Intermediate Courts Bill Passes Senate Finance, Heads To Floor
A bill that would create another layer for West Virginia’s judicial system in civil cases is now headed to the Senate floor for consideration.
Senate Bill 275 cleared the upper chamber’s Finance Committee Tuesday.
The proposal would create an intermediate court of appeals, giving civil litigants an opportunity to appeal circuit court decisions before being able to appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Criminal, juvenile, child abuse and neglect decisions would not be taken up by an intermediate court.
Two three-judge panels would be created — with the state being split into a northern and southern district.
The court would begin operations July 1, 2021, with initial appointments made by the governor. Elections for those seats would take place in May 2022.
The measure is opposed by Democrats who say the court is unnecessary and would add costs to the state budget when revenues are tight.
Republicans say an intermediate court system could help the state’s business climate.