Report Shows Virginia Needs More Judges


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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The National Center for State Courts released a report revealing that there is a shortage of judges across the state.

It said Virginia needs 30 more judges to keep up with the caseload.

This will be an issue in the upcoming General Assembly session.

The report looked at three types of courts: General District, Circuit and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts.

In General District Court, where things like traffic cases are tried, the report said there are enough judges in those courts across the state.

In Circuit Courts, where serious cases like murders are tried, the report said 13 more judges are needed.

In Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, where cases involving minors are held, the report said 17 more judges are needed.

The report said there's a need in the 26th Judicial District for six more judges than it has now.

That district includes Rockingham, Page and Shenandoah counties, as well as the Northern Valley.

The House of Delegates Committee on Appropriations asked for the study and committee member Steve Landes, who represents several parts of the Valley, said he's heard several reports of need in the area.

"You talk to attorneys and the judges that are involved, they are working very hard, very long hours, and they need some additional resources and additional positions I think to deal with that case load and the workload that they're facing," said Landes.

In the 25th district, which includes Augusta County and areas to the south, the report said there are actually too many judges in general district courts.

Landes said he's not sure if he agrees with that and will continue to look into the issue during the upcoming General Assembly.


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