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New judgeship requests deferred

Belts continue to tighten in the judicial branch.

In compliance with state statutes, the Supreme Court has made its annual report to the General Assembly on the need for new judgeships in the commonwealth.

In correspondence Dec. 1 from Supreme Court Executive Secretary Karl Hade to the House and Senate Courts of Justice Committees, the Council said its study showed a need for six new circuit court judgeships, one each in the 10th, 14th, 15th, 26th, 27th and 30th Judicial Circuits, Hade reported

Likewise, the Committee on District Courts indicated statistics demonstrated Virginia needs four new general district court judgeships (one each in the 2nd, 11th, 15th and 26th Judicial Districts) and six new JDR judgeships (one each in the 1st, 11th, 15th, 16th, 28th and 29th Judicial Districts).

But Hade concludes each letter with the sober notice that “despite the documented need for these new judgeships,” the Chief Justice – who announced in October that he is forgoing the 2 percent raise for judges – “is aware of the significant economic difficulties facing the Commonwealth,” and he does not intend to seek authorization of the new judgeships during the 2009 legislative session.
By Deborah Elkins

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