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Virginia 11th Judicial Circuit judge to retire at end of the year, leaving 1 full-time judge

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DINWIDDIE, Virginia — The retirement of Virginia 11th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Pamela S. Baskervill at the end of the year will leave the circuit with one full-time judge.

The General Assembly has not filled an existing vacancy in the circuit resulting from Judge James F. D'Alton's retirement on Feb. 1. Since his retirement, D'Alton has presided in Petersburg and Dinwiddie on a regular basis as a retired substitute judge.

"We are not aware of any attempt by the General Assembly to fill that vacant position," Petersburg Circuit Court liaison Ben Scott, who also assists with 11th Circuit matters, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch Dispatch (http://bit.ly/ZlXQhu).

"But I will point out that not having at least two full-time judges in the 11th Judicial Circuit would impair our ability to manage the caseload," Scott said.

The circuit includes courts in Petersburg and the counties of Dinwiddie, Powhatan, Nottoway and Ameila. Petersburg Circuit Court handles half of the circuit's caseload.

Baskervill, 61, sent her letter of resignation, effective Dec. 31, to Virginia Supreme Court Justice Cynthia D. Kinser last week. She earlier had recused herself from presiding over criminal cases in Dinwiddie Circuit Court after her daughter, Ann Cabell Baskerville, was appointed as Dinwiddie County commonwealth's attorney on Oct. 1.

Scott said court personnel do not believe Baskervill's retirement is related to her daughter's appointment.

"She did not elaborate on her reasons for such a quick retirement," Scott told the newspaper. "We were all surprised because we hadn't seen any real indications that she had planned to retire."

The judge declined an interview request through Scott, the newspaper said.

Baskervill asked the Supreme Court to allow her to serve as a substitute judge after she retires.

"Once (Baskervill) retires in December, we're hopeful that the Supreme Court will allow her to serve as a recall judge," Scott said.

But newly retired judges are required by state regulations to sit out for 30 days before they can be recalled.

"So we may struggle through the month of January, then hopefully she'll be back on board Feb. 1," Scott said.


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com

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