Tort Law


Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Statutes-Conflicts Cases

Brien Roche

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Statutes-Conflicts.  

2004 Phipps v. Liddle, 267 Va. 344, 593 S.E.2d 193.

If possible, the court must harmonize apparently conflicting statutes to give effect to both. In this instance, Va. Code § 8.01-229 conflicted with Va. Code 8.01-685. The court interpreted them to mean that where an order of non-suit has been appealed and affirmed by this court, then the date for refiling begins upon entry of the mandate from the appellate court with the circuit court.

1993 Wertz v. Grubbs, 245 Va. 67, 425 S.E.2d 500.

Supreme Court addressed apparent conflict between the tolling provisions of Medical Malpractice Act and limitation periods imposed under Wrongful Death Act. In construing conflicting statutes when one speaks to subject in general way and another deals with another part of same subject in more specific way, where they conflict, the latter prevails.

1990 Eagles Court Condo. v. Heatilator, Inc., 239 Va. 325, 389 S.E.2d 304.

Where general statute and special statute concerning same subject are in apparent conflict, special statute controls.

1987 Klingbeil Mgt. Group Co. v. Vito, 233 Va. 445, 357 S.E.2d 200.

Local ordinances must conform to and not be inconsistent with public policy of state as set forth in its statutes. Mere fact that state had enacted certain regulations does not prevent locality from exacting additional requirements. If both statute and ordinance can stand together and be given effect, it is duty of courts to harmonize them and not nullify ordinance.

1970 Baker v. John Doe, 211 Va. 158, 176 S.E.2d 436.

Virginia Code § 38.1-381 [now §§ 38.2-2204 and 38.2-2206] (omnibus and uninsured motorist statute) allows joining of John Doe in uninsured motorist case; this statute does not allow joinder of defendants in alternative as this was not permitted at common law. Rules of court would not be satisfied as pleading in alternative would apprise neither defendant of claim against him. Where certain interpretation would have statute run counter to rule of court, rule prevails.

1958 Sisk v. Town of Shenandoah, 200 Va. 277, 105 S.E.2d 169.

Court of record may not take judicial notice of municipal ordinances but municipal courts may.

1948 City of South Norfolk v. Dail, 187 Va. 495, 47 S.E.2d 405.

Where two statutes are in apparent conflict court will endeavor, if reasonably possible, to give them such construction as will give force and effect to each.

For more information on statutes see the pages on Wikipedia.


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