West Virginia Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

The West Virginia Supreme Court has ordered that a Putnam County magistrate candidate be removed from the ballot based on his prior misdemeanor convictions.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the court ruled Tuesday that Troy Sexton is ineligible to serve as a magistrate for the county.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

West Virginia's Supreme Court justices will hear cases next month at West Virginia University's College of Law.

Justices are scheduled to hear arguments in four cases on March 1 in the law school's Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom.

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Former West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Larry V. Starcher has established a fund to support adjunct faculty salaries at the West Virginia University College of Law.

Starcher has been a lecturer at the law school since 2009, teaching trial advocacy and pre-trial litigation. He has served as an adjunct faculty member in the college's trial advocacy program since 1991.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will appoint a Democrat to a swing Senate seat this weekend unless the state Supreme Court rules otherwise.

The Democratic governor's court filing Friday says he'll appoint a Democrat Saturday afternoon. Republicans have a 17-16 Senate majority.

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

Menis Ketchum will serve as the chief justice on West Virginia's highest court in 2016.

The West Virginia Supreme Court announced Ketchum's selection on Monday in a news release. The position of chief justice is determined annually by a vote of the court.

Ketchum previously served as chief justice in 2012. He was elected to a 12-year term on the court in 2008.


Steward Butler

The West Virginia Supreme Court is being asked if a former Marshall University football player can be charged with violating the civil rights of two gay men he is accused of assaulting after he saw them kissing on a city street.


A former state schools superintendent has asked the West Virginia Supreme Court to reconsider its unanimous decision to dismiss her lawsuit against the State Board of Education over its decision to fire her.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

Former Democratic state legislator Bill Wooton of Raleigh County says he's running for the West Virginia Supreme Court.

Incumbent Justice Brent Benjamin and Beth Walker also are running for the seat in next year's election. Judicial elections in the state are now nonpartisan, but Benjamin and Walker have both run as Republicans in the past.

Kanawha County
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A Charleston divorce attorney whose license was once suspended is running for one of Kanawha County's five Family Court judge seats.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that 64-year-old James Wilson Douglas said he plans to run for the seat held by Judge Sharon Mullens.

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The West Virginia Supreme Court says a Middlebourne man’s lawsuit against a deputy sheriff and a state trooper can go forward.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the justices agreed with Tyler County Circuit Judge David Hummel, who refused to throw out Thomas C. Wagner’s complaint against Trooper Shaun Curran and Deputy Sheriff Joshua Maston.


The West Virignia Supreme Court has ruled that a former state schools superintendent cannot sue the state Board of Education over its decision to fire her.

The court ruled Tuesday in the board's appeal of a circuit judge's denial of its request to dismiss Jorea Marple's lawsuit.

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The Cabell County Drug Court is adding a new program to help prostitutes who are addicted to drugs.

The West Virginia Supreme Court says in a news release that the Women's Empowerment and Addiction Recovery Program, or WEAR, will serve up to 20 participants annually.

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A West Virginia man who spent nearly eight years waiting for an appeal after being convicted of attempted murder has been set free.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that 27-year-old Brashan M. Beverly was released Sept. 18.

West Virginia Lottery

After initially defending a decision to award a more than seven and a half million dollar West Virginia Lottery building renovation project to a contractor that didn't submit the lowest bid, state officials now say they made serious errors.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that a lawyer for the Lottery Commission recently told the West Virginia Supreme Court the documents state officials had released for the construction companies were flawed and had been confusing.


The West Virginia Supreme Court has overturned a decision ordering the destruction of a pit bull that bit a child.

The court says the Wayne County Circuit Court erroneously adopted a presumption that pit bull breeds are vicious, dangerous or a public health hazard.

Woodburn Hall
West Virginia University

The West Virginia Supreme Court has ruled documents by a former university researcher studying the effects of coal mining on public health don't have to be made public after a coal company sued to have them disclosed.

The Charleston Gazette reports Alpha Natural Resources sued to try forcing West Virginia University to release thousands of documents by former professor Michael Hendryx related to academic journal articles he published.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

The West Virginia Supreme Court says a circuit judge wrongly dismissed more than 50 criminal counts against a former Shepherd University administrator.

The court says in a Wednesday opinion that former Shepherd dean of student affairs Elizabeth A. Shanton can be prosecuted on the charges because they don't violate double jeopardy principles.

Anyone filing a civil or domestic court cases in Marion County will have to do so electronically.

The Circuit Clerk's Office implemented full e-filing of these cases on Dec. 1. The initiative is part of the West Virginia Supreme Court's pilot electronic filing project.

West Virginia Judiciary / www.courtswv.gov

The West Virginia Supreme Court has chosen Justice Margaret Workman to serve as chief justice in 2015.


A legal battle over the firing of West Virginia's school superintendent is heading to the state's highest court.

A Kanawha County circuit judge last month refused to dismiss former superintendent Jorea Marple's lawsuit. The Charleston Gazette reports that the West Virginia Board of Education is appealing that ruling to the state Supreme Court.

Judge Spaulding Remembered

Dec 11, 2014
Judge O. C. Spaulding
West Virginia Supreme Court / flickr

Former Putnam County Circuit judge O.C. Spaulding is being remembered by the state’s judiciary today as hard-working, well-respected and a good friend

Spaulding died yesterday at his home.  The state police say he killed himself.  He was suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease, also known as ALS.

Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office will argue in front of the West Virginia Supreme Court for the ability to assist county prosecutors who request help with criminal cases.

A hearing is set for Sept. 30.

In a June petition, Morrisey asked the court to prohibit enforcement of a legal opinion by two state entities saying his office's lawyers can't serve as assistant prosecutors.

The Inter-Mountain

A special counsel is recommending that a Randolph County judge be suspended without pay for four years.

Rachael Fletcher Cipoletti also recommends that Circuit Judge Jaymie Wilfong be censured.

Marcus Constantino (@AMTino) / Charleston Daily Mail

A three-judge panel will hear a petition seeking Kanawha County prosecutor Mark Plants' removal from office.

The Kanawha County Commission filed the petition on Friday in circuit court. The petition says Plants isn't performing the duties of his office.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A state actuary says expanding military service credits for public employees' pension benefits will cost more than $197 million.

A report by Consolidated Public Retirement Board actuary Harry Mandel projects that active Public Employees Retirement System participants will be eligible for $113.9 million in increased pension payments. Retirees will be entitled to about $43.6 million in increased payments.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

  The West Virginia Supreme Court has reduced a $91 million verdict to about $37 million against a Charleston nursing home in a former resident's death.

In a 76-page opinion Wednesday, justices ruled to limit damages against Heartland of Charleston.

A Kanawha County jury had found the nursing home failed to feed and care for Dorothy Douglas. The 87-year-old died 18 days after about a three-week stay in 2009.

Patrick Morrisey, W. Va. Attorney General
Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is asking the West Virginia Supreme Court if his office can help county prosecutors with their criminal cases.

In a petition Monday, Morrisey asked the court to prohibit enforcement of a legal opinion by two state entities stating his office's lawyers can't serve as assistant prosecutors.

The state Office of Disciplinary Counsel and Lawyer Disciplinary Board, both respondents in the petition, have said the attorney general has no statutory or constitutional authority to assist county prosecutors in criminal cases.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Recently, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has been touting the successes of last year’s Justice Reinvestment Act in reducing prison and jail populations, as well as reducing the recidivism rate for prior offenders. While those initiatives have proved successful for adults, problems remain in the juvenile justice system.

On Wednesday, Tomblin and other state officials announced a partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts in hopes to better understand some of those issues and make improvements.

“Between 1997 and 2011, West Virginia experienced the largest increase in youths confined to juvenile facilities of any state in the country and was one of only four states in the United States to increase commitment rates even as other states were able to reduce both juvenile crime and commitments,” Tomblin said of the issues faced by the state’s juvenile justice system.

  A retired Social Security administrative law judge accused of participating in a scheme to improperly award disability benefits has voluntarily agreed to have his law license annulled.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the state Supreme Court recently accepted David B. Daugherty's annulment petition.

A state Lawyer Disciplinary Board panel alleges Daugherty approved claims that didn't meet government guidelines and falsified time sheets.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia


The West Virginia Supreme Court is reconsidering its ruling over a lawsuit alleging a male correctional officer repeatedly raped a female inmate.