New Law Strengthens Enforcement of Va. Executive Orders – $500 Civil Penalty…

New Law Strengthens Enforcement of Va. Executive Orders – $500 Civil Penalty (Eventually . . . Maybe)

On October 21, 2020, Governor Northam signed several COVID-related pieces of legislation that were adopted during the Virginia General Assembly’s 2020 Special Session.  Of particular interest, the  legislation includes House Bill 5093 (Delegate Watts) and Senate Bill 5117 (Senator Deeds), which would allow a $500 civil penalty for violations of a Governor’s Executive Order as an alternative to charging the individual with a Class 1 misdemeanor.  In addition, this legislation states that if a law enforcement officer observes a violation, that officer can issue a summons against the violator.  It remains to be seen whether or when this new enforcement tool is actually implemented.

Because these bills were adopted during a Special Session, they do not go into effect until four months after the final adjournment of the Special Session.  So, this new enforcement tool may not go into effect until February or March 2021, or even later depending on when the current Special Session adjourns.  In addition, this new law is set to expire on June 30, 2023.

Federal, state and local responses to COVID-19 are changing quickly. We encourage associations to monitor relevant government websites and this page for further updates.

Legal Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific facts and circumstances of each case and each association’s governing documents. Also, it is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of all legal considerations, nor should it be used to replace the individualized advice of your legal counsel.


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