Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 17.1. Courts of Record
Chapter 4. The Court of Appeals
9/24/2018

§ 17.1-400. Creation and organization; election and terms of judges; oath; vacancies; qualifications; incompatible activities prohibited; chief judge.

A. The Court of Appeals of Virginia is hereby established effective January 1, 1985. It shall consist of 11 judges who shall be elected for terms of eight years by the majority of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly. Before entering upon the duties of the office, a judge of the Court of Appeals shall take the oath of office required by law. The oath shall be taken before a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia or before any officer authorized by law to administer an oath. When any vacancy exists while the General Assembly is not in session, the Governor may appoint a successor to serve until 30 days after the commencement of the next regular session of the General Assembly. Whenever a vacancy occurs or exists in the office of a judge of the Court of Appeals while the General Assembly is in session, or when the term of office of a judge of the Court of Appeals will expire or the office will be vacated at a date certain between the adjournment of the General Assembly and the commencement of the next session of the General Assembly, a successor may be elected at any time during a session preceding the date of such vacancy by the vote of a majority of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly for a full term and, upon qualification, the successor shall enter at once upon the discharge of the duties of the office; however, such successor shall not qualify prior to the predecessor leaving office. 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 and Senate Committees for Courts of Justice. 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 and Senate Committees for Courts of Justice.

All judges of the Court of Appeals shall be residents of the Commonwealth and shall, at least five years prior to the appointment or election, have been licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth. No judge of the Court of Appeals, during his continuance in office, shall engage in the practice of law within or without the Commonwealth or seek or accept any nonjudicial elective office, or hold any other office of public trust, or engage in any other incompatible activity.

B. The chief judge shall be elected by majority vote of the judges of the Court of Appeals to serve a term of four years.

C. If a judge of the Court of Appeals is absent or unable through sickness, disability, or any other reason to perform or discharge any official duty or function authorized or required by law, a (i) retired chief justice or retired justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, (ii) retired chief judge or retired judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia, or (iii) retired judge of a circuit court of Virginia, with his or her prior consent, may be appointed by the chief judge of the Court of Appeals, acting upon his own initiative or upon a personal request from the absent or disabled judge, to perform or discharge the official duties or functions of the absent or disabled judge until that judge shall again be able to attend his duties. The chief judge of the Court of Appeals shall be notified forthwith at the time any absent or disabled judge is able to return to his duties.

D. The chief judge of the Court of Appeals may, upon his own initiative, designate a (i) retired chief justice or retired justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, (ii) retired chief judge or retired judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia, or (iii) retired or active judge of a circuit court of Virginia, with the prior consent of such justice or judge, to perform or discharge the official duties or functions of a judge of the Court of Appeals if there is a need to do so due to congestion in the work of the court. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to increase the number of judges of the Court of Appeals provided for in subsection A of this section.

E. Any retired chief justice, retired justice, retired chief judge or active or retired judge sitting on the Court of Appeals pursuant to subsection C or D shall receive from the state treasury actual expenses for the time he or she is actually engaged in holding court.

F. The powers and duties herein conferred or empowered upon the chief judge of the Court of Appeals may be exercised and performed by any judge or any committee of judges of the court designated by the chief judge for such purpose.

1983, c. 413, § 17-116.01; 1984, c. 701; 1987, c. 88; 1991, cc. 31, 442; 1998, c. 872; 2000, c. 8; 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.