Commissioner in Chancery Law and Legal Definition

Commissioner in chancery is a neutral attorney appointed by circuit court to gather facts and conduct depositions in a case. S/he shall prepare a report stating his/her findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to the case, along with their recommendations. Generally commissioners in chancery are appointed for certain circuit court cases. A commissioner in chancery may charge fees for services rendered by virtue of his/her office.

The circuit court will appoint the commissioner in chancery in the following cases:

(1)where there is an agreement between parties in concurrence of the court; or

(2)where a motion is moved by a party upon good cause.

The court on its own motion can also appoint a commissioner in chancery. Likewise, a commissioner in chancery can be appointed in uncontested divorce cases. Upon referring any matter to a commissioner in chancery by the court, the clerk shall mail or deliver to the commissioner a copy of the decree of reference [Va. Sup. Ct. R. 3:23].

Upon appointment a commissioner in chancery shall accurately set a time and place for the first meeting of the parties or their attorneys, and shall notify the parties or their attorneys about time and place decided. A commissioner in chancery shall proceed with all reasonable diligence to execute the decree of reference.

According to Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-610, the report of a commissioner in chancery will not have the weight of a jury verdict on conflicting evidence. The court shall confirm or reject the report of a commissioner in chancery in whole or in part, according to the view which it entertains on the basis of law and the evidence in each case.