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Chapter 50     Entire Code
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Chapter 50  |  Article 50 - 1  |  Section 15
WVC 50- CHAPTER 50. MAGISTRATE COURTS.
WVC 50-1- ARTICLE 1. COURTS AND OFFICERS.

WVC 50-1-1 §50-1-1. Magistrate court created.
There is hereby created in each county of this state a magistrate court with such numbers of magistrates for each court as are hereafter provided. There shall be elected by the voters of each county, at the general election to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-six, and in every fourth year thereafter, such number of magistrates as is provided in section two of this article. The filing fee for the office of magistrate shall be one percent of the annual salary. The term of magistrates shall be for four years and shall begin on the first day of January of the year following the year of election.

In counties where voting machines or electronic voting systems are used, the procedures of section eleven, article four, chapter three and section twelve, article four-a of said chapter three of this code shall apply respectively to the election of magistrates in the same manner as they apply to the election of members of the House of Delegates.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section seven, article five, chapter three of this code, for purposes of the primary election to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy- six, the last day for filing certificates of candidacy for the office of magistrate shall be extended to the twenty-seventh day of February of that year.

WVC 50 - 1 - 2 §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 this section.

(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 the thirty-first day of January, two thousand, for purposes of the primary and general elections to be held in the year two thousand.

(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 one thousand nine hundred ninety-one 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 the tenth day of December, two thousand one, to the joint standing committee on the judiciary.

(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, 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 regular session of the Legislature, two thousand two, their recommendations for improving the magistrate process, 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 the first day of March, two thousand one, shall be increased by one in each county, effective the first day of July, two thousand one. The initial appointment to the position shall be made in accordance with the provisions of section six of this article.

WVC 50 - 1 - 3 §50-1-3. Salaries of magistrates.

     (a) The Legislature finds and declares that:

     (1) The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has held that a salary system for magistrates which is based upon the population that each magistrate serves does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution of the United States;

     (2) The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has held that a salary system for magistrates which is based upon the population that each magistrate serves does not violate section thirty-nine, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia;

     (3) The Administrative Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has stated that the utilization of a two-tiered salary schedule for magistrates is no longer an equitable and rational manner by which magistrates should be compensated for work performed;

     (4) Organizing the two tiers of the salary schedule into one tier for magistrates serving less than seven thousand three hundred in population and a second tier for magistrates serving seven thousand three hundred or more in population is no longer rational and equitable given current statistical information relating to population and caseload; and

     (5) That, by January 1, 2017, all magistrates should be compensated equally.

     (b) The salary of each magistrate shall be paid by the state. Magistrates who serve fewer than seven thousand three hundred in population shall be paid annual salaries of $51,125 and magistrates who serve seven thousand three hundred or more in population shall be paid annual salaries of $57,500.

     (c) For the purpose of determining the population served by each magistrate, the number of magistrates authorized for each county shall be divided into the population of each county. For the purpose of this article, the population of each county is the population as determined by the last preceding decennial census taken under the authority of the United States government.

     (d) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the amendments made to this section during the 2013 First Extraordinary Session are effective upon passage and are retroactive to January 1, 2013.

     (e) On or before July 1, 2013, the Joint Committee on Government and Finance shall request a study by the National Center for State Courts, working in conjunction with the Administrative Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, to review the weighted case loads in each of the magistrate courts in this state, and present recommendations as to how the present resources and personnel in the magistrate court system could be better apportioned to equitably and timely meet the collective needs of the magistrate court system in West Virginia. Based on the findings and data generated by that study, the National Center for State Courts shall make recommendations as to the equitable redistribution of personnel and resources, by temporary or permanent reassignment, to better meet the needs and weighted loads that are demonstrated to exist in the various magistrate courts in this state. This study shall be presented to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance no later than December 1, 2014, and shall include recommendations and proposed legislation resulting from such study and shall also include a plan to continue the efficient delivery of justice by the magistrate court system and the justification for equalization of pay for all magistrates. As a part of the submitted study, the plan shall consider the reassignment of magistrates or the extension of their duties and jurisdiction to include holding court or delivering services to adjacent counties with higher caseloads, as part of their regular duties, or being on call as needed to serve other needs in other adjacent counties or within the same judicial circuit.

     On or before January 15, 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia shall present its recommendations to the Legislature regarding how to allocate or assign a maximum of one hundred fifty- eight magistrates throughout this state to improve the magistrate process, and more equitably distribute the magistrate court resources to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of the citizens of this state.

     (f) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, beginning January 1, 2017, all magistrates shall be compensated equally and the annual salary of all magistrates shall be $57,500. WVC 50-1-4 §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, shall not have been convicted of any felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and shall reside in the county of his 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 office for at least one year immediately prior thereto shall be deemed qualified to run for the office of magistrate in the county of his residence.

No person shall assume the duties of magistrate unless he 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 such other 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 courses shall be provided at least once every other year. Persons attending such 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.

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 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 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 judge.

WVC 50-1-5 §50-1-5. Removal from office; disciplinary procedures.
A magistrate may be removed from office in the manner provided in section seven, article six, chapter six of this code. In addition to the grounds for removal enumerated in section three, article six, chapter six of this code, a magistrate may be removed from office for conviction of a felony, for conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or a duty of the office, or for willful violation of this chapter or any rule, regulation or order provided for in this chapter. In addition to other methods provided by law, removal proceedings may be initiated upon the motion of a judge of the circuit court of the county.

A magistrate may be censured or temporarily suspended in accordance with the rules of the supreme court of appeals.

WVC 50 - 1 - 6 §50-1-6. Vacancy in office of magistrate.

     Subject to the provisions of section one, article ten, chapter three of this code, when a vacancy occurs in the office of magistrate, the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, shall fill the same by appointment of a person of the same political party as the officeholder vacating the office.

     At a general election in which a magistrate is elected for an unexpired term, the circuit judge, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, shall cause a notice of such election to be published prior to such election as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county involved. If the vacancy occurs before the primary election held to nominate candidates to be voted for at the general election, at which any such vacancy is to be filled, candidates to fill such vacancy shall be nominated at such primary election in accordance with the time requirements and the provisions and procedures prescribed in article five, chapter three of this code. Otherwise, they shall be nominated by the county executive committee in the manner provided in section nineteen, article five, chapter three of this code, as in the case of filling vacancies in nominations, and the names of the persons so nominated and certified to the clerk of the circuit court of such county shall be placed upon the ballot to be voted at such next general election. WVC 50-1-6A §50-1-6a. Temporary appointment of retired magistrates.
The West Virginia supreme court of appeals is authorized and empowered to create a panel of senior magistrates to consist of, and to utilize the talent and experience of, retired magistrates of this state. The supreme court of appeals shall promulgate rules providing for such senior magistrates to be assigned duties as needed and as feasible toward the objective of reducing caseloads and providing for replacement of magistrates who are unavailable: Provided, That reasonable payment shall be made to said senior magistrates on a per diem basis: Provided, however, That the per diem and retirement compensation of a senior magistrate shall not exceed the salary of a sitting magistrate and allowances shall also be made for necessary expenses pursuant to the travel regulations of the supreme court of appeals.

WVC 50-1-7 §50-1-7. Chief magistrates; administrative responsibility; additional duties.
The judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, may appoint one of the magistrates, to serve at the will and pleasure of such circuit court judge, as the chief magistrate of the county. The chief magistrate, if there is one, shall be responsible for all of the administrative functions required of the magistrate court in each county by this code and as required by rules and regulations of the supreme court of appeals. These functions shall include, but not be limited to, supervising the circuit clerk or magistrate court clerk in the establishment and maintenance of a centralized docketing system, submitting all reports required by law and promptly notifying such circuit court judge that additional magistrates are required to handle the cases then pending in the magistrate court of said county. Chief magistrates shall have the additional duties of acting as liaison between the magistrate court and the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, and such other additional duties as may be assigned by such judge.

WVC 50 - 1 - 8 .§50-1-8. Magistrate court clerks; salaries; duties; duties of circuit clerk.

  (a) In each county having three or more magistrates the judge of the circuit court or the chief judge of the circuit court, if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, shall appoint a magistrate court clerk. In all other counties the judge may appoint a magistrate court clerk or may by rule require the duties of the magistrate court clerk to be performed by the clerk of the circuit court, in which event the circuit court clerk is entitled to additional compensation in the amount of $2,500 per year. The magistrate court clerk serves at the will and pleasure of the circuit judge.

  (b) Magistrate court clerks shall be paid a monthly salary by the state. Magistrate court clerks serving magistrates who serve less than seven thousand three hundred in population shall be paid up to $39,552 per year and magistrate court clerks serving magistrates who serve seven thousand three hundred or more in population shall be paid up to $44,712 per year: Provided, That after the effective date of this section, any general salary increase granted to all state employees, whose salaries are not set by statute, expressed as a percentage increase or an across-the-board increase, may also be granted to magistrate court clerks. For the purpose of determining the population served by each magistrate, the number of magistrates authorized for each county shall be divided into the population of each county. The salary of the magistrate court clerk shall be established by the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge of the circuit court if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, within the limits set forth in this section.

  (c) In addition to other duties that may be imposed by the provisions of this chapter or by the rules of the Supreme Court of Appeals or the judge of the circuit court or the chief judge of the circuit court if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, it is the duty of the magistrate court clerk to establish and maintain appropriate dockets and records in a centralized system for the magistrate court, to assist in the preparation of the reports required of the court and to carry out on behalf of the magistrates or chief magistrate if a chief magistrate is appointed, the administrative duties of the court.

  (d) The magistrate court clerk, or if there is no magistrate court clerk in the county, the clerk of the circuit court, may issue all manner of civil process and require the enforcement of subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum in magistrate court.

  (e) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the amendments made to this section during the 2013 First Extraordinary Session are effective upon passage and are retroactive to January 1, 2013.

  (f) Beginning January 1, 2017, the annual salary of all magistrate court clerks is $44,720. After the effective date of this section, a general salary increase granted to state employees, whose salaries are not set by statute, expressed as a percentage increase or an across-the-board increase, may also be granted to magistrate court clerks. WVC 50 - 1 - 9 §50-1-9. Magistrate assistants; salary; duties.

     (a) In each county there shall be one magistrate assistant for each magistrate. Each magistrate assistant shall be appointed by the magistrate under whose authority and supervision and at whose will and pleasure he or she shall serve. The assistant shall not be a member of the immediate family of any magistrate and shall not have been convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and shall reside in the State of West Virginia. For the purpose of this section, "immediate family" means the relationships of mother, father, sister, brother, child or spouse.

     (b) A magistrate assistant shall have the duties, clerical or otherwise, assigned by the magistrate and prescribed by the rules of the Supreme Court of Appeals or the judge of the circuit court or the chief judge of the circuit court if there is more than one judge of the circuit court. In addition to these duties, magistrate assistants shall perform and are accountable to the magistrate court clerks with respect to the following duties:

     (1) The preparation of summons in civil actions;

     (2) The assignment of civil actions to the various magistrates;

     (3) The collection of all costs, fees, fines, forfeitures and penalties which are payable to the court;

     (4) The submission of moneys, along with an accounting of the moneys, to appropriate authorities as provided by law;

     (5) The daily disposition of closed files which are to be located in the magistrate clerk's office;

     (6) All duties related to the gathering of information and documents necessary for the preparation of administrative reports and documents required by the rules of the Supreme Court of Appeals or the judge of the circuit court or the chief judge of the circuit court if there is more than one judge of the circuit court;

     (7) All duties relating to the notification, certification and payment of jurors serving pursuant to the terms of this chapter; and

     (8) All other duties or responsibilities whereby the magistrate assistant is accountable to the magistrate court clerk as determined by the magistrate.

     (c) Magistrate assistants shall be paid a monthly salary by the state. Magistrate assistants serving magistrates who serve less than seven thousand three hundred in population shall be paid up to $36,048 per year and magistrate assistants serving magistrates who serve seven thousand three hundred or more in population shall be paid up to $39,348 per year: Provided, That after the effective date of this section, any general salary increase granted to all state employees, whose salaries are not set by statute, expressed as a percentage increase or an across-the-board increase, may also be granted to magistrate assistants. For the purpose of determining the population served by each magistrate, the number of magistrates authorized for each county shall be divided into the population of each county. The salary of the magistrate assistant shall be established by the magistrate within the limits set forth in this section.

     (d) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the amendments made to this section during the 2013 First Extraordinary Session are effective upon passage and are retroactive to January 1, 2013.

     (e) Beginning January 1, 2017, the annual salary of all magistrate assistants is $39,348. After the effective date of this section, a general salary increase granted to state employees, whose salaries are not set by statute, expressed as a percentage increase or an across-the-board increase, may also be granted to magistrate assistants. WVC 50 - 1 - 9 A §50-1-9a. Magistrate court deputy clerks; duties; salary.

     (a) Whenever required by workload and upon the recommendation of the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge of the circuit court if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, the Supreme Court of Appeals may, by rule, provide for the appointment of magistrate court deputy clerks, not to exceed seventy-two in number. The magistrate court deputy clerks shall be appointed by the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, to serve at his or her will and pleasure under the immediate supervision of the magistrate court clerk.

     (b) Magistrate court deputy clerks shall have the duties, clerical or otherwise, as may be assigned by the magistrate court clerk and as may be prescribed by the rules of the Supreme Court of Appeals or the judge of the circuit court or the chief judge if there is more than one judge of the circuit court. Magistrate court deputy clerks may also exercise the power and perform the duties of the magistrate court clerk as may be delegated or assigned by the magistrate court clerk.

     (c) A magistrate court deputy clerk may not be an immediate family member of any magistrate, magistrate court clerk, magistrate assistant or judge of the circuit court within the same county, may not have been convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and must reside in this state. For purposes of this subsection, "immediate family member" means a mother, father, sister, brother, child or spouse.

     (d) Magistrate court deputy clerks shall be paid an annual salary by the state on the same basis and in the same amounts established for magistrate assistants in each county, as provided in section nine of this article.

     (e) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the amendments made to section nine of this article during the 2013 First Extraordinary Session, and the effects of those amendments on subsection (d) of this section, are effective upon passage and are retroactive to January 1, 2013.

     (f) Beginning January 1, 2017, the annual salary of all magistrate court deputy clerks is $39,348. After the effective date of this section, a general salary increase granted to state employees, whose salaries are not set by statute, expressed as a percentage increase or an across-the-board increase, may also be granted to magistrate court deputy clerks. WVC 50 - 1 - 9 B §50-1-9b. Appointment of senior magistrate court clerks.
The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is authorized to create a panel of senior magistrate court clerks to utilize the talent and experience of former magistrate court clerks of this state. The Supreme Court of Appeals shall promulgate rules providing for senior magistrate court clerks to be assigned duties as needed to serve: (1) In the place of magistrate court clerks who are on authorized leave or are otherwise unavailable; or (2) while there is a vacancy in a magistrate court clerk's office. The Supreme Court of Appeals shall further promulgate rules to provide for: (1) Reimbursement of travel and other necessary expenses actually incurred while the senior clerk is serving outside the county of his or her residence; and (2) reasonable compensation on a per diem basis: Provided, That the per diem and retirement compensation of a senior magistrate court clerk may not exceed the salary of the magistrate court clerk in whose place the senior clerk is serving.

WVC 50-1-10 §50-1-10. Clerks, deputy clerks and magistrate assistants to take oath and post bond.
Each magistrate court clerk, magistrate court deputy clerk, and magistrate assistant, shall take an oath of office and shall post a bond in the penalty of twenty-five thousand dollars with sufficient surety approved by the administrative director of the supreme court of appeals or the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, which bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of the duties of the office. The state shall pay the cost of such bond and the administrative director of the supreme court of appeals may obtain, in lieu of individual bonds, a bond including more than one magistrate court clerk, magistrate court deputy clerk or magistrate assistant.

WVC 50-1-11 §50-1-11. Offices for magistrates; location; expenses; copy of state code.
Subject to the rules of the supreme court of appeals, the location of offices for magistrates shall be determined by order of the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court. When required by geography or population dispersion and in order to make such offices accessible to the public, an order may require more than one location for each magistrate. As near as practicable within a county, all office accommodations shall be comparable. All expenses of acquiring or renting offices and utility and telephone expenses shall be paid by the county. All other expenses, including, but not limited to, expenses for furniture, equipment and supplies, shall be paid by the state. The administrative director of the supreme court of appeals shall supply each magistrate with a current copy of the West Virginia code which shall remain the property of the state.

Magistrates who serve at more than one location within the county, whether on a regular or temporary basis, shall be reimbursed travel expenses for travel between locations at a rate per mile equal to that allowed for reimbursement of travel expenses of officers in the judicial branch of state government.

WVC 50-1-12 §50-1-12. Conduct of office; penalty.
Magistrates shall be subject to and shall abide by the code of judicial ethics as adopted and amended by the supreme court of appeals. In addition to such conduct as may be regulated by the rules of the supreme court of appeals, no magistrate, magistrate court clerk or magistrate court deputy clerk or magistrate assistant shall:

(a) Acquire or hold any interest in any matter which is before the magistrate court;

(b) Purchase, either directly or indirectly, any property being sold upon execution issued by the magistrate court;

(c) Act as agent or attorney for any party in any proceeding in any magistrate court in the state; or

(d) Engage in, or assist in, any remunerative endeavor, except the duties of his office, while on the premises of the magistrate court office.

Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of official misconduct and shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars.

Nothing contained in this section shall preclude a magistrate, magistrate court clerk, magistrate court deputy clerk, or magistrate assistant from being a party to an action in the magistrate court: Provided, That any action in which the magistrate court clerk is a party shall not be assigned to the chief magistrate nor shall any action in which a magistrate court deputy clerk or magistrate assistant is a party be assigned or heard by the magistrate for whom such magistrate assistant is employed or to whose court such deputy clerk is assigned.

WVC 50 - 1 - 13 §50-1-13. Temporary service within or outside of county.
(a) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals or judge of the circuit court of the county in which a magistrate is elected, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, may order a magistrate to serve temporarily at locations within the county other than at the regular office or offices of the magistrate.

(b) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals or judge of the circuit court of the county in which a magistrate is elected, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, may by order direct a magistrate to serve temporarily in any other county within the judicial circuit for such purposes as the judge may direct. The magistrate's authority, to the extent ordered by the judge, shall be equal to the jurisdiction and authority of a magistrate elected in the county to which the magistrate is ordered to serve. The temporary assignment may not exceed sixty days in length in any given calendar year, except with the consent of the transferred magistrate.

(c) A magistrate who is temporarily assigned to a county with a higher salary schedule for magistrates than the salary schedule in the county from which the magistrate was elected, shall be reimbursed for the difference of the salary in the assigned county and the lower salary which the magistrate received in the county of election, prorated for the number of days of the temporary assignment. An assigned magistrate may not be reimbursed on a pro rata basis for less than the salary received in the county of that magistrate's election.

(d) A magistrate shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in service outside of the county, as provided by rule of the Supreme Court of Appeals.

WVC 50 - 1 - 14 §50-1-14. Duties of sheriff; service of process; bailiff.
(a) It shall be the duty of each sheriff to execute all civil and criminal process from any magistrate court which may be directed to such sheriff. Process shall be served in the same manner as provided by law for process from circuit courts.

Subject to the supervision of the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals or of the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court, it shall be the duty of the sheriff, or his or her designated deputy, to serve as bailiff of a magistrate court upon the request of the magistrate. Such service shall also be subject to such administrative rules as may be promulgated by the Supreme Court of Appeals. A writ of mandamus shall lie on behalf of a magistrate to enforce the provisions of this section.

(b) The sheriff of any county may employ, by and with the consent of the county commission, one or more persons whose sole duties shall be the service of civil process and the service of subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum. Any such person shall not be considered a deputy or deputy sheriff within the meaning of subdivision (2), subsection (a), section two, article fourteen, chapter seven of this code, nor shall any such person be authorized to carry deadly weapons in the performance of his or her duties: Provided, That the sheriff may authorize an employee whose sole duties involve service of civil process to carry a firearm if the employee completes all training requirements otherwise applicable to deputy sheriffs for the use and handling of firearms: Provided, however, That the sheriff may authorize previously certified West Virginia law-enforcement officers to carry a deadly weapon in the performance of the duties of the officers under the provisions of this section: Provided further, That these officers and employees maintain yearly weapons qualifications and are bonded through the office of the sheriff.

WVC 50-1-15 §50-1-15. Transitional provisions.
Except as the same may be otherwise amended by act of the Legislature, and except for the provisions of article twenty of this chapter, all of the provisions of chapter fifty of this code existing immediately prior to the effective date of this chapter shall remain in full force and effect until the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred seventy-seven.

Immediately after the expiration of his term of office and in no event later than thirty days thereafter each justice of the peace shall pay over to appropriate authorities or persons such moneys as may be held by him and submit such reports to such authorities or persons as are required by law.

Every justice of the peace, upon the expiration of his term of office, shall forthwith deliver his official docket, together with such dockets of his predecessors as he may have, to the magistrate court clerk or, if there is no magistrate court clerk, to the clerk of the circuit court, who shall maintain such dockets as directed by the supreme court of appeals or by the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court.

No act done by a justice of the peace prior to the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred seventy-seven, shall be affected by virtue of the abolition of the office of justice of the peace. Matters pending before a justice of the peace prior to such date or which might otherwise require further action by a justice of the peace shall be handled by the magistrate to whom such matter is assigned or in such other manner as may be ordered by the judge of the circuit court, or the chief judge thereof if there is more than one judge of the circuit court.

WVC 50-1-16 §50-1-16. Supervisory rules.
The supreme court of appeals is hereby authorized to promulgate rules to carry out the intent of this chapter and to exercise rule-making authority granted by article VIII of the constitution of West Virginia. Rules promulgated by the judge of a circuit court, or the chief judge thereof, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be subordinate and subject to the rules of the supreme court of appeals or the orders of the chief justice thereof. Rules promulgated by the judge of a circuit court, or the chief judge thereof, shall be made by order entered upon the order book of the circuit court, as hereinafter provided, and shall be effective when filed with the clerk of the supreme court of appeals and the magistrate court clerk for the magistrate court in which such rules apply. All rules promulgated under this section by the supreme court of appeals, or by the judge of a circuit court, or the chief judge thereof, shall be entered upon an order book designated for the purpose of magistrate court rules by the clerk of the circuit court.

WVC 50-1-17 §50-1-17. Reference to justice of the peace; abolition of the office of constable.
On and after the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred seventy-seven, the phrase "justice of the peace" and the word "justice," when used in a context meaning "justice of the peace," shall be construed to mean magistrate as created by the provisions of this chapter. At such time the office of constable shall be abolished, and the duties previously performed by constables shall be assumed by deputy sheriffs or by such other persons as elsewhere provided in this code.

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.


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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