H. B. 2212
(By Delegates Barill, D. Campbell, Caputo, Fleischauer,
Manchin, Marshall, Moore and Pasdon)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §50-1-2 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to adding a magistrate to
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §50-1-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. COURTS AND OFFICERS.
§50-1-2. Number of magistrates.
(a) The number of magistrates to be elected in each county of
this state shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of
(b) The number of magistrates serving in each county of the
state shall comport with the numbers certified by the Supreme Court
of Appeals to the ballot commissioners of each county on or before
January 31, 2000, for purposes of the primary and general elections
to be held in the year 2000.
(c)(1) The Legislature finds that there exists among the
various counties large and unwarranted disparities of caseload
between the magistrate courts. The Legislature further finds that
the disparity causes an inequity with regard to magistrate court
resources and the ability of the courts to effectively meet the
needs of the citizens of this state who need to avail themselves of
this judicial resource. The Legislature further finds that the
system currently in place for allocating magistrate court resources
which has been in effect since the year 1991 produces certain
anomalies which cause quadrennial reallocation of magistrate
resources based upon said anomalies which in turn cause a waste of
funds, inequitable workloads, unnecessary shifting of resources and
confusion among the various counties.
(2) The Office of Legislative Services is hereby directed to
undertake a comprehensive study of the magistrate courts of the
various counties to determine, among other things, the work
performed by various personnel in the magistrate court system, how
work time is spent by said employees and to report its findings no
later than December 10, 2001, to the Joint Standing Committee on
(3) The Division of Criminal Justice and Highway Safety shall,
in conjunction with the administrative office of the West Virginia
Supreme Court of Appeals, compile for consideration by the
Legislature statistical information and documentation regarding caseloads, cases handled per year per magistrate, cases per county
and cases per circuit and provide to the President of the Senate
and the Speaker of the House of Delegates no later than the first
day of the 2002 regular session of the Legislature, their
recommendations for improving the magistrate process and better
utilization of court resources, including, but not limited to,
categorizing the various types of cases heard in magistrate court
and developing a new weighted formula to evaluate types of cases by
the amount of time necessary to bring said cases to a resolution.
(d) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, the
allowable number of magistrates serving the counties of Berkeley
and Nicholas on March 1, 2001, shall be increased by one in each
county, effective July 1, 2001. The initial appointment to the
position shall be made in accordance with the provisions of section
six of this article.
(e) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, the
allowable number of magistrates serving Monongalia County on April
1, 2013, shall be increased by one, effective July 1, 2013. The
initial appointment to the position shall be made in accordance
with the provisions of section six of this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the number of
magistrates in Monongalia County by one.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would