(Morgantown, W.Va.) Now that Monongalia County Magistrate Ron Bane has recorded and reported caseload data for a full calendar year, the 2022 Q1 Court Card for Division 1 now includes a comparison between this past quarter and the same time last year that will continue going forward.
The first quarter of 2022 saw an increase from the fourth quarter of 2021 in three categories: civils, cases plead down, and tickets, however total cases were down the previous quarter by about 10%.
As compared to the same quarter in 2021 however, total cases were down roughly 20% from this time last year, and only cases pleaded down and tickets saw slight increases over the same period last year.
Asked for his thoughts about the difference in numbers Bane said, “Having been in office now going on two years come July, I have a better understanding of the court’s calendar, and some of the cyclical nature in court business that can be expected. Going forward, it would be interesting to possibly incorporate other data points, like average monthly temperature, to determine and understand the extent that other circumstantial factors may affect caseloads.”
Bane will attend his first magistrate conference at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling next week, at which time he’ll receive official court updates and training on new laws and changes to judicial processes.
One big change that is sure to be a topic of informal discussion is bills passed this legislative session, including H.B. 2910, to modify the number of magistrate judges per county. The final bill passed as amended by the State Senate was significantly different from what passed the House.
“The House version of the bill could be described as transformative in nature, while the Senate bill was very protectionist in its language. In fact, the Senate’s amended version of H.B. 2910 that came back to the House in the closing hours of the 2022 legislative session was so radically different that the bill’s lead sponsor, Del. Geoff Foster (R – Putnam, 15) voted against final legislation bearing his own name,” said Wes Nugent, Vote Bane Committee Treasurer, who worked with Bane to pursue changes.
Bane indicated the Vote Bane team is undeterred going forward adding, “The legislature acknowledged that more magistrate judges are needed, locally and in other growth areas. We’ll continue working with legislators and court officials in the upcoming legislative interim sessions to state Monongalia County’s case and be prepared to put another bill forward next year to ensure our citizens and taxpayers have equal access to justice via our courts.”
Quarterly Court Card
The quarterly court card reflects Monongalia County Division 1 Magistrate Court Data only, and doesn’t reflect cases in progress or other factors. Information provided herein is for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as official.