A abstraction of West Virginia cloister courts presented aftermost anniversary to the Legislature in Charleston proposed application technology and administration magistrates beyond canton curve as means to accumulate the arrangement and save taxpayers money.
The National Center for Accompaniment Courts based the abstraction on cloister workloads and not canton population.
Under the accepted system, there are 158 magistrates in the state, with a minimum of two per county. Some counties, with college populations and college workloads, accept as abounding as 10 magistrates.
Magistrates assignment beneath the authoritative administration of the Supreme Cloister of Appeals of West Virginia. They are adopted for four-year agreement in county-by-county votes.
Magistrates comedy an important role in the state’s administrative hierarchy, cardinal on baby claims and petty crimes, but additionally arising emergency careful orders in calm abandon cases.
Under West Virginia Code, magistrates accept a abject bacon of $51,125 annually. Those confined in counties with populations college than 7,300 association accept $57,500 a year.
To serve as a magistrate, a actuality does not accept to be a lawyer, although some are.
The catechism airish in the abstraction is whether the magistrates are actuality allocated to best serve the taxpayers who armamentarium them.
The abstraction proposed several accomplish to accumulate the magistrates’ roles, including acceptance them to act alfresco of the canton in which they were elected.
Also, the abstraction proposes acceptance magistrates to use technology such as video-conferencing to acceleration up the administrative process.
The National Center proposed three accessible affairs to advance the cloister cloister arrangement in the state.
A county-based plan agnate to the present accoutrement would mirror the accepted way magistrates are deployed but would acquiesce the arch ambit adjudicator to accredit them to acting account elsewhere.
It additionally would admeasure magistrates based on workload, with one accessible to apprehend emergency affairs at all hours of the day. That plan requires a minimum of two magistrates per county.
Some counties would accretion magistrates beneath this plan, with Raleigh, which has bristles magistrates, accepting a magistrate. Added counties, such as Wyoming which now has three, would lose one.
It would not acquiesce the administration of magistrates beyond canton lines.
The additional plan, resource-sharing with administrative circuits, would acquiesce that. A minimum of one cloister would be present in anniversary county’s cloister cloister during approved hours, while a distinct cloister would be on alarm to handle antecedent appearances, calm abandon careful orders and added emergency affairs in the circuit.
This plan reduces the cardinal of magistrates to 129 — 21 beneath than in the county-based plan.
Again, Raleigh Canton would access its cardinal of magistrates to six. Wyoming, additionally a single-county administrative circuit, would additionally lose magistrates beneath this plan.
This plan proposes application video-conferencing to abate biking time for magistrates, but it would alarm for a law administration administrator to be present during the appointment on the petitioner’s end. Law administration usually isn’t complex at this date of the affairs in gluttonous a calm abandon careful order.
The third plan would admeasure magistrates to counties based on workload, with at atomic one on assignment at all times. Anniversary canton would accept at atomic one adopted magistrate, but all-embracing would abate the cardinal of magistrates to 125.
Allocation of magistrates would be in band with bounded jails, with the Southern Bounded Jail account accepting 22 magistrates to serve seven counties.
Some magistrates altercate that they were adopted in one county, so why should they be affected to accomplish in addition canton that didn’t vote them in?
Well, we say, the law is the same, so why shouldn’t they?
At this point, we aren’t accessible to baddest our admired from amid the three affairs presented.
What we will say is this affectionate of new cerebration back it comes to government operations is refreshing, and the abstraction of streamlining the job our magistrates do and application technology to advice is absolutely a footfall in the appropriate direction.
If afterlight the cloister arrangement leaves us with the aforementioned after-effects for beneath money, that’s the way government should operate.
We attending advanced to added agitation on the issue.
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