General Assembly announces judicial appointments | Nvdaily

The Chief Justice of the 26th Circuit was reappointed to the College of Justices by the General Assembly. It was one of several court hearings made by lawmakers on Monday.

The district includes Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, General District Courts and Circuit Courts in Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren counties and the City of Winchester.

Clark Andrew Ritchie of Rockingham County was reappointed to the Circuit Court for an eight-year term effective December 1. Ritchie is currently Chief Justice for the entire county and Chief Justice for Page and Rockingham counties.

Winchester’s Chris Collins, a former Republican delegate representing the 29th Circuit, was appointed District Judge General for a six-year term beginning February 16.

Collins served in the House of Delegates from 2013 to 2020 before leaving office in June 2020 to succeed Justice William Warner Eldridge IV, who served in the General District Courts of Winchester, Frederick County and Harrisonburg. Eldridge became a judge at the circuit court level, Collins said this week.

Collins’ appointment to the bench is temporary until the general assembly is called back into session to discuss it, in accordance with the state constitution, he said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

As the General Assembly entered a special session in August to discuss the allocation of Federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, Collins’ provisional appointment ended.

The session was never officially adjourned until the start of the 2022 regular session earlier this month, Collins said, preventing him from being reappointed to the bench. Retired judges were appointed to fill the post, which was created after Collins’ provisional term expired, he said.

Meanwhile, Collins, a former deputy Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and defense attorney, worked in the Shenandoah County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

“It was a good time for me to come out and help the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office,” Collins said, noting the backlog of cases caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I look forward to continuing to serve the Commonwealth and the Shenandoah Valley.”

Elizabeth Kellas Burton of Winchester was reappointed as Juvenile Domestic Relations Judge for a six-year term effective May 1.

The appointments were unanimously approved by the House of Representatives and the State Senate.

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