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Introduced Version House Bill 3038 History

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hb3038 intr
H. B. 3038


(By Delegates Trump, Ellem, Howard, Amores,
Beane, Schoen and Staton)
[Introduced March 15, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]



A BILL to amend and reenact §50-1-3, §50-1-8 and §50-1-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §51-1-10a of said code; to amend and reenact §51-2-13 of said code; and to amend and reenact §51-2A-6 of said code, all relating to salaries of judicial officers generally; increasing the salary of magistrates, magistrate clerks, magistrate assistants and deputy magistrate clerks; increasing the salaries of justices, judges of circuit courts and of family court judges.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §50-1-3, §50-1-8 and §50-1-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that §51-1-10a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §51-2-13 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that §51-2A-6 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 50. MAGISTRATE COURTS.

ARTICLE 1. COURTS AND OFFICERS.
§50-1-3. Salaries of magistrates.
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that:
(1) The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has held that a salary system for magistrates which is based upon the population that each magistrate serves does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution of the United States;
(2) The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has held that a salary system for magistrates which is based upon the population that each magistrate serves does not violate section thirty-nine, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia;
(3) The utilization of a two-tiered salary schedule for magistrates is an equitable and rational manner by which magistrates should be compensated for work performed;
(4) Organizing the two tiers of the salary schedule into one tier for magistrates serving less than eight thousand four hundred in population and the second tier for magistrates serving eight thousand four hundred or more in population is rational and equitable given current statistical information relating to population and caseload; and
(5) That all magistrates who fall under the same tier should be compensated equally.
(b) As used in this section and in sections eight and nine of this article, the term "county with high caseloads" means a county in which the average caseload per magistrate was over eighteen hundred filings for the year, according to reports of magistrate caseloads filed by magistrate clerks with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals for the year two thousand three.
(b) The salary of each magistrate shall be paid by the state. Magistrates who serve fewer than eight thousand four hundred in population shall be paid annual salaries of thirty thousand six hundred twenty-five dollars and magistrates who serve eight thousand four hundred or more in population shall be paid annual salaries of thirty-seven thousand dollars: Provided, That on and after the first day of July, two thousand three, magistrates who serve fewer than eight thousand four hundred in population shall be paid annual salaries of thirty-three thousand six hundred twenty-five dollars and magistrates who serve eight thousand four hundred or more in population shall be paid annual salaries of forty thousand dollars.
(c) For the purpose of determining the population served by each magistrate, the number of magistrates authorized for each county shall be divided into the population of each county. For the purpose of this article, the population of each county is the population as determined by the last preceding decennial census taken under the authority of the United States government.
§50-1-8. Magistrate court clerks; salaries; duties; duties of circuit clerk.

(a) In each county having three or more magistrates the judge of the circuit court or the chief judge of the circuit court, if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, shall appoint a magistrate court clerk. In all other counties the judge may appoint a magistrate court clerk or may by rule require the duties of the magistrate court clerk to be performed by the clerk of the circuit court, in which event the circuit court clerk is entitled to additional compensation in the amount of two thousand five hundred dollars per year. The magistrate court clerk serves at the will and pleasure of the circuit judge.
(b) Magistrate court clerks shall be paid a monthly salary by the state. Magistrate court clerks serving magistrates who serve less than eight thousand four hundred in population shall be paid up to one thousand seven hundred forty-eight one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight dollars per month and magistrate court clerks serving magistrates who serve eight thousand four hundred or more in population shall be paid up to two thousand one hundred fifty- seven two thousand four hundred seven dollars per month: Provided, That on and after the first day of January July, two thousand two five, magistrate court clerks serving magistrates who serve less than eight thousand four hundred in population shall be paid up to one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight two thousand two hundred ninety-seven dollars per month and magistrate court clerks serving magistrates who serve eight thousand four hundred or more in population shall be paid up to two thousand four hundred seven two thousand seven hundred sixty dollars per month: Provided, however, That on or after the first day of July, two thousand five, magistrate court clerks serving magistrates who serve less than eight thousand four hundred in population and who serve in a county with a high caseload shall be paid up to two thousand seven hundred sixty dollars per month: Provided, however further, That after the effective date of this section, any general salary increase granted to all state employees, whose salaries are not set by statute, expressed as a percentage increase or an "across-the-board" increase, may also be granted to magistrate court clerks. For the purpose of determining the population served by each magistrate, the number of magistrates authorized for each county shall be divided into the population of each county. The salary of the magistrate court clerk shall be established by the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge of the circuit court if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, within the limits set forth in this section.
(c) In addition to other duties that may be imposed by the provisions of this chapter or by the rules of the Supreme Court of Appeals or the judge of the circuit court or the chief judge of the circuit court if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, it is the duty of the magistrate court clerk to establish and maintain appropriate dockets and records in a centralized system for the magistrate court, to assist in the preparation of the reports required of the court and to carry out on behalf of the magistrates or chief magistrate if a chief magistrate is appointed, the administrative duties of the court.
(d) The magistrate court clerk, or if there is no magistrate court clerk in the county, the clerk of the circuit court, may issue all manner of civil process and require the enforcement of subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum in magistrate court.
§50-1-9. Magistrate assistants; salary; duties.
(a) In each county there shall be one magistrate assistant for each magistrate. Each magistrate assistant shall be appointed by the magistrate under whose authority and supervision and at whose will and pleasure he or she shall serve. The assistant shall not be a member of the immediate family of any magistrate and shall not have been convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and shall reside in the State of West Virginia. For the purpose of this section, "immediate family" means the relationships of mother, father, sister, brother, child or spouse.
(b) A magistrate assistant shall have the duties, clerical or otherwise, assigned by the magistrate and prescribed by the rules of the Supreme Court of Appeals or the judge of the circuit court or the chief judge of the circuit court if there is more than one judge of the circuit court. In addition to these duties, magistrate assistants shall perform and are accountable to the magistrate court clerks with respect to the following duties:
(1) The preparation of summons in civil actions;
(2) The assignment of civil actions to the various magistrates;
(3) The collection of all costs, fees, fines, forfeitures and penalties which are payable to the court;
(4) The submission of moneys, along with an accounting of the moneys, to appropriate authorities as provided by law;
(5) The daily disposition of closed files which are to be located in the magistrate clerk's office;
(6) All duties related to the gathering of information and documents necessary for the preparation of administrative reports and documents required by the rules of the Supreme Court of Appeals or the judge of the circuit court or the chief judge of the circuit court if there is more than one judge of the circuit court;
(7) All duties relating to the notification, certification and payment of jurors serving pursuant to the terms of this chapter;
(8) All other duties or responsibilities whereby the magistrate assistant is accountable to the magistrate court clerk as determined by the magistrate.
(c) Magistrate assistants shall be paid a monthly salary by the state. Magistrate assistants serving magistrates who serve less than eight thousand four hundred in population shall be paid up to one thousand four hundred seventy-four one thousand seven hundred twenty-four dollars per month and magistrate assistants serving magistrates who serve eight thousand four hundred or more in population shall be paid up to one thousand seven hundred thirty-two one thousand nine hundred eighty-two dollars per month: Provided, That on and after the first day of January July, two thousand two five, magistrate assistants serving magistrates who serve less than eight thousand four hundred in population shall be paid up to one thousand seven hundred twenty-four one thousand nine hundred eighty-two dollars per month and magistrate assistants serving magistrates who serve eight thousand four hundred or more in population shall be paid up to one thousand nine hundred eighty-two two thousand two hundred seventy-nine dollars per month: Provided, however, That beginning on and after the first day of July, two thousand five, magistrate assistants serving magistrates who serve less than eight thousand four hundred in population and serve in a county with a high caseload shall be paid up to two thousand seven hundred seventy-nine dollars per month: Provided, however further, That after the effective date of this section, any general salary increase granted to all state employees, whose salaries are not set by statute, expressed as a percentage increase or an "across-the-board" increase, may also be granted to magistrate assistants. For the purpose of determining the population served by each magistrate, the number of magistrates authorized for each county shall be divided into the population of each county. The salary of the magistrate assistant shall be established by the magistrate within the limits set forth in this section.
CHAPTER 51. COURTS AND THEIR OFFICERS.

ARTICLE 1. SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS.
§51-1-10a. Salary of justices.
The salary of each of the justices of the supreme court of appeals shall be seventy-two thousand dollars per year: Provided, That beginning the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, the salary of each of the justices of the supreme court shall be eighty-five thousand dollars per year: Provided, however, That beginning the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, the salary of each of the justices of the supreme court shall be ninety-five thousand dollars per year: Provided further, That beginning the first day of July, two thousand five, the salary of each of the Justices of the Supreme Court shall be one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars per year.
ARTICLE 2. CIRCUIT COURTS; CIRCUIT JUDGES.
§51-2-13. Salaries of judges of circuit courts.

The salaries of the judges of the various circuit courts shall be paid solely out of the state treasury. No county, county commission, board of commissioners or other political subdivision shall supplement or add to such salaries.
The annual salary of all circuit judges shall be sixty-five thousand dollars per year: Provided, That beginning the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, the annual salary of all circuit judges shall be eighty thousand dollars per year: Provided, however, That beginning the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, the annual salary of all circuit judges shall be ninety thousand dollars per year: Provided further, That beginning the first day of July, two thousand five, the annual salary of all circuit judges shall be one hundred ten thousand dollars per year.
ARTICLE 2A. FAMILY COURTS.
§51-2A-6. Compensation and expenses of family court judges and their staffs.

(a) Until the thirty-first day of December, two thousand two, a family court judge is entitled to receive as compensation for his or her services an annual salary of sixty thousand dollars. Beginning the first day of January, two thousand three, a family court judge is entitled to receive as compensation for his or her services an annual salary of sixty-two thousand five hundred dollars. Beginning the first day of July, two thousand five, a family court judge is entitled to receive as compensation for his or her services an annual salary of eighty-five thousand dollars.
(b) The secretary-clerk of the family court judge is appointed by the family court judge and serves at his or her will and pleasure. The secretary-clerk of the family court judge is entitled to receive an annual salary of twenty-five thousand three hundred thirty-two dollars. In addition, any person employed as a secretary-clerk to a family law master on the effective date of the enactment of this section during the sixth extraordinary session of the Legislature in the year two thousand one who is receiving an additional five hundred dollars per year up to ten years of a certain period of prior employment under the provisions of the prior enactment of section eight of this article during the second extraordinary session of the Legislature in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine shall continue to receive such additional amount. Further, the secretary-clerk will receive such percentage or proportional salary increases as may be provided for by general law for other public employees and is entitled to receive the annual incremental salary increase as provided for in article five, chapter five of this code.
(c) The family court judge may employ not more than one family case coordinator who serves at his or her will and pleasure. The annual salary of the family case coordinator of the family court judge shall be established by the Administrative Director of the Supreme Court of Appeals but may not exceed thirty-six thousand sixty dollars. The family case coordinator will receive such percentage or proportional salary increases as may be provided for by general law for other public employees and is entitled to receive the annual incremental salary increase as provided for in article five, chapter five of this code.
(d) The sheriff or his or her designated deputy shall serve as a bailiff for a family court judge. The sheriff of each county shall serve or designate persons to serve so as to assure that a bailiff is available when a family court judge determines the same is necessary for the orderly and efficient conduct of the business of the family court.
(e) Disbursement of salaries for family court judges and members of their staffs are made by or pursuant to the order of the director of the administrative office of the Supreme Court of Appeals.
(f) Family court judges and members of their staffs are allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The expenses and compensation will be determined and paid by the Director of the Administrative Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals under such guidelines as he or she may prescribe, as approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals.
(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, family court judges are not eligible to participate in the retirement system for judges under the provisions of article nine of this chapter.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the salaries of magistrates, magistrate clerks, magistrate assistants, deputy magistrate clerks, Supreme Court Justices, circuit court judges and family court judges.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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