There is hereby established a Committee on District Courts to be composed of the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, the chairmen of the House and Senate Courts of Justice Committees or their designees who shall be members of the Courts of Justice committees, two members of each of the Committees for Courts of Justice of each house, to be appointed by the chairman of their Committee, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia who shall be chair of the Committee, one judge of a circuit court, two general district court judges and two juvenile and domestic relations district court judges. The judicial members of the Committee on District Courts shall be made to give representation insofar as feasible to various geographic areas of the Commonwealth. The judicial members of the Committee on District Courts shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of the Chief Justice.
The Committee shall meet at such times and places as it may from time to time designate for the purposes of authorizing the appointment of substitute judges pursuant to § 16.1-69.14, authorizing the establishment of clerks' offices in counties or cities as may be requisite, and establishing when such offices shall be open for business, authorizing the appointment of personnel for the district courts pursuant to Article 4 (§ 16.1-69.37 et seq.) of this chapter and establishing procedures for administrative review of appeals from personnel actions for district court personnel and magistrates, fixing salary classification schedules of court personnel pursuant to Article 5 (§ 16.1-69.44 et seq.) of this chapter and establishing vacation and sick leave for district court judges, district court personnel and magistrates, and for such other duties or matters as are now, or may hereafter be conferred upon the Committee by law. The Committee may also adopt an official seal and authorize its use by district court clerks and deputy clerks of the district courts. Such salary classification schedules, vacation and sick leave policies shall be uniform throughout the Commonwealth.
The Committee on District Courts shall have sole authority and discretion in adjusting salary classification schedules for district court personnel. The Committee shall fix such salaries for the several district court personnel at least annually at such time as it deems it proper and as soon as practicable thereafter certify to the Comptroller and the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court a detailed statement of the salaries fixed by them for the several district courts and the effective date of any salary adjustments.
The Committee on District Courts shall appoint (i) a Clerk's Advisory Committee composed of two clerks from the general district courts and two clerks from the juvenile and domestic relations district courts; such appointments shall be made after giving due consideration to former clerks of county and municipal courts not of record; (ii) a Magistrate's Advisory Committee composed of two magistrates; such advisory committees are to make recommendations to the Committee regarding administrative functions of the district courts.
For the performance of their duties, the Committee shall be reimbursed out of the money appropriated for the adjudication of cases in the district trial courts for their actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties and in addition, per diem compensation allowed for members of the General Assembly for each day spent in performing such duties; provided, however, that no additional compensation shall be paid to members of the judiciary serving on the Committee.
In the event of the establishment of personal liability of a district court judge or magistrate for the loss of property or money from a district court or magistrate's office by reason of robbery or burglary, the Committee on District Courts shall have the authority, after appropriate investigation and upon its determination that the individual judge or magistrate was not negligent in the performance of his duties, to reimburse such judge or magistrate to the extent of his personal liability on a warrant of the Comptroller issued as provided by law. However, such reimbursement shall not exceed $1,000 per claim. This paragraph shall apply to all claims arising on and after July 1, 1976.
1972, c. 708; 1973, cc. 546, 547; 1974, cc. 333, 484; 1975, c. 334; 1976, cc. 52, 444; 1978, c. 133; 1984, c. 23; 1992, c. 497; 2001, c. 367; 2004, c. 330; 2008, c. 115; 2015, c. 331.