Appellate Jurisdiction

Ever wonder what would happen if you named the wrong party in your notice of appeal? Thanks to the Supreme Court of Virginia’s February decision in Ghameshlouy v. Commonwealth, we now have the definitive answer:

It depends.

Our story begins when the Virginia Beach police respond to a call about a domestic altercation at a hotel. They question our hero, Eric Amir Ghameshlouy (spellings vary throughout the record), who gives “evasive and conflicting answers” about his name and age. [Note to self: when lying to police, give consistent and responsive answers.]

The police arrest Ghameshlouy and charge him with violating a local ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor to provide false identifying information.

The police also conduct a search incident to the arrest, and find a bag of white powder.

I know what you’re thinking: iocaine powder–odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid and among the more deadly poisons known to man?

No, turns out it was just run-of-the-mill yayo. That earned Ghameshlouy a felony indictment under state law, in addition to his misdemeanor charge under local law.Continue Reading Ghameshlouy v. Commonwealth: What Happens if You Name the Wrong Party in Your Notice of Appeal?