Neal Attorney Contests Validity of Petition

By: Ed Reams Email
By: Ed Reams Email

An attorney for Harrisonburg Treasurer Rebecca Neal filed an objection with the court Tuesday afternoon saying the petition to remove Neal from office was not properly executed.

Attorney David O'Donnell alleges in his demurrer, or objection, that "the petition does not meet the requirements of Rule 1:4(d) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, which requires that 'every pleading shall state the facts on which the party relies in numbered paragraphs, and it shall be sufficient if it clearly informs the opposite party of the true nature of the claim or defense'."

Neal's attorney also says the petition only recited information contained in the affidavit the Harrisonburg Police Department submitted in support for their application for a search warrant, but did not state "with reasonable accuracy and detail the grounds or reasons for removal."

O'Donnell further claims that while Virginia Code requires the petition be "signed by the person or persons making it under penalties or perjury," the oath was "defective" because the people who were signing the petition did not make a "declaration, under penalty and perjury, that the factual allegations in the petition are true and correct."

In addition, the demurrer alleges that the petition was not properly executed according the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, which states "the petition must be signed by a number of registered voters who reside within the jurisdiction of the officer equal to ten percent of the total number of votes cast at the last election for the office that the officer holds."

A hearing on the demurrer to the Petition will take place at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the courtroom of Rockingham Circuit Court Judge James Lane.


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