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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 20, 2024


With a gallery filled with family, friends and colleagues, Territorial Court Judge Ishmael Meyers was approved for a fourth term Thursday by the Senate Rules Committee.
Though she couldn't be present, Presiding Territorial Court Judge Maria Cabret sent a letter of commendation which committee Chairwoman Violet Anne Golden read into the record.
This was just the beginning of many accolades the judge was to receive, as lawmakers warmly recalled, in many cases, their long associations with the judge. After 18 years on the bench, Meyers took it all in stride.
Meyers said one of his chief concerns is the establishment of a magistrate system. He said, "It is absolutely necessary that a magistrate system be implemented and funded immediately." Meyers explained magistrates can handle matters including misdemeanor trials, arraignments, advice of rights and pretrial conferences, which would give judges time to concentrate on more complex cases.
Sen. Roosevelt David said a magistrate bill was "somewhere around." Meyers said all nine judges would happily endorse such a bill.
He said the Court Clerks office and the Marshal Division are "woefully understaffed," and because of the fiscal crisis the judges are all working with one instead of two law clerks.
The senators pledged help in the upcoming budget hearings.
Fending off questions about judicial procedure, Meyers recounted some of his court experiences. He said some of his more emotional moments occur in Family Court. "It's emotionally draining," he said, "but it can be very rewarding."
Meyers said he enjoys making fathers hug their sons in court. "I like to hear a father say 'I'm well-pleased with my son'," he said.
Asked what he would do when he retires, Meyers looked slightly askance. "I love judging, I love it," he said. Should that ever come to pass, Meyers said, "I would ask the presiding judge to be a senior sitting judge."
Meyers' unanimous nomination will now go to the full Senate, where several senators said they looked forward to seeing him.

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