Six Attorneys Try for Vacated 25th District Judgeship - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Six Attorneys Try for Vacated 25th District Judgeship

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When Judge Charles Ricketts was appointed to Waynesboro Circuit Court earlier this year he left a vacancy in the 25th District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Now half a dozen attorneys are vying for the judgeship and they want the endorsement of the Augusta Bar Association.

The legislators make the decision but they want a recommendation from the bar, so the bar holds a public interview asking a variety of questions, such as: why do you want to be a juvenile and domestic relations court judge?

Candidate Linda Jones said, “Sometimes when people go to court, in the juvenile court, that may be their only experience with court and it needs to be a positive one.”

“The cases which come through J and D court is where we can make the most significant difference,” said another candidate, Rupen Shah.

The candidates were also asked meatier questions, like how they could be sure to be making independent decisions on the bench.

“Focusing on what the true, I guess, standard is in the juvenile court and that is: what is in the best interests of this child?” said candidate Anne Reed.

Candidate Susan Read said, “That there's good evidence before I'm going to be awarding custody and supervised visitation to another parent.”

When asked how they would deal with keeping kids out of the juvenile justice system, candidate Steve Roadcap answered, “Some people will be more amendable to diversion into certain programs as opposed to others who may not.

“One size does not fit all,” said candidate John Hill, “and that we do need alternative ways to deal with the individuals that come into the judicial system.”

The chair of the Augusta Bar Endorsement Committee, Duane Barron, says it comes down to three things. “You want a judge who's going to be fair, you want a judge who's going to be compassionate, and you want a judge who's going to follow the law,” he said.

The endorsement committee will vote on January 14 after it has heard from bar members and the public. Then it will present its preferred candidate to legislators.

To send a comment to the bar association, email Barron at dbarron@sta.idc.virginia.gov or mail to P.O. Box 715 Staunton, VA 24402 no later than 5 p.m. December 13.

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