The search is on for a new chief magistrate as former Chief Magistrate Ivan Walters has vacated his office, leaving behind piles of unsigned court documents and unfinished cases.
While his resignation took effect December 31, Walters reportedly took off before that date and the last day he sat in open court was the week before Christmas.
Currently, there are several judgments sitting in his office to be signed, case files yet to be cleared for committal and several incomplete trials.
Sources said the magistrate might have to return to sign those documents but he would not complete any trials.
In August 2007, Walters, an Antiguan, returned home from Barbados and started serving the magistracy. Ten months later, he was appointed chief magistrate, replacing former Chief Magistrate Maureen Payne-Hyman.
When his contract expired mid last year, Walters’ return to work was delayed by over one month due to administrative hiccups relating to his application for a renewal not being forwarded to the chief justice.
When he resumed duties late June, the magistrate completed several cases but resigned a few months later.
With Walters gone, there are three magistrates, two who sit in St John’s Magistrates Court namely Keith Thom and Joan Fung and one in All Saints Court, Senior Magistrate Asquith Riviere.
Meantime, reports reaching The Daily OBSERVER are that Magistrate Riviere has been recommended for the post while there has only been one application for the post of (ordinary) magistrate.