Dwyer v. Town of Culpeper (P)

In this condemnation proceeding, the appellant did not timely appeal from an order distributing funds held by the circuit court. Contrary to the appellant’s argument, language in the court’s order stating that “the Court shall retain jurisdiction” didn’t render that order not final for appellate purposes.

Code § 25.1-239(B) manifests an intent that the word “shall” is mandatory. The General Assembly clearly intended to provide for the finality of the order confirming, altering, or modifying the report of just compensation. Here, the order at issue was the final order for purposes of appealing the just compensation award. The notice of appeal was filed more than 30 days after entry of that order, making it untimely under Virginia Supreme Court Rule 5:9(a).

In addition, the circuit court clearly didn’t, and didn’t intend to, retain jurisdiction over the portion of the order addressing the confirmation of the report of just compensation. Rather, it merely accomplished what the statute would have done had the circuit court remained silent, and that was to retain jurisdiction to hear the second stage of the condemnation proceedings.

Appeal dismissed.

Dwyer v. Town of Culpeper (P), No. 180178, Mar. 28, 2019. SCV (per curiam order) from Culpeper.

Categories: Opinions, Published, Supreme Court of Virginia

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