MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — In January, some members of the Monongalia County Magistrate’s Office urged elected officials to add a fifth magistrate to improve their services and ease the workload of the other magistrates. Pending Governor Jim Justice’s signature, they could soon see their wishes answered.
House Bill 3322 would add two magistrate judges to the county, one of which would start as early as this upcoming July. According to a release from Monongalia County Magistrate Ron Bane, the bill began as a circuit court bill and was a piece of legislation with the purpose of updating the courts after legislative redistricting.
“On crossover day, the situation looked bleak. Hope for immediate relief in Monongalia County magistrate court seemed out of reach,” Bane said.
If legislation didn’t come to aid the office, Bane was relying on a West Virginia Supreme Court order for help. The order would have given Monongalia County two more magistrate judges by 2024 if legislators didn’t act.
“With thousands of bills proposed each session, getting attention for any one county is a challenge,” Bane said. “Rep. Joe Statler made a case to legislative and court leaders
though, and that spoke volumes, for which I was grateful.”