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Introduced Version House Bill 4292 History

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hb4292 intr
H. B. 4292


(By Delegates Morgan, Stephens, Staggers,

Craig, Manchin and Miley)


[Introduced February 2, 2010; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §50-1-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to requirements to serve as a magistrate; requiring an associate degree or four years of experience to serve as a magistrate; authorizing the Supreme Court Administrator to dismiss magistrates from annual training; and deleting antiquated provisions.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §50-1-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 1. COURTS AND OFFICERS.

§50-1-4. Qualifications of magistrates; training; oath; continuing education; time devoted to public duties.
(a) 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 or her election: Provided, That any person who begins serving as a magistrate, either by appointment or election, after the effective date of the reenactment of this section during the regular session of 2011, shall possess at least an associate degree from an accredited college, or have at least two years of experience as a magistrate.
(b) No magistrate shall be a member of the immediate family of any other magistrate in the county. In the event If more than one member of an immediate family shall be is 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.
(c) No person shall assume the duties of magistrate unless he or she shall have first attended and has 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.
(d) All magistrates shall be are required to attend such other courses of continuing educational instruction annual training conferences as may be required by supervisory rule of the Supreme Court of Appeals. Failure to attend such courses of continuing educational instruction an annual training conference without good cause or prior dismissal by the Supreme Court Administrator shall constitute constitutes neglect of duty. Such courses shall be provided at least once every other year. Persons Magistrates attending such courses conferences 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.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.
NOTE: This bill shall require any person who begins serving as a magistrate after the effective date of this legislation, to possess an associate degree from an accredited college, or have two years of experience as a magistrate. All magistrates are required to attend an annual training conference by the Administrator of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. In addition, the outdated distinction between those magistrates who serve 5,000 or less in population and those who serve more than 5,000 is stricken because it is antiquated, as all magistrates now work under the same rules.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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