West Virginia Director of State Courts
State Supreme Court of Appeals
In 1976 the West Virginia court system was reorganized into a unified court system, under the Office of the Administrative Director. The Supreme Court of Appeals is the highest court, also known as the court of last resort. The lower courts include circuit, family, and magistrate courts. The 31 circuit courts, the only general-jurisdiction trial courts of record, handle civil and criminal cases, including all felonies, while 158 magistrate courts handle small claims and misdemeanors.
West Virginia Court Record Availability
Except for certain online research capabilities, all court record access must be done at the local level.
Access to West Virginia Court Records
Court records are under the authority of the Office of the Administrative Director. Supreme Court opinions for 1991-present are available online. Requests for copies of court records must be made in writing or in person to the appropriate clerk of court. Circuit court cases are also available through an online search “Circuit Express” at swcg-inc.com. Searching is by name, date or judge, with all computerized case information available online consisting of general information about the circuit court records.
Clerks of Court at the court of record charge nominal fees for case copies. The online “Circuit Express” system costs $125 to sign up, plus $38/month.
Microfilmed court records from 1853 to 1900 are available at the State Archives. “Circuit Express” for circuit court case records is available from the late 1970s.
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