Bill authorizing local government employees to issue summonses passes Senate committee

February 13, 2020

A bill introduced by Delegate Steve Heretick relating to local government’s power to issue summonses has cleared it’s first hurdle in the Senate, reporting out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 12 by a 15-0 vote.

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.  Having reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the bill will now head to the Senate floor where it will be heard and likely be passed sometime next week.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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