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Subject: Virginia Chernack, Former L.A. Superior Court Commissioner

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Date Posted: March 26, 2003 3:12:01 EDT

Virginia Chernack, 77, a former Los Angeles County Superior Court commissioner, died of natural causes Friday at her home in South Pasadena, according to her sister, former Wisconsin state Sen. Peggy Rosenzweig.

She served as court commissioner for more than two decades.

Born on Oct. 29, 1925, in Detroit, the former Virginia Barnett graduated from Olivet College and earned her law degree from Wayne State University. As a lawyer beginning in 1960, she devoted herself to public service.

Chernack, the widow of Martin Chernack, was appointed a commissioner for the Superior Court's Burbank branch.

A commissioner, who is hired and fired by judges, acts as a judge when all parties in a case agree.

In addition to handling children's cases involving welfare, molestation and delinquency, Chernack presided over a varied civil and criminal caseload in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Among the disputes that came before her were curbing drug sales in a Sun Valley apartment building, preventing harassment of the family of county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and production rights for two theaters to stage the same play.

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