By Debbie Rolen
August 20, 2013
CHARLESTON – The House of Delegates members representing Mingo County plan to introduce legislation next session to add an additional judge in what is currently a single-judge circuit.
“The need for more than one circuit judge in our county has long been discussed, but the events of the past week have further shed light on the issue,” House Majority Leader Harry Keith White said. “We want to ensure that all citizens of Mingo County have access to an effective court system without delay.”
Delegate Justin Marcum, who is Mingo County Assistant Prosecutor, noted that when the West Virginia Supreme Court suspended the county’s current circuit judge August 15, two judges were appointed to temporarily handle his caseload.
“Most circuits in West Virginia have at least two judges, and the addition of a judge in Mingo County has been advocated both within the local legal community and among legislators from this area,” Marcum said. “We think this legislation would help ensure our judicial system operates effectively, and establish more accountability within the circuit.”
Senators Art Kirkendoll and Ron Stollings have expressed support for the legislation, which will be introduced during the 2014 regular legislative session.