Protective orders, preliminary; full hearing date if an act of God causes closure of a court, etc. (HB1673)

Introduced By

Del. Mike Mullin (D-Newport News)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Preliminary protective orders; full hearing date; act of God. Provides that if an act of God causes closure of a court and prevents the full hearing for a preliminary protective order from being held within 15 days of the issuance of the preliminary order, the hearing shall be held on the next day not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or day on which the court is lawfully closed. Amends § 16.1-253.1, § 19.2-152.9, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


01/11/2019: Awaiting a Vote in the Courts of Justice Committee


12/03/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19100681D
12/03/2018Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/07/2019Assigned Courts sub: Subcommittee #2
01/11/2019Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)


Mary D. Devoy writes:

What does HB1673 do? It adds an Act of God to Virginia Code to clarify Court Hearings /Deadlines for §§ 16.1-253.1 and 19.2-152.9. will be automatically rescheduled to the next day that is NOT a Sat, a Sun or a Holiday.

Why do I care as an advocate for smart Sex Offender laws? For the last 10 years I’ve raised the issue to all Virginia Delegates, Senators and 3 Administrations that § 9.1-903 says “3 days” instead of “3 business days” or “5 days”. Which is problematic since Virginia State Police is only open Mon-Fri 8:30AM-4:30PM. I’ve had 2 bills in the past to fix this and one was killed by the House Courts of Justice Sub-Committee which just approved THIS bill.

Most Virginia Delegates and Senators have agreed that since § 9.1-903 (which carries a felony punishment) doesn’t align with VSP hours of operation AND because it requires in-person submissions during the hours most people would be at work that compliance is not always achievable.

The main opposition claim I've heard over the years is, if the gov't office isn’t scheduled to be open then of course the next day they are open go register.

So, if I sell a vehicle on a Thurs evening and Fri-Sun the VSP is closed am I required to show up on Monday (even if I had to work) to register the change or could I wait till Tuesday after all THAT’S officially only the 2nd day they’re open. Or how about Wednesday, officially that's 3 business days but it's NOT 3 days. Don't forget a felony hangs over the decision for Virginia Registered Sex Offenders.

It’s open for interpretation by each VSP Compliance Officer, Trooper and District office.

The Virginia State Police’s brochure claims 3 days, NOT 3 business days. They’ve never made a holiday handout showing if a change occurs on THIS day and a holiday stretches from-here-to-there when the deadline to register the change must occur is. That would be an easy handout to create, so why don’t they? Because then they can’t trip RSO’s up but officially they’d claim that would be legal advice.

Who plans on the day they lose a job, become homeless or finally sell that vehicle? No one.

If a Virginia Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney and House Courts of Justice Sub-Committee #2 sees a need to add to Virginia Code that Sat, Sun & Holidays don’t count as a “day” in a 15-day span, doesn’t that confirm that the “3-day” span for RSO’s to update their info MUST be updated to 3-business days?

I’m not an attorney but I think it does.

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