West Virginia Judiciary

Rules of Practice and Procedure for Family Court

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Table of Contents Full Table of Contents
  1. Compliance with Time Standards
  2. Peer Review Board

Compliance with Time Standards
  1. Purpose. — The time standards contained in these rules are intended to ensure that "justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay," in accordance with Article III, Section 17 of the West Virginia Constitution; that judges "dispose of all judicial matters promptly, efficiently, and fairly," in accordance with Canon 3B(8) of the Code of Judicial Conduct; and that "the court, not the lawyers or litigants, should control the pace of litigation," in accordance with Section 2.50 of the American Bar Association Standards Relating to Court Delay Reduction.
  2. Time for completion of all cases. — For cases filed after July 1, 2007 a final order shall be entered in every case within 240 days of filing of the initial pleading. All cases filed prior to July 1, 2007 shall have a final order entered by July 1, 2008.
  3. Implementation. — By July 1, 2008, the percentage of cases that each circuit shall have in compliance with section (b) above is seventy-five (75) percent.
  4. Reporting. — The Administrative Director of Courts shall receive a monthly report from the circuit clerk in each county on compliance with section (b) above.

[Added by order adopted May 22, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.]


Peer Review Board
  1. Non-compliance with time standards. — Failure to comply with these standards may result in the Administrative Director of Courts making a referral to the peer review board, which shall submit a report with recommendations for remedial actions to the Administrative Director of Courts within forty-five (45) days of the referral. Following receipt of the peer review board report, the Administrative Director of Courts, with the approval of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, shall take action as necessary to bring the court into compliance with these rules, including, but not limited to, recall of senior status judges, the reassignment of judges from other circuits, and/or the implementation of case management procedures, in accordance with W. Va. Code §51-2A- 19. In his or her discretion, the Administrative Director of Courts may report repeated non-compliance with these standards to the Judicial Investigation Commission.
  2. Impaneling peer review board. — The Administrative Director of Courts shall select three family court judges to serve on the peer review board. In order to stagger the terms of the peer review board members, the first set of three judges selected shall serve one-year, two-year, and three-year terms, respectively. Thereafter, each family court judge selected shall serve a two-year term.
  3. Duties and authority of peer review board. — The peer review board shall promptly investigate referrals from the Administrative Director of Courts and make a written report, including its findings and recommendations, within forty-five (45) days of the referral. The Board shall have the authority: to review the docket and cases of the Judge, interview the Judge and Judge's staff; and obtain records and documents from the circuit clerk and/or the Judge.
  4. Failure to cooperate with the peer review board may result in a complaint to the Judicial Investigation Commission.
  5. Confidentiality. — The referral of the Administrative Director of Courts, investigation, documents obtained and recommendations of the peer review board shall be confidential.
  6. Privilege and immunity. — All information provided, documents filed or testimony given with respect to any investigation or proceeding under Rules 59 and 60 herein shall be privileged in any action for defamation. All members of the peer review board, and their employees, shall be absolutely immune from civil suit in the same manner as members of the judiciary in this state for any conduct in the course of their official duties.

[Added by order adopted May 22, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.]