Governor Jim Justice (R) signed SB 275 into law on April 9 which provides guidelines for creating the West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals, effective June 30, 2021. Previously, West Virginia’s state courts included a state supreme court of appeals and trial courts with both general and limited jurisdiction.
According to Metro News, a 2009 judicial reform panel recommended the creation of an intermediate court. West Virginia is one of nine states without an intermediate appellate court, and the supreme court of appeals serves as the only appellate court.
As outlined in SB 275, the court will consist of three judges elected to 10-year terms. The first three judges will be appointed, with the first judicial election being held in 2024. These elections will be nonpartisan.