H. B. 2461
(By Delegate Hunt)
[Introduced January 14, 1998
; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section four, article one, chapter
fifty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to continuing
education for magistrates and prohibiting the state from
paying for magistrates to attend law school.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section four, article one, chapter fifty of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. MAGISTRATE COURTS.
§50-1-4. Qualifications of magistrates; training; oath; continuing education; time devoted to public duties.
Each magistrate shall be at least twenty-one years of age,
shall have a high school education or its equivalent,
not have been convicted of any felony or any misdemeanor
involving moral turpitude and shall reside in the county of his
or her election. No magistrate shall be a member of the immediate
family of any other magistrate in the county. In the event more
than one member of an immediate family shall be elected in a
county, only the member receiving the highest number of votes
shall be eligible to serve. For purposes of this section,
immediate family means the relationship of mother, father,
sister, brother, child or spouse. Notwithstanding the foregoing
provisions of this section, each person who held the office of
justice of the peace on the fifth day of November, one thousand
nine hundred seventy-four, and who served in or performed the
functions of such the office for at least one year immediately
prior thereto shall be deemed is qualified to run for the office
of magistrate in the county of his or her residence.
No person shall assume the duties of magistrate unless he or
she shall have first attended and completed a course of
instruction in rudimentary principles of law and procedure which
shall be given in accordance with the supervisory rules of the
supreme court of appeals.
All magistrates shall be required to attend
courses of continuing educational instruction as may be required
by supervisory rule of the supreme court of appeals. Failure to
attend such courses of continuing educational instruction without
good cause shall constitute neglect of duty. Such The courses
shall be provided at least once every other year. Persons
attending such the courses outside of the county of their
residence shall be reimbursed by the state for expenses actually
incurred in accordance with the supervisory rules of the
supreme court of appeals: Provided, That the provisions of this
section do not permit the state to pay the expenses for a
magistrate to attend law school.
Each magistrate shall, before assuming the duties of office,
take an oath of office to be administered by the circuit judge of
the county, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one
judge of the circuit court. Each magistrate shall maintain the
qualifications for office at all times.
Each magistrate who serves five thousand or less in
population shall devote
such time to his or her public duties as
shall be required by rule or regulation of the judge of the
circuit court, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than
one judge of the circuit court. Each magistrate who serves more than five thousand in population shall devote full time to his or
her public duties. As nearly as practicable, the workload and
the total number of hours required shall be divided evenly among
the magistrates in a county by such the judge.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify that the state
will not pay for magistrates to attend law school as presently
appears to be the case.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.