Docket – September 11, 2018

Virginia Court of Appeals

Schmuhl v. Commonwealth (P), CAV (Beales) from Fairfax (Bellows).

The court affirmed convictions stemming from Andrew Schmuhl’s home invasion and attack on Bean Kinney managing partner Leo Fisher and his wife. Schmuhl’s defense of involuntary intoxication from medication, as presented at trial, was distinct from statutory insanity and not entitled to its benefits. The trial court didn’t err in excluding evidence relating to Schmuhl’s mental state, and the overwhelming evidence at trial was that he was lucid and purposeful before and during the attack.

Lienau v. Commonwealth (P), CAV (Petty) from Fairfax (Azcarate).

The trial court erred in denying a defendant the benefit of self-defense jury instruction in his trial for killing a home intruder. At the time of the incident, the intruder had broken the front door in with substantial force late at night, and he’d threatened to kill the defendant’s tenant earlier the same day. The defendant’s testimony that he felt “rage” about the break-in didn’t prevent the jury from finding that he was also in reasonable fear of imminent danger at the time.

U.S. District Court – Virginia Eastern

Yergovich v. Small Cmty. Specialists LLC, EDVA at Alexandria (Ellis).

Although one of an HOA manager’s duties was to contact residents about unpaid dues, debt collection was only incidental to the managing company’s fiduciary obligations to the HOA. Thus, the company wasn’t a “debt collector” and is entitled to summary judgment as to claims asserted under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Categories: Daily Dockets

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