Senate Bill No. 686
(By Senators Kessler, McKenzie and Chafin)
[Introduced February 23, 1998; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on
A BILL to amend and reenact section four, article four, chapter
forty-eight-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to assignment
of family law masters; and extending for one year the
assignment of the temporary family law master assigned to
the region that includes Marshall County.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section four, article four, chapter forty-eight-a of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE A MASTER.
§48A-4-4. Assignment of family law masters by geographical
On and after the first day of July, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-four, There shall be a total of twenty-six family
law masters, not more than fourteen of whom shall may be
full-time masters, to serve throughout the state. During the
year immediately preceding the appointment of law masters as
provided for in section one of this article, the supreme court of
appeals shall apportion the state into geographical regions which
may be single-master regions or multi-master regions, or a
combination of both. County boundaries shall be strictly
observed and no county may be divided among two or more regions.
Otherwise, in making such the apportionment, the supreme court of
appeals shall construct regions which provide, as nearly as is
practicable, for the caseload of each master to be equal to that
of other masters. Mathematical exactness as to caseload is not
required and deviations from an absolute standard may be based
upon concerns, other than caseload, including, but not limited
to, deviations dictated by the following considerations:
(1) Judicial circuits;
(2) Geographical features which affect the time and expense
(3) Traditional patterns of practice by members of the bar;
(4) Population variances between regions.
(b) In the region that includes Kanawha County, of the
masters appointed, not less than two
shall may be part-time
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this
section, for the
time period extending from the first day of
August, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, until the thirtieth
day of June, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight ninety-nine
there shall temporarily be a total of twenty-seven family law
masters, not more than fourteen of whom shall be full-time
masters, to serve throughout the state, and the additional part- time position of family law master created by this subsection
shall be assigned to the region that includes Marshall County.
(d) Nothing contained
herein shall prohibit in this section
prohibits the chief justice of the supreme court of appeals from
temporarily assigning a family law master from one geographical
region to another geographical region, as caseload,
disqualification, recusal, vacation or illness may dictate.
(e) The administrative office of the supreme court shall
promulgate any procedural rule necessary to delineate the duties
of the part-time and full-time law masters consistent with this
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to extend for one year
the period of assignment of the temporary family law master assigned to Marshall County.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.