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West Virginia Court Records

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Contract Disputes and Property Disputes in West Virginia

Contract and property disputes occur as a result of disagreements between contracts or property between parties. While contract disputes involve disagreements about contracts of any kind, property disputes involve disagreements about a property or real estate. Contract and property disputes are civil legal cases. The amount involved in a case determines the court that hears the case. For example, In West Virginia, the small claims court hears cases of contract or property disputes that involve $10,000 or less while the Circuit Court hears cases of disputes that $7,500 or more. The court allows jury trials for small claims and other civil cases.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are Contract Disputes in West Virginia?

Contracts are binding agreements between parties, enforceable if the contract includes offer and acceptance, consideration, capacity, and legality—West Virginia state laws highlight contract enforceability requirements.

In West Virginia, contracts may be written, implied, or verbal. Written contracts are easy to enforce, as there is less chance of misunderstanding contract terms. West Virginia laws (WV Code § 55–1–1) require some agreements to be made in writing; these agreements would otherwise not be enforceable. Examples of such agreements are:

  • Real estate sale agreements
  • Lease agreements for one year or more
  • Agreements made in consideration of marriage
  • An agreement to pay another party’s debt
  • Sales agreement that involves $500 or more

Contract disputes arise as a result of disagreements about a contract. The disagreement could result from a breach of contract, contract terms, or lack of consideration. In West Virginia, contracting parties may file a civil action for contract disputes in Magistrate or Circuit courts, depending on the amount involved.

What are the Most Common Contract Disputes in West Virginia

Here are some common contract disputes in West Virginia:

  • Offer and acceptance disputes: For a contract to be valid, a party must make an offer, and another party must accept the offer. If contracting parties do not agree about the offer, disputes may occur.
  • Contract breach: if a contracting party fails to fulfill the party’s responsibility as listed in the contract terms, it is a breach of contract.
  • Employment contracts disputes: these may include employee termination disputes, non-compete agreement disputes, and employment contract disputes
  • Partnership disputes: when business partners do not agree on what constitutes the business’ best interest, disputes occur.
  • Errors: Dispute may arise as a result of errors in a contract

What is West Virginia Contract Law?

West Virginia contract laws provide contract guidelines for citizens to follow. The guideline includes contract definition and information about the enforceability and validity of a contract. For some contracts to be legally enforceable, West Virginia laws require contract parties to make the agreement in writing. West Virginia contract laws also highlight remedies for contract breach claims and disputes.

What is a Breach of Contract in West Virginia?

When a party fails or refuses to fulfill the party’s responsibilities as listed in the contract, the party is in breach of the contract. When there is a breach of contract, the non-breaching party may file a claim against the breaching party. The court typically awards damages for contract breach claims, depending on the type of breach. A major contract breach, otherwise known as a material breach of contract, defeats the contract’s purpose as such breaches are fundamental to the contract’s fulfillment. A minor or immaterial contract breach does not affect the fulfillment of the contract. Both contract parties must fulfill the contract requirements; however, the non-breaching party may file a breach of contract claim against the breaching party.

What are the Remedies for a Breach of Contract in West Virginia?

A remedy is the court’s compensation awarded to the non-breaching party in a breach of contract claim case. The court awards the remedy as compensation for damages or losses incurred as a result of the breach. The type of remedy that the court awards is dependent on the type of contract breach at play. However, the following are remedies that the court awards for breach of contract claims.

  • Cancellation
  • Restitution
  • Specific performance
  • Compensatory damages
  • Rescission

Non-breaching contract parties may file a claim with the court by filing a civil complaint at the Magistrate Court if the amount involved is less than $10,000. If the amount involved is more than $10,000, the non-breaching party must file the complaint with the District Court. The court may require the plaintiff to pay filing and court fees. After the plaintiff files the complaint, the plaintiff must ensure that the defendant, who is the breaching party, receives the court summons. The defendant must respond to court summons within 20 days of receipt.

Contract parties may choose to settle claims through mediation or other dispute-resolution processes. However, if the parties cannot agree, the case then goes to trial.

What Defenses Can Be Used Against a Breach of Contract Claim in West Virginia?

A defendant can counter a breach of contract claim by making a counter-claim or establishing legal defenses against the claim. Here are some defenses against breach of contract claims:

  • Impracticability: in the course of contract fulfillment, if it becomes impractical to continue fulfilling the contract terms, it is a defense against a breach of contract claim.
  • Capacity: in West Virginia, contracting parties must be legal adults; that is, the contracting parties must have reached the age of majority, which in West Virginia is 18. Contracting parties must also be mentally and otherwise capable of entering a contract.
  • Legality: Contracts must be legal to be enforceable
  • Fraud: If a party obtains the contract using fraud or coercion, the contract will not be enforceable.

What are Property Disputes in West Virginia?

Property disputes sometimes determine the value of a property. Property disputes arise from disagreements about a property or real estate. West Virginia’s Estates and Property Laws provide a guideline for property ownership, real estate contracts, dispute resolution, property sale or lease, and other matters that pertain to estates and property.

What Are Some Common Types of Property Disputes in West Virginia?

Common types of property disputes in West Virginia include:

  • Ownership disputes
  • Wrongful possession:
  • Landlord-tenant disputes
  • Lease or sale contract disputes
  • Property code violation
  • Commercial lease disputes
  • Boundary line or fence disputes

How to Find Property Lines

Property lines are boundary markers. Property lines indicate where one property ends, and the other begins. Typically, property deeds or survey documents contain boundary markers. However, in some cases, the indicated boundaries have moved, or the boundaries are outdated. To find up-to-date property lines, interested parties may use the West Virginia Property Search. The website allows users to search for a property using criteria such as geometry, parcel attributes, or addresses.

How do I Find a Property Dispute Lawyer Near me?

Property dispute lawyers work to protect client interests in property dispute cases. Interested parties may find property dispute lawyers through the West Virginia state bar and other legal aid organizations in the state.

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