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


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