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Added judgeship gets green light, but funding uncertain

A state Senate committee has advanced a proposal to add a 12th general district judgeship in Fairfax County, but legislators caution that creating a slot is not the same thing as funding it.

Two Fairfax judges appeared Jan. 14 before the Senate Courts Committee to make their case for an additional bench seat. The general district docket has reached “critical mass,” said Judge Manuel A. Capsalis.

Cases are getting combined and bumped, said Chief Judge Lisa A. Mayne

“The risk with cases getting bumped is witnesses don’t come back,” Mayne told legislators.

The committee reported the bill to the full Senate without opposition, but Sen. Thomas Norment cautioned that, sometimes, there is a “disconnect” between authorization of a judgeship and funding to pay for a new judge.