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Posted: 11/28/2011 6:55:32 PM EDT
Anyone know if bill HB854 has passed? I could not find anything online about it but was just curious if we have the castle doctrine now??
Link Posted: 11/28/2011 7:03:48 PM EDT
No. It failed.
Link Posted: 11/28/2011 7:06:54 PM EDT
From what I have read, VA has a "no duty to retreat" law in place? Can anyone explain this?
Link Posted: 11/28/2011 7:56:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By chc556:
From what I have read, VA has a "no duty to retreat" law in place? Can anyone explain this?


just means in order to use deadly force you dont have to try and escape if someone is threatening you with deadly force. some states require you to try and run away before you can use deadly force, Va isnt one of them. as long as you have a "right to be there" then you have no duty to retreat. now, if your trespassing you could find yourself in a bind if you use deadly force. but if you're in your home or even at a stop and rob you do not have a duty to retreat and can stand your ground and use deadly force IF deadly force is whats being threatened towards you. i also believe if you search around you also have the right to defend a 3rd party if deadly force is being threatened on them. im sure one of our legal members will be along in a bit to fill in the whole details.
Link Posted: 11/28/2011 8:18:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By chc556:
From what I have read, VA has a "no duty to retreat" law in place? Can anyone explain this?


just means in order to use deadly force you dont have to try and escape if someone is threatening you with deadly force. some states require you to try and run away before you can use deadly force, Va isnt one of them. as long as you have a "right to be there" then you have no duty to retreat. now, if your trespassing you could find yourself in a bind if you use deadly force. but if you're in your home or even at a stop and rob you do not have a duty to retreat and can stand your ground and use deadly force IF deadly force is whats being threatened towards you. i also believe if you search around you also have the right to defend a 3rd party if deadly force is being threatened on them. im sure one of our legal members will be along in a bit to fill in the whole details.
Awesome, thanks for the info. Another rookie question, but why are/were we trying to get a castle doctrine passed if we have a "no duty to retreat" law already? For civil suit's sake?

Link Posted: 11/28/2011 9:02:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By chc556:

Awesome, thanks for the info. Another rookie question, but why are/were we trying to get a castle doctrine passed if we have a "no duty to retreat" law already? For civil suit's sake?



its more than just that with castle doctrine. even with no duty to retreat you still have no right to use force to defend your property.
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 1:51:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By chc556:
From what I have read, VA has a "no duty to retreat" law in place? Can anyone explain this?


just means in order to use deadly force you dont have to try and escape if someone is threatening you with deadly force. some states require you to try and run away before you can use deadly force, Va isnt one of them. as long as you have a "right to be there" then you have no duty to retreat. now, if your trespassing you could find yourself in a bind if you use deadly force. but if you're in your home or even at a stop and rob you do not have a duty to retreat and can stand your ground and use deadly force IF deadly force is whats being threatened towards you. i also believe if you search around you also have the right to defend a 3rd party if deadly force is being threatened on them. im sure one of our legal members will be along in a bit to fill in the whole details.


Id really like to see this not that I dont think you are right but I have bin told for years that you have to retreat if you are threatened.
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 3:36:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 4:28:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By VA-gunnut:

It was probably someone from NJ telling you the opposite.


HEY! I resemble that remark, but I think I've been here in Va long enough now to have forgotten NJ!

The "no duty to retreat" thing is correct. Virginia is a "stand your ground" state....as long as 2 conditions are met: A) that you are in a place that you are legally allowed to be, and B) that you were not the instigator of the situation.

This is one of the topics that seems to bring about the most questions in my classes...and its one of the most important topics that people probably don't know about while they're out there carrying a gun.
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 5:27:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/29/2011 7:17:05 AM EDT by ckichinko]
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By chc556:
From what I have read, VA has a "no duty to retreat" law in place? Can anyone explain this?


just means in order to use deadly force you dont have to try and escape if someone is threatening you with deadly force or serious harm. some states require you to try and run away before you can use deadly force, Va isnt one of them. as long as you have a "right to be there" then you have no duty to retreat. now, if your trespassing you could find yourself in a bind if you use deadly force. but if you're in your home or even at a stop and rob you do not have a duty to retreat and can stand your ground and use deadly force IF deadly force is whats being threatened towards youyou are in reasonable fear of grave injury or death to yourself or another. i also believe if you search around you also have the right to defend a 3rd party if deadly force is being threatened on themsee above. im sure one of our legal members will be along in a bit to fill in the whole details.


A couple important distinctions above.

One of the reasons there's not a huge push for Castle Doctrine to be passed in Virginia is that we've have more than 20 years of case law since becoming shall-issue that establishes a really strong precedent for what mylt and I posted above. Passing a Castle Law would effectively nullify all of that and start us back at square one again, and allow the law to be intrepreted and legislated from the bench, as it were. Virginia actually has some pretty damned good self-defense law. It just lacks the ability to use deadly force to protect property.
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 6:58:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/29/2011 7:00:15 AM EDT by brickeyee]
Buy and read 'The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide'.

Virginia has a very healthy amount of common (case) law that defines how and when lethal force may be used.

We have NO statute law governing lethal force for ANYONE, including the police.

It is ALL case law.

There is no duty to retreat in Virginia from any place you are otherwise legally allowed to be.
That includes walking down the street.

No on has dared to try and bring a civil suite in Virginia for an otherwise 'legal' shooting.
Any attorney who tried would likely find themselves out of a job and out of business.

The 'castle doctrine' does NOT allow you to just shoot anyone.

In most states with a 'castle doctrine' you still have to have reasonable fear of death or grave bodily injury, and will have to convince a prosecutor if that or they may still bring charges.

Self defense is an affirmative defense.
You admit to the charge of homicide, but in most (if not every place) must then present evidence to justify your actions.
"Yes I shot and killed the SOB, but he was going to shoot me."

Many of the 'castle doctrine' laws do create a 'loser pays' if a criminal tries to sue after a shooting.

If they prevail you would still have to pay, but if you prevail they have to pay YOUR costs.
And remember civil court is 'preponderance of the evidence', NOT 'beyond a reasonable doubt.'

Few attorneys (with often indigent clients) are going to risk their money on such a case effectively squelching them from being filed.


Previous attempts to pass a castle doctrine in Virginia foundered on the extensive case law and the desire to not disturb it o call it into question.

It is rather settled law, with cases going back many many years at just about every level.






Link Posted: 11/29/2011 7:57:24 AM EDT
As an aside up until about 5 years ago WVa required you to retreat, even in your own home. That really sucked and I'm glad they changed it.
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 9:44:09 AM EDT
I read a few of the VA Supreme court cases over use of deadly force and by no means an expert. But, I think it needs to be stressed that if you cause the situation for the need of deadly force, you will be quilty (LEO's have learned this lesson)! Virginia does state life over property.

What I never understood, a bunch guys walk up to beat the heck out of you with no weapons, does that justify deadly force?
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 11:25:08 AM EDT
Great information guys. Thank you for all of the input. I added The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide to my Christmas list.
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 11:40:19 AM EDT
What I never understood, a bunch guys walk up to beat the heck out of you with no weapons, does that justify deadly force?


Disparate size or a group.

If they have mean, motive, and threaten.

Every gun owner in Virginia should have purchased and read 'The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide.'

It has all the major items well covered and gives case names if you want to look then up.
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 12:15:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Self defense is an affirmative defense.
You admit to the charge of homicide, but in most (if not every place) must then present evidence to justify your actions.



Good point. A "defensive shooting" resulting in death is actually still a homicide.

"Self defense" is simply a defense to the criminal charges attendant the homicide; i.e. so called "justifiable homicide."
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 1:47:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ckichinko:
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By chc556:
From what I have read, VA has a "no duty to retreat" law in place? Can anyone explain this?


just means in order to use deadly force you dont have to try and escape if someone is threatening you with deadly force or serious harm. some states require you to try and run away before you can use deadly force, Va isnt one of them. as long as you have a "right to be there" then you have no duty to retreat. now, if your trespassing you could find yourself in a bind if you use deadly force. but if you're in your home or even at a stop and rob you do not have a duty to retreat and can stand your ground and use deadly force IF deadly force is whats being threatened towards youyou are in reasonable fear of grave injury or death to yourself or another. i also believe if you search around you also have the right to defend a 3rd party if deadly force is being threatened on themsee above. im sure one of our legal members will be along in a bit to fill in the whole details.


A couple important distinctions above.

One of the reasons there's not a huge push for Castle Doctrine to be passed in Virginia is that we've have more than 20 years of case law since becoming shall-issue that establishes a really strong precedent for what mylt and I posted above. Passing a Castle Law would effectively nullify all of that and start us back at square one again, and allow the law to be intrepreted and legislated from the bench, as it were. Virginia actually has some pretty damned good self-defense law. It just lacks the ability to use deadly force to protect property.


We have a lot more than 20 years worth. Virginia follows the common law rule that, if you had no part in causing the altercation (and that's important), then you have no duty to retreat ANYWHERE.

Shall-issue CCW has nothing to do with this.

Passing a more specific "castle doctrine" statute would not "nullify" the common law, but it is a) not necessary and b) would create a source from which lawyers could create all sorts of mischief in questioning shoots outside the home. It would create a difference between using DPF inside and outside the home, whereas right now there is no difference and the law is quite favorable. So I say leave it alone.
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 1:48:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By brickeyee:

No on has dared to try and bring a civil suite in Virginia for an otherwise 'legal' shooting.
Any attorney who tried would likely find themselves out of a job and out of business.


I highly doubt that either of the above statements is true.






Link Posted: 11/29/2011 4:07:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By wentrogue:
What I never understood, a bunch guys walk up to beat the heck out of you with no weapons, does that justify deadly force?


You ever seen someone get jumped by 3 or 4 people? The damage that can be inflicted can easily reach lethal force, especially once the victim goes to the ground and the kicking begins.
Link Posted: 11/29/2011 5:04:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pevrs114:
Originally Posted By wentrogue:
What I never understood, a bunch guys walk up to beat the heck out of you with no weapons, does that justify deadly force?


You ever seen someone get jumped by 3 or 4 people? The damage that can be inflicted can easily reach lethal force, especially once the victim goes to the ground and the kicking begins.


Yup. There have been several incidents in the last couple years just in Richmond where a lone victim was jumped and severely beaten by a group of "urban youths." The injuries can be substantial. I'd have no issue using and defending use of deadly force in that scenario with 3 or 4 attackers. 2 becomes a closer call but can still be justified.
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 4:03:53 AM EDT
"Articulation of the facts" is key in any legal proceeding....

Just sayin'.
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 6:53:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By ckichinko:
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By chc556:
From what I have read, VA has a "no duty to retreat" law in place? Can anyone explain this?


just means in order to use deadly force you dont have to try and escape if someone is threatening you with deadly force or serious harm. some states require you to try and run away before you can use deadly force, Va isnt one of them. as long as you have a "right to be there" then you have no duty to retreat. now, if your trespassing you could find yourself in a bind if you use deadly force. but if you're in your home or even at a stop and rob you do not have a duty to retreat and can stand your ground and use deadly force IF deadly force is whats being threatened towards youyou are in reasonable fear of grave injury or death to yourself or another. i also believe if you search around you also have the right to defend a 3rd party if deadly force is being threatened on themsee above. im sure one of our legal members will be along in a bit to fill in the whole details.


A couple important distinctions above.

One of the reasons there's not a huge push for Castle Doctrine to be passed in Virginia is that we've have more than 20 years of case law since becoming shall-issue that establishes a really strong precedent for what mylt and I posted above. Passing a Castle Law would effectively nullify all of that and start us back at square one again, and allow the law to be intrepreted and legislated from the bench, as it were. Virginia actually has some pretty damned good self-defense law. It just lacks the ability to use deadly force to protect property.


We have a lot more than 20 years worth. Virginia follows the common law rule that, if you had no part in causing the altercation (and that's important), then you have no duty to retreat ANYWHERE.

Shall-issue CCW has nothing to do with this.

Passing a more specific "castle doctrine" statute would not "nullify" the common law, but it is a) not necessary and b) would create a source from which lawyers could create all sorts of mischief in questioning shoots outside the home. It would create a difference between using DPF inside and outside the home, whereas right now there is no difference and the law is quite favorable. So I say leave it alone.


Shall-issue CCW has quite a bit to do with duty to retreat. Most "Castle Doctrine" laws have a lot to do with being on your property rather than out in public. You're right, we have a lot more than 20 years of case law, but the last 20-some years have been especially important.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 7:28:17 AM EDT
Shall-issue CCW has quite a bit to do with duty to retreat.


The 'no duty to retreat' preceded 'CCW shall issue' by a very long time.
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 7:29:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:

No on has dared to try and bring a civil suite in Virginia for an otherwise 'legal' shooting.
Any attorney who tried would likely find themselves out of a job and out of business.


I highly doubt that either of the above statements is true.








Find the case(s) then and post them.

Link Posted: 11/30/2011 11:44:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/30/2011 11:45:56 AM EDT by RenegadeX]

Originally Posted By brickeyee:


Find the case(s) then and post them.


Google returns lots of cases involving Tasers.

Google returns lots of cases involving LE shootings.

Non-LEO shootings not too many, as they are not newsworthy, but this link mentions a few.

http://vagunforum.net/virginia-laws/justified-shooting-self-defense-then-comes-the-lawsuit-t2012-20.html

If anyone shoots me or my family, they are getting sued.
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 12:58:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:

Originally Posted By brickeyee:


Find the case(s) then and post them.


Google returns lots of cases involving Tasers.

Google returns lots of cases involving LE shootings.

Non-LEO shootings not too many, as they are not newsworthy, but this link mentions a few.

http://vagunforum.net/virginia-laws/justified-shooting-self-defense-then-comes-the-lawsuit-t2012-20.html

If anyone shoots me or my family, they are getting sued.


I scrolled though your link and saw NO real court cases in VA sited. I saw a lot of people's OPINIONS of what they think the law may or may not include or cover. You can file a lawsuit in VA but does not mean its going very far and lawyers that are worth anything in VA know this. Remember ...different states have different laws. What goes in Texas may not fly here in VA.

Can anybody site a court case here in VA when a citizen used justified deadly force against a bad guy and was sued....and lost????
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 1:56:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/30/2011 1:59:22 PM EDT by RenegadeX]

Originally Posted By west2746:

I scrolled though your link and saw NO real court cases in VA sited.

Contact the posters and ask them for specific details on the cases they mentioned if you need to know more. As dbrowne1 alluded to, the idea not 1 single has ever been filed in the last few hundred years or so it kind of silly on its face.


Originally Posted By west2746:

You can file a lawsuit in VA but

yes, that was all that was asked.


Originally Posted By west2746:

Can anybody site a court case here in VA when a citizen used justified deadly force against a bad guy and was sued....and lost????

That is different than what was asked. If your read the thread I provided you will see settling out of court is common. If that is "lost" or not I do not know, but if it is coming out of my pockets I would say yes. Again, if you really want to know more contact those in that thread. It is VA Gun Forum, I would think most posters here have accounts, just like me.

Link Posted: 11/30/2011 4:42:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/30/2011 5:04:24 PM EDT by dbrowne1]
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:

No on has dared to try and bring a civil suite in Virginia for an otherwise 'legal' shooting.
Any attorney who tried would likely find themselves out of a job and out of business.


I highly doubt that either of the above statements is true.


Find the case(s) then and post them.



One of the other lawyers at my firm was involved in one several years ago. I'm not inclined to post details on that one, but in any case, your assertion that "no one has dared to bring a civil suite [sic] for an otherwise "legal" shooting" is nonsense. There was a case not too long ago where an off-duty cop working an approved detail, who has more defenses than a private citizen, shot someone near an IHOP in Alexandria when the guy tried to run him over with a car. He got sued and it settled for over a million dollars. This stuff gets discussed on the VTLA attorney's listserve from time to time, cases have been filed. That doesn't mean they show up on Google or even Lexis. I'm not going to spend time tonight pulling cases for you. If you choose not to believe me on this, that's really your loss and I hope your entirely baseless confidence in this area doesn't come back to bite you.

Also, by what mechanism do you believe that any attorney who files a lawsuit arising from a supposedly justified shooting would "find themselves out of a job and out of business." I really want to know where you come up with that.
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 4:46:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/30/2011 5:05:34 PM EDT by dbrowne1]
Originally Posted By ckichinko:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By ckichinko:
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By chc556:
From what I have read, VA has a "no duty to retreat" law in place? Can anyone explain this?


just means in order to use deadly force you dont have to try and escape if someone is threatening you with deadly force or serious harm. some states require you to try and run away before you can use deadly force, Va isnt one of them. as long as you have a "right to be there" then you have no duty to retreat. now, if your trespassing you could find yourself in a bind if you use deadly force. but if you're in your home or even at a stop and rob you do not have a duty to retreat and can stand your ground and use deadly force IF deadly force is whats being threatened towards youyou are in reasonable fear of grave injury or death to yourself or another. i also believe if you search around you also have the right to defend a 3rd party if deadly force is being threatened on themsee above. im sure one of our legal members will be along in a bit to fill in the whole details.


A couple important distinctions above.

One of the reasons there's not a huge push for Castle Doctrine to be passed in Virginia is that we've have more than 20 years of case law since becoming shall-issue that establishes a really strong precedent for what mylt and I posted above. Passing a Castle Law would effectively nullify all of that and start us back at square one again, and allow the law to be intrepreted and legislated from the bench, as it were. Virginia actually has some pretty damned good self-defense law. It just lacks the ability to use deadly force to protect property.


We have a lot more than 20 years worth. Virginia follows the common law rule that, if you had no part in causing the altercation (and that's important), then you have no duty to retreat ANYWHERE.

Shall-issue CCW has nothing to do with this.

Passing a more specific "castle doctrine" statute would not "nullify" the common law, but it is a) not necessary and b) would create a source from which lawyers could create all sorts of mischief in questioning shoots outside the home. It would create a difference between using DPF inside and outside the home, whereas right now there is no difference and the law is quite favorable. So I say leave it alone.


Shall-issue CCW has quite a bit to do with duty to retreat. Most "Castle Doctrine" laws have a lot to do with being on your property rather than out in public. You're right, we have a lot more than 20 years of case law, but the last 20-some years have been especially important.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


Shall-issue is nothing but a codified framework for issuing a permit that is an exception to concealed weapon laws. It has NOTHING to do with the common law rules governing the use of deadly force. Nothing. Even if guns didn't exist at all, the rules of using deadly force (with a bat, knife, sword, whatever) would be there, the same as ever.

The basic rules of deadly force haven't changed in the last 20 years of case law. The only cases of any significance in that period would be the ones involving threatened use of deadly force in defense of property, which is not allowed after the Supreme Court of Virginia overturned the intermediate Court of Appeals of Virginia on that issue.
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 7:26:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:

No on has dared to try and bring a civil suite in Virginia for an otherwise 'legal' shooting.
Any attorney who tried would likely find themselves out of a job and out of business.


I highly doubt that either of the above statements is true.


Find the case(s) then and post them.



One of the other lawyers at my firm was involved in one several years ago. I'm not inclined to post details on that one, but in any case, your assertion that "no one has dared to bring a civil suite [sic] for an otherwise "legal" shooting" is nonsense. There was a case not too long ago where an off-duty cop working an approved detail, who has more defenses than a private citizen, shot someone near an IHOP in Alexandria when the guy tried to run him over with a car. He got sued and it settled for over a million dollars. This stuff gets discussed on the VTLA attorney's listserve from time to time, cases have been filed. That doesn't mean they show up on Google or even Lexis. I'm not going to spend time tonight pulling cases for you. If you choose not to believe me on this, that's really your loss and I hope your entirely baseless confidence in this area doesn't come back to bite you.

Also, by what mechanism do you believe that any attorney who files a lawsuit arising from a supposedly justified shooting would "find themselves out of a job and out of business." I really want to know where you come up with that.


I am familier some what with the IHOP case. You prob have more info then most if the lawyer was at your firm. But...this case had some issues depending on what side you want to be on...and this was a police shooting. Does not matter really if he was working off duty or not as he was in uniform acting under legal authority. I'm not debating if what happened was right or wrong...I'm just saying this was not a private citizen acting in self defense. We all have heard of cases but unless we are involved or are able to read the court case then we do not know what the details really are and why or why not a case was dismissed, goes to trail or settled. My point was that I have never heard of a case by a private citizen acting in unquestionable self defense being sued by a "good" lawyer in VA.

I recall a case a few years ago in NOVA...I do not recall all the details...but it went something like this....Guy came upon female neighbor having an argument with her boyfriend in an apartment complex common area. The guy claimed the boyfriend started beating the girl neighbor. The guy stepped in to stop the assault when the boyfriend turned on the guy and started assaulting him. At some point during the fight....the guy pulls out a hand gun. One story was it went all by accident once it was pulled out during the fight and another was the guy shot the boyfriend in self defense while being badly beaten. I beleive the boyfriend's family sued the guy. I do not recall what happened after this and I MOST LIKELY have some of these details off some.

There are parts of this case I just laid out that are not clear and are questionable depending which side you believe. I want to know of a case when there was no questions about if the shooting by a private citizen was self defense and justified being sued.
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 7:42:56 PM EDT
And this is way off topic ...well some what now that we are talking about lawsuits and deadly force. The case that was just in the Washington Post that has gotten my interest is the Lawyer in NOVA that just filed a suit against Fairfax PD for shooting a guy on behalf of the guys family. The funny thing is..the family that has legal right to sue under VA law (as noted in the paper) said in the paper they do not want to be involved with the suit and the lawyer is not acting for them. I am very interested to see how far this is going to make it in the court.

Note- I am NOT debating the facts of this police shooting and am not suggesting it was a bad/good shooting. I am interested because of the legal issues with the suit itself.
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 7:57:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/30/2011 7:59:46 PM EDT by dbrowne1]
Originally Posted By west2746:
I want to know of a case when there was no questions about if the shooting by a private citizen was self defense and justified being sued.


There are always questions, and a plaintiff's lawyer will create them if nobody else has. We're talking about getting sued here - not the end result of the lawsuit. Anyone with a printer and a filing fee can sue anyone, for anything.

And to clarify, nobody at my firm was involved in the IHOP case - that was a different case. The IHOP case, though, demonstrates that even someone with sovereign immunity and the backing of the state can and will get sued, and even "lose" in a shoot that many people would consider justified. So that should give one pause in thinking that a private citizen is going to be left alone after even a justified shooting.
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 8:01:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/30/2011 8:12:33 PM EDT by dbrowne1]
Originally Posted By west2746:
And this is way off topic ...well some what now that we are talking about lawsuits and deadly force. The case that was just in the Washington Post that has gotten my interest is the Lawyer in NOVA that just filed a suit against Fairfax PD for shooting a guy on behalf of the guys family. The funny thing is..the family that has legal right to sue under VA law (as noted in the paper) said in the paper they do not want to be involved with the suit and the lawyer is not acting for them. I am very interested to see how far this is going to make it in the court.

Note- I am NOT debating the facts of this police shooting and am not suggesting it was a bad/good shooting. I am interested because of the legal issues with the suit itself.


Do you have a link to that?

The family isn't necessarily the only party that can sue on behalf of a dead person. The administrator of the estate, that could be someone else, has that right as well. Though it is somewhat odd if the family is the beneficiaries and they don't want to pursue it.
Link Posted: 11/30/2011 9:26:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By ckichinko:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By ckichinko:
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By chc556:
From what I have read, VA has a "no duty to retreat" law in place? Can anyone explain this?


just means in order to use deadly force you dont have to try and escape if someone is threatening you with deadly force or serious harm. some states require you to try and run away before you can use deadly force, Va isnt one of them. as long as you have a "right to be there" then you have no duty to retreat. now, if your trespassing you could find yourself in a bind if you use deadly force. but if you're in your home or even at a stop and rob you do not have a duty to retreat and can stand your ground and use deadly force IF deadly force is whats being threatened towards youyou are in reasonable fear of grave injury or death to yourself or another. i also believe if you search around you also have the right to defend a 3rd party if deadly force is being threatened on themsee above. im sure one of our legal members will be along in a bit to fill in the whole details.


A couple important distinctions above.

One of the reasons there's not a huge push for Castle Doctrine to be passed in Virginia is that we've have more than 20 years of case law since becoming shall-issue that establishes a really strong precedent for what mylt and I posted above. Passing a Castle Law would effectively nullify all of that and start us back at square one again, and allow the law to be intrepreted and legislated from the bench, as it were. Virginia actually has some pretty damned good self-defense law. It just lacks the ability to use deadly force to protect property.


We have a lot more than 20 years worth. Virginia follows the common law rule that, if you had no part in causing the altercation (and that's important), then you have no duty to retreat ANYWHERE.

Shall-issue CCW has nothing to do with this.

Passing a more specific "castle doctrine" statute would not "nullify" the common law, but it is a) not necessary and b) would create a source from which lawyers could create all sorts of mischief in questioning shoots outside the home. It would create a difference between using DPF inside and outside the home, whereas right now there is no difference and the law is quite favorable. So I say leave it alone.


Shall-issue CCW has quite a bit to do with duty to retreat. Most "Castle Doctrine" laws have a lot to do with being on your property rather than out in public. You're right, we have a lot more than 20 years of case law, but the last 20-some years have been especially important.

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Shall-issue is nothing but a codified framework for issuing a permit that is an exception to concealed weapon laws. It has NOTHING to do with the common law rules governing the use of deadly force. Nothing. Even if guns didn't exist at all, the rules of using deadly force (with a bat, knife, sword, whatever) would be there, the same as ever.

The basic rules of deadly force haven't changed in the last 20 years of case law. The only cases of any significance in that period would be the ones involving threatened use of deadly force in defense of property, which is not allowed after the Supreme Court of Virginia overturned the intermediate Court of Appeals of Virginia on that issue.


Fair enough. We're arguing semantics, the point is that passing a Castle Doctrine would end up doing more harm than good in the opinion of many.
Link Posted: 12/1/2011 7:59:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:

No on has dared to try and bring a civil suite in Virginia for an otherwise 'legal' shooting.
Any attorney who tried would likely find themselves out of a job and out of business.


I highly doubt that either of the above statements is true.


Find the case(s) then and post them.



One of the other lawyers at my firm was involved in one several years ago. I'm not inclined to post details on that one, but in any case, your assertion that "no one has dared to bring a civil suite [sic] for an otherwise "legal" shooting" is nonsense. There was a case not too long ago where an off-duty cop working an approved detail, who has more defenses than a private citizen, shot someone near an IHOP in Alexandria when the guy tried to run him over with a car. He got sued and it settled for over a million dollars. This stuff gets discussed on the VTLA attorney's listserve from time to time, cases have been filed. That doesn't mean they show up on Google or even Lexis. I'm not going to spend time tonight pulling cases for you. If you choose not to believe me on this, that's really your loss and I hope your entirely baseless confidence in this area doesn't come back to bite you.

Also, by what mechanism do you believe that any attorney who files a lawsuit arising from a supposedly justified shooting would "find themselves out of a job and out of business." I really want to know where you come up with that.


From the attorneys I have on retainer.
Both criminal and civil.

police are a different matter, even if they are off duty.

They still have their police powers.



Link Posted: 12/1/2011 8:13:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By west2746:
And this is way off topic ...well some what now that we are talking about lawsuits and deadly force. The case that was just in the Washington Post that has gotten my interest is the Lawyer in NOVA that just filed a suit against Fairfax PD for shooting a guy on behalf of the guys family. The funny thing is..the family that has legal right to sue under VA law (as noted in the paper) said in the paper they do not want to be involved with the suit and the lawyer is not acting for them. I am very interested to see how far this is going to make it in the court.

Note- I am NOT debating the facts of this police shooting and am not suggesting it was a bad/good shooting. I am interested because of the legal issues with the suit itself.


Do you have a link to that?

The family isn't necessarily the only party that can sue on behalf of a dead person. The administrator of the estate, that could be someone else, has that right as well. Though it is somewhat odd if the family is the beneficiaries and they don't want to pursue it.


My bad. I mis read your post...thought you meant your firm was involved in the IHOP mess.

And there were a lot of issues with the IHOP case. The biggest was ...the officer did not shoot the driver that he claimed drove at him trying to hit him. He shot and killed a back seat passenger for the crime of petit larceny-not paying for his pancakes. I think the city was right to settle with the family on that.

Here is the link to the suit that was just filed on the last case I was talking about.
Link Posted: 12/1/2011 8:22:28 AM EDT
A few months ago a retired suffolk or chesapeake detective shot and killed a man trying to steal his dog box.

He wasn't charged, but I bet things would be different for the average person;
Link Posted: 12/1/2011 9:19:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/1/2011 9:21:23 AM EDT by dbrowne1]
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
[
From the attorneys I have on retainer.
Both criminal and civil.



You have both criminal and civil attorneys "on retainer?" As in, you actually pay them a deposit just to sit there in case you call? Do you get into criminal and civil trouble a lot, or something?

And they told you that they'd be out of a job and out of business if they filed a wrongful death suit in a shooting case that turned out to be a crappy one for the plaintiff?

I'm really hoping that something is being lost in translation here, because if not, there is even more abject stupidity in the VA bar than I realized.
Link Posted: 12/1/2011 6:02:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:

No on has dared to try and bring a civil suite in Virginia for an otherwise 'legal' shooting.
Any attorney who tried would likely find themselves out of a job and out of business.


I highly doubt that either of the above statements is true.


Find the case(s) then and post them.



One of the other lawyers at my firm was involved in one several years ago. I'm not inclined to post details on that one, but in any case, your assertion that "no one has dared to bring a civil suite [sic] for an otherwise "legal" shooting" is nonsense. There was a case not too long ago where an off-duty cop working an approved detail, who has more defenses than a private citizen, shot someone near an IHOP in Alexandria when the guy tried to run him over with a car. He got sued and it settled for over a million dollars. This stuff gets discussed on the VTLA attorney's listserve from time to time, cases have been filed. That doesn't mean they show up on Google or even Lexis. I'm not going to spend time tonight pulling cases for you. If you choose not to believe me on this, that's really your loss and I hope your entirely baseless confidence in this area doesn't come back to bite you.

Also, by what mechanism do you believe that any attorney who files a lawsuit arising from a supposedly justified shooting would "find themselves out of a job and out of business." I really want to know where you come up with that.


From the attorneys I have on retainer.
Both criminal and civil.

police are a different matter, even if they are off duty.

They still have their police powers.





you need to find a new lawyer/lawyers. anyone can sue anyone else for any reason and there are lawyers out there that can and do take those cases.
Link Posted: 12/2/2011 7:11:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/2/2011 7:16:14 AM EDT by brickeyee]
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:

No on has dared to try and bring a civil suite in Virginia for an otherwise 'legal' shooting.
Any attorney who tried would likely find themselves out of a job and out of business.


I highly doubt that either of the above statements is true.


Find the case(s) then and post them.



One of the other lawyers at my firm was involved in one several years ago. I'm not inclined to post details on that one, but in any case, your assertion that "no one has dared to bring a civil suite [sic] for an otherwise "legal" shooting" is nonsense. There was a case not too long ago where an off-duty cop working an approved detail, who has more defenses than a private citizen, shot someone near an IHOP in Alexandria when the guy tried to run him over with a car. He got sued and it settled for over a million dollars. This stuff gets discussed on the VTLA attorney's listserve from time to time, cases have been filed. That doesn't mean they show up on Google or even Lexis. I'm not going to spend time tonight pulling cases for you. If you choose not to believe me on this, that's really your loss and I hope your entirely baseless confidence in this area doesn't come back to bite you.

Also, by what mechanism do you believe that any attorney who files a lawsuit arising from a supposedly justified shooting would "find themselves out of a job and out of business." I really want to know where you come up with that.


From the attorneys I have on retainer.
Both criminal and civil.

police are a different matter, even if they are off duty.

They still have their police powers.





you need to find a new lawyer/lawyers. anyone can sue anyone else for any reason and there are lawyers out there that can and do take those cases.


My attorney's take on them is that they do not succeed in the relatively conservative system we have in Virginia.

And yes, anyone can sue anyone, but filing a suit is not the same as winning a suit.

Maybe the legal cockroaches have made it into Virginia.

Got any cites?

I have access to criminal, civil, tax, business, real estate, etc. by keeping a firm on retainer.

And yes, I spend more than the retainer throughout the year.

Mostly on business and real estate attorneys.

The last time I needed criminal work it was involving an RE transaction that went VERY bad, and resulted in pushing the Commonwealth's attorney to take action.

I have not needed the criminal to represent me before the court.









Link Posted: 12/2/2011 8:06:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By brickeyee:


My attorney's take on them is that they do not succeed in the relatively conservative system we have in Virginia.

And yes, anyone can sue anyone, but filing a suit is not the same as winning a suit.



Now we are getting somewhere...
Link Posted: 12/2/2011 3:13:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/2/2011 3:13:31 PM EDT by mylt1]
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:

No on has dared to try and bring a civil suite in Virginia for an otherwise 'legal' shooting.
Any attorney who tried would likely find themselves out of a job and out of business.


I highly doubt that either of the above statements is true.


Find the case(s) then and post them.



One of the other lawyers at my firm was involved in one several years ago. I'm not inclined to post details on that one, but in any case, your assertion that "no one has dared to bring a civil suite [sic] for an otherwise "legal" shooting" is nonsense. There was a case not too long ago where an off-duty cop working an approved detail, who has more defenses than a private citizen, shot someone near an IHOP in Alexandria when the guy tried to run him over with a car. He got sued and it settled for over a million dollars. This stuff gets discussed on the VTLA attorney's listserve from time to time, cases have been filed. That doesn't mean they show up on Google or even Lexis. I'm not going to spend time tonight pulling cases for you. If you choose not to believe me on this, that's really your loss and I hope your entirely baseless confidence in this area doesn't come back to bite you.

Also, by what mechanism do you believe that any attorney who files a lawsuit arising from a supposedly justified shooting would "find themselves out of a job and out of business." I really want to know where you come up with that.


From the attorneys I have on retainer.
Both criminal and civil.

police are a different matter, even if they are off duty.

They still have their police powers.





you need to find a new lawyer/lawyers. anyone can sue anyone else for any reason and there are lawyers out there that can and do take those cases.


My attorney's take on them is that they do not succeed in the relatively conservative system we have in Virginia.

And yes, anyone can sue anyone, but filing a suit is not the same as winning a suit.

Maybe the legal cockroaches have made it into Virginia.

Got any cites?

I have access to criminal, civil, tax, business, real estate, etc. by keeping a firm on retainer.

And yes, I spend more than the retainer throughout the year.

Mostly on business and real estate attorneys.

The last time I needed criminal work it was involving an RE transaction that went VERY bad, and resulted in pushing the Commonwealth's attorney to take action.

I have not needed the criminal to represent me before the court.











dont watch much TV do you? there is WAY MORE ambulance chasing type lawyers in Va than you seem to realize. those lawyers are just the ones that would take a case like that and they all stay employed and still ahve there license. so now you know the facts, lawyers that take cases can and do keep there jobs by taking cases like a civil suit for "wrongful death" cases even if it was a "good shoot". thanks for finally seeing the light.
Link Posted: 12/2/2011 4:12:45 PM EDT

I always thought VA was a "dudy to retreat" state? I even have the Virginia's Gun Owner Handbook. Maybe it's out dated, but from what I've read here it seems like it's been this way for years.
Link Posted: 12/2/2011 4:16:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/2/2011 4:17:03 PM EDT by dbrowne1]
Originally Posted By donnieR32:

I always thought VA was a "dudy to retreat" state? I even have the Virginia's Gun Owner Handbook. Maybe it's out dated, but from what I've read here it seems like it's been this way for years.


Virginia has never had a duty to retreat as far as I know, if you had no part in causing the altercation.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 9:59:42 AM EDT
Prior to moving to VA, I lived in Colorado and Alaska.
Things sure are different here.

One thing Colorado had in its self-defense law, and something that a 'Castle doctrine' statute might provide Virginians, is the protection afforded in items (3)(4) below:

18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.

(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.

(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.
(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.

In Alaska, you just placed the remains in a crab pot and called it good.
Just joking. Maybe.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 11:21:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
Originally Posted By donnieR32:

I always thought VA was a "dudy to retreat" state? I even have the Virginia's Gun Owner Handbook. Maybe it's out dated, but from what I've read here it seems like it's been this way for years.


Virginia has never had a duty to retreat as far as I know, if you had no part in causing the altercation.


Correct and amplified by the bold part.

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 11:37:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 11:39:32 AM EDT by RenegadeX]
Some female attorney was on Fox & Friends this am talking about the Oklahoma S/D shooting.

She stated VA Castle Law was weaker than other states, as it required retreat and hostile action on the part of the perp before you could whack him.

They also brought up Joe Horn, which they of course could not fathom how he was no-billed.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 12:24:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Some female attorney was on Fox & Friends this am talking about the Oklahoma S/D shooting.

She stated VA Castle Law was weaker than other states, as it required retreat and hostile action on the part of the perp before you could whack him.

They also brought up Joe Horn, which they of course could not fathom how he was no-billed.


She is a dumbass and should be disbarred.

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 12:54:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 12:56:31 PM EDT by zoom6zoom]
Here's the update on Castle Doctrine that was recently sent out by VCDL:
A LOOK AT THE CASTLE DOCTRINE FOR VIRGINIA

The "Castle Doctrine" debate continues to heat up around the country and also here in Virginia.  
The Castle Doctrine basically says that a person has the right to defend themselves while in their own home (castle) 
and provides them special protections should they have to exercise that right.

Virginia's self-defense laws are based on common law developed in case law over the last several hundred years.  
We have pretty good coverage for self-defense here in Virginia currently (many states who celebrated getting a 
Castle Doctrine law were not so lucky and desperately needed to improve their laws).

Here is a summary of the current self-defense law in Virginia:

Virginia is a stand-your-ground state.  But not just in your "castle," but EVERYWHERE you might be.  
As long as you are not "part of the problem," you can stand your ground and defend yourself.  
If you end up killing your assailant, it is considered a "justifiable homicide."  If you are part of the problem,
 say you yelled an expletive at someone who cut you off in traffic, and you are attacked, then you must retreat as 
far as you can, indicate you have given up the fight, and only if the assailant keeps up the attack, may you defend
 yourself.  In that case if the assailant dies, it is considered an "excusable homicide."  Also, you can only use 
deadly force to protect yourself or others when you reasonably fear death OR grievous bodily injury.  You CANNOT 
use deadly force to protect property or against a trespasser.

You might wonder why you have to retreat if you are part of the problem.  That's to prevent someone intentionally 
murdering someone else and claiming self-defense.  Let's say that John wanted to murder Jim.  John could get a gun,
 keep it hidden and antagonize the hell out of Jim to the point that Jim might pickup something to attack John out of
 frustration or anger.  John could then shoot Jim claiming "self-defense" since Jim had come at him with a baseball bat.

Problem is that John had intentionally set up Jim to be murdered.  By requiring the co-aggressor to retreat, the 
Commonwealth is trying to eliminate such a scenario.  

The push is to change the above into an actual hard-coded law.  And that can be very tricky.

Previous attempts to pass a Castle Doctrine bill have mostly centered around protecting someone in a dwelling from 
being sued if they have to defend themselves.  The problem is that no one is being sued for such a thing.  Why?  
Because lawyers would generally do that on contingency, most likely will lose the case under Virginia law, and they 
will then lose their investment.  So there is no monetary incentive for lawyers to "ambulance chase" legitimate self-defense
 cases.

An all-encompassing Castle Doctrine bill has been hashed around by the battery of lawyers who volunteer their time to VCDL.

 The bottom line is that it is hard to draft such a bill in a way that doesn't goof up our current legal protections. 
 In that case we are better to do nothing than to make current law worse.


Link Posted: 1/7/2012 7:13:42 AM EDT
We've been defending ourselves since 1607.
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 7:21:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2012 7:22:00 AM EDT by brickeyee]
Originally Posted By pilotman:
We've been defending ourselves since 1607.


But we only started having a reporter system in the 1920s IIRC).
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