As my year as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia ends, I thank those who contributed to the state court system’s progress in 2021. I would also like to highlight the ways in which access and service were improved for all who are served by the courts and the judicial system. 

The West Virginia Constitution mandates that “the courts of this State shall be open” and that “justice shall be administered without ... delay.” When COVID-19 became a pandemic in 2020, simply shutting our doors was not an option. In 2021, we continued to operate courts virtually but increasingly moved to in-person hearings as the year progressed. Our employees worked tirelessly to keep courts open.

During the summer of 2021, I personally visited every county courthouse on behalf of the Supreme Court to thank our 1,500 employees and to let them know how much their work is appreciated.  As promised, we ensured this work was accomplished in a fiscally responsible manner. Our judicial branch budget request for the 2021-22 fiscal year was $139.4 million. That was more than $2 million less than the budget for fiscal year 2017 and less than 3 percent of total state general revenue. Spending remains on track with our estimate for the first six months of the fiscal year. 

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.