Judge issues deadline on courthouse work

Published 10:44 am Thursday, July 25, 2019


Because Southampton County government officials have not made meaningful progress on improving the condition of the county courthouse, Judge Carl E. Eason Jr. of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of Virginia has issued a 12-month deadline “by which time the Judges would expect that actual and meaningful physical renovations, which, at a minimum, meet the standards established by the Supreme Court of Virginia, have begun on the Courthouse, or construction has begun for a new courthouse on contiguous property, if the County so choses.”

This came from a letter dated Wednesday, July 24, from Eason to County Administrator Mike Johnson.

As a result of this letter, board chairman Dallas Jones has called a meeting of the supervisors for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6, in the board meeting room at the county administrative offices, 26022 Administration Center Drive, Courtland.

The judge noted that there’s been no evident decision by the county government about the renovation or building of a new courthouse, and that he and other judges “have a duty to ensure that the facilities in which the various Courts of the County sit are not “insecure, out of repair, or otherwise pose a danger to the health, welfare and safety of court personnel or the public.”

Eason also stated that if meaningful progress was not made within 12 months of the letter, “that sessions of Court which are currently being held at the Courthouse be held at other locations within the Fifth Judicial Circuit.”

See Sunday’s edition of The Tidewater News and www.thetidewaternews.com for further information and reaction to the judge’s letter.