Contractors making claims against Virginia public entities must follow ALL applicable requirements. Such requirements may be found in several places, so check everywhere to confirm you’ve found everything. (More on confirming the right answer.) Where to find the requirements:
- Your Contract: (a) Disputes Clause and (b) Changes Clause;
- Virginia Public Procurement Act;
- County, City, and Local Codes and Rules;
- Virginia Case Law; and/or
- Other Provisions of the Virginia Code.
For example, an often-overlooked provision of the Virginia Code requires that claims against Virginia Counties must first be presented to the “governing body of the county” (e.g., the County Board of Supervisors) before litigation or any other appeal. (Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-1248)
Contractors failing to follow this claim presentation requirement will lose quickly, early in the court process, and potentially without a second chance (if the statute of limitations has run). The Arlington Circuit Court held this claim presentation requirement is valid even though it’s not part of the Virginia Public Procurement Act. (Dynasty Construction v. County Board of Arlington, 73 Va. Cir. 428 (2007)).
Know the requirements before playing the game.