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Thread: courthouse building

  1. #1
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    I've seen this talked about before, but I've never seen a definitive answer. In Blacksburg, the local courthouse is located in the same building as all the other town government offices. Is the whole building off limits, or just the part of the building where the courthouse is? I asked a local sherrif and was told I could not, but I got the feeling he really didnt know and saying no is just their automatic reaction. If no one knows the answer to this, is there any way I can find out for sure?

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    Campaign Veteran roscoe13's Avatar
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    I'm fairly certain someone posted some case law on this a while back, try the search function...
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    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...mp;forum_id=54 That one is fairly recent and I asked in there as well, but no reference to any case law.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    mpg9999 wrote:
    I've seen this talked about before, but I've never seen a definitive answer. In Blacksburg, the local courthouse is located in the same building as all the other town government offices. Is the whole building off limits, or just the part of the building where the courthouse is? I asked a local sherrif and was told I could not, but I got the feeling he really didnt know and saying no is just their automatic reaction. If no one knows the answer to this, is there any way I can find out for sure?
    This has been posted before. http://www.virginia1774.org/CourthouseArea.html This is a decision by the Virginia Court of Appeals, and since it has not gone farther is now the last word in case law on the matter. From the decision: "Only that part of the courthouse building necessary for the use and occupancy of the circuit court constituted the courthouse, and the court has control over the assignment of space in such area. The governing body of the county has control of the use and occupancy of all other areas of the building." Note that in the specific case cited, the only court using space in the building was the Circuit Court. I feel confident that if the General District and/or Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court had been in that building, the Court of Appeals would have held that the space they occupy, but not any other space in a joiint0useage building, would have been "the courthouse."

    As such, state preemption law controls for all portions of the building that are not "necessary for the use and occupancy of the [] court."

    Print out the Court of Appeals decision and give a coipy to the Sherrif and another to the Commonwealth's Attorney. Find a poilite way to ask them if they have any difficulty understanding plain written English. And have a good criminal defense lawyer lined up just in case they are not able to understand.

    stay safe. Let us know how things turn out, and if visiting day is Saturday or Sunday. :P

    skidmark
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