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Senate Bill Would Add Four Circuit Judges to W.Va. System

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Janet Kunicki
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senators approved a bill Monday that, if fully approved by the legislature, will add four judges to the state’s circuit court system. 

Senate Bill 415 comes as a result of a study by the National Center for State Courts.

The study shows West Virginia’s circuit court system is overloaded and recommends lawmakers add more circuit judges, but Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump said the number recommended was too financially cumbersome for the state.

“The recommendation from the National Center for State Courts was that we should add between 17 and 19 judges and we just found that impossible to do," he said.

"What we did was we picked four circuits that had the highest need, highest workloads per judge and added a judge in each of those.”

The bill adds four judges in circuits in North Central West Virginia, the Eastern Panhandle, Raleigh County and the circuit made up of Jackson, Calhoun, Mason and Roane Counties.

The bill passed the Senate without a nay vote.

If approved by the House, the four new judges will be elected in 2016.

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