Justia Communications Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Virginia
by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing with prejudice Transparent GMU's petition for writ of mandamus seeking to obtain donor information under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), Va. Code 2.2-3700 et seq., from George Mason University (GMU) and the George Mason University Foundation, Inc. (the Foundation), holding that the Foundation's records were not subject to disclosure under VFOIA. Transparent filed VFOIA requests with GMU and the Foundation seeking records of grants and donations involving contributions to or for GMU from any of several charitable foundations. The Foundation, a privately held corporation established the raise funds and manage donations given for the benefit of GMU, responded that it was not a public body and its records were not public records subject to VFOIA. Transparent filed a petition for mandamus relief. The circuit court found that the Foundation was not a public body under VFOIA and dismissed the petition with prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding the Foundation was not a public body subject to VFOIA. View "Transparent GMU v. George Mason University" on Justia Law

by
Defendant moved to suppress the fruits of the search that led to his arrest on the ground that the probable cause for the search was provided by the warrantless use of a drug-sniffing dog in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The circuit court denied the motion to suppress and found Defendant guilty of felony possession with intent to distribute. After Defendant’s conviction became legal, the United States Supreme Court decided Florida v. Jardines, which announced that use of a drug-sniffing dog on a homeowner’s porch constitutes a search within the meaning of the of the Fourth Amendment. Thereafter, Defendant filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the circuit court, alleging that Jardines confirmed that the search of his home was invalid and that Jardines was retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review. The habeas court dismissed the petition, concluding that Jardines introduced a new rule and was not retroactive. The court also denied a plenary hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Jardines does not apply retroactively to convictions such as Defendant’s because it announced a new rule of constitutional law; and (2) the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying Defendant’s request for a plenary hearing. View "Oprisko v. Director" on Justia Law