vacate the show cause order.

2012---Gerensky-Greene v. Gerensky, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1801-11-4
An order granting non-suit is subject to the provisions of Rule 1:1, and, like all final judgments, remains under control of court for 21 days after entry. (Citing Johnson v. Woodard, 281 Va. 403 (2011)). However, the trial court may avoid the application of the 21-day period by including specific language in the order that the court is retaining jurisdiction to address matters still pending before the court. A mere indication that the court intends to rule on pending matters, however, is insufficient to negate the finality of the order.

The trial court retained jurisdiction to consider a motion for sanctions more than 21 days after entering an order granting non-suit, where the court specifically struck through language stating that the order was final and handwrote “and this cause is continued.”

2012---Carrithers v. Harrah, 60 Va. App. 69
In general terms, a final judgment is one which disposes of the entire action and leaves nothing to be done except the ministerial superintendence of execution of judgment. 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.

2012--- Craig v. Craig, 59 Va. App. 527
The trial court had jurisdiction to modify a previously-entered QDRO pursuant to Va. Code §20-107.3(K)(4), where the interpretation that the Office of Personal Management applied to the formula for the payment to wife of husband’s retirement benefits contained in the QDRO did not match the intent of the parties as set forth in their settlement agreement.  The modification of the QDRO was consistent with the substantive provisions of the settlement agreement and divorce decree, and did not simply adjust the terms in light of changed circumstances.  Thus, Rule 1:1 didn’t apply, and the trial court had jurisdiction to modify the QDRO.

2011--- Johnson v. Woodard, 281 Va. 403
The circuit court retained jurisdiction beyond 21 days to consider a motion for sanctions after entry of a nonsuit order, where the nonsuit order stated that the court was retaining jurisdiction and that it was not a final order for purposes of Rule 1:1. A circuit court may avoid the application of the 21-day time period in Rule 1:1 by including specific language stating that the court is retaining jurisdiction to address matters still pending before the court. In this case, although the court entered an order awarding attorney’s fees and costs and imposing sanctions well more than 21 days after entry of the nonsuit order, the nonsuit order specifically stated that it was not a final order for purposes of Rule 1:1 and that the court would retain jurisdiction to consider any application for attorney’s fees and costs or other relief. This language is sufficient for a court to retain jurisdiction beyond the 21-day period stated in Rule 1:1.

2011---Eklund v. Eklund, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1120-10-1
Although Va. Code §8.01-428(C) provides a narrow exception to Rule 1:1 by allowing trial courts to effectively extend the 21-day rule to 60 days when a party does not receive notice of the entry of an order in time to pursue post-trial relief or note an appeal, the exception applies only to orders entered by circuit courts, not to orders entered by juvenile or general district courts.

2009---Schwenk v. Schwenk, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2273-08-2
Wife’s motion to rehear was not timely filed.  Although Wife filed the motion on the twentieth day after the entry of the final decree, she failed to request in that motion that the trial court vacate or suspend the final decree pursuant to Rule 1:1, and the Court therefore took no such action.  After the twenty-first day, the trial court lost jurisdiction to modify the final decree. 

2008---Alexander v. Flowers, 51 Va. App. 404
Where the trial court specifically reserved for a later date a ruling regarding attorneys’ fees requests, the Court’s order was not yet final.

2005--- Mina v. Mina, 45 Va. App. 215
Trial court erred in denying wife’s motion for attorney’s fees incurred in opposing husband’s motion to vacate, based on grounds that she failed to file the motion within 21 days of the court’s order denying husband’s motion to vacate.  In its order denying husband’s motion to vacate, the court indicated that the parties could present arguments on attorney’s fees at “a later date.”  An order that retains jurisdiction to address other matters still pending is not a final order under Rule 1:1, and therefore does not commence the 21-day period. 

2003---Hart v. Hart, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0952-02-3
Although Va. Code §8.01-428(B) codifies an exception to Rule 1:1's twenty-one day deadline by authorizing a trial court to correct "clerical mistakes in all judgments or other parts of the record and errors therein arising from oversight or from an inadvertent omission," the evidence must clearly support the conclusion that the error was one of oversight or inadvertence.

The trial court did not err in holding that it lacked jurisdiction to amend its equitable distribution award to include a twenty acre parcel of property because that error was neither clerical in nature nor raised as an issue on appeal from the decree by either party. The court apportioned a certain parcel of property fronting a lake, based on husband's testimony and evidence as to the boundaries of that parcel. Upon later discovery that the parcel actually included twenty acres submerged under the lake, husband attempted to argue that the trial court's failure to identify that twenty acres as being part of the lake-front parcel was a "clerical error." However, the record contained no evidence presented by either party as to the value of the submerged property or any unique characteristics of the property that would be relevant to the distribution questions before the trial court.

2001---Hart v. Hart, 35 Va. App. 221
Trial court exceeded its authority when, on remand from the Court of Appeals, it elaborated on a portion of its order which was not appealed to the Court of Appeals, nor otherwise addressed or challenged by either party or the court within 21 days after the original order was issued. The original order divided a portion of land, giving husband and wife each a parcel, and ordered that each party enjoy an easement over the other party’s parcel for purposes of accessing a common boat ramp. The issue of maintenance costs for the easements was appealed, and the Court of Appeals remanded the case to the trial court for purposes of reapportioning those costs. However, on remand, the trial court amended its original rulings on the easement to include specific width and boundary requirements that had not been otherwise argued or addressed at the original trial. The Court of Appeals held that these additional rulings were not simply the correction of a “clerical error” as contemplated by Va. Code §8.01-428. Furthermore, the additional rulings went beyond the scope of the specific maintenance cost issue for which the case had been remanded.

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.

The trial court lacked jurisdiction to award father attorney’s fees and guardian ad litem costs upon denial of mother’s motion to rehear, as more than twenty-one days had passed since the court entered a final order granting husband’s motion for custody, upon which mother’s motion to rehear was based.

1996---Decker v. Decker, 22 Va. App. 486
Generally, the court has the inherent power, based upon competent evidence, to amend the record at any time, when the justice and truth of the case requires it, so as to cause its acts and proceedings to be set forth correctly. Additionally, Va. Code §8.01-428(B) allows the court, upon motion of any party or upon its own motion, to correct clerical mistakes in judgments and errors arising from oversight or from an inadvertent omission at any time. However, the power to amend should not be confounded with the power to create. Unless one of these limited exceptions to Rule 1:1 applies, a court loses jurisdiction over a case twenty-one days after the initial judgment. • Trial court lacked jurisdiction, pursuant to Rule 1:1, to grant husband credit for pendente lite mortgage payments, where a final decree of divorce resolving support and equitable distribution issues was entered two years prior. The continuing jurisdiction to make additional orders necessary to effectuate and enforce equitable distribution orders, as set forth in Va. Code §20-107.3(K), does not avoid the bar of Rule 1:1 where the subsequent order deals with a substantive, contested issue that was encompassed by the terms of the final decree.

1996---Tutunjian v. Tutunjian, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1694-95-1

Where the original divorce decree repeatedly characterized as spousal support certain moneys payable to Wife pursuant to the parties settlement agreement, and the settlement agreement itself characterized the payments as spousal support, the trial court erred in determining that the classification in the original decree was a “clerical error” as contemplated under Va. Code §8.01-428(B).

1995---Bogart v. Bogart, 21 Va. App. 280
Trial court’s letter opinion, which granted husband’s motion for reconsideration and awarded him attorney’s fees, was not sufficient to vacate the previous order denying him attorney’s fees, for purposes of Rule 1:1. There must be an entry, within the twenty-one-day period after final judgment, of an order vacating the final order. Although the letter opinion, issued prior to the expiration of the twenty-one-day period, stated that husband’s counsel was to submit an order for entry within ten days (which would have been within the twenty-one-day period), husband’s counsel failed to do so, resulting in the entry of the order twenty-two days after the final judgment.

1994---Caudle v. Caudle, 18 Va. App. 795
The trial court exceeded its authority when modifying a final divorce decree to delay the date on which wife would begin receiving the portion of husband’s retirement that was awarded to her. Although Va. Code §20-107.3(K)(4) creates a limited exception to Rule 1:1 by allowing courts to modify a decree intended to divide a pension or retirement plan, a court may only make such a modification for the limited purpose of “revising or conforming the terms of the order so as to effectuate the expressed intent of the order.” Here, the original decree stated that wife would begin receiving her portion of the retirement benefits at the time husband began receiving his retirement benefits. When husband retired early, at age 51, as a result of his developing a brain tumor, the court modified the decree, on husband’s petition, such that wife wouldn’t receive her portion of the benefits until husband reached age 55. That modification was contrary to the express intent of the original decree, which provided for wife’s receipt of her portion of the benefit “when [husband] commences to receive a retirement benefit.”

1992--Dixon v. Pugh, 244 Va. 539 (1992)
Trial court erred in amending its final decree nunc pro tunc to grant Wife a lump sum award of spousal support where the court’s final decree failed to contain a clear and explicit reservation of jurisdiction over that matter. Although the trial transcript indicated that the trial judge had intended to grant a reservation of spousal support in order to later award wife a lump sum payment, the court lost jurisdiction over the award of support twenty-one days after the entry of the final decree because that decree did not contain an explicit reservation of jurisdiction.

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  (G)       Endorsement/Notice of Presentation

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.

2012---Zedan v. Westheim, 60 Va. App. 556
Va. Code §20-99.1:1 requires that, when a defendant has filed an answer, no order or decree may be entered without notice to the defendant. The trial court erred in finding that the notice requirement in Va. Code §20-99.1:1 applied only when the defendant had accepted or waived service and filed an answer in the suit. Moreover, knowledge of potential proceedings, which husband arguably had, is not the same as knowledge of a proposed or entered court order. The statue requires notice prior to entry of orders, not a generalized awareness of court proceedings or potential proceedings.

The trial court did not err in finding the decree of annulment voidable rather than void ab initio, despite wife’s failure to provide husband with notice of the presentation of the decree pursuant to Va. Code §20-99.1:1. An order is void ab initio if entered by a court without subject matter jurisdiction or personal jurisdiction, if the character of the order is such that the court had no power to render it, or if the mode of procedure used by the court was one that the court could not lawfully adopt. The trial court had subject matter jurisdiction over the annulment pursuant to Va. Code §20-89.1. Moreover, because husband filed an answer, without making any special appearance to contest jurisdiction, he submitted to the personal jurisdiction of the court.

2009---Schwenk v. Schwenk, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2273-08-2 
Failure to comply with Rule 1:13  renders an order voidable, not void ab initio. (citing Singh v. Mooney, 261 Va. 48, 51 (2001)).

2007---Whiting v. Whiting, 262 Va. 3
Va. Supreme Court reversed judgment of Court of Appeals that a final divorce order entered without notice of endorsement of Husband was void ab initio, when, after Court of Appeals decision in this case, the Virginia Supreme Court held, in Napert v. Napert, 261 Va. 45 (2001), that orders entered in violation of Rule 1:13  (endorsement or reasonable notice of presentation of orders required unless dispensed with by Court) are merely voidable, not void ab initio. A voidable order is not subject to collateral attack and must be challenged within twenty-one days pursuant to Rule 1:1. Because Husband failed to challenge final order of divorce within twenty-one days, Order remained in full force and effect. 

2001---Hickson v. Hickson, 34 Va. App. 246
The trial court erred in vacating a divorce order based on husband’s argument that the sketch order and notice of hearing for purposes of presenting that order were provided to husband’s prior counsel of record, whom husband had previously fired. Although husband had fired his previous attorney, the court had not entered an order of withdrawal until the day of the hearing. Thus, as his prior attorney remained counsel of record until that time, service upon the prior attorney was sufficient notice of presentation of the order pursuant to Rule 1:13.

1999---Francis v. Francis, 30 Va. App. 584
Once an attorney has appeared as the counsel of record, service on that attorney is proper until the court enters a withdrawal order. Although wife in this case terminated her contractual relationship with her attorney, and sent a letter to the court notifying the court of that fact, neither she nor her attorney took the steps necessary to substitute a new counsel of record or to effectuate a proper withdrawal. In satisfying his/her obligation to the court and the opposing party, a party cannot merely announce that he/she is no longer represented by counsel of record. Thus, the trial court did not err in entering a divorce decree without endorsement by wife or her counsel.

1995---Diamond v. Diamond, 20 Va. App. 481
Trial court did not err in entering a final order of divorce without wife’s signature where wife appeared at depositions taken before a commissioner, waived her signature to the depositions, received notice of the commissioner’s factual findings and recommendations and request that an order be entered, and took no exception to the commissioner’s written findings. Because wife never signed a pleading nor notified the other party and the clerk in writing that she “appeared” in the case, Rule 1:13 was not applicable to her.

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