West Virginia courts, what we call “state courts,” are not all that different than federal courts. There are a few characteristics that are pretty different.
First, the state courts (West Virginia courts) are in your home county’s seat. In other words, the local courthouse, if you were hurt in your own county, is where your case would be tried.
The state courts are throughout our state in each of the county seats and there is one or more judges who have been elected by the people in that county. Some judges actually represent multiple counties, but they’re still elected by the citizens of those counties. The jurors are all from that county where the courthouse sits, to try your case. They come in, they receive an official document, but they will be from your home county.
With regards to federal courts, federal court judges are appointed for life and they only sit in a few places in West Virginia. We have the northern district Federal courts and the southern district Federal courts, so in the northern district, you could be in Elkins, you could be in Clarksburg or you could be over in Martinsburg or Wheeling, and the jurors could come from various counties near those courthouses.
In the southern district, you could be in Parkersburg, Charleston, Beckley, Bluefield, or Huntington and the jurors will be from several counties to try your case. That’s generally the distinction between state and federal courts in the state of West Virginia.
If you’re still confused about state versus federal courts in West Virginia, contact the Segal Law Firm here or call us at: 855-344-9100.