In Coalson v. Coalson, unpublished, 7/21/15, about the required proof of cohabitation in order to terminate alimony (see case note posted on this blog on 7/31/15) the Court of Appeals also says:
Code § 8.01-384, however, provides that "[f]ormal exceptions to rulings or orders of the court shall be unnecessary . . . . [I]t shall be sufficient that a party, at the time the ruling or order of the court is made or sought, makes known to the court the action which he desires the court to take or his objections to the action of the court and his grounds therefor."
In the present case, when discussing appellee’s motion to strike, appellant argued to the trial court that it should deny appellee’s motion to strike because appellee and Aliff “shar[ed] one residence” and had “an intimate, romantic” relationship. Additionally, appellant pointed to the facts that Aliff “has a key,” “has . . . a section in the closet for his clothes and shoes,” “buys groceries,” “vacuums, . . . does dishes, . . . cooks, . . . pays for meals,” and “does chores.” In concluding, appellant argued that appellee’s motion to strike should be denied because appellee was trying to “get around [Code § 20-109 by] say[ing] it’s not . . . cohabit[ation] – or it’s not a relationship analogous to marriage . . . .”
Accordingly, because appellant made known the action that he desired the trial court to take and the reasons therefor, the issue is preserved for appeal under Code § 8.01-384 despite the lack of a formal objection.
The governing rule is stated as:
Rule 5A:18 provides, in relevant part, that “[n]o ruling of the trial court . . . will be considered as a basis for reversal unless an objection was stated with reasonable certainty at the time of the ruling, except for good cause shown or to enable the Court of Appeals to attain the ends of justice.” “Rule 5A:18 requires a litigant to make timely and specific objections, so that the trial court has ‘an opportunity to rule intelligently on the issues presented, thus avoiding unnecessary appeals and reversals.’” Brown v. Commonwealth, 279 Va. 210, 217, 688 S.E.2d 185, 189 (2010) (quoting West v. Commonwealth, 43 Va. App. 327, 337, 597 S.E.2d 274, 278 (2004)).
“Under settled principles, the ‘same argument must have been raised, with specificity, at trial before it can be considered on appeal.’” Johnson v. Commonwealth, 58 Va. App. 625, 637, 712 S.E.2d 751, 757 (2011) (quoting Correll v. Commonwealth, 42 Va. App. 311, 324, 591 S.E.2d 712, 719 (2004)). “‘Making one specific argument on an issue does not preserve a separate legal point on the same issue for review.’” Id. (quoting Edwards v. Commonwealth, 41 Va. App. 752, 760, 589 S.E.2d 444, 448 (2003) (en banc)).