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Town Attorney
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Douglas W. Napier, of Front Royal, Virginia, has been Town Attorney since November 1, 2011. Mr. Napier attended Elon University, obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Virginia Tech, and has a Juris Doctorate degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. Mr. Napier has extensive experience in all aspects of both local government law and private practice, including civil and criminal litigation, real estate matters including industrial and commercial facility negotiations and transactions, and in domestic relations including social services matters.

George Matthew Sonnett, Jr., from Washington, Virginia has been Assistant Town Attorney since November 15, 2007. Mr. Sonnett has a B.S. in Finance from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Virginia. As well as the Virginia State Bar, Mr. Sonnett is a member of the Wyoming State Bar. He has an extensive background in real estate, business transactions, negotiable instruments, collections, bankruptcy, and estate administration. He is married and has four children.

Joan F. Williams, Senior Legal Assistant has been employed in the Town Attorney's Office for a number of years. Joan was with the Town's outside counsel prior to this office becoming an official department with the Town. She has a comprehensive background in all aspects of the law, including domestic, criminal, chancery, collections, civil litigation, estate matters, and real estate. She has had extensive training in all aspects of criminal law and prosecution matters. She handles all the day-to-day administration and correspondence of the Office, as well as preparation and maintenance of all files within the department. She drafts ordinances, contracts, deeds, leases, etc. and assists the Town Attorney and Assistant Town Attorney in preparation of the prosecution files and co-ordinates the files with the court dockets.

The Office of the Town Attorney provides legal counsel to the Mayor, Town Council, Planning Commission, Town Manager and staff, and other Town agencies. It represents the Town and staff officials in all litigation on behalf of or against them. Upon request, the Office provides written legal opinions to the Mayor, Council and related committees.

The Office drafts and/or reviews all contracts, agreements, licenses, permits, deeds, leases, franchises and other legal documents to which the Town is a party. All ordinances and resolutions which are adopted by Town Council are also drafted and/or reviewed by the Office. The Town Attorney's Office also drafts proposed legislation to be adopted by the General Assembly on behalf of the Town, meets with the area's legislators and coordinates the tracking of legislation with the Town's Legislative Liaison.

In addition, the Town Attorney's Office handles all real estate transactions on behalf of the Town, preparing deeds, examining titles and conducting closings. It collects debts owed to the Town, including taxes, accounts, damages and fines. The Office also prosecutes zoning and property maintenance code violations, and traffic, parking and minor criminal violations of the Town Code.

The Town Attorney is appointed by and reports to the Town Council.

All members of the Town Attorney’s Office may be reached at our main number, 540.635.7872, by fax, 540.635.4281, or via e-mail.

 

Referrals for other legal matters

Consumer complaints and landlord-tenant matters

Persons having consumer complaints or inquires about landlord-tenant relations should contact the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs in Richmond toll-free at 1-800-552-9963.


Criminal matters

The Commonwealth's Attorney prosecutes all violations of state law occurring within the boundaries of the Town of Front Royal. For information or inquires about matters handled by the Commonwealth's Attorney, please call 540-636-5441.


Criminal representation

The Office of the Public Defender provides representation in criminal matters to defendants who meet certain eligibility criteria relative to income. The Office of the Public Defender may be contacted at 540-635-0300.


Legal advice and representation in civil matters (paid)

Referrals for legal assistance concerning private or personal matters may be obtained from the Virginia State Bar's Lawyers Referral Service toll-free at 1-800-552-7877.


Legal aid in civil matters (free or reduced-cost)

Persons meeting certain eligibility criteria relating to income may qualify for low-cost or no-cost legal assistance from Blue Ridge Legal Services in Winchester, Virginia, for non-fee generating legal matters, such as domestic relations, consumer complaints, landlord-tenant issues, etc. Blue Ridge Legal Services can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-678-5021.


Court Dockets

The Warren County General District Court initially hears all traffic, misdemeanor criminal, and minor civil cases (including evictions and collections). Contact the Clerk's Office at 540-635-2335 for information about the schedule and status for cases.

The Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court hears petitions for custody and support, criminal cases involving minors and family members as defendants or victims, and other matters relating to minors. Information about cases may be obtained from the Clerk, Linda Beatty, and her deputies at 540-635-4107.

The Warren County Circuit Court hears all felony criminal cases, as well as major civil matters, appeals from the General District Court of traffic, criminal and minor civil cases, and appeals from the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. The Clerk of the Court and his deputies may be reached at 540-635-2435.

All of the courts are located in the Warren County Courthouse building at the corner of Main Street and Royal Avenue.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 August 2013 17:41 )