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Chapter 51     Entire Code
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Chapter 51  |  Article 51 - 2
WVC 51- CHAPTER 51. COURTS AND THEIR OFFICERS.
WVC -2- ARTICLE 2. CIRCUIT COURTS; CIRCUIT JUDGES.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1 §51-2-1. Judicial circuits; terms of office; legislative findings and declarations; elections; terms of court.
(a) The state shall be divided into the following judicial circuits with the following number of judges:

(1) The counties of Brooke, Hancock and Ohio shall constitute the first circuit and shall have four judges;

(2) The counties of Marshall, Tyler and Wetzel shall constitute the second circuit and shall have two judges;

(3) The counties of Doddridge, Pleasants and Ritchie shall constitute the third circuit and shall have one judge;

(4) The counties of Wood and Wirt shall constitute the fourth circuit and shall have three judges;

(5) The counties of Calhoun, Jackson, Mason and Roane shall constitute the fifth circuit and shall have two judges;

(6) The county of Cabell shall constitute the sixth circuit and shall have four judges;

(7) The county of Logan shall constitute the seventh circuit and shall have two judges;

(8) The county of McDowell shall constitute the eighth circuit and shall have two judges;

(9) The county of Mercer shall constitute the ninth circuit and shall have three judges;

(10) The county of Raleigh shall constitute the tenth circuit and shall have three judges;

(11) The counties of Greenbrier and Pocahontas shall constitute the eleventh circuit and shall have two judges;

(12) The county of Fayette shall constitute the twelfth circuit and shall have two judges;

(13) The county of Kanawha shall constitute the thirteenth circuit and shall have seven judges;

(14) The counties of Braxton, Clay, Gilmer and Webster shall constitute the fourteenth circuit and shall have two judges;

(15) The county of Harrison shall constitute the fifteenth circuit and shall have three judges;

(16) The county of Marion shall constitute the sixteenth circuit and shall have two judges;

(17) The county of Monongalia shall constitute the seventeenth circuit and shall have two judges: Provided, That effective July 1, 2009, said circuit court shall have three judges.

(18) The county of Preston shall constitute the eighteenth circuit and shall have one judge;

(19) The counties of Barbour and Taylor shall constitute the nineteenth circuit and shall have one judge;

(20) The county of Randolph shall constitute the twentieth circuit and shall have one judge;

(21) The counties of Grant, Mineral and Tucker shall constitute the twenty-first circuit and shall have two judges;

(22) The counties of Hampshire, Hardy and Pendleton shall constitute the twenty-second circuit and shall have two judges;

(23) The counties of Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan shall constitute the twenty-third circuit and shall have five judges;

(24) The county of Wayne shall constitute the twenty-fourth circuit and shall have two judges;

(25) The counties of Lincoln and Boone shall constitute the twenty-fifth circuit and shall have two judges;

(26) The counties of Lewis and Upshur shall constitute the twenty-sixth circuit and shall have one judge;

(27) The county of Wyoming shall constitute the twenty-seventh circuit and shall have one judge;

(28) The county of Nicholas shall constitute the twenty-eighth circuit and shall have one judge;

(29) The county of Putnam shall constitute the twenty-ninth circuit and shall have two judges;

(30) The county of Mingo shall constitute the thirtieth circuit and shall have one judge; and

(31) The counties of Monroe and Summers shall constitute the thirty-first circuit and shall have one judge.

(b) The Kanawha County circuit court shall be a court of concurrent jurisdiction with each single judge circuit where the sitting judge in the single judge circuit is unavailable by reason of sickness, vacation or other reason.

(c) Any judge in office on the effective date of the reenactment of this section shall continue as a judge of the circuit as constituted under prior enactments of this section, unless sooner removed or retired as provided by law, until December 31, 2008.

(d) The term of office of all circuit court judges shall be for eight years. The term of office for all circuit court judges elected during the general election conducted in the year 2008 shall commence on January 1, 2009, and end on December 31, 2016.

(e) For election purposes, in every judicial circuit having two or more judges there shall be numbered divisions corresponding to the number of circuit judges in each circuit. Each judge shall be elected at large from the entire circuit. In each numbered division of a judicial circuit, the candidates for nomination or election shall be voted upon and the votes cast for the candidates in each division shall be tallied separately from the votes cast for candidates in other numbered divisions within the circuit. The candidate receiving the highest number of the votes cast within a numbered division shall be nominated or elected, as the case may be.

(f) Judges serving a judicial circuit comprised of four or more counties with two or more judges shall not be residents of the same county.

(g) The Supreme Court of Appeals shall, by rule, establish the

terms of court of circuit judges.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1 A §51-2-1a.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1 B §51-2-1b.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1 C §51-2-1c.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1 D §51-2-1d.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1 E §51-2-1e.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1f §51-2-1f.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1g §51-2-1g.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1h §51-2-1h.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1i §51-2-1i.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1j §51-2-1j.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1k §51-2-1k.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1l §51-2-1l.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1m §51-2-1m.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1n §51-2-1n.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1o §51-2-1o.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1p §51-2-1p.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1q §51-2-1q.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1r §51-2-1r.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1s §51-2-1s.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1t §51-2-1t.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1u §51-2-1u.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1v §51-2-1v.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1w §51-2-1w.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1x §51-2-1x.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1y §51-2-1y.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51-2-1z §51-2-1z.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1AA §51-2-1aa.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1BB §51-2-1bb.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1CC §51-2-1cc.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1DD §51-2-1dd.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1EE §51-2-1ee.
Repealed.

Acts, 1991 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1FF §51-2-1ff.
Repealed.

Acts, 1976 Reg. Sess., Ch. 37.

WVC 51 - 2 - 1GG §51-2-1gg.
Repealed.

Acts, 1976 Reg. Sess., Ch. 37.

WVC 51 - 2 - 2 §51-2-2. Jurisdiction.
(a) The circuit court shall have supervision and control of all proceedings before magistrates, by mandamus, prohibition and certiorari.

(b) Except in cases confined exclusively by the constitution to some other tribunal, the circuit court shall have original and general jurisdiction of all matters at law where the amount in controversy, excluding interest, exceeds two thousand five hundred dollars: Provided, That the jurisdictional limit on amounts in controversy does not apply to real estate installment sales contracts.

(c) The circuit court shall have original and general jurisdiction in all of the following matters:

(1) Habeas corpus;

(2) Mandamus;

(3) Quo warranto;

(4) Prohibition;

(5) Crimes; and

(6) Misdemeanors.

(d) The circuit court shall have original and general jurisdiction in all cases in equity, including jurisdiction in equity to remove any cloud on the title to real property, or any part of a cloud, or any estate, right or interest in the real property, and to determine questions of title with respect to the real property without requiring allegations or proof of actual possession of the real property.

(e) The circuit court shall have appellate jurisdiction in all cases, civil and criminal, where an appeal, writ of error or supersedeas may be allowed to the judgment or proceedings of any inferior tribunal.

(f) The circuit court shall also have any other jurisdiction, whether supervisory, original, appellate or concurrent, as is or may be prescribed by law.

WVC 51-2-3 §51-2-3. Adjourned terms.
If any term of a circuit court is about to end without dispatching all its business, the judge thereof may, by an order entered of record, adjourn the holding of such court to any future day on which he is not required by law to hold a court in some other county; and all causes on the docket of such court, and not otherwise disposed of, shall stand continued to such adjourned day. The court may, in its discretion, require the jury summoned to attend such term to attend as such on the adjourned day, or may require a new jury to be drawn and summoned in the manner required by law; and all witnesses summoned to attend in causes so continued to such adjourned term shall attend the term without being again summoned. All judgments, orders and decrees rendered and made by such court before or during the day on which the court adjourns to such future day, as aforesaid, shall have the same force and effect in all respects as if the court had finally adjourned on that day.

WVC 51-2-4 §51-2-4. Special terms -- When and how held.
If any term of such court has ended without dispatching all its business, or if there be a failure to hold any term, or whenever he thinks the public interest requires it, the judge of the circuit court may, by a warrant directed to the clerk, appoint a special term thereof and prescribe in such warrant whether a grand or petit jury, or both, are to be summoned to attend such term. The clerk shall enter the warrant in the order book of the court, inform the prosecuting attorney and the sheriff of such appointment, post a copy of the warrant at the door of the courthouse, and issue all proper process returnable to such special term; and the sheriff shall execute such process, and summon a grand or petit jury, or both, as may be prescribed in the warrant. Any such special term may be held in any county, although at the time the same is held a term of the circuit court is being held, or required to be held, in any other county of the same judicial circuit, and it may be held by the judge of another circuit, or by a special judge elected by the attorneys practicing in such court in the manner prescribed by law.

WVC 51-2-5 §51-2-5. Same -- Adjournment.
Whenever any judge of a circuit court shall have appointed a special term of any circuit court in the manner directed by the preceding section, and shall afterwards ascertain that he cannot hold such special term on the day appointed for it, he may, by warrant under his hand directed to the clerk of the court, adjourn it to such other day as he may deem proper. Such warrant shall be transmitted by the judge to the clerk, who shall immediately enter it in the order book of the court, and as to the special term thereafter to be held under such continuance proceed in all other respects in the manner directed by the section aforesaid.

WVC 51-2-6 §51-2-6. Same -- For trial of person imprisoned.
Whenever the situation of a prisoner confined in jail for trial in a circuit court makes it proper that his case should be disposed of before the next regular term thereof, the judge of such court may appoint a special term to be held for the trial of the case, in the same manner as if the same had stood for trial at the next preceding term and the court had adjourned without disposing thereof.

WVC 51-2-7 §51-2-7. Same -- What causes may be tried; judge presiding.
Any cause, civil or criminal, and any motion or proceeding ready for trial or hearing, may be tried, heard and determined at a special term, the same as if it were a regular term of such court. Every such special term may be held by the judge of the circuit, or, if he be dead or absent, by any other circuit judge who may be present; and part of its session may be held by one judge and part by another; and such special term may be adjourned from time to time during the interval between the regular terms as the judge may deem necessary for the dispatch of the business of the court.

WVC 51-2-8 §51-2-8. Residence of judge; disqualification.
Each circuit, criminal or intermediate judge, during his continuance in office, shall reside in the circuit or county for which he was elected. When such judge is a party to a suit, or is interested in the result thereof otherwise than as a resident or taxpayer of the district or county, or is related to either of the parties, as grandfather, father, father-in-law, son, son-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, nephew, uncle, first cousin or guardian, or if, at the time of the institution of the suit, or at any time before its final termination, he, his wife, or any party or parties related to him in the degree hereinbefore specified, is a stockholder, or officer, in any stock company or corporation which is a necessary party to the proceedings, or if he is a material witness for either party, he shall not take cognizance thereof unless all parties to the suit consent thereto in writing: Provided, That no judgment or decree rendered or pronounced by any such judge shall be invalidated by reason of such relationship unless the same appear of record in such suit or proceeding: Provided further, That nothing herein contained shall disqualify a judge who comes within the provisions of this section to enter a formal order designed merely to advance the cause towards a final hearing and not requiring judicial action involving the merits of the case.

WVC 51-2-9 §51-2-9.
Repealed.

Acts, 1992 Reg. Sess., Ch. 45.

WVC 51-2-10 §51-2-10.
Repealed.

Acts, 1992 Reg. Sess., Ch. 45.

WVC 51-2-11 §51-2-11.
Repealed.

Acts, 1992 Reg. Sess., Ch. 45.

WVC 51-2-12 §51-2-12.
Repealed.

Acts, 1992 Reg. Sess., Ch. 45.

WVC 51 - 2 - 13 §51-2-13. Salaries of judges of circuit courts.
     The salaries of the judges of the various circuit courts shall be paid solely out of the State Treasury. No county, county commission, board of commissioners or other political subdivision shall supplement or add to such salaries.

     The annual salary of all circuit judges shall be $90,000 per year: Provided, That beginning July 1,2005, the annual salary of all circuit judges shall be $116,000 per year: Provided, however, That beginning July 1, 2011, the annual salary of a circuit court judge shall be $126,000. WVC 51-2-14 §51-2-14. Holding court in two or more counties in circuit at same time.
Notwithstanding any provision in this code to the contrary, terms of circuit court may be held in two or more counties in the same circuit at the same time and a term of court in one county of a circuit need not be adjourned sine die or otherwise terminated as a condition of or prior to the commencement of a term of court in another county of the same circuit.

WVC 51 - 2 - 15 §51-2-15. Business Court Division.
(a) The West Virginia Legislature finds that, due to the complex nature of litigation involving highly technical commercial issues, there is a need for a separate and specialized court docket to be maintained in West Virginia's most populated circuit court districts with specific jurisdiction over actions involving such commercial issues and disputes between businesses.

(b) The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is authorized to designate a business court division within the circuit court of any judicial district with a population in excess of sixty thousand according to the 2000 Federal Decennial Census.

(c) Upon the determination to designate business court divisions, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals shall promulgate rules for the establishment and jurisdiction of the business court divisions within its circuit court system.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.


Recent legislation affecting the Code

Citation Year/Session Short Title
§51 - 10 - 5 A - (New Code)
SENATE BILL - 307
PASSED - Regular Session

SB307 SUB1 ENR2  (Uploaded - 03/26/2014)
SB307 SUB1 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/25/2014)
Relating to pretrial management of persons charged with committing crimes
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.
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