Editorial Summary: West Virginia

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Bluefield Daily Telegraph. July 12, 2022.

Editorial: Intermediate Court: Finally In Session For W.Va.

The long-planned and hotly debated West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals is finally in session, providing an avenue to deal with civil cases that may or may not otherwise be heard by the State Supreme Court of Appeals. State.

Signed into law on April 9, 2021, the new intermediate court includes a three-judge panel that hears appeals from lower courts before they are taken to the state Supreme Court of Appeals.

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In the past, many frivolous lawsuits brought at the local level were automatically appealed to the state Supreme Court, overburdening the role of the High Court in the process and contributing to the perception that the Mountain State harbored a hostile business climate.

Now, the new Intermediate Court of Appeal will be able to serve as a filtering tool for these frivolous lawsuits before they reach the high court. Cases will either be accepted or rejected on their legal basis at the intermediate court level. This gives the West Virginia Supreme Court more leeway in which cases will be heard while helping to lighten its caseload.

Judge Daniel W. Greear, who is one of the judges appointed by Governor Jim Justice to the new intermediate court, said 41 other states already have an intermediate court, so West Virginia has fallen behind in this. direction.

“It provides an additional layer of appellate review,” Greear said. “We were in the minority for not having that.”

According to Greear, the intermediate court will not hear appeals from criminal cases from local circuit courts and will instead focus on four areas: civil cases from appeals from local circuit courts; family courts (except for appeals of domestic violence and child abuse and neglect criminal proceedings, which will always go to the circuit court); appeals from state agencies or administrative law judges; and workers’ compensation appeals.

The three-judge panel also includes Justices Thomas E. Scarr and Charles Lorensen. The three judges were sworn in on May 1. The tribunal became operational at the end of June.

Greear estimates the new court will likely hear between 800 and 1,000 cases a year.

While it has taken far too long for West Virginia to catch up with the majority of other states in terms of its intermediate court system, the long-awaited appeals court is finally in session.

There are many advantages to having an intermediate court.

This will ensure a right of appeal and add stability to the legal system, while allowing the West Virginia Supreme Court to focus on the most important legal issues facing the state. In addition, it will make the court system more efficient and more business-friendly in the way it handles civil and workers’ compensation cases.

This is another significant victory for West Virginia.

The newspaper. July 8, 2022.

Editorial: Loitering Costs Us Emergency Funds

Governor Jim Justice announced this week that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied the state’s request for emergency funding after spring flooding in Cabell, Putnam and Roane counties. It’s a shame, but FEMA can hardly be blamed, given the way we’ve handled emergency flood funding for the past few years.

In this case, FEMA would have declared that the floods in May had not reached the level justifying federal assistance. Certainly, residents of affected counties might disagree. And of course, the state has 30 days to appeal the decision.

“We’re going to push as hard as we can, but it’s a bummer to tell you the truth,” Justice said.

A disappointment, perhaps, but not a surprise.

In this case, federal policymakers already know that West Virginia has nicked them a bit when it comes to disaster funding. In the same month the last flood hit, the Mountain State was – yet again – called a “slow spender” by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Such designation occurs when a state has spent less than 10% of the monthly rate required to fully utilize the grant by the target grant closeout.

In other words, the federal government knows that we tend to hang around and get creative with taxpayers’ money.

It bites us now. Perhaps those arguing in an appeal will find ways to prove that we have seen the error of our ways and that the mistakes of the past should not harm those now trying to rebuild in Cabell, Putnam and Roan.

But we should not hold our breath. It seems that the people who distribute federal money are attacking us.

Parkersburg News and Sentinel. July 12, 2022.

Editorial: Troopers: A New Class Answers the Call for West Virginia

When many of us wonder if we could take on—or are willing to take on—the responsibilities of a West Virginia State Trooper, the answer is an emphatic “no.” It takes a special individual to be ready to do whatever is necessary and deal with anything that might be encountered, while serving and protecting the people of the Mountain State. Few wait in line to try.

But last week, 26 men and women graduated from the 70th West Virginia State Police Cadet Class.

“They’re a good group of men and women,” 1st Sgt. JC “Jay” Powers, director of professional development, said, according to WV MetroNews.

Since January 17, these soldiers have been in the classroom and in the field, completing 800 hours of training. They did the work, now it’s time to do the work. As WVSP Superintendent Col. Jan Cahill told the class at the graduation ceremony, “You can make a difference in people’s lives and you can make a difference in the communities you serve.”

They can and will, but MetroNews reported that Powers hopes there will be a larger class next year, although he knows that will be a challenge.

“In this climate of everything that is happening in the country, it is difficult to recruit police forces. So as West Virginia State Police, we are excited to get these men and women out,” Powers said.

It’s not for everyone, and there are always so many reasons to give up on such a career. But for those who feel called, it means the need is greater than ever.

Congratulations to this year’s graduating class. Now is the time for next year’s class to start wondering if they have what it takes.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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