Court of Petty Appeals: From the Docket, 4-4 2018

The Court of Petty Appeals is the highest appellate jurisdiction court at UVa Law. The Court has the power to review any and all decisions, conflicts, and disputes that arise involving, either directly, indirectly, or tangentially, the Law School or its students. The Court comprises four associate justices and one Chief Justice. Opinions shall be released periodically and only in the official court reporter: the Virginia Law Weekly. Please email a brief summary of any and all conflicts to



            Christopher J. Macomber


            Jansen VanMeulen [sic]

(In his official capacity as Editor of the Law Weekly and in his personal capacity) 

The facts are as follows:

  • On March 27th, I was sitting in Scott Commons (“ScoCo”) with an unnamed Bystander[1]. We were joined by Mr. Jansen VanMeulen [sic], hereinafter the Defendant.
  • I had laid out my belongings across a side ottoman and a table nearby. This included one (1) bag of Skittles that I recovered from the Copy Center after a recent trip there.[2]
  • I left the area for a moment and brought about half of my belongings to go to my locker nearby. I left behind my water bottle, backpack, and the unopened bag of Skittles. I made no mention that I was leaving permanently.
  • Upon my return, within 1-2 minutes, my Skittles were missing. I alerted those around me, including the Defendant, that the Skittles were missing. Defendant immediately admitted that he “took” them. As confirmation, he revealed the opened package of Skittles. Several were taken from the package.[3]

Seeing as the Defendant admitted guilt, I am only seeking COPA’s attention for the proper remedy. 

Prayer for Relief:

  • On the claim against the Defendant in his official capacity:
    • I am seeking a formal and genuine apology, printed in the Law Weekly; and
  • On the claim against the Defendant in his personal capacity
    • I am seeking an injunction against him from committing similar acts of theft

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher J. Macomber ’19


Mr. Macomber:


The Court of Petty Appeals thanks you (pettily) for your submitted complaint. Unfortunately, there is no "Jansen VanMeulen" known to the Court. As such, the Court is forced, with utmost (petty) regret, to dismiss your complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, pursuant to Petty Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2).




VanderMeulen, C.J.

Honorable C.J. VanderMeulen:

Thank you for your rule correction and order. Because I was dismissed without prejudice (as is the baseline for all 12(b) motions) I have submitted an amended complaint pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 15 Amended and Supplemental Pleadings.

 As I am sure you know, your Honor, 15(a) confers essentially an automatic rehearing of the merits on the first amended complaint by the complaining party. I hope this court will honor the text and spirit of the rule.


- Chris Macomber

Mr. Macomber:

The Court thanks you for your submission. While you have most eloquently stated your case under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15, unfortunately for you, this Court does not follow the FRCP. We follow the Petty Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 1 of which is "We do what we want." (See, e.g., GOOGLLE v. Dugas, 9 U.Va 1 (2017) ("Certainly, the defendants cannot mean we do not have the power to create such rules. As Petty Rule of Civil Procedure 1 points out, 'We do what we want.' Implicit in this statement is the power to do whatever we want.") (opinion of HADEN, C.J.). There is substantial overlap between the Federal and Petty Rules of Civil Procedure, so you can be forgiven for conflating the two.

However, Rule 18 of the PRCP states, "Justices shouldn't be assholes," and we take that rule very seriously. As such--and in the spirit of comity surrounding the Easter and Passover seasons--I have referred to the Court your petition for amended complaint. May God (and Justice Malkowski) have mercy on your soul.


VanderMeulen, C.J.

Court of Petty Appeals


In re Skittles


Statement of VANDERMEULEN, C.J.


No. 17-123                                 Decided April 2, 2018

 The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. Petitioner has stated a claim upon which relief may be granted, pursuant to Petty Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(7),[4] but the Court’s pretty tired at this point in the year and doesn’t really want to argue about it, tbh. Also, as Justice MALKOWSKI writes in her eloquent concurrence, the petitioner spelled my name wrong. He should spell difficult surnames correctly.


MALKOWSKI, J., concurring in the denial of certiorari, in which SHMAZZLE, ELICEGUI, ZABLOCKI, RANZINI, G., and RANZINI, D., JJ., join.

Certainly, the Court of Petty Appeals is at the point in the semester at which sleep deprivation, lack of timely submitted assignments by one Justice Jani, and a general ennui with regard to Matters Pertaining to People are most prevalent. That said, this Justice concurs in the denial of certiorari to note disgruntledly that it denies this Court the valuable opportunity to rule on the important matter of the botching of difficult surnames. This Justice has been assured repeatedly that this profession concerns itself with “attention to detail.” In practice, this principle to which we allegedly adhere has been contradicted by incomprehensible assertions that this Justice’s name is “Markowitz,” “Malkowitz,” “Mallowsky,” and in one inexplicable incident, “Ashley.” This Justice shares this information to protect members of the University community, to promote correct identification of individuals without control over their Slavic or otherwise non-English roots, to help reduce the likelihood of future name-related crimes, and to raise awareness of how to seek prompt assistance (read: blind fury) should future misidentifications occur.

The concurring Justices have all had their names badly botched by cretins like the petitioner. While we're all really too tired to do anything about this case, we hope the Court will jump at the first opportunity in the new school year to take a stand for individuals with maligned surnames.

Accordingly, the petition for a writ of certiorari is DENIED.



[1] This Bystander may be liable for not intervening in the Defendant’s actions but that will turn on if this jurisdiction has a “Good Samaritan Law.” As of the filing of this suit, they are not a listed party.

[2] The Skittles were free and available to all at the Copy Center. This fact does not abrogate my possessory rights once I claimed possession of them however.

[3] This is hearsay but it is still admissible under 801(d)(2)(A) (Party Opponent Exception). [sic]. The Court notes in passing that material admitted under Rule 801 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is not excepted from treatment as hearsay, as under Rules 803 and 804, but rather it is excluded from the definition of hearsay altogether. First the names, and now this? [Ranzini D., J.]

[4] Yeah, that's right, 7. We do what we want.