Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 16.1. Courts Not of Record
Chapter 4.1. District Courts
12/5/2021

§ 16.1-69.9. Judges in office continued; terms of judges; how elected or appointed.

Every judge or justice and every associate, assistant and substitute judge or justice of a court not of record in office January 1, 1973, shall continue in office as a judge or substitute judge of such court under its designation as a general district court or juvenile and domestic relations district court until the expiration of the term for which he was appointed or elected, or until a vacancy shall occur in his office or until a successor shall be appointed or elected, whichever is the latter.

Upon the expiration of such terms, or when a vacancy occurs, successors shall be elected only as authorized pursuant to §§ 16.1-69.10 and 16.1-69.14 and for the term and in the manner following:

1. With respect to terms expiring on or after July 1, 1980, successors to judges shall be elected for a term of six years by the General Assembly as provided in subdivision 2.

Any vacancy in the office of any full-time district court judge shall be filled for a full term of six years in the manner prescribed herein; provided that such vacancy shall not be filled except as provided in § 16.1-69.9:3.

2. Full-time district court judges shall be elected by the majority of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly. No person shall be elected or reelected to a subsequent term under this section until he has submitted to a criminal history record search and submitted to a search of the central registry maintained pursuant to § 63.2-1515 for any founded complaint of child abuse or neglect and reports of such searches have been received by the chairmen of the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. If the person has not met the requirement of filing in the preceding calendar year a disclosure form prescribed in § 2.2-3117 or 30-111, he shall also provide a written statement of economic interests on the disclosure form prescribed in § 2.2-3117 to the chairmen of the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The judges of the circuit court having jurisdiction over the district may nominate a panel of no more than three persons for each judgeship within the district who are deemed qualified to hold the office. The General Assembly may consider such nominations in electing a judge to fill the office but may elect a person not on such panel to fill the office. Nominations shall be forwarded to the clerks of both houses of the General Assembly on or before December 15.

3. No person with a criminal conviction for a felony shall be appointed as a substitute judge.

If an appointment is to be made by two or more judges and there is a tie vote, then the senior judge of the circuit court having jurisdiction in the district shall make the appointment.

1972, c. 708; 1973, c. 546; 1975, c. 5; 1976, c. 374; 1977, c. 536; 1980, c. 194; 2004, c. 452; 2018, c. 578.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.