The Virginia Judicial System consists of four levels of courts: the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the circuit courts, and the district courts. While many community association disputes are litigated in General District Court, the General District Courts are courts “not of record” – the General District Courts do not produce written opinions. The 120 Circuit Courts in Virginia are “of record,” and do, therefore, generate written opinions.
A collection Supreme Court opinions related to community associations (including all since 1995) and important Circuit Court opinions are available on TheMossReport through the link above.
Official opinions are issued by the Virginia Attorney General as part of the duties of office prescribed in Section 2.2-505 of the Code of Virginia. A person authorized by statute, such as the governor, a member of the General Assembly, a constitutional officer, or the head of a state agency, can ask the attorney general for an official opinion on the law.
Attorney General opinions represent the Attorney General’s analysis of current law based on existing statutes, the Virginia and United States constitutions, and relevant court decisions. Attorney General opinions are not “rulings” and do not create new law, nor do they change existing law. And, while the opinions may be given deference by the courts, they are not binding on the courts.
A collection of Attorney General opinions related to community associations (since 1997) is available on TheMossReport through the link above.
The Virginia Common Interest Community Board (“CICB”) occasionally develops documents that providing information or guidance on topics of general applicability to the staff or public that interpret or implement statutes or the CICB’s rules or regulations. These “guidance documents” are available through the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website and a collection of the CICB guidance documents are available on TheMossReport through the link above.
The Virginia Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman issues Determinations in limited circumstances, upon review of eligible Notices of Final Adverse Decision resulting from the submission of a Complaint through an Association’s Complaint Procedure.
An Ombudsman Determination is not a judicial verdict, court decree, Board order or official opinion. It is legally non-binding and strictly limited to laws and regulations pertaining exclusively to common interest communities. The Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman offers assistance and information to association members regarding the rights and processes available to them through their associations.
All released Ombudsman Determinations available on TheMossReport through the link above.