CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — In order to further limit potential exposure of the COVID-19 virus, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has issued an Administrative Order declaring a Judicial Emergency from March 23, 2020, through April 10, 2020, in all fifty-five (55) counties throughout West Virginia.
According to a release from the state Supreme Court of Appeals, this is in order to further protect litigants, jurors, attorneys, witnesses and the general public from the spread of the Coronavirus.
“We believe it is our responsibility to limit such in-person contact to the fullest extent possible while ensuring that our courts address emergency matters necessary to protect the health or safety of our individual citizens and our communities,” Chief Justice Tim Armstead said in a press release.
The Administrative Order was developed with input and recommendations of the justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals as well as circuit judges, family court judges and magistrates from throughout the state.
Under the order, the following changes will occur:
- Emergency proceedings required to protect the immediate health or safety of a party or the community will still be held, preferably by video conferencing or telephone where appropriate, and will not be delayed or extended.
- All proceedings directed to take place and all acts required to be done during the emergency period of March 23, 2020, through April 10, 2020, are stayed and will be rescheduled to a date subsequent to April 10, 2020, by the presiding judicial officer.
- Deadlines set forth in court rules, statutes, ordinances, administrative rules or otherwise that are set to expire during the period of March 23, 2020, through April 10, 2020, are extended to April 11, 2020. Deadlines relating to the emergency matters set forth above will remain in effect.
- Only those deadlines, statutes of limitations, and statutes of repose that are set to expire during the period from March 23, 2020, through April 10, 2020, will be extended to April 11, 2020.
The Supreme Court is continually monitoring developments related to the COVID-19 outbreak and will assess the need to modify or extend the Judicial Emergency Order as circumstances warrant.