Bill alters notice provisions

February 18, 2016

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VACo opposes SB 611 (Stanley), which passed the Senate 25-15. This bill amends Va. Code § 15.2-209, a provision that requires anyone making a claim against a county, city or town to give written notice to the locality’s attorney or chief administrative officer within six months after the claim arises. Failure to give that notice bars any lawsuit based on the claim. VACo opposes SB611 because it allows a claim to be pursued if the locality receives actual notice of the claim within 6 months. SB 611 offers no guidance about who would have to know about the claim for the locality to be considered to have notice of it. This would likely become a factual dispute to be litigated in many cases adding to the cost of defending them. The bill is now in House Courts of Justice Committee’s Civil Law Subcommittee.

Please let your Delegates know immediately that your locality opposes this bill.

Talking points

VACo opposes the bill and pointed out the difficulty of determining when a locality could have actual notice of something.

Actual notice is not defined in the bill.

The bifurcated time limit of six months for written notice and one year for actual notice will be confusing and subject to much dispute.

VACo Contact: Phyllis Errico, CAE

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