Difference between revisions of "Laws governing recall in Virginia"

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==Code of Virgina==
 
==Code of Virgina==
Virginia is one of two states that provide for recall but only though statutes, the other being [[Laws governing recall in Virginia|Montana]]. All provisions are found in <ref name="NCSLstate">[http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/recall-of-state-officials.aspx ''National Conference of State Legislatures'', "Recall of State Officials," Last updated June 6, 2012]</ref>  
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Virginia is one of two states that provide for recall only though state statutes and not constitutional law, the other being [[Laws governing recall in Montana|Montana]].<ref name="NCSLstate">[http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/recall-of-state-officials.aspx ''National Conference of State Legislatures'', "Recall of State Officials," Last updated June 6, 2012]</ref>  
  
 
===Who may be recalled?===
 
===Who may be recalled?===
 
Code [[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-233 § 24.2-233] states that "Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court."<ref name="S2-233">[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-233 ''Code of Virginia'', "§ 24.2-233," Accessed: July 17, 2013]</ref>
 
Code [[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-233 § 24.2-233] states that "Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court."<ref name="S2-233">[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-233 ''Code of Virginia'', "§ 24.2-233," Accessed: July 17, 2013]</ref>
  
This can be interpreted to mean all local level elected officials can be recalled.  
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This can be interpreted to mean all locally elected officials can be recalled. Whether this would apply to state level officers is unclear given issues with the jurisdiction of the court. There is no precedent of a Virginia state legislator or governor having faced recall.<ref name="NCSLstate"/>
 
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Whether this would apply to state level officers is unclear given issues with the jurisdiction of the court. There is no precedent either for such recalls as no state legislature or Virginia governor has faced recall.<ref name="NCSLstate"/>
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===Recall reasons===
 
===Recall reasons===
Code [[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-233 § 24.2-233] states acceptable reasons for recall include:<ref name="S2-233"/>
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Code [http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-233 § 24.2-233] states acceptable reasons for recall when it has "material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office" include:<ref name="S2-233"/>
 
* Neglect of duty  
 
* Neglect of duty  
 
* Misuse of office
 
* Misuse of office
 
* Incompetence in the performance  
 
* Incompetence in the performance  
When it has "material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office"
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Other acceptable reasons include:
 
Other acceptable reasons include:
 
* Conviction of a misdemeanor relating to drugs
 
* Conviction of a misdemeanor relating to drugs
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===Petition requirements===
 
===Petition requirements===
The petition for recall must be signed by at least 10% the number of people who voted in the last election for the office.<ref name="S2-233"/> The petition must also detail the reasons for removal.<ref name="S2-235">[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-235 ''Code of Virginia'', "§ 24.2-235," Accessed: July 17, 2013]</ref>
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The petition for recall must be signed by at least 10% of the number of people who voted in the last election for the office being recalled.<ref name="S2-233"/> The petition must also detail the reasons for removal.<ref name="S2-235">[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-235 ''Code of Virginia'', "§ 24.2-235," Accessed: July 17, 2013]</ref>
  
Further applicable petition requirement for local recall efforts may be found in [http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-684.1 § 24.2-684.1].
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Further applicable petition requirement for local recall efforts may be found in [http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-684.1 § 24.2-684.1]. Potential petitioner should check with their local authorities for the most current and applicable regulations.
  
 
===Trial process===
 
===Trial process===
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* The officer's position may be suspended.<ref name="S2-236">[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-236 ''Code of Virginia'', "§ 24.2-236," Accessed: July 17, 2013]</ref>
 
* The officer's position may be suspended.<ref name="S2-236">[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-236 ''Code of Virginia'', "§ 24.2-236," Accessed: July 17, 2013]</ref>
 
* The attorney for the Commonwealth will represent the state.<ref name="S2-237">[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-237 ''Code of Virginia'', "§ 24.2-237," Accessed: July 17, 2013]</ref>
 
* The attorney for the Commonwealth will represent the state.<ref name="S2-237">[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-237 ''Code of Virginia'', "§ 24.2-237," Accessed: July 17, 2013]</ref>
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* The official subject to a recall trial has the right to demand a trial by jury.<ref name="S2-237"/>
 
* The results of the trial may be appealed to the [[Judgepedia:Supreme Court of Virginia]].<ref name="S2-237"/>
 
* The results of the trial may be appealed to the [[Judgepedia:Supreme Court of Virginia]].<ref name="S2-237"/>
  
==See also==
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===Filling vacancies===
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* If an official is recalled, the general procedure is to follow the laws set out for filling vacancies under [http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+TOC24020000002000000000000 Virginia Code Title 24.2 - Elections]. For instance, when [[James Holley recall, Portsmouth, Virginia, 2010|Mayor James Holley of Portsmouth]] was recalled for the second time in 2010, it was the city council who was charge with appointing a temporary successor; if they had failed to do it the process would have been deferred to the courts.<ref>[http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/breaking/voters-oust-portsmouth-mayor-again-98402544.html ''Washington Examiner'', "Voters oust Portsmouth mayor again," July 14, 2010]</ref><ref>[http://hamptonroads.com/2010/07/former-vice-mayor-griffin-will-be-interim-mayor-portsmouth ''The Virginian-Pilot'', "Former Vice Mayor Griffin will be interim mayor of Portsmouth," July 27, 2010]</ref>
  
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==See also==
 
* [[Laws governing recall]]
 
* [[Laws governing recall]]
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* [[Recall campaigns in Virginia]]
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* [[Laws governing local ballot measures in Virginia]]
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==External links==
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* [http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+TOC24020000002000000000000 Virginia Code Title 24.2 - Elections]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==

Revision as of 07:50, 18 July 2013

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Recall of elected officials in Virginia is made available through Virginia statutes. Unlike other states that hold recall elections however, when citizens have petitioned for a recall, it is then sent to the state Circuit Courts for trial.

Code of Virgina

Virginia is one of two states that provide for recall only though state statutes and not constitutional law, the other being Montana.[1]

Who may be recalled?

Code [§ 24.2-233 states that "Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court."[2]

This can be interpreted to mean all locally elected officials can be recalled. Whether this would apply to state level officers is unclear given issues with the jurisdiction of the court. There is no precedent of a Virginia state legislator or governor having faced recall.[1]

Recall reasons

Code § 24.2-233 states acceptable reasons for recall when it has "material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office" include:[2]

  • Neglect of duty
  • Misuse of office
  • Incompetence in the performance

Other acceptable reasons include:

  • Conviction of a misdemeanor relating to drugs
  • Conviction of a misdemeanor involving a "hate crime"

Petition requirements

The petition for recall must be signed by at least 10% of the number of people who voted in the last election for the office being recalled.[2] The petition must also detail the reasons for removal.[3]

Further applicable petition requirement for local recall efforts may be found in § 24.2-684.1. Potential petitioner should check with their local authorities for the most current and applicable regulations.

Trial process

After the petition has been submitted:

  • The officer subject to recall will receive notice.[3]
  • The officer's position may be suspended.[4]
  • The attorney for the Commonwealth will represent the state.[5]
  • The official subject to a recall trial has the right to demand a trial by jury.[5]
  • The results of the trial may be appealed to the Judgepedia:Supreme Court of Virginia.[5]

Filling vacancies

  • If an official is recalled, the general procedure is to follow the laws set out for filling vacancies under Virginia Code Title 24.2 - Elections. For instance, when Mayor James Holley of Portsmouth was recalled for the second time in 2010, it was the city council who was charge with appointing a temporary successor; if they had failed to do it the process would have been deferred to the courts.[6][7]

See also

External links

References