Courts Expanding Safety, Access Project To Ohio County


A new program launched by West Virginia’s Supreme Court that uses technology to promote safety and access in cases involving sexual assault and domestic violence is expanding to Ohio County, officials said.

The new system allows victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to file petitions for protective orders without going to a courthouse. Officials plan to test it Wednesday in Judge Heather Wood’s courtroom in Wheeling, a statement from the Supreme Court said. The system is expected to be operational in Ohio County beginning on Oct. 4.

Ohio County is the second community to pilot the program, which was introduced last month in Cabell County as a way to address safety concerns. The only option before the program was for victims to appear in person at the courthouse.

“This new system will provide an option to victims to help keep them safe from the people they allege assaulted them. We also are ensuring every person’s constitutional rights are protected,” Chief Justice Evan Jenkins said.