§3-10-3a. Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission


Published: 2015

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WVC 3 - 10 - 3 A

§3-10-3a. Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission.

     (a) The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission shall assist the

Governor in filling judicial vacancies. The commission shall meet

and submit a list of no more than five nor less than two best

qualified persons to the Governor within ninety days of the

occurrence of a vacancy, or the formal announcement of the justice

or judge by letter to the Governor of an upcoming resignation or

retirement that will result in the occurrence of a vacancy, in the

office of justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, judge of a

circuit court or judge of a family court. The Governor shall make

the appointment to fill the vacancy, as required by this article,

within thirty days following the receipt of the list of qualified

candidates or within thirty days following the vacancy, whichever

occurs later.

     (b) The commission shall consist of eight appointed members.

Four public members shall be appointed by the Governor for six-year

terms, except for the initial appointments which shall be staggered

in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. Four attorney

members shall be appointed by the Governor for six-year terms,

except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, from a list

of nominees provided by the Board of Governors of the West Virginia

State Bar. The Board of Governors of the West Virginia State Bar

shall nominate no more than twenty nor less than ten best qualified

attorneys for appointment to the commission whenever there is a

vacancy in the membership of the commission reserved for attorney members. The commission shall choose one of its appointed members

to serve as chair for a three-year term. No more than four

appointed members of the commission shall belong to the same

political party. No more than three appointed members of the

commission shall be residents of the same congressional district.

All members of the commission shall be citizens of this state.

Public members of the commission may not be licensed to practice

law in West Virginia or any other jurisdiction.

     (c) Of the initial appointments made to the commission, two

public members and two attorney members shall be appointed for a

term ending two years after the effective date of this section, one

public member and one attorney member shall be appointed for a term

ending four years after the effective date of this section, and one

public member and one attorney member shall be appointed for a term

ending six years after the effective date of this section.

     (d) The Governor, or his or her designee, the President of the

West Virginia State Bar and the Dean of the West Virginia

University College of Law shall serve as ex officio members of the

commission.

     (e) Members of the commission shall serve without

compensation, except that commission members are entitled to

reimbursement of travel and other necessary expenses actually

incurred while engaged in official commission activities in

accordance with the guidelines of the Travel Management Office of

the Department of Administration, or its successor entity. The Governor's Office shall cooperate with the commission to ensure

that all resources necessary to carrying out the official duties of

the commission are provided, including staff assistance, equipment

and materials.

     (f) The commission shall adopt written policies that formalize

and standardize all operating procedures and ethical practices of

its members including, but not limited to, procedures for training

commission members, publishing notice of judicial vacancies,

recruiting qualified individuals for consideration by the

commission, receiving applications from qualified individuals,

notifying the public of judicial vacancies, notifying state or

local groups and organizations of judicial vacancies and soliciting

public comment on judicial vacancies. The written policies of the

commission are not subject to the provisions of chapter twenty-

nine-a of this code, but shall be filed with the Secretary of

State.

     (g) A majority of the commission plus one shall constitute a

quorum to do business.

     (h) All organizational meetings of the commission shall be

open to the public and subject to the requirements of article

nine-a, chapter six of this code. An "organizational meeting"

means an initial meeting to discuss the commission's procedures and

requirements for a judicial vacancy. The commission shall hold at

least one organizational meeting upon the occurrence of a judicial

vacancy. All other meetings of the commission are exempt from article nine-a, chapter six of this code.

     (i) The commission shall make available to the public copies

of any applications and any letters of recommendation written on

behalf of any applicants. All other documents or materials created

or received by the commission shall be confidential and exempt from

the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-b of this code, except for

the list of best-qualified persons or accompanying memoranda

submitted to the Governor in accordance with the provisions of

subsection (j) of this section, which shall be available for public

inspection, and the written policies required to be filed with the

Secretary of State in accordance with subsection (f) of this

section.

     (j) The commission shall submit its list of best-qualified

persons to the Governor in alphabetical order. A memorandum may

accompany the list of best-qualified persons and state facts

concerning each of the persons listed. The commission shall make

copies of any list of best-qualified persons and accompanying

memoranda it submits to the Governor available for public

inspection.





Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session

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