The West Virginia legislature has passed a bill creating an intermediate court of appeals and Gov. Jim Justice is expected to sign it into law. According to an opinion piece that ran in Metro News on April 5, the court will have major benefits for the state.
“Circuit courts are incredibly busy. Many are already overwhelmed with child abuse and neglect civil and criminal cases. Family court, workers comp and administrative agency cases often end up at the back of the line, delaying justice,” writes commentator Hoppy Kercheval. “This new appeals court will take over workers comp, family court and administrative appeals. That should provide more timely and consistent decisions in those cases, while making the load at the circuit court level more manageable.”
West Virginia is one of just nine states without an intermediate appellate court and is also the largest state without such a court. The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform has historically ranked West Virginia’s lawsuit climate near the bottom of all the states. This reform should help address that long-standing problem and remove barriers to economic growth.