What Type of Cases Will the New West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals Hear?
The newly created West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals is set to launch on July 1, 2022. It was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 2021 to help relieve some of the caseload the Supreme Court of Appeals was facing. It will be based in Charleston, West Virginia but will also operate out of five satellite locations (exact locations to be determined) throughout the state. The newly appointed three judge panel that comprises the Intermediate Court will hear:
- Civil case appeals from the 31 circuit courts and 75 circuit court judges;
- Appeals concerning guardianship or conservatorship from the circuit courts;
- Appeals from family court, except domestic violence proceedings;
- Appeals from administrative law judges or state agencies; and
- Workers’ compensation decisions and orders issued by the Workers’ Compensation Office of Judges after June 30, 2022, until its termination, and from orders and decisions of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Review after June 30, 2022.
The Intermediate Court will not hear appeals of judgements or final orders from any criminal, juvenile, child abuse and neglect, or domestic violence proceedings. It does not have jurisdiction to hear: orders of commitment, proceedings of the Lawyer Disciplinary Board or Judicial Investigation Commission, final decisions of the Public Service Commission, interlocutory appeals, or certified questions of law as well. A party can file a motion seeking to have its appeal sent for direct review to the Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court, at its discretion, may grant such a motion for direct review if both of the following extraordinary circumstances exists: (1) the appeal involves a question of fundamental public importance; and (2) the appeal involved exigencies, in which time is of the essence, necessitating direct review of the appeal by the Supreme Court of Appeals.
The Intermediate Court is required to issue a written decision in any properly filed appeal that falls within its jurisdiction. Those written decisions are binding precedent for all circuit courts, family courts, magistrate courts, and agencies in West Virginia unless it is overruled or modified by the Supreme Court of Appeals.
Time will tell what sort of impact the Intermediate Court has upon West Virginia, its litigants, and law. The newly created West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals is set to launch on July 1, 2022. Matt Schrebe explains.