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

Former Basketball Player Scores As A Filmmaker

While Deon Taylor was playing professional basketball in Germany, he had an epiphany: he wanted to make movies. The self-taught director's latest film, Supremacy, was released this Friday.
NPR

Surströmming Revisited: Eating Sweden's Famously Stinky Fish

Sweden has the distinction of producing surströmming, one of the foulest-smelling foods in the world. More than a decade ago, NPR's Ari Shapiro tried eating it and failed. It's time for a rematch.
NPR

What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with senior Washington editor Ron Elving about the narrowing Republican presidential field for 2016 and what we've seen so far in the first month of the new Congress.
NPR

The Infinite Whiteness Of Public Radio Voices

The hashtag #publicradiovoices, about the "whiteness" of public radio, trended on Twitter this week. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch team about the conversation.

Leave a Comment

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