West Virginia Judiciary

Supreme Court of Appeals Argument Docket

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Oral arguments scheduled on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 are continued generally.

Rule 20 argument - 10:00 a.m.

Scott Comer v. Priority Ambulance, No. 17-0725 - Petitioner Scott Comer, formerly an employee of Respondent Priority Ambulance LLC, appeals the July 19, 2017, order that granted summary judgment to respondent in petitioner’s action for (1) violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act; (2) violation of West Virginia Code §§ 23-5A-1 to -4; and (3) violation of West Virginia public policy/retaliatory discharge.

WV Department of Transportation v. Victor Echols, et al., No. 18-0226 - QUESTIONS CERTIFIED BY THE GRANT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT:

1. When the completion of a highway construction condemnation project by the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways (“DOH”), has rendered a large parcel of land (which is otherwise economic) landlocked, is the DOH required to institute a formal condemnation proceeding on the residue or remainder tract without first being given the opportunity to construct an access road to mitigate the landlocked nature of the real estate?
Answer: No because it would be unreasonable to require the DOH to purchase a large tract of land when the landlocked nature of the real estate could be remedied by the construction of an access road at potentially a lesser expense to the taxpayer than the purchase of the entire remainder tract and if the real estate is economic with the provision of an access road.

2. When the DOH offers to construct an access road to a landlocked remainder tract following the completion of a highway construction project, do the landowners have the right to refuse the construction of the access road?
Answer: Yes because the landowners should be able to reject an offer which they feel does not provide reasonable access to the real estate or is unreasonable for other reasons, such as that it diminishes the value of the real estate or will create an unreasonable cost to maintain. Should the landowners rejects the offer, the matter should proceed to trial in due course to a determination of the fair market value of the taking due to the condemnation action, with consideration given to the landowners’ refusal to allow the DOH to construct reasonable access to the real estate.

Lawyer Disciplinary Board v. Kourtney A. Ryan, No. 17-0007 - The Court will hear arguments in this lawyer disciplinary case.

Rule 19 argument

Pat Reed, Commissioner WV Dept. of Motor Vehicles v. Joseph Winesburg, 17-0834 - Petitioner appeals the circuit court’s August 17, 2017, order reinstating the driver’s license of respondent. Petitioner argues that the circuit court abused its discretion and erred in excluding certain evidence of respondent’s intoxication, including details related to the occurrence of a motor vehicle accident; references to respondent having an odor of alcohol on his breath and glassy bloodshot eyes; and respondent’s intoximeter and preliminary breath test results.

State of West Virginia v. Michael S. Sites, 16-0437 - Petitioner appeals the order of the Circuit Court of Grant County, entered on April 11, 2016, sentencing petitioner to incarceration for life, with mercy, upon his conviction of felony murder; incarceration for three to ten years upon his conviction of holding hostage of a person; and incarceration for two to six years upon his conviction of two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. The court ordered these sentences would run concurrently.

Lawyer Disciplinary Board v. Ronald D. Hassan, No. 16-1210 - The Court will hear arguments in this lawyer disciplinary case.