Amended Answer in Virginia Circuit Court – At A Glance

Use this At A Glance Guide to learn the Virginia Supreme Court Rules related to amended answer in Virginia Circuit Courts. For more detailed information, please see the SmartRules Amended Answer Guide for the court where your action is pending.

Leave to amend shall be liberally granted in furtherance of the ends of justice. V.S.C.R. 1:8.

A misnomer in any pleading may, on the motion of any party, and on affidavit of the right name, be amended by inserting the right name. An amendment changing the party against whom a claim is asserted, whether to correct a misnomer or otherwise, relates back to the date of the original pleading if (i) the claim asserted in the amended pleading arose out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth in the original pleading, (ii) within the limitations period prescribed for commencing the action against the party to be brought in by the amendment, that party or its agent received notice of the institution of the action, (iii) that party will not be prejudiced in maintaining a defense on the merits, and (iv) that party knew or should have known that but for a mistake concerning the identity of the proper party, the action would have been brought against that party. Va. Code 8.01-6.

An amendment of a pleading changing or adding a claim or defense against a party relates back to the date of the original pleadings for purposes of the statute of limitations if the court finds (i) the claim or defense asserted in the amended pleading arose out of the conduct, transaction or occurrence set forth in the original pleading, (ii) the amending party was reasonably diligent in asserting the amended claim or defense, and (iii) parties opposing the amendment will not be substantially prejudiced in litigating on the merits as a result of the timing of the amendment. In connection with such an amendment, the trial court may grant a continuance or other relief to protect the parties. This section shall not apply to eminent domain or mechanics’ lien claims or defenses. Va. Code 8.01-6.1

A pleading that states a claim against a party whose trade name or corporate name is substantially similar to the trade name or corporate name of another entity may be amended at any time by inserting the correct party’s name, if such party or its agent had actual notice of the claim prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations for filing the claim. Va. Code 8.01-6.2(A).

In the event that suit is filed against the estate of a decedent, and filed within the applicable statute of limitations, naming the proper name of estate of the deceased and service is effected or attempted on an individual or individuals as executor, administrator or other officers of the estate, such filing tolls the statute of limitations for said claim in the event the executor, administrator or other officers of the estate are unable to legally receive service at the time service was attempted, or defend suit because their authority as executor, administrator or other officer of the estate excludes defending said actions, or their duties as executor, administrator or other officer of the estate had expired at the time of service or during the time of defending said action. Va. Code 8.01-6.2(B)

In any case in which full justice cannot be done, or the whole controversy ended, without the presence of new parties to the suit, the court, by order, may direct the clerk to issue the proper process against such new parties, and, upon the maturing of the case as to them, proceed to make such orders or decrees as would have been proper if the new parties had been made parties at the commencement of the suit. Va. Code 8.01-7

The authorities cited in this At A Glance Guide are current as of the publication date. For authorities updated in real time, please see the SmartRules Guide for the litigation document you are drafting.

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