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West Virginia Court Records

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What Are West Virginia Specialty Courts?

West Virginia Specialty Courts are problem-solving courts created to provide non-punitive solutions to certain types of cases. In the West Virginia court system, these problem-solving courts are known as Treatment Courts.

West Virginia Treatment Courts are specially designed court programs created to reduce substance abuse and recidivism amongst offenders; to achieve this, Treatment Court programs utilize the following key components:

  • The integration of alcohol and drug treatment services with justice system case processing
  • A non-adversarial approach to promoting public safety and also protect the participant’s due process rights
  • Early identification and prompt placement of eligible participants in an appropriate treatment program
  • Providing access to a continuum of drug, alcohol, and other related treatment and rehabilitation services
  • Incorporating phased recovery support for participants through step-down services
  • Abstinence monitory through frequent and mandatory random alcohol and drug testing
  • Coordinated and strategic governing of the treatment programs’ responses to participants’ compliance. This includes the use of appropriate incentives and sanctions to alter the participants’ behavior.
  • Ongoing judicial interaction with each participant. This includes close judicial supervision, involvement, and status hearings.
  • Regular monitoring and evaluation to measure the achievement of program goals by each participant and to gauge the effectiveness of the program.
  • Continuous interdisciplinary education to promote effective planning, implementation, and operation of the treatment courts and treatment court programs
  • Partnerships between public agencies and community-based organizations to generate local support

There are several types of West Virginia Treatment Courts. Some of these courts include:

  • Adult Drug Courts
  • Juvenile Drug Courts (Participants are usually non-violent juvenile offenders that exhibit alcohol or substance abuse behavior)
  • Family Treatment Courts (Participants typically include individuals that have a substance use disorder and have been adjudicated to be abusive as well as neglectful parents that have been granted a post-adjudicatory improvement period)

Participation in a drug court program may occur either pre-adjudication or post-adjudication. Individuals that participate in treatment court programs are under the supervision of a judicial officer. Judges and prosecutors choose these participants, who are required to undergo continuous treatment and periodic mandatory drug testing. This court also provides incentives, and appropriate sanctions where necessary, to achieve its aim of rehabilitating participants.

Note that registered sex offenders, and individuals with a prior conviction for a felony crime involving violence are ineligible for participation in a treatment court program.

In addition to the Treatment Courts, the West Virginia court system also has specialized courts that handle certain litigation matters. These Courts are the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel and the West Virginia Business Court Division.

The West Virginia Mass Litigation Panels is a specialty court designed for the efficient management and resolution of mass litigations. In the state of West Virginia, mass litigations refer to cases where at least one circuit court has pending civil actions that involve common questions of law or fact that fall under certain situations. Some of these situations include:

  • Mass accidents or single catastrophic events where several people are injured
  • Personal injury mass torts that implicate a large number of claimants in connection with widely available or mass-marketed products
  • Property damage mass torts that implicate a large number of claimants in connection with claims for the replacement or repair of allegedly defective products
  • Cases involving harm or injury allegedly caused to a large number of claimants by multiple defendants as a result of alleged property damage causes of action.

When any of these situations occur, the cases are usually referred to as the Mass Litigation Panel. The panel consists of seven circuit court judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the state’s Supreme Court of Appeals. These judges may serve successive terms of three years.

West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel judges have some duties, which include:

  • Developing and implementing management and trial methodologies that lead to the speedy resolution of cases brought before them
  • Developing and implementing plans for the organization, management, transfer, and storage of Mass Litigation court files to the appropriate Circuit Court.
  • Recommending rules to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals that are necessary for the conduction of panel business

The Mass Litigation Panel may be contacted at:

1900 Kanawha Blvd., East

Building 1, Room E–100

Charleston, WV 25305

Phone: (304) 340–3991

Like the state’s Mass Litigation Panel, the Business Court Division is a specialized division of the state’s Circuit Courts created to efficiently manage and resolve litigations involving commercial issues and disputes between businesses.

The Business Court Division comprises seven active or senior status circuit court judges appointed by the Supreme Court of Appeals for seven years. The Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals also designates a member of the division to act as the presiding judge and oversee the activities of the Business Court Division. Every three years, a presiding judge is appointed, and the judge reports directly to the Supreme Court of Appeals. Appointed judges, including the presiding judge, may serve successive terms.

Parties that are interested in accessing Business Court Division cases can search for them online. To perform these online searches, requestors will have to provide the case number and case title of the required case.

The Business Court Division can also be contacted at:

Berkeley County Judicial Center

Business Court Division

Suite 2100

380 W. South Street

Martinsburg, WV 25401

Queries can be directed to (304) 267–3730 or (304) 264–1992.

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