WV Senate votes to create Intermediate Court of Appeals

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — The State Senate’s plan is to create, an “Intermediate Court of Appeals.” Right now the state has a Circuit Court level, and all decisions there can be appealed to the State Supreme Court. But 41-other states also have an intermediate court, so people can have a chance at two appeals, rather than resting all their hopes in a Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court, a lot of their decisions are memorandum decisions rather than actually hearing a case. So in other words, you’ll have something that’s appealed to the Supreme Court, and they’ll decide, ‘well we’re not going to hear the case, but we’ll write a memorandum on it.’ And that memo becomes the law and those memos can become very inconsistent,” said State Sen. Eric Tarr, (R) Putnam.

Critics point out that all nine states that don’t have an intermediate court, have populations under two million people – although West Virginia is the most populous of the group. Still, critics say the state has a lot of other needs such as roads and schools, and the mid-level court will cost too much.

“I think they’re expecting it to be around six million, but I don’t think we’ll know until it actually kicks in. And at this point I think we have a lot of other priorities for that six million we could spend it on, that’d be a better expenditure of that money,” said State Sen. Corey Palumbo, (D) Kanawha – Minority Whip.

But Republicans argue that is only the start-up cost, and that once the Intermediate Court is established the cost will be less than $4 million per year.

“The Intermediate Court Bill now comes to the House of Delegates for a debate and vote, with the outcome uncertain. But as with so many things before the State Legislature, it may all come down to the money,” said Mark Curtis 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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