Private Investigators In Virginia

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Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

Adultery in Virginia–Proving It

Posted by Bill on October 11, 2009

A popular topic in Virginia law is adultery. (NOTE: NO LEGAL OPINION HERE)  Usually, adultery is considered in light of grounds for divorce.  In Virginia there are two kinds of divorces: 1. bed and board divorce and 2. absolute divorce.  I am not going to bother using the latin terms that the Commonwealth favors, but suffice to say that the bed and board divorce amounts to a perpetual separation protecting persons and property. If you get a b&b divorce, you cannot remarry during the life of your ex spouse.  An absolute divorce, permanent and you can remarry, may be granted on one of three fault grounds or on a no-fault separation ground.

Adultery is one of the three grounds for an absolute divorce.  So, what is adultery? A person who, being married, voluntarily has sexual intercourse with another person who is not his/her spouse commits adultery.  If a spouse finds out about the adulterous act, he/she could file for an immediate divorce, but to get the divorce based on adultery, you must prove adultery by clear and convincing evidence based upon proven facts and reasonable inferences drawn from the facts. The Virginia courts have said that “strongly suspicious circumstances are insufficient.”

So, adultery can be proven based on circumstantial as well as direct evidence. It all depends on the facts in a case. A lot depends whether the trier of fact finds the witnesses credible. In addition, adultery grounds must be corroborated by a third party other than the husband/wife. Many people use private investigators to gather evidence of adultery, and the investigators may testify about their investigation.  The Virginis courts have noted in the past that a private investigator’s testimony will be subjected to the strictest scrutiny by the courts and acted upon with caution. 

In next post I will give examples from various Virginia cases dealing with adultery.

Bill Lowrance

NOTE: I am not giving legal opinion and I am not your lawyer if you read this page.

If you want my legal opinion contact me at 703 506 1600, www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, PIAVA, private investigator, surveillance, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Human Mystery From 1920

Posted by Bill on September 28, 2008

The Virginia Lawyers Weekly, VLW Blog,recently reported on this story that orginated from the Roanoke Times.

The great, Mountain Lake, in Giles County, VA, recently revealed human remains dating from the 1920s.  The lake has dried and receded somewhat.  Last Saturday, Timmy Dalton and his son Chris were walking the dried area of the lake looking for old bottles and other treasures.  Instead of treasure, they found human bones along with a belt buckle, a 1910 dime, a tooth and shoes. 

Read about this interesting mystery: Roanoke Times and Here

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA www.piava.org

Posted in crime, Investigations, law enforcement, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Laws In Virginia–July 1, 2008, More Sangria Please

Posted by Bill on August 1, 2008

From the Excellent:  The Fairfax Times Fairfax Times Here New Laws Now in Play

As of July 1, 2008, Virginia

Virginians are now free to drink sangria and dessert wine in restaurants, but they can no longer use the Department of Motor Vehicles driving test as a substitute for behind-the-wheel driving classes.

Here is a small sampling of the dozens of new state laws that went into effect Tuesday, from alcohol to zoning.

Alcohol-Restaurants with mixed beverage licenses may now sell sangria and other beverages that mix liquor with wine or beer. Restaurants with limited mixed beverage licenses may sell dessert wine.

Animal fighting-The fighting of any animals, except dogs, is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Dog fighting is a felony. Officers investigating animal fighting allegations may now conduct searches at night.

Driving-Anyone who fails the DMV drivers test three times must attend driving school before attempting to take the test again. Anyone under 21 who is convicted of drinking and driving loses his or her license for a year and has to pay a $500 fine or perform 50 hours of community service. The penalty for second and subsequent violations of the child restraint law is now up to $500.

Mental health-The standard for involuntarily committing someone to mental health treatment is lower. The person must have a significant risk of harming himself or others. Anyone who has been declared to be mentally incompetent or who has been involuntarily committed to psychiatric treatment is prohibited from purchasing a gun.

Miscellaneous-Anyone who knowingly buys or receives stolen goods is also culpable for the theft. Anyone who is fired from a job for failing a drug test is ineligible for unemployment compensation. The term “mentally retarded” has been replaced with “intellectually disabled” in state code.

Sex offenses-Legislators removed a loophole in state law that allowed men to escape prosecution by marrying girls 14 and older whom they were accused of attacking. Sex offenders who are prohibited from having contact with children may not go within 100 feet of a playground, athletic field/facility or gymnasium. Violation is a Class 6 felony. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for someone 18 or older to tongue kiss a child 13 or younger. Anyone found guilty must register as a sex offender.

Zoning-Localities may carry over zoning violations when a property is sold, an effort to prevent illegal boardinghouses from re-emerging.

 

Times Community © 2007 | Fairfax Times

 

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

www.piava.org

 

www.informationinsightsinc.com

 

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Virginia | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

At The NALI Conference Today

Posted by Bill on June 13, 2008

PIAVA is at the NALI conference today in Arlington, VA.  Yesterday, NALI members and conference attendees toured the Library of Congress learning all the various types of information available through research.  After that the members/attendees walked up to Congress to talk with their representatives about current issues in the professional investigative industry.

Today, various people are giving presentations on attorney/private investigator relationships, “At Risk Protection & Investigations,” managing large investigations, locating hidden assets, fraud investigations, business due diligence investigations and digital forensics.  Attendees receive continuing education credits for going to the sessions.

Some of the exhibitors here are Jimmie Mesis, PI Magazine, www.pimagazine.com, IRB’s Kristen Gilley, www.irbsearch.com, is here along with OTL Tactical, Beth Kalyan, www.otltacticl.com, Tina Green, El Dorado Insurance, www.eldoradoinsurance.com, Mike Yergey, Yergey Insurance Agency, www.yergeyins.com, Paige Arrington, G.A. Public Records Service, www.gaprs.biz, Shawn Monroe, www.paraben.com, and Amanda Cunha, Locate Plus, www.locateplus.com.

Our good friend Rosalie Folino, J&R Folino, LLC, www.jrfolinollc.com, stopped by and assisted the writer in clarifying information and, most importantly, spell checking live time.

Now is lunch time, and we will be back with more news later.

Bill Lowrnce

President PIAVA

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Troy Fleming Attends NALI Conference

Posted by Bill on June 12, 2008

Troy Fleming, legal investigator for Brown & Jennings PLC law firm in Roanoke, VA, is attending the NALI Conference in Arlington, VA. Troy is the Southeast Regional Director of NALI.  NALI is the National Association of Legal Investigators headquartered in Lansing, MI. see www.nalionline.org

Troy is a member of PIAVA and represents the Roanoke, VA, chapter.

Troy is also a member of the Inner Circle of Investigators, www.icinvestigators.com, an elite group of investigators specializing in sophisticated civil litgation matters.

The National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI) was formed in 1967 with its primary focus to conduct investigations related to litigation. Membership in NALI is open to all professional legal investigators who are actively engaged in negligence investigations for the plaintiff and/or criminal defense, and who are employed by investigative firms, law firms or public defender agencies. An applicant must have a minimum of 24 months of documented full-time employment in this endeavor.

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

NALI Conference Social Hour Starting Arlington VA

Posted by Bill on June 12, 2008

The NALI members attending the conference here in Arlington, Va, are arriving for the social hour.  Later tonight there is a dinner and PIAVA will be around to see if the food is good.

Follow the news and events at the NALI conference here at the PIAVA Blog.

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Virginia Courts Digitally Scanning Court Records

Posted by Bill on May 11, 2008

  Virginia Clerks of the Courts are scanning court records allowing electronic access to court documents normally seen only in the paper file in the clerk’s office.   Lawyers have expressed concern about their client’s personal information in the court records will be seen by anyone on the Internet. 

Read the whole story here: Virginia Lawyers Weekly

Bill Lowrance

President Piava

Information Insights Inc.

 

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Surveillance Photos & Privacy-What Is The Law

Posted by Bill on April 27, 2008

  Most private investigators conduct surveillance (see wikipedia surveillance) in various types of cases.  Probably the two most common types of cases needing surveillance are divorces and workers compensation cases.  Surveillance may play a role in many types of cases from crimes to background investigations.  

In a normal case, a private investigator will plan and organize a surveillance before actually going on site to begin.  To conduct a professional surveillance, the investigator must identify the subject, gather background information (names, addresses, car registration, friends names & addresses, hobbies etc), visit and map out the surveillance site, determine the best time and place for the job, check out equipment making sure it works, provide backup equipment and batteries and gather the essentials to carry while on the job.

In most cases, the investigator records the surveillance with digital photography, either still or video.  In every surveillance, the professional investigator will know and observe federal and state laws relating to a person’s privacy.  For example, in Virginia there is a law against stalking.  VA Code 18.2-60.3.

The stalking statue prohibits engaging a person and placing the person in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault or bodily injury.  The law provides an exception for law enforcement officers and private investigators licensed in Virginia.  The knowledgeable Virginia private investigator knows that his or her surveillance will not violate the stalking statute. 

In addition, Virginia has a statute prohibiting the unlawful filming, videotaping or photographing of another person (VA Code 18.2-386.1).  One of the principles of the statute is to protect ones reasonable expectation of privacy.  Under this statute, it is unlawful to photograph someone, without their consent, if the person is in a dressing room, bathroom, bedroom, or some other location where one expects privacy. 

So, it appears that surveillance photos are within legal parameters as long as such photos or video do not violate a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy.

Thanks to Legal Andrew.com we have some references to more reading on a photographers right to take photos, see Bert Krages Article, an article by Bert Krages, Portland attorney, and his book Legal Handbook for Photographers.

In the meantime, keep taking snaps legally.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc., McLean, VA

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, surveillance | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Oklahoma Supreme Court Reverses Closing Court Records

Posted by Bill on March 26, 2008

gavel-768279.jpg  The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued an order last week that would have restricted access to on-line court records and would have required that most identifying information be redacted from court filings.  The order was intended to prevent “identify theft,” although most identity theft, according to the Federal Trade Commission, is not a result of accessing court records.  The Court’s rule required that Social Security Numbers, dates of birth and addresses be excluded from public court records.

In Oklahoma the public reaction to such a restrictive rule was immediate and in opposition to the new rule.  Yesterday the Court reversed the proposed rule for further consideration.  The Enid Oklahoma News summarized the story yesterday and stated that “It appears the court did not fully realize or understand the overwhelming use of these records by all citizens of Oklahoma.”

The article pointed out two good reasons for the Court to reconsider its rule:

1.)  It would have been a giant leap backward in providing access to the public, and;

2.) The records are needed “for many users of such court documents to have access to identifier information, primarily birth dates. We can understand restricting access to Social Security numbers, but taking out birth date information could have led to people being misidentified for public information purposes.”  Click Here to Read Story

One significant item mentioned above is the lack of information in court records leading to “people being misidentified for public information purposes.”  As noted in a previous post yesterday, Virginia Court Records, the ability to identify persons involved in public court records is essential for all investigators, whether law enforcement or private security/investigators.  There are many reasons identification is so essential, but a major one is the right to due process of law and a fair trial.  In a criminal prosecution, the prosecuting attorney and the law enforcement authorities have all of the identifying information needed to locate witnesses, to interview witness and to obtain all background information on the alleged defendant.  If public or court records do not contain certain identifying data, criminal defense attorneys and private investigators are hindered in properly representing an accused.

PIAVA encourages the Virginia Supreme Court to consider the proposed changes in Virginia’s rules to restrict information in public court records, and allow identifying data to be included in the court records and filings.  If such data is not available the result will be, as the Enid News said, “people being misidentified for public information purposes.”
 

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VA HB 1087 Reported Dead (Closed Some Public Records)

Posted by Bill on February 22, 2008

virginia.jpg  The Virginia legislature’s HB 1087 provided “that the social security number of any individual contained in the public records of a local government shall be confidential and exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The bill provides, however, that a social security number may be released (i) in accordance with a proper judicial order; (ii) to any law-enforcement agency, officer, or authorized agent thereof acting in the performance of official law-enforcement duties;”

PIAVA advised the appropriate committees and individual legislators that DCJS licensed security businesses and private investigators should have access to identifying data in court records to ensure “due process of law” and fair trails in civil and criminal litigation matters.  Our reasoning is that a “fair trial” is a constitutional issue.  If the Commonwealth Attorney (Prosecutor) and the law enforcement have access to identifying data in public records, private investigators should have the same access so that a person’s right to a “fair trial” is not compromised. 

PIAVA attended several sub-committee hearings on the bill.  Richmond Sunlight Click Here, reports that HB 1087 was finally referred to the General Laws Committee where it remains today.  They report that the bill is dead. 

PIAVA hopes that the legislature will work to ensure fairness in access to public records while at the same time safeguarding an individual’s right to privacy.  PIAVA is prepared to assist the legislature or offer any helpful information for insight into the private investigation industry.

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Research, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Horse Cruelty In Virginia–Continued

Posted by Bill on February 12, 2008

horse1.jpg  Loudoun County, VA:

Trainer Indicted After Malnourished Horses Seized

Washington Post Story

Follow up to

Prior Post Horses Virginia

A Loudoun County grand jury indicted horse trainer Dennis B. Danley yesterday on 48 counts of animal cruelty, a Class I misdemeanor, Commonwealth’s Attorney James E. Plowman said.

He faces up to a year in jail and $2,500 fine on each count. The charges were brought in connection with the seizure of four dozen thoroughbreds by Loudoun County officials Jan. 22 from a Middleburg area farm. The animals were found to be severely malnourished and without drinking water.

Danley said last night that he stopped working on the farm in November, owned no horses and is not responsible for their condition.

Oh well, the usual animal cruelty in Virginia.  At least there are legal proceedings in existence.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc.

Posted in crime, cuelty, Investigations, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ah, Sangria At Last In Virginia

Posted by Bill on January 31, 2008

cocktail_sangria.jpg   Sangria Allowed

I am sure as a result of our prior posts on the prohibition of Sangria in the Commonwealth, the General Assembly decided to make Sangria legal in restaurants–no doubt about it.  See Prior Post

Senate Passes Bill to Throw Out Sangria Ban  See Post Story

“The Virginia Senate passed a bill yesterday to allow restaurants to sell sangria that includes brandy, triple sec or a similar spirit, a mixture that is banned by state law.

Sangria, which is served at many Spanish restaurants, is generally made with wine and fruit but often includes a small amount of spirits. The Senate bill would change a law that prohibits the mixing of wine and spirits. A similar bill is advancing through the House of Delegates.”

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Informationins Ights Inc.

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another Horse Cruelty Event In Virginia

Posted by Bill on January 31, 2008

horse1.jpg  A Loudoun County judge ruled yesterday that 48 horses had been cruelly treated by individuals at a Middleburg farm, and he signed court orders turning over custody of the horses to the county.  This is another example of the expanding area of animal law, and the need for qualified animal law private investigators.  Most animal cruelty cases are criminal prosecutions, but there are many civil implications that law enforcement or animal control officers will not investigate.  Virginia law provides that owners must give adequate food, water, shelter space, exercise, care, treatment and veterinary.  These issues are highly factual in nature and the facts in every case will be different.  Investigators have to conduct a logical and thorough investigation to uncover the necessary facts to prove all the elements of a crime or civil proceeding.  The Commonwealth Attorney’s office should pursue animal abuse cases, and make sure that proper penalties are considered if a person is convicted.  Too often, charges are compromised, and defendants are not appropriately punished.   See Prior Horse Posts

The Washington Post reported: 

“A Loudoun County judge ruled yesterday that 48 horses seized by county officials last week were “cruelly treated,” and he awarded custody of the thoroughbreds to the county.  General District Court Judge J. Frank Buttery Jr. signed an order giving custody of the horses to Loudoun County Animal Care and Control and ordered their owners to reimburse the county for food and medical costs incurred since the seizure, almost $8,000 so far. Dennis Danley, Donald Cutshaw and Pablo Cosme were named as owners. “Clearly the commonwealth has proved in this case that the animals . . . were cruelly treated,” Buttery said, after reviewing photos of the horses and conditions on the area farm where they were seized.  “Certainly not enough food or even water was provided for them.”

Under Buttery’s order, Danley is prohibited from owning agricultural animals in because of a prior conviction. Cosme and Cutshaw cannot own agricultural animals in the state for two years. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason Faw said criminal charges are pending.  See Washington Post Story Here

In addition, a prior Post story reported that last year “Dennis B. Danley, 55, a horse trainer from Charles Town, WV, was charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty in after authorities, according to news accounts, found 10 mares with exposed rib cages and spines among 60 horses at a farm south of Charles Town.  Danley pleaded no contest to one count of animal cruelty in August.  He was fined, received a 90-day suspended jail sentence and a year of probation, and agreed to give up ownership of horses for five years, said his attorney in the case, Harley O. Wagner.  Under the deal, Danley was allowed to continue training horses, Wagner said.”  See Story Here

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc.

Posted in animal law, attorneys, crime, cuelty, Investigations, lawyers, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, surveillance | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Wall Street Journal Blog—Our Sangria

Posted by Bill on January 26, 2008

cocktail_sangria.jpg  The famous Wall Street Journal Blog ran the “famous” VA Sangria story. 
Story Here

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc.

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pssst, Ya Got Any Sangria? You Are Under Arrest

Posted by Bill on January 24, 2008

cocktail_sangria.jpg  Imagine, you are out late one night.  You slowly drive into Alexandria, VA, and slowly, even furtively, look down darken alleys and back streets.  You are looking for the right person.  You see that person skulking near a Spanish Tapia Bar. You pull over the car.  Nervously, he comes over to your window.  You whisper, “Hey, ya got any Sangria?”

Now you can read about the old Virginia law that outlaws mixing and serving of Sangria.  Yes, that fruity cocktail of wine and brandy that is a “must” at Spanish restaurants.  Serve it and you can go to jail for a year, whoa!

Click here to continue story

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc.

Posted in attorneys, crime, law enforcement, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Animal Law In Virginia–Update

Posted by Bill on January 17, 2008

cat-dog.jpg  dogfight.jpg  cockfight.jpg  The Richmond Times has the latest update on the efforts in the Virginia General Assembly to pass changes in Virginia’s animal law.   The primary change would increase penalties for animal fighting and include cock fighting as a crime.  Under the present law, people caught attending a dog fight or cock fight are not “breaking the law.”  New legislation will change that.  Click Here to read story You can see yesterday’s news conference here also.

  Summary of the legislation:

The legislation also deals with the care of any seized animals and provides law-enforcement officials with more effective tools to fight the problem. In addition to charging spectators: Cockfighting would become a felony. Under current law, it’s illegal only if gambling is involved. All forms of animal fighting would be illegal and considered a felony. Searches regarding animal-cruelty cases could be conducted after sunset without more authorization. Now, a search warrant expires at sundown, and a new one must be obtained before officers can step onto the property in question. Seized animals won’t be held for years without a resolution to the case. Oftentimes, the animals are kept in cages, which add to their detriment. Bond would have to be posted if an owner contests the forfeiture of fighting animals.

Enforcement of Virginia’s animal laws is increasing.  This is a future investigative field for astute private investigators. 

Bill Lowrance

Animal law investigator

President PIAVA

president at piava.org

Posted in animal law, attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Animal Law In Virginia

Posted by Bill on January 15, 2008

cat-dog.jpg  As I mentioned before, animal law is a ripe spcialized investigative field for the future in Virginia, Click here for prior posts Horses in VirginiaShotgunned Puppy, Vick’s Dogs, Cruelty.

Now, this is supported by the Virginia legislators in a Washington Post article today, Click  Post Article.  Virginia’s General Assembly is considering more animal protection lawsw than in past years.  Tomorrow, legislators and Attorney General Robert McDonnell will be in a news conference with the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS, to talk about how important the new proposed laws are.  Be sure to see that. 

Not only that but a bill has been offered to make it a felony to steal a cat–the same penalty for dogs.  Somewhere in the past cats were left out of the stealing animal laws, only dogs were included.  See story Pilot Online  Specifically, the new law would amend VA Code section 18.2-97, Larceny of certain animals and poultry.  So, any person who steals a dog, cat, horse, pony, mule, cow, steer, bull or calf shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony–that is 1 to 10 years or up to 12 months in jail and/or up to a $2500 fine. 

I say study up on animal law and hone your investigative skills and chant “We don’t want no more catnappings in Virginia!”

Bill Lowrance

Animal law investigator extraordinaire

President PIAVA

president at piava dot org

Posted in animal law, attorneys, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Animal Law–Horses In Virginia

Posted by Bill on January 10, 2008

horse.jpg  I’ve advocated before that animal law will be a future investigative field.  Read this story about horses and animal abuse and remember Virginia is horse country Click Here & Here & Here.  The Virginia animal cruelty law is VA Code Animal Cruelty

Wall Street Journal

Horse Neglect Cases Rise 

Across the U.S., the number of horses whose owners won’t or can’t properly care for them is mushrooming. Spurred by retiring baby boomers and their penchant for second homes in the country, horse ownership boomed in the U.S. over the past decade. Americans own more than nine million horses today, up from just over six million horses in the mid-1990s, according to the American Horse Council, a trade association.

Along with the boom came backyard breeding, as owners without the discipline or financial muscle to obtain award-winning genes settled for whatever nature produced. More than two million Americans own horses, and more than a third of those owners have a household income of less than $50,000. As the horse population soared — and the economy ceased to gallop — selling the animals became more difficult. Some owners could no longer afford their investment.  Click to continue story

Remember animal law and the future.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in animal law, attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Roanoke Times Backs VA FOIA

Posted by Bill on December 24, 2007

foia  In an editorial today, “Punish illegal secrecy”, the Roanoke Times comments on judicial enforcement of Virginia’s FOIA law.  The Times highlights the recent Court fine levied againt Sheriff Eric Weaver for his refusal to give public records to a member of the public.  The Times recognizes the importance of open government records and supports judicial monotoning and enforcement through fines if necessary.  See Editorial Here.

Posted in attorneys, FOIA, Investigations, lawyers, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Virginia | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Madison County’s Sheriff Weaver Violates VA’s FOIA–Pay Up Sheriff $$$$$

Posted by Bill on December 21, 2007

dollar  Madison County, VA, Sheriff Erik J. Weaver must pay a $250 fine and the plaintiff’s court fees for willfully violating the state’s Freedom of Information Act, a judge ruled this week in Madison County General District Court.

Experts say the fine may have set a precedent for punishing public officials who fail to comply with open-records requests.  See Richmond Times Story  The court ruled Sheriff Weaver has to pay up with personal funds.  Sheriff Weaver’s response to the news story was “Weaver described Purdum’s (requester) case as a personal attack veiled in an FOIA request from a “former disgruntled employee.”

I hope the various government entities realize that public records mean Public Records

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in FOIA, Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Virginia | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »