Bill authorizing local government employees to issue summonses passes House and Senate

February 18, 2020

A bill introduced by Delegate Steve Heretick relating to local government’s power to issue summonses has now passed the House and Senate and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.

HB 1213 (Heretick) permits localities to appoint and train local government employees to enforce local ordinances by issuing summonses for misdemeanor violations of ordinances that are within the scope of the employee’s employment. The bill provides that such employees shall not have the power and authority of constables at common law and their power shall be limited to issuing such summonses in their locality.  As such, this bill and this new authority does not apply should the summons be for any violation above a misdemeanor and result in possible arrest.

HB 1213 initially reported out of the House Courts of Justice Committee, 19-0, and passed the full House of Delegates unanimously in a block vote.  The bill had similar success in the Senate, reporting out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, 15-0, and passing the Senate unanimously on Monday, February 17.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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