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Judicial Reform States West Virginia

West Virginia Supreme Court

Leans Pro Government
Total Judgeships: 

5 (0 vacancies)

Political Makeup: 

3 Dems - 2 GOP

Location(s): 
Charleston
Caseload: 

1700

Recent Cases

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LISTEN NOWThe Freedom Files Podcast Episode 37: Shon HopwoodListen Here
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DUI Issued to Passenger

Mon, 07/21/2014

Dale v. Ciccone: Officer’s got a call reporting reckless and potential drunk driving with the description of Ciccone’s car. Officers found the car and pulled it over, based solely on the reported call, not on actions of the driver. When they approached the vehicle, the officers found the passenger of the car to be intoxicated but the driver to be sober and discovered through questioning that the passenger, Ciccone, had previously been driving and had just recently picked up his friend, who was now driving. Ciccone was convicted of a DUI and the DMV revoked his license. Ciccone appealed on the basis that police pulled over his car without probable cause.

Decision

The Supreme Court of West Virginia reversed the decision of the lower court by ruling in favor of the State and the DMV, upholding the license revocation. They held that both the actions of the police officer to pull over the vehicle and the officer’s action of issuing a DUI citation to Ciccone were justified. However, through this ruling they supported convicting an individual of a crime which the police never saw him commit and thus charged him with it after the fact, based on word of mouth.

Read the full decision here
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Can Grandparents Get Court Mandated Visitation?

Tue, 06/17/2014

Alyssha R. v. Nicholas H.: During divorce proceedings between the two parties, the Family Court of West Virginia awarded Grandparents Visitation Rights for every other Saturday to the parents of the husband. The mother appealed the decision on the grounds that grandparents cannot be mandated visitation of such a nature. The Circuit Court dismissed the mother’s appeal.

Decision

The Supreme Court of West Virginia reversed the decision of the lower court, ruling that the family court and trial court abused their power and overstepped their authority by awarding grandparent visitation in this manner. In addition, the Supreme Court ruled that the Circuit Court’s denial of the mother’s appeal was without grounds.

Read the full decision here
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Business Not Forced to Provide Retirement to Part-Time Employee

Wed, 06/11/2014

West Virginia Retirement Board v. Benny Jones: Jones was a part-time employee of Raleigh County Emergency Service Authority from 2002 to 2010, working under 1,040 hours per year. The Authority notified Jones that he is not eligible to be part of the Public Employees Retirement System because of his lack of making the 1,040 hour necessary cut off. The Circuit Court reversed the denial of benefits, overruling the Retirement Board’s decision.

Decision

The Supreme Court of West Virginia reversed the decision of the lower court, ruling in favor of the Retirement Board. The Court based its decision on the fact that Jones was informed of the hour requirement, that the Retirement System had set standards for a reason, and that since Jones decided to work for the Authority, without relying on the retirement Board for representation, the Board did not owe him a duty for the benefits.

Read the full decision here