Senate Bill No. 300
(By Senators Carmichael and Cole)
[Introduced January 8, 2014; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §51-1B-1, §51-1B-2, §51-1B-3, §51-1B-4, §51-1B-5, §51-1B-6, §51-1B-7, §51-1B-8, §51-1B-9 and §51-1B-10, all relating to authorizing a new court to be known as the Intermediate Court of Appeals; setting forth who may serve on the court and how its judges are selected; providing that the judges may not receive additional compensation; setting forth the court’s jurisdictional authority; providing that the Supreme Court of Appeals controls its pleading, practice, procedure, scheduling of terms and adjournment; authorizing the hiring of a clerk of the court and other employees; setting forth the duties of the clerk; providing that the court’s budget be part of the Supreme Court of Appeals’ budget; and permitting appeals to the Supreme Court of Appeals.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §51-1B-1, §51-1B-2, §51-1B-3, §51-1B-4, §51-1B-5, §51-1B-6, §51-1B-7, §51-1B-8, §51-1B-9 and §51-1B-10, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1B. INTERMEDIATE COURTS OF APPEALS.
§51-1B-1. Judges; qualifications; how selected.
An Intermediate Court of Appeals is established and shall operate by one or more panels, each panel consisting of three judges, any two of whom constitutes a quorum for that panel. No judge may be permanently assigned to this court, but a judge shall be assigned to a panel to hear cases before that panel of the court by designation. Two of the three member judges of a panel shall be selected from sitting or retired circuit court judges and one shall be a sitting Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court of Appeals shall establish a process for determining the members of each panel by random selection, except in those cases where special expertise is desirable. The decision of a majority of the panel is the decision of the panel and is a final decision of the Intermediate Court of Appeals for all purposes. When a judgment or order of another court is reversed, modified or affirmed by the Intermediate Court of Appeals, all points fairly arising upon the record shall be considered and decided. The reasoning of the court shall be concisely stated in writing and preserved with the record. The court shall also prepare a syllabus of the points adjudicated in each case in which an opinion is written and where a majority of the judges concurred. The syllabus shall be prefixed to the published report of the case.
The Intermediate Court of Appeals has no original jurisdiction. It shall have appellate jurisdiction in civil cases where the matter in controversy, exclusive of costs, is of greater value or amount than $100; in controversies concerning the title or boundaries of land, the probate of wills, the appointment or qualification of a personal representative, guardian, committee or curator, or concerning a mill, road, way, ferry or landing, or the right of a corporation or county to levy tolls or taxes; in cases of quo warranto, habeas corpus, mandamus, certiorari and prohibition; and in cases involving freedom or the constitutionality of a law. It shall have appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases where there has been a conviction for felony or misdemeanor in a circuit court, and where a conviction has been made in any inferior court and been affirmed in a circuit court, and in cases relating to the public revenue, the right of appeal shall belong to the state, as well as the defendant, and such other appellate jurisdiction, in both civil and criminal cases, as may be prescribed by law. It has appellate jurisdiction in all cases involving appeals of workers’ compensation cases. Appeal to the Intermediate Court of Appeals shall be an appeal of right upon an assignment of error in the judgment or proceedings of a circuit court; it has no discretion to reject any appeal.
§51-1B-3. Regulation of pleading, practice and procedure.
The Supreme Court of Appeals may, from time to time, make and promulgate general rules and regulations governing pleading, practice and procedure in the Intermediate Court of Appeals as in all other courts of record of this state.
§51-1B-4. Scheduling of terms.
The Supreme Court of Appeals shall, from time to time, determine the time and place that the Intermediate Court of Appeals shall convene and transact its business, which may, depending on the volume of appeals that need to be heard, consist of one or more terms, each of which shall continue until the business assigned to the court is dispatched.
The court may adjourn from day to day or from time to time, as the judges, or a majority thereof, may order, until it disposes of all of the cases assigned to it.
§51-1B-6. Salary of judges; no additional compensation.
The salary of each of the judges appointed to serve as members of an Intermediate Court of Appeals shall be his or her regular salary in his or her elected capacity, and each judge so appointed shall receive no additional compensation for this service.
§51-1B-7. Clerk; deputy, associate and assistant clerks; other clerical assistants; compensation.
The Supreme Court of Appeals system shall appoint one chief clerk to exclusively serve the Intermediate Court of Appeals and may appoint one deputy clerk, one assistant clerk and such other full-time and part-time clerical assistants necessary and reasonable to properly perform the functions and duties of the office of the clerk of the Intermediate Court of Appeals. The annual compensation of the chief clerk and all other employees of the court shall be fixed by the Supreme Court of Appeals, payable in the same manner and on the same schedule as the regular employees of the Supreme Court of Appeals, and shall be payable out of the biennium appropriations made by the Legislature according to law. All of these officers shall be removable at the pleasure of the Supreme Court of Appeals or its Justices. Vacancies in the office of the clerk occurring during vacation may be filled by appointment, in writing, made by the Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals, or by a majority thereof.
§51-1B-8. Duties of clerk.
It shall be the duty of the clerk of the Intermediate Court of Appeals to attend in person, or by an employee of the clerk's office deputized for that purpose, all the sessions of the court, to obey its orders and directions in term time and in vacation, to take care of and preserve in an office, kept for the purpose, all records and papers of the court, and to perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law or required by the court.
§51-1B-9. Budget of the Intermediate Court of Appeals.
The budget for the payment of the salaries and benefits of the clerical and secretarial staff of the Intermediate Court of Appeals shall be included in the appropriation for the Supreme Court of Appeals.
§51-1B-10. Supreme Court of Appeals review.
Any final decision rendered by the Intermediate Court of Appeals may be appealed by any aggrieved party in interest to the Supreme Court of Appeals by writ of certiorari pursuant to the rules promulgated by the Supreme Court of Appeals.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create and authorize a new court to be known as the Intermediate Court of Appeals. The bill sets forth how its judges are to be selected. The bill provides that its judges may not receive additional compensation. The bill sets forth the court’s jurisdictional authority. The bill provides that the Supreme Court of Appeals controls its pleading, practice, procedure, scheduling of terms and adjournment. The bill authorizes the hiring of a clerk of the court and other employees. The bill sets forth the duties of the clerk. The bill provides that the court’s budget be part of the Supreme Court of Appeals’ budget. The bill permits appeals to the Supreme Court of Appeals.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.