IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE CITY OF RICHMOND
... Plaintiff, Case No.: CL08-4136
DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE,
This matter comes to this Court on remand from the Supreme Court of Virginia for entry of an order dismissing the Plaintiff's complaint and vacating this Court's Order entered on January 15, 2009. On March 16, 2011, the parties appeared, by counsel, before this Court seeking the entry of a Final Order.
Plaintiff ... pled guilty to assault and battery of a family member in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-57.2(A) on February 6, 1997. On April 4, 2008, in response to an inquiry from ..., the Department of State Police (the Department) sent a letter to ... indicating that based on ...'s conviction for assault and battery of a family member, ... was ineligible to purchase a firearm due to the prohibition contained in 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9).
... responded by filing a complaint seeking declaratory judgment in the Circuit Court for the County of Shenandoah, pursuant to Va. Code §§ 9.1-135 and 18.2-308.2:2(E). The parties consented to the transfer of the case to the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond. ... argued that the Department wrongfully denied his firearm purchase under federal law because ...'s conviction for assault and battery of a family member is not a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9).
The Department filed a demurrer in response to ...'s complaint on the grounds that sovereign immunity barred relief against the Commonwealth and because ... failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. On January 15, 2009, this Court entered an order sustaining the Department's demurrer for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The Supreme Court of Virginia considered ...'s appeal.
Subsequent to the entry of this Court's January 15, 2009 Order and while ...'s appeal was pending in the Supreme Court of Virginia, on June 1, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Court issued an opinion holding that a conviction under Va. Code § 18.2-57.2 for assault and battery against a family or household member does not automatically preclude an individual from possessing a firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). United States v. White, 606 F.3d 144 (4th Cir. 2010).
WHEREAS, in light of the decision from the Fourth Circuit and until the Fourth Circuit reconsiders or the United States Supreme Court holds otherwise, the Department will no longer withhold approval for ... to purchase a firearm on the basis of his February 6, 1997 conviction pursuant to Va. Code § 18.2-57.2(A).
WHEREAS, on January 6, 2011, the parties jointly requested that the Supreme Court of Virginia remand this case to the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond for dismissal of the complaint and the January 15, 2009 Order of this Court, there being no further controversy between the parties; and
WHEREAS, on January 7, 2011, the Supreme Court of Virginia granted the parties' joint motion; it is hereby
ADJUDGED, ORDERED AND DECREED that ...'s complaint be dismissed.
It is further ADJUDGED, ORDERED AND DECREED that this Court's Order dated
January 15, 2009 is hereby vacated.
IT IS SO ORDERED.