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2018 SESSION


CHAPTER 134
An Act to amend and reenact 16.1-69.54 and 16.1-112 of the Code of Virginia, relating to electronic case papers; transmission between district and circuit courts.
[S 524]
Approved March 2, 2018

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 16.1-69.54 and 16.1-112 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

16.1-69.54. General provisions.

A. Each district court shall retain and store its court records as provided in this article. The Committee on District Courts, after consultation with the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia, shall determine the methods of processing, retention, reproduction and disposal of records and information in district courts, including records required to be retained in district courts by statute.

B. Whenever a court record has been reproduced for the purpose of record retention under this article, such original may be disposed of upon completion of the Commonwealth's audit of the court records unless approval is given by the Auditor of Public Accounts for earlier disposition. In the event of such reproduction, the reproduction of the court record shall be retained in accordance with the retention periods specified in this section. The reproduction shall have the same force and effect as the original court record and shall be given the same faith and credit to which the original itself would have been entitled in any judicial or administrative proceeding.

C. Electronic case papers, whether originating in electronic form or converted to electronic form, shall constitute the official record of the case. Such electronic case papers shall also fulfill any statutory requirement that requires an original, original paper, paper, record, document, facsimile, memorandum, exhibit, certification, or transcript if such electronic case papers are in an electronic form approved by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court. When case papers are transmitted between the district and circuit courts and there is an agreement between the chief judge of the applicable district court and the clerk of the circuit court for the electronic transmission of case papers, the case papers shall be transmitted between the courts by an electronic method approved by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, with the exception of any exhibit that cannot be electronically transmitted. The clerk in the appellate court may also request that any paper trial records be forwarded to such clerk.

16.1-112. All papers transmitted to appellate court; further proceedings.

The judge or clerk of any court from which an appeal is taken under this article shall promptly transmit to the clerk of the appellate court the case papers, which shall include the original warrant or warrants or other notices or pleadings with the judgment endorsed thereon, together with all pleadings, exhibits, and other papers filed in the trial of the case. The required bond, and, if applicable, the money deposited to secure such bond and the writ tax and costs paid pursuant to 16.1-107 shall also be submitted, along with the fees for service of process of the notice of appeal in the circuit court. Upon agreement between the chief judge of the general district court and the clerk of the appellate court, the case papers shall be transmitted to the appellate court by an electronic method approved by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, with the exception of any exhibit that cannot be electronically transmitted. In the jurisdictions where an agreement pursuant to this section is in effect for the electronic submission of case papers to the appellate court, the appellate court may transmit the case papers back to the general district court by electronic submission where the case is to be returned to the general district court under applicable law. Electronic case papers, whether originating in electronic form or converted to electronic form, shall constitute the official record of the case. Such electronic case papers shall also fulfill any statutory requirement requiring an original, original paper, paper, record, document, facsimile, memorandum, exhibit, certification, or transcript if such electronic case papers are in an electronic form approved by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court. Upon receipt of the foregoing by the clerk of the appellate court, the case shall then be docketed.

When such case has been docketed, the clerk of such appellate court shall by writing to be served, as provided in 8.01-288, 8.01-293, 8.01-296, and 8.01-325, or by certified mail, with certified delivery receipt requested, notify the appellee, or by regular mail to his attorney, that such an appeal has been docketed in his office, provided that upon affidavit by the appellant or his agent in conformity with 8.01-316 being filed with the clerk, the clerk shall post such notice at the front door of his courtroom and shall mail a copy thereof to the appellee at his last known address or place of abode or to his attorney, and he shall file a certificate of such posting and mailing with the papers in the case. No such appeal shall be heard unless it appears that the appellee or his attorney has had such notice, or that such certificate has been filed, 10 days before the date fixed for trial, or has in person or by attorney waived such notice.