A. If a judge of any court of record is absent, sick or disabled or for any other reason unable to hold any regular or special term of the court, or any part thereof, or to perform or discharge any official duty or function authorized or required by law, a judge or retired judge of any court of record may be obtained by personal request of the disabled judge, or another judge of the circuit to hold the court for the whole or any part of such regular or special term and to discharge during vacation such duty or function, or, if the circumstances require, to perform all the duties and exercise all the powers and jurisdiction as judges of such circuit until the judge is again able to attend his duties. The designation of such judge shall be entered in the civil order book of the court, and a copy thereof sent to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice shall be notified forthwith at the time any disabled judge is able to return to his duties.
B. If all the judges of any court of record are so situated in respect to any case, civil or criminal, pending in their court as to render it improper, in their opinion, for them to preside at the trial, unless the cause or proceeding is removed, as provided by law, they shall enter the fact of record and the clerk of the court shall at once certify the same to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall designate a judge of some other court of record or a retired judge of any such court to preside at the trial of such case.
C. If a vacancy occurs in the office of a judge of a court of record that fact shall be immediately certified by the clerk of such court to the Governor, who may, instead of appointing a successor at once, request the Chief Justice to designate a judge of some other court of record or a retired judge of any such court to carry out the duties of the office, if there are insufficient judges in the circuit to carry out the work of the court, until the office has been filled in the mode prescribed by law. If any judge so designated shall be prevented by the duties of his court, or by sickness, from performing the duties required, he shall so inform the Chief Justice, who may designate another judge in his place.
D. Due to congestion in the work of any court of record or when in his opinion the administration of justice so requires, the Chief Justice may, upon his own initiative or upon application of the judge desiring assistance, designate a judge or retired judge of any court of record to assist the judge in the performance of his duties and every judge so designated shall have the same powers and jurisdiction and be authorized to perform the same duties as the judge whom he is designated to assist.
E. Any judge or retired judge sitting under any provision of this section or sitting by designation on any three-judge court shall receive from the state treasury actual expenses for the time he is actually engaged in holding court, except in those cases where the payment of such expenses is otherwise specifically provided by law.
F. The powers and duties herein conferred and imposed upon the Chief Justice may be exercised and performed by any justice, or any committee of justices, of the Court, designated by the Chief Justice for such purpose.
I. As used in this section, “retired judge” means a judge eligible for recall pursuant to § 17.1-106.
Code 1919, § 5898, § 17-7; 1928, p. 746; 1936, p. 405; 1938, p. 138; 1948, p. 535; 1950, p. 52; 1954, c. 165; 1973, c. 544; 1998, c. 872; 2006, cc. 144, 306; 2014, c. 776.