VA Choice of Forum
Can I be sued outside of Virginia for a construction project I completed within the commonwealth?
Virginia has an interest in deciding construction controversies within the state if the work was done inside the state. This benefits all parties because it allows the evidence needed for the case to be easily accessible by both sides. In order to keep cases within the commonwealth, VA. Code § 8.01-262.1 was passed. It states that if any party has their principal place of business in Virginia and the project was located in Virginia then the case must be brought within Virginia. Any choice of forum provision in the contract stating an alternate forum outside of Virginia is unenforceable. This means that the parties themselves cannot decide on a mandatory forum outside of the state and provide for that in the contract. Such a provision will be held to be unenforceable, and the case can be brought in Virginia. This choice of forum clause extends to but is not limited to construction, repairs, maintenance, demolition, excavation, and alterations.