Moore v. Com.

Citation527 S.E.2d 415,259 Va. 405
Decision Date03 March 2000
Docket NumberRecord No. 990776.
PartiesDennis Jackson MOORE v. COMMONWEALTH of Virginia.
CourtSupreme Court of Virginia

527 S.E.2d 415
259 Va. 405

Dennis Jackson MOORE

Record No. 990776.

Supreme Court of Virginia.

March 3, 2000.

527 S.E.2d 416
Steven D. Benjamin, Richmond (Betty Layne DesPortes; Benjamnin & DesPortes, on briefs), for appellant

Eugene Murphy, Assistant Attorney General (Mark L. Earley, Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.


KEENAN, Justice.

The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the provisions of Code § 16.1-269.1(E) cured a defect in felony proceedings in a juvenile and domestic relations district court caused by the Commonwealth's failure to notify the defendant's biological father of the proceedings pursuant to the requirements of former Code §§ 16.1-263 and -264. Code § 16.1-269.1(E) states, in material part: "An indictment in the circuit court cures any error or defect in any proceeding held in the juvenile court except with respect to the juvenile's age." In deciding this issue, we also consider the impact, if any, of Commonwealth v. Baker, 258 Va. 1, 516 S.E.2d 219 (1999) (per curiam), aff'g 28 Va.App. 306, 504 S.E.2d 394 (1998), on the present appeal.

On July 27, 1996, Dennis Jackson Moore (the defendant) shot and killed Vance Michael Horne, Jr., in a parking lot at a recreational facility in Henrico County. The shooting occurred after the defendant approached Horne's companion, Jonathan Bradley Cooper, held a gun to Cooper's back, and demanded a neck chain that Cooper was wearing. Cooper gave the chain to the defendant, who nevertheless shot Horne in the head and fled from the scene.

On October 15, 1996, the Commonwealth issued four juvenile petitions against the defendant, age 17, in the Henrico County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (the juvenile court). The petitions charged the defendant with the murder of Horne, the robbery of Cooper, and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The four petitions were served on the defendant, his mother, Darlene Moore, and his stepfather, Howard Moore. The defendant had lived with his mother and stepfather for about 16 years, but had not been adopted by his stepfather. The defendant's biological father, Dennis Fleming, was not given notice of the initiation of proceedings in the juvenile court.

The defendant's mother and stepfather attended all the proceedings in the juvenile court. The record does not show that the defendant's biological father was present at any of those proceedings. The juvenile court held a preliminary hearing under Code

527 S.E.2d 417
§§ 16.1-269.1(B) and (C), and certified the four felony charges to the grand jury of the circuit court pursuant to Code § 16.1-269.1(D)

The defendant was indicted by the grand jury on the four felony charges. The defendant did not challenge the circuit court's jurisdiction or raise an objection to the proceedings based on the lack of notice to his biological father in the juvenile court. The defendant was tried by a jury and convicted of all four offenses. The circuit court sentenced the defendant to a term of 60 years' imprisonment for murder, with 20 years suspended, a term of 20 years' imprisonment for robbery, with 15 years suspended, and a total of eight years' imprisonment on the two firearm convictions.

The defendant appealed his convictions to the Court of Appeals, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence and the admissibility of a statement he made to the police. He did not argue that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to try his case or assert error based on the lack of notice to his biological father in the juvenile court. A panel of the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's judgment in an unpublished opinion. Moore v. Commonwealth, Record No. 1088-97-2, 1999 WL 1126334 (March 16, 1999).

The defendant filed a petition for appeal in this Court, in which he alleged a purported jurisdictional defect in his convictions. He argued that, under our decision in Baker, the circuit court's judgment was void because the Commonwealth failed to provide notice to his biological father of the proceedings in juvenile court. We awarded the defendant this appeal on the sole issue whether the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to try him on the four charged offenses.

The defendant contends that the Commonwealth's failure to comply with the notice requirements of former Code §§ 16.1-243 and -264 deprived both the juvenile court and the...

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23 cases
  • Nelson v. WARDEN OF KEEN MTN. CORRECTIONAL, Record No. 002301.
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • September 14, 2001
    ...are prerequisite to a court's lawful exercise of that jurisdiction.'" Id. at 437, 527 S.E.2d at 409 (quoting Dennis Moore v. Commonwealth, 259 Va. 405, 409, 552 S.E.2d 76 527 S.E.2d 415, 417 (2000)).5 In other words, we made the statutory requirements both mandatory and jurisdictional. We a......
  • Simms v. Alexandria Dep't of Cmty. & Human Servs., Record No. 0479-21-4
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • April 5, 2022
    ...refers to the power granted to the courts by constitution or statute to hear specified classes of cases" (quoting Moore v. Commonwealth , 259 Va. 405, 409, 527 S.E.2d 415 (2000) )).The question of the JDR court's jurisdiction in the context of an appeal is specifically addressed by Code § 1......
  • Angel v. Commonwealth, Record No. 2044-07-4 (Va. App. 3/24/2009), Record No. 2044-07-4
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • March 24, 2009
    ...with Code § 16.1-269.1(E)'s parental notification provisions. He contends, however, that neither Shackleford nor Moore v. Commonwealth, 259 Va. 405, 527 S.E.2d 415 (2000), which also considered the statutory notice issue, addressed whether failure to comply with the Page 6 notice provisions......
  • M. CHERRY & ASSOCIATES v. Cherry, Record No. 2854-00-4.
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • January 22, 2002
    ...not require consideration of whether prosecutor's conduct violated the defendant's due process rights); see also Moore v. Commonwealth, 259 Va. 405, 411 n. 4, 527 S.E.2d 415, 419 n. 4 (2000) (finding defendant's contention that the Commonwealth's failure to notify juvenile's biological fath......
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