CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Recently the Intermediate Court of Appeals of West Virginia (ICA) celebrated its first anniversary.
Since its opening, the ICA has received over 670 appeals and issued 226 decisions, including 17 signed opinions. “We, as a Court, are pleased to be able to implement a new level of judicial review. We will continue to strive to make the administration of justice efficient and accessible for all West Virginians,” said Chief Judge Daniel Greear. The ICA began operations on July 1, 2022. The overall breakdown of case type is roughly 33% workers’ compensation appeals; 29% civil appeals; 22% family court appeals; and 16% administrative appeals.
“The most significant aspect of the intermediate court is going to be the effect it has had on family law,” said Chief Judge Greear. “There will be more uniformity and predictability in the family law system that was not there before.” Judge Thomas Scarr added, “Hopefully that will result in a reduction of disputes or make it easier to decide these cases on the lower level.” While the court’s three judges render decisions in every case, they do not hear oral argument in every case.
In its first year of operation, the ICA heard 34 oral arguments, including several that utilized the ICA’s satellite courtrooms. Litigants can choose to use one of the satellite courtrooms or to attend oral argument in Charleston. “We had an opportunity to create something we haven’t had before—the ability to have your appeal heard even though you are not physically present at a courtroom in Charleston, West Virginia,” said Judge Charles Lorensen. “Hopefully that will make access to justice more attainable to people who can’t or don’t want to travel to Charleston.”