§ 15.2-3104. Procedure when commissioners fail to agree.
If the commissioners fail to agree upon the location of the line, they shall so report to the circuit courts for their respective localities, stating in their reports the points and grounds of disagreement and describing fully the conflicting lines. Either locality may file a petition in the circuit court for either locality to have a court, constituted as hereinafter provided, ascertain and establish the true boundary line in doubt or dispute. Such petition shall describe, with reasonable certainty, the location contended for and shall state the grounds of such contention. A plat, showing the location contended for, filed with the petition, may serve the purposes of such description. The petitioner shall make the other locality the party defendant, and the case shall be commenced by serving a copy of the petition upon the county attorney, if any, or the attorney for the Commonwealth of such county, the city attorney of such city or the town attorney of such town. No formal plea or answer to the petition shall be necessary, but the defendant shall state its grounds of defense in writing, describing, with the same degree of certainty required of the petitioner, the line as contended for by the defendant, and the locality shall be deemed to be at issue. The issue shall be the true location of the boundary line so in doubt or dispute.
The case shall be heard and decided by a court without a jury presided over by three judges as follows: the judge of the circuit court for the petitioning locality, the judge of the circuit court for the defendant locality, and a judge of some circuit court in this Commonwealth remote from the localities, to be designated by the Chief Justice. When the localities are within the same circuit, the Chief Justice shall designate a third judge from an adjoining circuit. The court shall hear the case upon the evidence introduced in the manner in which evidence is introduced in common-law cases and shall ascertain and establish the true boundary line by a majority decision, and shall give judgment accordingly. Costs shall be awarded as the court shall determine. The judgment of the court shall be recorded in the common-law order book and in the current deed book of the court and indexed in the names of the localities, and, unless reversed, shall forever settle, determine, designate and establish the true boundary line. A copy of any final judgment shall be certified to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. An appeal may be granted by the Supreme Court, or any justice thereof, to either party from the judgment of the court, and the cost of such appeal shall be awarded to the party substantially prevailing.
Code 1950, § 15-42; 1954, c. 536; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1030; 1970, c. 751; 1973, c. 544; 1978, c. 642; 1979, c. 456; 1997, c. 587.