Magistrate Court

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The study came as a companion to a bill approved during the 2013 legislative session. That bill gave pay raises to some magistrates in smaller counties.

Conducted by the National Center on State Courts, the results of the study were presented during January interim meetings, just a day before the legislative session began.

The NCSC presented three options to reduce the overall number of magistrates, keeping the current county based system, aligning it with the circuit courts, or aligning with the regional jail system.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lawmakers were presented the final recommendations Tuesday from a national group that’s been studying the state’s magistrate court system for years.

The National Center for State Courts began the study in 2013 after lawmakers approved a pay increase for a small group of magistrates across the state. The study is focused on realigning the system so the number of magistrates in each county is based on the time spent on cases instead of the county’s population.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lawmakers heard a report this week on the state’s magistrate’s system from a national group.  In Huntington the Wild Ramp food market is moving to a new larger location. Also, Robert Cray performs "You Move Me" on this Mountain Stage song of the week.

West Virginia Legislature

In between debating special session bills this week, lawmakers managed to have a few of their regularly scheduled interim meetings. During one of those meetings, legislators were updated by a national group on a study of the state's magistrate system.

The study of the state’s magistrate system started following the 2013 legislative session during which lawmakers faced some debate over magistrate pay.