Claims against County’s have their own statutory requirements in Virginia, including the requirement in Virginia Code Sec. 15.2-1246 that claimants both provide a written notice of appeal and a bond to be filed with the clerk respecting appeal of any money claims against the county.
Recently, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed a judgment because the appellants filed a document with the county called “Appeal Bond”, but nowhere in that document indicated it as notice of intent to appeal their claim. While the dissent argued this was form over substance, the majority of the court disagreed. That decision is County of Albermarle v. Camirand, No. 120711, decided Feb. 28, 2013.
What impact does that have on me you might ask? Well, if you do procurement work for a county you have the same statutory requirement. Even though your contract is under the Virginia Public Procurement Act, and even though that act has its own disputes resolution statute, and many contracts have their own disputes resolution statute as is allowed by the VPPA; you ignore Virginia Code Sec. 15.2-1246 at your peril.
In its Jan. 16, 2009 decision in Viking Enterprise, Inc. v. County of Chesterfield, Record No. 080215, the Virginia Supreme Court noted that while the VPPA applies to how claims are initially presented to the public body, it is not inconsistent with Sec. 15.2-1246’s requirements respecting how suits against counties are to be brought, and so both apply.
Therefore, the failure to have complied with Sec. 15.2-1246, and to allege allege compliance in the complaint, are fatal jurisdictional defects.