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February 14 2022 12:00 am

West Virginia Gov. Justice names first judges for new intermediate court of appeals

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WBOY) – In its 2021 session, the West Virginia Legislature created an Intermediate Court of Appeals for the state.

Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice announced the three people he has appointed to serve the initial terms on the court:

  • Thomas Scarr, of Barboursville, was appointed to a two-and-a-half-year term, concluding on Dec. 31, 2024. Scarr is the current president-elect of West Virginia Bar.
  • Daniel Greear, general counsel for Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw, was appointed to the four-and-a-half-year term, which will conclude on Dec. 31, 2026.
  • Donald Nickerson, of Wheeling, was appointed to the six-and-a-half-year term, concluding on Dec. 31, 2028. Nickerson is an Ohio County commissioner and a municipal judge in Wheeling.

Earlier this month, the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission submitted nine candidates for Justice to choose from, which was whittled down from a pool of 25 applicants.

Justice said the new court will make the state more attractive to prospective businesses. “This is really good stuff,” Justice proclaimed. The court “needs to have a conservative flavor to it,” said the governor. “I really believe with all in me that I’ve got it right,” Justice concluded.

“Hopefully the effect is going to be to make sure that citizens can have their disputes resolved expediently, fairly, and that there is a predictability to the court system. And that we can get to the end result as quickly as possible, to provide justice to all of our citizens,” said Daniel Greear, a WV Intermediate Court of Appeals nominee.

Democrats in the State Legislature have long opposed the new court.

“The Republicans are always talking about how they want to have smaller government, and reduce the cost of government. And then they throw this in there and it’s going to cost millions of dollars a year. And it just doesn’t seem practical,” said Del. Jim Barach, (D) Kanawha.

The Intermediate Court of Appeals will hear the following cases:

  • Appeals from circuit courts in civil cases and those concerning guardianship or conservatorship.
  • Appeals from family courts, except for domestic violence proceedings.
  • Appeals from state agencies or administrative law judges.
  • Appeals from decisions or orders issued by the Workers’ Compensation Office of Judges after June 30, 2022, until its termination, and from orders or decisions of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Review after June 30, 2022.

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