Arlington Judge To Retire, Raising Question Of Court Caseloads | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Arlington Judge To Retire, Raising Question Of Court Caseloads

Play associated audio
The Alexandria Circuit Court could be merged with its Arlington counterpart, pending the result of a study.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dan4th/5133977586/
The Alexandria Circuit Court could be merged with its Arlington counterpart, pending the result of a study.

Arlington County is already down one judge in its General District Court because members of the General Assembly decided not to fill the vacancy earlier this year, and will soon be down another as Judge Karen Heneber has announced her retirement.

The judge that next steps into the role may find it radically changed from her predecessors.

"What might happen is that when this judge gets filled, we might say, 'Before you accept the job, realize that you may not be sitting in Arlington, you may be sitting in Fairfax or Alexandria as well. Just wanted to give you a heads up,'" explains Courts of Justice Chairman Dave Albo.

By this time next year, a study will be finished examining the caseloads at every courthouse in the area. Some legislators are speculating that the study will show some courts are not as busy as others, which could lead to a reorganization in which judges would share caseloads across jurisdictions.

"Well, that means that case where it's two 20-year-olds who have got no money who have been married for a year and gets divorced gets the same credit as two technology executives worth hundreds of millions of dollars with four kids who can't freaking stand each other and want to kill each other," says Albo.

The weighted study is as-yet unfinished, and could take another year to complete. In the meantime, talk is already starting that some judges might have to be shared across jurisdictions. Del. Patrick Hope says he feels the caseload in Arlington will justify filling the vacancy.

"What I hear is that they are very busy over there, and that this realignment study will confirm that," says Hope.

Albo isn't so sure about that, and says he'll wait to see what the study finds, when it's finished next year.

NPR

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

An earthquake in Napa Valley this week brought back old fears for author Gustavo Arellano. In his anxiety he's revisiting the book A Crack in the Edge of the World.
NPR

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

There's no such thing as plain vanilla — at least if you're talking about beans from the vanilla orchid. Whether it's from Tahiti or Madagascar, vanilla can be creamy, spicy or even floral.
NPR

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Restriction On Abortion Clinics

Requiring every center that performs abortions to meet all the standards of a surgical center is excessively restrictive, says the federal district court judge who blocked the state rule Friday.
NPR

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

You probably haven't thought about whether your phone could help diagnose alcohol withdrawal. Well, it can. An app for doctors measures tremors and may help tell if someone's faking it to get drugs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.