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An Introduction to the West Virginia Supreme Court

WV Supreme Court Chamber.jpg

What is the West Virginia Supreme Court?

  • West Virginia’s highest court

  • Located in Charleston, West Virginia

  • Hears appeals of all matters decided in state circuit courts, including civil and criminal cases.  It also hears appeals from circuit court decisions affirming magistrate court criminal convictions and administrative agency appeals.  

  • Hears appeals of workers’ compensation decisions from the Workers’ Compensation Office of Judges

  • Hears appeals from family courts if both parties agree to not appeal to the circuit court.

  • Responsible for determining if laws violate the West Virginia Constitution

  • Establishes and enforces procedural rules and codes of conduct for West Virginia attorneys, judges and justices

  • The West Virginia Supreme Court has the final say on the constitutionality and interpretation of West Virginia laws.


What do citizens need to know about the justices?

  • The West Virginia Supreme Court consists of five justices

  • Justices are chosen in nonpartisan, statewide elections to serve 12-year terms.  There are no term limits for justices.

  • If a justice is unable to complete his or her term, the governor appoints a justice to serve until the next regular election.

  • Justices are elected in West Virginia’s May primary election and take office the following January.

  • Each year, the justices elect one of themselves to serve as the chief justice and administrative head of West Virginia’s court system.


The Supreme Court takes on cases with issues that impact many West Virginians.  Its rulings decide:

  • Education Policy

  • Economic Development

  • Employee and Labor Rights

  • Consumer Protection

  • Civil Rights

  • Women’s Rights

  • Property Owners’ Rights

  • Parental Rights and Child Custody

  • Voting Rights

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