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Enrolled Version - Final Version House Bill 4648 History

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ENROLLED

H. B. 4648

 

         (By Delegates Perry and Sigler)

         [By Request of the Supreme Court of Appeals]

[Passed March 10, 2012; in effect ninety days from passage.]

 

 

 

AN ACT to amend and reenact §48-27-301 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §51-2A-2 of said code, all relating to authorizing the Supreme Court of Appeals to utilize existing judicial officers and resources to establish and implement one domestic violence court pilot project; establishing and clarifying the jurisdiction of the pilot project court; establishing an expiration date for the pilot project and requesting reports to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Delegates prior to the convening of the regular sessions of the legislature in the years 2015 and 2016.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §48-27-301 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §51-2A-2 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

CHAPTER 48. DOMESTIC RELATIONS.

ARTICLE 27. PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

PART 3. PROCEDURE.

§48-27-301. Jurisdiction.

    (a) Circuit courts, family courts and magistrate courts, have concurrent jurisdiction over domestic violence proceedings as provided in this article.

    (b) The Supreme Court of Appeals is authorized to assign an appropriate judicial officer for one pilot domestic violence court in any jurisdiction chosen by the Supreme Court of Appeals. The judicial officer assigned has the authority and jurisdiction to preside over criminal misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence involving family or household members as defined in subdivisions one through six and paragraphs (A), (B) and (H), subdivision seven, section two hundred four of this article, relating to offenses under subsections (b) and (c), section nine, article two, chapter sixty-one of this code, misdemeanor violations of section nine-a, article two, chapter sixty-one of this code, misdemeanor violations of section twenty-eight, article two, chapter sixty-one of this code, misdemeanor offenses under article three, chapter sixty-one of this code, where the alleged perpetrator and the victim are said family or household members, subdivisions seven and eight, section seven, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code and civil and criminal domestic violence protective order proceedings as provided in this article. The judicial officer chosen for any pilot domestic violence court may be a current or senior status circuit judge, family court judge, temporary family court judge or magistrate. The Supreme Court of Appeals is requested to maintain statistical data to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of any pilot domestic violence court established by the provisions of this section. The program shall terminate December 31, 2016, and the Supreme Court is requested to provide a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates regarding the program’s efficacy prior to the regular sessions of the Legislature in 2015 and 2016.

    (c) The assigned judicial officer, in this pilot domestic violence court, does not have jurisdiction to preside over any felony crimes.

CHAPTER 51. COURTS AND THEIR OFFICERS.

ARTICLE 2A. FAMILY COURTS.

§51-2A-2. Family court jurisdiction; exceptions; limitations.

    (a) The family court shall exercise jurisdiction over the following matters:

    (1) All actions for divorce, annulment or separate maintenance brought under the provisions of article three, four or five, chapter forty-eight of this code except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section;

    (2) All actions to obtain orders of child support brought under the provisions of articles eleven, twelve and fourteen, chapter forty-eight of this code;

    (3) All actions to establish paternity brought under the provisions of article twenty-four, chapter forty-eight of this code and any dependent claims related to such actions regarding child support, parenting plans or other allocation of custodial responsibility or decision-making responsibility for a child;

    (4) All actions for grandparent visitation brought under the provisions of article ten, chapter forty-eight of this code;

    (5) All actions for the interstate enforcement of family support brought under article sixteen, chapter forty-eight of this code and for the interstate enforcement of child custody brought under the provisions of article twenty of said chapter;

    (6) All actions for the establishment of a parenting plan or other allocation of custodial responsibility or decision-making responsibility for a child, including actions brought under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, as provided in article twenty, chapter forty-eight of this code;

    (7) All petitions for writs of habeas corpus wherein the issue contested is custodial responsibility for a child;

    (8) All motions for temporary relief affecting parenting plans or other allocation of custodial responsibility or decision-making responsibility for a child, child support, spousal support or domestic violence;

    (9) All motions for modification of an order providing for a parenting plan or other allocation of custodial responsibility or decision-making responsibility for a child or for child support or spousal support;

    (10) All actions brought, including civil contempt proceedings, to enforce an order of spousal or child support or to enforce an order for a parenting plan or other allocation of custodial responsibility or decision-making responsibility for a child;

    (11) All actions brought by an obligor to contest the enforcement of an order of support through the withholding from income of amounts payable as support or to contest an affidavit of accrued support, filed with the circuit clerk, which seeks to collect an arrearage;

    (12) All final hearings in domestic violence proceedings;

    (13) Petitions for a change of name, exercising concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit court;

    (14) All proceedings for payment of attorney fees if the family court judge has jurisdiction of the underlying action;

    (15) All proceedings for property distribution brought under article seven, chapter forty-eight of this code;

    (16) All proceedings to obtain spousal support brought under article eight, chapter forty-eight of this code;

    (17) All proceedings relating to the appointment of guardians or curators of minor children brought pursuant to sections three, four and six, article ten, chapter forty-four of this code, exercising concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit court; and

    (18) All proceedings relating to petitions for sibling visitation.

    (b) If an action for divorce, annulment or separate maintenance does not require the establishment of a parenting plan or other allocation of custodial responsibility or decision-making responsibility for a child and does not require an award or any payment of child support, the circuit court has concurrent jurisdiction with the family court over the action if, at the time of the filing of the action, the parties also file a written property settlement agreement executed by both parties.

    (c) If an action for divorce, annulment or separate maintenance is pending and a petition is filed pursuant to the provisions of article six, chapter forty-nine of this code alleging abuse or neglect of a child by either of the parties to the divorce, annulment or separate maintenance action, the orders of the circuit court in which the abuse or neglect petition is filed shall supercede and take precedence over an order of the family court respecting the allocation of custodial and decision-making responsibility for the child between the parents. If no order for the allocation of custodial and decision-making responsibility for the child between the parents has been entered by the family court in the pending action for divorce, annulment or separate maintenance, the family court shall stay any further proceedings concerning the allocation of custodial and decision-making responsibility for the child between the parents and defer to the orders of the circuit court in the abuse or neglect proceedings.

    (d) If a family court judge is assigned as a judicial officer of a pilot domestic violence court then jurisdiction of all proceedings relating to criminal misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence as referenced in section three hundred one of this article involving a family or household member as referenced in subdivisions one through six and paragraphs (A), (B), and (H), subdivision seven, section two hundred four, article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code shall be concurrent with the circuit and magistrate courts.

    (e) A family court is a court of limited jurisdiction. A family court is a court of record only for the purpose of exercising jurisdiction in the matters for which the jurisdiction of the family court is specifically authorized in this section and in chapter forty-eight of this code. A family court may not exercise the powers given courts of record in section one, article five, chapter fifty-one of this code or exercise any other powers provided for courts of record in this code unless specifically authorized by the Legislature. A family court judge is not a “judge of any court of record” or a “judge of a court of record” as the terms are defined and used in article nine of this chapter.

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