Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Decisions

The highest court in West Virginia is known as the Supreme Court of Appeals. West Virginia does not have a lower appellate court, so the Supreme Court must review decisions in trial courts directly. It holds the authority to interpret the West Virginia Constitution and settle matters of state law. The Court holds original jurisdiction over writs of mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus, and certiorari.

Five justices sit on the Supreme Court, each of them serving a 12-year term. A candidate for this position must have practiced law for at least 10 years. West Virginia uses a system of non-partisan elections to choose justices. This means that voters elect a justice without being informed of their political affiliation on the ballot. If a vacancy arises, the Governor of West Virginia has the authority to appoint an interim justice. If they seek to retain their seat, that justice must run in the next general election after their appointment. The justices of the Supreme Court elect the Chief Justice to serve a four-year term. After a justice retires, they may seek senior status, which allows them to receive a temporary assignment as a justice. In the event that a justice cannot perform their duties, the Chief Justice may assign a circuit court judge as a substitute.

Controversy clouded the Supreme Court in 2018, when Governor Jim Justice started impeachment proceedings based on the alleged misuse of state funds by the justices. The charges against them related to renovations of the courthouse office, their use of state vehicles, and payments made to senior judges. However, none of the justices ultimately was impeached. One justice was censured, and three other justices resigned. An additional justice faced the threat of an impeachment trial, but this never occurred.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
State of West Virginia v. Anthony Adkins (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0864
State of West Virginia v. Kenneth McCoy, Jr. (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0894
State of West Virginia v. Charles C. (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1157
In re Adoption of E.U., L.U.-1 and L.U.-2 (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0039
Antwyn Gibbs v. Donnie Ames (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0478
In re The Children of S.U. v. C.J. (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Numbers: 20-0515, 20-0516, 20-0612, 20-0710
In re P.W. (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0827
Arthur Deras v. Prime Capitol Properties (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0946
Jay Folse v. Suzanne Elliott, et al. (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1012
In re K.L. and D.L., Jr. (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1034
In re L.T., P.S. and K.W. (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 21-0059
Charles Jacobs v. Shawn Straughn (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 21-0073
In re J.M.-1 and Z.H. (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 21-0132
In re J.S.-1 and J.S.-2 (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 21-0134
In re B.F. and D.F., III (Memorandum Decision)
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 21-0187
The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.