2492 North Landing Road, Suite 104
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456
Tel. (757) 301-3636 Fax (757) 301-3640
Additional Office Locations By Appointment: Chesapeake – Hampton – Richmond – Vienna
December 8, 2020
Richmond Circuit Court 400 North Ninth Street John Marshall Courts Building Richmond, Virginia 23219
DeSteph v. Locke, et al
Enclosed, please find a Petition for Injunction that I ask you to file in your Court. Service of process will be effectuated on all Defendant’s via email to the Office of the Attorney General as indicated on the attached certificate of service.
Please alert the duty judge that my client is requesting a hearing as soon as possible on this matter
(CLERK’S OFFICE USE ONLY)
COVER SHEET FOR FILING CIVIL ACTIONS COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
…...………... V.IIn re: .……. PLAINTIFF(S)
…… Circuit Court Mamie Locke
I, the undersigned [ ] plaintiff [ ] defendant [x] attorney for [x] plaintiff [ ] defendant hereby notify the Clerk of Court that I am filing the following civil action. (Please indicate by checking box that most closely identifies the claim being asserted or relief sought.)
[ ] Appeal/Judicial Review of Decision of
(select one) [ ] ABC Board [ ] Board of Zoning [ Compensation Board [ ] DMV License Suspension [ ] Employee Grievance Decision [ ] Employment Commission [ ] Local Government [ ] Marine Resources Commission [ ] School Board [ ] Voter Registration [ Other Administrative Appeal
PROBATE/WILLS AND TRUSTS
[ ] Accounting [ ] Aid and Guidance [ ] Appointment (select one)
[ ] Guardian/Conservator [ ] Standby Guardian/Conservator
[ ] Custodian/Successor Custodian (UTMA) [ ] Trust (select one)
[ ] Impress/Declare/Create
[ ] Reformation [ ] Will (select one)
[ ] Construe [ Contested
GENERAL CIVIL Subsequent Actions
[ ] Claim Impleading Third Party Defendant
[ ] Monetary Damages
[ ] No Monetary Damages [ ] Counterclaim
[ ] Monetary Damages
[ ] No Monetary Damages [ ] Cross Claim [ ] Interpleader [ ] Reinstatement (other than divorce or
driving privileges) [ ] Removal of Case to Federal Court Business & Contract
[ Attachment [ Confessed Judgment [ ] Contract Action [ ] Contract Specific Performance [ ] Detinue
[ ] Garnishment Property
[ ] Annexation [ ] Condemnation [ ] Ejectment [ ] Encumber/Sell Real Estate [ ] Enforce Vendor’s Lien ( Escheatment ( ) Establish Boundaries || Landlord/Tenant
[ ] Unlawful Detainer [ ] Mechanics Lien [ ] Partition [ ] Quiet Title
[ ] Termination of Mineral Rights Tort
[ ] Asbestos Litigation [ ] Compromise Settlement
Intentional Tort [ ] Medical Malpractice [ ] Motor Vehicle Tort [ ] Product Liability [ ] Wrongful Death [ ] Other General Tort Liability
[ ] Adoption
[ ] Adoption – Foreign [ ] Adult Protection ( ) Annulment
[ ] Annulment – Counterclaim Responsive
Pleading [ ] Child Abuse and Neglect – Unfounded
Complaint [ ] Civil Contempt [ ] Divorce (select one)
[ ] Complaint – Contested* [ ] Complaint – Uncontested* [ ] Counterclaim/Responsive Pleading [ ] Reinstatement –
Distribution [ ] Separate Maintenance
[ ] Separate Maintenance Counterclaim
[ ] Amend Death Certificate [ ] Appointment (select one)
[ ] Church Trustee [ ] Conservator of Peace
[ ] Marriage Celebrant [ ] Approval of Transfer of Structured
Settlement [ ] Bond Forfeiture Appeal [ ] Declaratory Judgment [ ] Declare Death [ ] Driving Privileges (select one)
[ ] Reinstatement pursuant to $ 46.2-427 [ ] Restoration – Habitual Offender or 3rd
Offense [ ] Expungement [ ] Firearms Rights – Restoration [ ] Forfeiture of Property or Money  Freedom of Information [x] Injunction [ ] Interdiction [ ] Interrogatory [ ] Judgment Lien-Bill to Enforce [ ] Law Enforcement/Public Official Petition [ ] Name Change [ ] Referendum Elections [ ] Sever Order [ ] Taxes (select one)
[ ] Correct Erroneous State/Local
[ ] Delinquent [ ] Vehicle Confiscation [ ] Voting Rights – Restoration [ ] Other (please specify)
[ ] Certiorari [ ] Habeas Corpus [ ] Mandamus [ ] Prohibition [ ] Quo Warranto
( ) Damages in the amount of S…
1x ATTORNEY FOR
IX PLAINTIFF | | DEFENDANT
PRINT NAME 2492 N. Landing Rd 104 ADDRESS/TELEPHONE NUMBER OF SIGNATOR
Virginia Beach VA 23456 firstname.lastname@example.org
EMAIL ADDRESS OF SIGNATOR (OPTIONAL) FORM CC-1416 (MASTER) PAGE ONE 07/16
**Contested” divorce means any of the following matters arc in dispute: grounds of divorce, spousal support and maintenance, child custody and/or visitation, child support, property distribution or debt allocation. An “Uncontested” divorce is filed on no fault grounds and none of the above issues are in dispute.
VIRGINIA: IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE CITY OF RICHMOND
Individually and in Official Capacity as Senator Of gth Senatorial District
Senator and Chairperson of Senate Rules
Delegate and Speaker of the House of Delegates
Susan Clarke Schaar
Clerk of the Senate
Clerk of the House of Delegates
Virginia Division of Capitol Police
FOR TEMPORARY AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION
“It is time–past time to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicto that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, oynagogues and mosques,” ...“Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”
Justice Neil M. Gorsuch – Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York, 592 U.S._
Comes now, the plaintiff Bill DeSteph, in his individual and official capacity as a
Virginia State Senator, by counsel and moves this Court for an injunction to be entered against
Senator Mamie Locke, Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, Clerk Schaar, Clerk Denslow and the
Virginia Division of Capital Police in their official capacities for the reasons set forth herein:
1. Plaintiff is a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia residing in Virginia Beach,
Virginia and is the duly elected Senator of the gth Senatorial District in Virginia. The
Plaintiff is moving for relief in his individual and official elected capacity.
2. Senator Mamie Locke is a duly elected Virginia State Senator and Chairperson of the
Virginia Senate Rules Committee.
3. Eileen Filler-Corn is a duly elected Virginia Delegate and is currently the Speaker of the
House of Delegates.
4. Susan Clarke Schaar is the Clerk of the Virginia Senate.
5. Suzette Denslow is the Clerk of the House of Delegates
6. Virginia Division of Capitol Police is a law enforcement agency, with primary
responsibilities to enforce laws in and around the State Capitol grounds.
CONTROVERSY / STATEMENT OF FACTS
7. The plaintiff restates all previous paragraphs. 8. On December 2, 2020, the plaintiff in his official capacity was advised by Defendant
Locke and Defendant Filler-Corn that “due to the rise in Covid-19 numbers” the
Pocahontas Building—the structure that contains the offices of both House and Senate
members—will only be open for credentialed legislative employees and current
legislators during the upcoming Regular Session of the General Assembly. See attached
email “Exhibit A”
COUNT 1 – INJUNCTION
9. Plaintiff restates all previous paragraphs.
10. The Pocahontas Building is a traditional forum office building open to members of the
public with a primary purpose of providing office appointments for the members of the
General Assembly with the general public.
11. Throughout the Commonwealth, every Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, General
District Court and Circuit Court are open and handling business in person pursuant to the
Fourteenth Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency of the Virginia Supreme
12. City council and board of supervisor meetings are occurring in person throughout the
Commonwealth and every government agency is open for in person business and the
Governor of Virginia is allowing most businesses to operate in person pursuant to
Executive Order 67, Sixth Amended. 2
13. While the Governor holds press conferences surrounded by visitors and dignitaries from
outside the state, the Courts try cases daily, the DMV processes licenses and City Halls collect taxes throughout the Commonwealth, the Defendant’s Filler-Corn and Locke
http://www.vacourts.gov/news/items/covid/2020_1203_scv_order_fourteenth_extending_declaration_of_judici al_emergency.pdf 2 https://http://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-67-SIXTH-AMENDED-and Order-of-Public-Health-Emergency-Seven—Phase-Three-Further-Adjusting-of-Certain-Temporary-Restrictions Due-to-Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19).pdf
opine that the only major government building that is too dangerous to be open to the
public due to the pandemic, is the general office building of the General Assembly.
14. The closure of the legislative office building to the public is contrary to the explicit
historical purpose of the building to allow the public access to its elected legislative
members, especially during the General Assembly Session. 3
15. To exclude the public from in-person participation to 2021 General Assembly session is
inconsistent with open access to government and is inconsistent with every COVID-19
policy operating in every other branch of government at the state and local level.
16. The Plaintiff, as a State Senator, will be deprived of his ability to conduct vital
constituent service by meeting with members of the public to discuss proposed laws
during the 2021 General Assembly Session
17. Most importantly, the right to assemble and address lawmakers at the state and federal
levels is fundamentally protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution:
a. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
18. Further, Article 1 Section 12 further prohibits the General Assembly from abridging the
freedom of the people to peaceably assemble.
a. “That the freedoms of speech and of the press are among the great bulwarks of
liberty, and can never be restrained except by despotic governments; that any citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; that the General Assembly shall not pass any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, nor the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances.”
3 Cornelius v. NAACP, 473 U.S. 788 (1985), reu’g and remanding NAACP v. Devine, 727 F.2d 1247 (1984), aff’g 567 F. Supp. 401 (D.D.C. 1983). – Citing “history” and “intent” elements of the Cornelius standard for determining a traditional forum.
19. Less restrictive options exist such as requiring appointments and capacity restrictions to
20. Meetings with members of the General Assembly can occur in a manner similar to how
any court proceeding is conducted in the Commonwealth during COVID-19 protocols or
how a transaction at a grocery store occurs pursuant to the Governors Executive orders.
The members of the General Assembly nor the public are no more at risk of becoming
infected or transmitting COVID-19 meeting in person at the office building of elected
officials then they are in every other public setting occurring every day in the
21. The Plaintiff acknowledges the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications, however, there
is no heightened medical basis to deprive the plaintiff or his constituents open access to
government and the right to peacefully assemble in person, at the public building where
the legislative body has official offices and where the legislative body regularly meets the
public during the General Assembly session.
22. Allowing public access to the office building during the General Assembly session would
be consistent with how the other branches of state and local governments are handling in
person meetings with the public on a daily basis in the normal course of governmental
23. If a constituent can contest a speeding ticket in the Commonwealth in person, then that
same constituent should be able to exercise their right to freedom of speech protected by
the 1st Amendment and Article 1 Section 12 of the Virginia Constitution, and therefore
should be allowed to meet with their state representative regarding policy and decision
making of the elected body during the General Assembly session.
24. Furthermore the ex parte decision to close the public office public to the general public
during the 2021 Session by Senator Locke and Speaker Filler-Corn have not been voted
on by either chamber.
25. The Virginia Supreme Court issued an unpublished opinion” in Commonwealth of
Virginia ex rel. Bowyer v. Sweet Briar Institute, Record No. 150619 (June 9, 2015)
regarding the issuance of a temporary injunction:
a. That the primary purpose of a temporary injunction is to preserve the status
quo pendente lite;
b. That “a temporary injunction requires consideration of the requesting party’s
allegations and the veracity and magnitude of the asserted harm”; and
c. That decisions on requests for temporary injunctions must be based on the
totality of the circumstances”; “no single factor can be considered alone as
26. Plaintiff, as an elected state Senator will suffer irreparable harm if an injunction is not
granted, in that he will be denied vital in-person contact with constituents during the 2021
General Assembly Session. Further the constituents of the Plaintiff will suffer irreparable
harm in denial of access to their state senator and denial of in-person access to the
General Assembly session. The purpose of the injunction is to preserve the status quo, in
so much as the office building of the General Assembly members should remain open to
27. The General Assembly session starts in just over 30 days. Denial of the public to in
person access to its members or access to in person floor sessions is a violation of the
* As an unpublished disposition, the Court’s Bowyer Order is not a binding precedent. Rule 5:1(1)
freedoms protected under the 1st Amendment and Article 1 Section 12 would cause
irreparable as constituents cannot participate as historically allowed with their elected
representatives. Further the Plaintiff’s same 1st Amendment and Article 1 Section 12
rights are impaired by denying him the ability to meet with constituents and having
feedback during the session.
28. The likelihood the Plaintiff will prevail is high as the ex parte unilateral actions taken by
Defendant’s Locke and Filler-Corn are in plain violation of the United States Constitution
and the Virginia Constitution and lack any consistency to how other state government
agencies are running during the pandemic.
29. The public interest weighs in favor of the General Assembly office building being fully
open during session as historically has occurred in every session in the history of the
Commonwealth and is as mandated by law. The balancing approach test of Blackwelder
Furniture Co. v. Seilig Manufacturing Co., Inc., 550 F.2d 189 (4th Cir. 1977)
overwhelming favor the Plaintiff and his requests to treat the General Assembly office
building and the members identical to any other governmental building or any employee
in the public or private sector who is safely operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
30. The Defendant’s Scharr, Denslow and Division of Capitol Police are named solely as
additional parties that are lawfully required in carrying out any order of Speaker Filler
Corn or Senator Locke to restrict access to the public as indicated in the attached email
and injunction against them is requested for that purpose only.
Wherefore, the plaintiff moves for an injunction against all Defendant’s listed herein and moves
for any further relief as may be appropriate.
Bill DeSteph By:S e
vSB #90917 for:
Timothy Anderson Anderson & Associates 2492 N. Landing Rd 104 Virginia Beach VA 23456 757-301-3636 Tel 757-301-3640 Fax VSB 43803 Counsel for Plaintiff
CERIFICATE OF SERVICE
I HEREBY CERTIFY, that a copy of this complaint was served via email to the Virginia Attorney General at email@example.com pursuant to the COVID-19 protocols of service. Each Defendant is a state agency or employee, and the single email to the Attorney General should be accepted as service on each named Defendant this 8th day of December 2020.
USB #90917 Timothy Anderson
EXHIBIT A THE BELOW EMAIL IS AN EXACT REPLICA OF THE EMAIL OMITTING ONLY THE
From: Susan Schaar Date: Wed, Dec 2, 2020 at 3:58 PM Subject: 2021 Session To: Senator Private Legislative Assistants Pri Senate Benefited Staff Senate Finance Staff Amigo Wade David W. Burhop Amy Atkinson Hal Greer Kristen Howard
Senator Locke, Chair of Senate Rules, and Speaker Filler-Corn have determined that due to the rise in Covid numbers the Pocahontas Building will ONLY be open for credentialed legislative employees and current legislators.
The Main Street entrance will not be available for access. Bank Street will be the only entrance. IDs must be visible as you enter the building. An additional screening station has been installed to help expedite the process.
The Virginia Department of Health has advised that Legislative Assistant offices should only be used by ONE staff member. This is due to social distancing. Therefore only one LA to an office will be permitted.
We are setting up a constituent hotline number to take and transmit messages. We will NOT have all the administrative assistants working.. A limited number will be working the hotline service.
Due to the limited number of people we can have on the mini buses with social distancing, and the cleaning required between runs, we will not be providing transportation from Lot 22.
We are still working on many challenging details. We will keep everyone apprised of any
changes and additions as we move forward. Please know that we are doi to keep everyone safe and are working with the House Clerk’s Office on procedures for the building.
If you have any questions please call me.
Susan Clarke Schaar
Clerk of the Senate
P. O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218