False lien or encumbrance; filing against real or personal property of another, penalty. (SB811)

Introduced By

Sen. Tom Garrett (R-Lynchburg) with support from co-patron Sen. Phil Puckett (D-Tazewell)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Filing fraudulent liens or encumbrances against a public employee; penalty. Provides that any person who knowingly files a fraudulent lien or encumbrance in a public record against the real or personal property of a state or local employee, member of the General Assembly, member of a local governing body, constitutional officer or employee of a constitutional officer, or board member or employee of a regional jail or jail farm on account of the performance of the official duties of such member, employee, or officer, knowing or having reason to know that such lien or encumbrance is false or contains a materially false or fraudulent statement or representation is guilty of a Class 5 felony.


Bill Has Passed


12/20/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13100964D
12/20/2012Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
12/27/2012Impact statement from VCSC (SB811)
01/07/2013Impact statement from DPB (SB811)
01/21/2013Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/21/2013Committee substitute printed 13104320D-S1
01/21/2013Rereferred to Finance
01/22/2013Incorporates SB1113
01/23/2013Impact statement from VCSC (SB811S1)
01/29/2013Reported from Finance (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/30/2013Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2013Read second time
01/31/2013Reading of substitute waived
01/31/2013Committee substitute agreed to 13104320D-S1
01/31/2013Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB811S1
02/01/2013Bills placed in block (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/01/2013Read third time and passed Senate (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2013Placed on Calendar
02/06/2013Read first time
02/06/2013Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/06/2013Assigned Courts sub: #1 Criminal
02/08/2013Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (8-Y 0-N)
02/08/2013Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations
02/11/2013Committee substitute printed 13105048D-H1
02/11/2013Substitute bill reprinted 13105048D-H1
02/11/2013Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (17-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2013Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/12/2013Incorporates SB1314
02/12/2013Assigned App. sub: Public Safety
02/12/2013Impact statement from VCSC (SB811H1)
02/14/2013Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)
02/15/2013Reported from Appropriations (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2013Read second time
02/20/2013Passed by for the day
02/21/2013Read third time
02/21/2013Committee substitute agreed to 13105048D-H1
02/21/2013Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB811H1
02/21/2013Passed House with substitute BLOCK VOTE (95-Y 0-N)
02/21/2013VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (95-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2013Passed by temporarily
02/21/2013House substitute agreed to by Senate (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2013Title replaced 13105048D-H1
03/04/2013Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB811ER)
03/04/2013Impact statement from VCSC (SB811ER)
03/04/2013Signed by President
03/05/2013Signed by Speaker
03/06/2013Impact statement from DPB (SB811ER)
03/16/2013G Approved by Governor-Chapter 454 (effective 7/1/13)
03/16/2013G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0454)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 1 minute.


Jim Duncan writes:

What is the impetus for this bill?

Why are public employees differentiated? Would filing a fraudulent lien against a non-public employee be legal? What am I missing?

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I'm glad you asked this, Jim, because I was wondering the same thing.

For anybody not familiar with this topic, it's fascinating and infuriating. I recommend highly listening to Act 2 ("Captive Audience") of the "Held Hostage" episode of This American Life. It's about somebody who files fraudulent paperwork pertaining to property ownership, which is trivial to do, and is a total nightmare for the actual owner of the property. Warning: You'll want to hurl something heavy through your stereo while listening to this.

Jim Duncan writes:

Waldo -

Thanks for validating that I'm not missing some obvious thing and for the link to This American Life.

I know that was something that was happening a few years ago in Charlottesville - folks filing BS title claims - and I fail to see how public employees are a different class warranting greater protection than the general public. Any chance these State Senators will see this question and offer enlightenment?