VIRGINIA UPL OPINION 182


Commonwealth's Attorney Providing Blank Forms for Forfeiture Actions to Accountant Working for Police.

It does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law for a Commonwealth’s Attorney to provide to an accountant all necessary forms for the different types of forfeitures. The accountant essentially “fills in the blanks??? on the forms [forfeitures of money, property, or both, letters to the Clerk and to the defendant, and seizure warrant] putting in the new name and address of the defendant and the property seized and the trial date. The accountant then sends the paperwork, along with a copy of the police report, to the Commonwealth’s Attorney who reviews the paperwork, compares the information on it to the police report, and, if satisfied that it is done correctly, signs it and sends it to the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. You further indicate that if the Commonwealth’s Attorney has any questions or finds any errors, the accountant, his secretary, or the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s secretary makes the necessary changes, following which the Commonwealth’s Attorney signs and submits the paperwork.

Committee Opinion
February 13, 1995

 

Updated: Aug 28, 2006