HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 21
(By Delegate Staton)
[Introduced February 9, 1999; referred to the
Committee on Constitutional Revision then the Judiciary.]
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West
Virginia, amending section eleven, article eight thereof,
relating to allowing municipal courts to use six person
rather than twelve person juries for municipal court trials;
numbering and designating such proposed amendment; and
providing a summarized statement of the purpose of such
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of
the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
That the question of ratification or rejection of an
amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia be
submitted to the voters of the State at the next general election
to be held in the year two thousand, which proposed amendment is
that section eleven, article eight thereof, be amended to read as
ARTICLE VIII. JUDICIAL POWER.
§11. Municipal Courts.
The Legislature may provide for the establishment in
incorporated cities, towns or villages of municipal, police or
mayors' courts, and may also provide the manner of selection of
the judges of such courts. Such courts shall have jurisdiction
to enforce municipal ordinances, with the right of appeal as
prescribed by law. Until otherwise provided by law, all such
courts heretofore established shall remain and continue as now
constituted, and with the same right of appeal, insofar as their
jurisdiction to enforce municipal ordinances is concerned; but on
and after January one, one thousand nine hundred seventy-seven,
any other jurisdiction now exercised by such courts shall cease.
No judge of a municipal, police or mayor's court or any officer
thereof shall be compensated for his or her services on a fee
basis or receive to his or her own use for his or her services
any pecuniary compensation, reward or benefit other than the
salary prescribed therefor.
In a trial by jury in a municipal court, the jury shall
consist of six jurors who are qualified as prescribed by law.
Resolved further, That in accordance with the provisions of
article eleven, chapter three of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, such proposed
amendment is hereby numbered "Amendment No. 1" and designated as
"Amendment Allowing Six Person Jury in Municipal Court Criminal Trials," and the purpose of the proposed amendment is summarized
as follows: "To amend the State Constitution to permit municipal
courts to hold criminal jury trials using six person juries
rather than twelve person juries. This changes the existing rule
set forth in article eight, section eleven of the West Virginia
Constitution which requires a twelve person jury for all criminal
trials unless otherwise prescribed. This amendment is consistent
with section ten, article eight which allows six member juries
for trials in magistrate courts.
NOTE: The purpose of this resolution is to propose the
voters a constitutional amendment that would allow municipal
courts to use six member juries for criminal trials. This changes
the existing rule set forth in article three, section fourteen of
the West Virginia Constitution which requires a twelve person
jury for all criminal trials unless otherwise prescribed. This
amendment is consistent with section ten, article eight which
allows six member juries for trials in magistrate courts.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
form the present Constitution, and underscoring indicates new
language that would be added.