Randy Yohe Published

W.Va. Supreme Court Suspends And Fines Circuit Court Judge

A brown gavel rests on a table while blurred books are shown in the background.Pixel-Shot/Adobe Stock

In July of 2021, Judge C. Carter Williams, of the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit, was involved in a traffic stop in the town of Moorefield. Court documents show Williams, stopped by a patrolman for having a cell phone in his hand while driving, “identified himself as a judge, contacted the officer’s supervisors, including the Chief of Police and the Mayor, and made coercive and retaliatory comments.”   

Initially, the West Virginia Judicial Hearing Board (JHB) concluded Williams’ conduct during the stop warranted a three-month suspension. 

This week, the West Virginia’s Supreme Court of Appeals, in a 56 page document, ruled that a six-month suspension, a censure and a $5,000 fine was more appropriate for Williams. This penalty was in line with a recommendation from the Judicial Disciplinary Counsel.

Chief Justice Beth Walker issued an opinion stating, “The failure (of Williams) to acknowledge the wrongful nature of his conduct is a significant factor to consider, and we conclude that it justifies a harsher sanction than that imposed by the JHB.”

The judicial brief cited earlier traffic stops where Williams also identified his position as a judge.