Senate Bill No. 146
(By Senator Unger)
[Introduced January 11, 2012; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §7-2-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to requiring county commissions to change magisterial district boundary lines after every decennial census as necessary to achieve, as nearly as practicable, equal numbers of population, but in no event exceed a variation of ten percent; and updating notice provisions and other archaic language.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §7-2-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. COUNTY AND DISTRICT BOUNDARIES; CHANGE OF COUNTY SEAT AND NAMES OF UNINCORPORATED TOWNS AND OF DISTRICTS.
§7-2-2. Magisterial districts; boundary lines.
Each county shall be laid off by the county court commission into magisterial districts, not less than three nor more than ten in number, and as nearly equal as may be in territory and population. The districts as they now exist shall remain until changed by the county court commission. The county court may, from time to time commission shall, after every decennial census, increase or diminish the number of such districts, and or change the district boundary lines thereof as necessity may require, in order to conform the same to the provisions of the constitution of the state as necessary to achieve, as nearly as practicable, equal numbers of population within each district, but in no event may the population of the largest district exceed the population of the smallest district by a variance of more than ten percent.
Whenever the county court shall deem it advisable to commission changes the boundary line between two or more districts, or to establishes a new district out of another or two or more districts, or to consolidates two or more existing districts into one, it may shall make such change, establishment or consolidation, by an order entered of record. And if a survey be deemed necessary, it may employ the surveyor of lands for the county, or any other competent surveyor, who shall survey and make a plat of the several districts as the same are thus altered, on which the new lines shall be plainly delineated, noting particularly such places of notoriety or prominent objects through or by which such lines pass, and return such plat and description to the court; and the same shall be filed in the clerk's office of such court and recorded by the clerk. But Before such districts shall be are increased or diminished, or the boundary lines thereof changed, the court shall cause a notice of its intention to do so to be posted on the front door of the courthouse of the county, and at some public place in each district affected thereby, for at least thirty days prior to the term of court at which such action is proposed to be taken county commission shall give at least thirty days notice of the proposed action by publication of a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for the publication shall be the county.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require county commissions to change magisterial district boundary lines after every decennial census as necessary to achieve, as nearly as practicable, equal numbers of population within each district, but which in no event exceed a variance of ten percent. Notice requirements and other archaic language have been updated.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.