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West Virginia Court Records

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What Are The Differences Between Federal And West Virginia Crimes?

In the United States, crimes are generally classified as felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. However, those acts that violate federal laws are considered federal crimes, while offenses that violate state statutes are known as state crimes. Authorized to investigate federal crimes are the U.S. Marshals Service, The U.S Secret Service, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and other federal law enforcement agencies. The resources required to investigate federal crimes are generally beyond the state jurisdiction since most offenses are inter-state. Some of the crimes considered to be federal offenses are drug trafficking, weapon charges, email scams, hacking, white-collar offenses, bank robbery, counterfeiting, bankruptcy, identity theft, money laundering, animal cruelty, federal hate crimes, crimes involving any federal property, internet sex crimes, etc. West Virginia State Crimes are offenses that violate the State’s Criminal Code. When a crime happens within a state’s boundaries and legislative authority, it is considered as a state crime. West Virginia State crimes are investigated and prosecuted by West Virginia State Police. Some examples of state crimes in West Virginia are murder, kidnapping, manslaughter, theft, and assault.

How Does the West Virginia Court System Differ From the Federal Court System?

The West Virginia Court System is divided into four. These are the Supreme Court, the Circuit Courts, The Family Courts, and the Magistrate Courts. The highest court in West Virginia is the Supreme Court, and its judgment is final. There are federal courts in the northern and southern districts of West Virginia. The judges, known as district court judges, preside over cases concerning violations of The United States Laws, and suits that involve individuals from different states. Claims such as bank robbery, copyright, and any other breach of the U.S. laws are brought before federal judges. Note that appeals from the federal district court in West Virginia are sent to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals located in Virginia.

How Many Federal Courts Are There In West Virginia?

West Virginia has two federal district courts;

  • The United States Southern District Court of West Virginia
  • The United States Northern District Court of West Virginia

Two bankruptcy courts;

  • United States Bankruptcy Court (Southern District West Virginia)
  • United States Bankruptcy Court (Northern District West Virginia)

1. The West Virginia southern district federal court comprises four divisions in Bluefield, Charleston, Huntington, and Beckley.

West Virginia Southern District Court (Bluefield)

601 Federal Street, Room 1000,

Bluefield, WV 24701

Clerk’s office: (304) 327 9798

Counties: Mercer, McDowell, Monroe

West Virginia Southern District Court (Charleston)

Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse,

300 Virginia Street, East, Suite 2400

Charleston, WV 25301

Mail: P. O. Box 2546

Charleston, WV 25329

Clerk’s office: (304) 347 3000

Attorney Admissions: (304) 347 3051

Counties: Boone, Clay, Jackson, Fayette, Lincoln, Kanawha, Mingo, and Logan

West Virginia Southern District Court (Huntington)

Sidney L. Christie, Federal building

845 Fifth Avenue, Room 101

Huntington, WV 25701

Clerk’s office: (304) 529 5588

Counties: Cabell, Putnam, Wayne, and Mason

West Virginia Southern District Court (Beckley)

110 North Heber Street, Room 119

Beckley, WV 25801

Clerk’s office: (304) 253 7481

Counties: Greenbrier, Summers, Raleigh, Wyoming.

2. The West Virginia Northern district federal courts are located in four Counties, namely, Clarksburg, Elkins, Martinsburg, and Wheeling.

West Virginia Northern District Court (Clarksburg)

500 West Pike Street, Room 301,

P. O. Box 2857, Clarksburg, WV 26302

Phone: (304) 622 8513

Fax: (304) 623 4551

West Virginia Northern District Court (Elkins)

The Jennings Randolph Federal Center

P. O. Box 1518, 300 Third Street

Elkins, WV 26241

Phone: (304) 636 1445

Fax: (304) 636 5746

West Virginia Northern District Court (Martinsburg)

W. Craig Broadwater Federal Building and the United States Courthouse

217 W. King Street, Room 102

Martinsburg, WV 25401

Phone: (304) 267 8225

Fax: (304) 264 0434

West Virginia Northern District Court (Wheeling)

1125 Chapline Street, P. O. Box 471

Wheeling, WV 26003

Phone: (304) 232 0011

Fax: (304) 233 2185

3. The West Virginia Southern Bankruptcy Court has locations in Charleston, Beckley, Bluefield, Huntington, and Parkersburg.

United States Bankruptcy Court (Charleston)

Robert C. Byrd U.S Courthouse

300 Virginia Street East, Room 3200

Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: (304) 347 3003

United States Bankruptcy Court (Beckley)

Robert C. Byrd U.S Courthouse

110 North Heber Street, Room 271

Beckley, WV 25801

Phone: (304) 253 7402

United States Bankruptcy Court (Bluefield)

Elizabeth Kee Federal Building

601 Federal Street

Bluefield, WV 24701

United States Bankruptcy Court (Huntington)

Sidney L. Christie Federal Building

845 Fifth Avenue, Room 336

Huntington, WV 25701

Phone: (304) 525 0375

United States Bankruptcy Court (Parkersburg)

Council Chambers of City Hall

2nd Floor, Municipal Building, 1 Government Square,

Parkersburg, WV 26101

4. The West Virginia Northern Bankruptcy Court has locations in both Wheeling and Clarksburg.

United States Bankruptcy Court (Wheeling)

U.S. Bankruptcy Court

1125 Chapline Street

Wheeling, WV 26003

Phone: (304) 233 1655

United States Bankruptcy Court (Clarksburg)

U.S. Bankruptcy Court

324 West Main Street

Clarksburg, WV 26301

Phone: (304) 233 1655

Are Federal Cases Public Records?

Federal cases are considered public records in the United States. These records are reports documenting court proceedings, docket sheets, and all files concerned with federal cases. The federal public record law is not a blanket law. As such, not every federal case records is open to public scrutiny. A federal judge may restrict sensitive information violating personal privacy.

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.

How to Find Federal Court Records Online

Federal court records can be accessed online via Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). The web-based tool is a creation of the U.S. Federal Judiciary to enable easy access to court records and docket information. It offers federal court record checks to the general public via a national system. To gain access to the online system, interested individuals will need a PACER Login. PACER users have access to:

  • Names of all parties involved including participants, attorneys, judges, and trustees
  • Collated information related to the case (fines, the type of suit, and causes of action)
  • Court opinions
  • Daily listing of new trials
  • Docket
  • Claims registry
  • Status of the case and the final judgment
  • Photos of documents
  • Types of reports filed in cases

All West Virginia district court records are processed and updated locally; hence, some district courts may not possess the document which a requester seeks. It is therefore advisable for all interested parties to contact the court before requesting criminal records or even paying for it. Another method is for the requester to search for the case file by using the PACER Case Locator. All inquiries on how PACER should be utilized are accessible on the site’s FAQ page.

How to Find Federal Court Records in West Virginia?

Interested persons in West Virginia may get federal court records from the federal court clerk by visiting, calling, or mailing to the appropriate district office. Individuals should be aware that federal courts keep records of all tried cases within their jurisdiction. To request these records by phone, the requester should call the appropriate divisional office and provide the case name and case number. Each page of the federal record costs 50 cents. The Clerk’s office usually calculates the total amount for the file and then notifies the requester. The charges have to be fully paid before the record processing can begin. Also, to order federal court records by mail, the individual should send the letters to the proper district office. The details that will be required from the requester include:

  • Case name and number
  • Document number
  • The requester’s name
  • The requester’s phone number

If the interested party knows the total number of pages on the record, a check should be sent to cover the cost, if not, the court clerk will do the calculation and notify the requester.

Can Federal Crimes Be Dismissed In West Virginia?

According to Section 48 of the U.S. federal rules of criminal procedure, federal crimes can be dismissed in West Virginia. That could happen in any of the following situations:

  • If a defendant gets acquitted of a crime
  • If an error was made during the investigation
  • If the evidence against the defendant is not sufficient

For a case to be eligible for dismissal, it must have passed both trial and prosecution. A motion to dismiss a federal crime does not occur before arraignment, in any of the 50 U.S. states. However, individuals should be aware of the difference between a criminal case’s dismissal and the expungement. A case dismissal implies that there’s insufficient evidence and could be reopened if new evidence surfaces. On the other hand, expungement is a legal request for a court to destroy a criminal record.

How Do I Clear My Federal Criminal Record?

Criminal records can be sealed or expunged by a court ruling or federal law, restricting the general public’s access to the documents. The expungement of national criminal records may appear similar to sealing federal records; however, the two are different. Having a criminal history record may hinder an individual’s access to jobs, housing, civic engagements, etc. Usually, criminal records are restricted or sealed if the defendant isn’t found to be guilty. It seldom happens after conviction unless the judge deems it in the law’s best interest. An Attorney General may dismiss a criminal record if the conviction is unconstitutional or it is a result of government misconduct. For a federal ex-convict’s federal criminal record to get expunged or sealed in West Virginia, the individual should write to a federal judge’s office. Under the U.S. Federal First Offender Act, a convict (convicted of having a controlled substance) that hasn’t been convicted before, may get the conviction expunged if the individual is aged 20 or less. Other juvenile details can get sealed if successfully appealed following the U.S. Code § 5038.

  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!