A Virginia Bill to Expedite Judicial Decisions in Civil Cases
Under current law, Circuit Court judges hearing civil matters have 90 days to render a decision on motions or other issues submitted to the court for consideration. Practically speaking, there is not a lot of statutory consequence for going past the 90 day window: the judge must notify the litigants or their attorneys as to when they can expect a decision, and parties can report delays to the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court. Yet, tardiness can become an issue when judges are seeking reappointment, particularly if legislators are receiving complaints about their local judge. Accordingly, the vast majority of judges hold themselves to this 90 day window for turning around decisions.
It appears that the turnaround time for rendering decisions is about to shorten. House Bill 269, which passed the House and Senate unanimously, will require judges to render decisions within 60 days: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB269ER. Given the unanimity, it is highly likely that the Governor will sign this bill into law, so it will become effective July 1, 2014.