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Sun Gazette: Arlington judgeship to come open in 2016 Print

Created:  Thursday, July 16, 2015 7:30AM


Members of the Arlington legislative delegation have set in place the process to select a new judge on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Judge Esther Wiggins recently informed members of the delegation that she would not seek election by the General Assembly to a new six-year term in 2016.

The county's legislative delegation will work in tandem with the judicial-selection committee of the Arlington County Bar. The process "will begin soon," said Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th), with members of the Arlington Bar having the chance to vote on the qualifications of prospective candidates.

"That process should be complete by the end of October or thereabouts," Hope said. "Then, the Arlington and Falls Church delegation will conduct our own judicial interviews of the candidates."

The delegation is likely to put forward a single candidate for consideration by the legislature.

Wiggins is one of two judges on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court; Judge George Varoutsos serves as chief judge.

At the moment, there are no vacancies on either the Circuit Court or the General District Court. All are part of the 17th Judicial District, which incorporates Arlington and Falls Church.

Virginia judges are chosen – technically, "elected" – by the General Assembly. Circuit Court and Court of Appeals judges serve eight-year terms, District Court judges six-year terms. Members of the Virginia Supreme Court serve 12-year terms.