SCV ISSUES SHORT PUBLISHED RULING
(Posted April 7, 2022) Today is an immensely important day. In eastern Georgia, The Masters has begun; this afternoon, in ballparks across America, Major League Baseball celebrates Opening Day – a bit late; but that’s better than not at all. At Ninth and Franklin, we get one of the shortest rulings that you’re likely to see in Virginia Reports.
In Wills v. Wills, the court issues a one-page published order that adopts and affirms the ruling of the Court of Appeals in a domestic-relations appeal. The court’s write-up on its Opinions and Published Orders page contains detail that the order itself does not, including the fact that the parties “presented 18 assignments of error and cross-error” in the appeal, only to receive what amounts to a summary affirmance.
There’s an interesting quirk for those of us who read opinions for a living. In a footnote, the justices state that the circuit court erroneously calculated prejudgment interest on what I take to be a retroactive award of child support. The note concludes with this sentence: “The Court takes no position regarding whether prejudgment interest could be awarded as part of a retroactive child support award under Code § 8.01-382.”
I couldn’t help but check: At 98 words, the footnote is 18 words longer than the body of the order. You don’t see that very often. And for what it’s worth, this short essay is 237 words, excluding the headline.