West Virginia Case Law

The West Virginia state court system is divided into two levels. The only appellate court in West Virginia is the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, which consists of five judges. The Supreme Court of Appeals reviews appeals of decisions by trial courts. It has the discretion to decide whether to review an appeal. Decisions by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals are final unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review an appeal of a decision.

The lower level of the West Virginia state court system consists of the West Virginia Circuit Courts, the West Virginia Family Courts, the West Virginia Magistrate Courts, and the West Virginia Municipal Courts. The Circuit Courts are trial courts with general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases. These courts also review appeals of decisions by Family Courts, Magistrate Courts, and Municipal Courts. The Family Courts review cases related to domestic relations, such as divorce, child custody, and domestic violence. The Magistrate Courts review cases that involve misdemeanors and civil matters with less than $10,000 at issue. They also issue warrants and protective orders, and they handle preliminary examinations in felony cases. The Municipal Courts review cases involving violations of municipal ordinances.