Dena Standley | October 19, 2022
Summary: If you want to check the status of your case in West Virginia, you will have to visit the courthouse in which your case is filed or call the court clerk. Below is SoloSuit's guide to West Virginia's civil court structure, how to check your case status there, and how to request record copies.
At the moment, West Virginia courts do not have a free tool where you can search the status of your court case online.
If you've been sued for a debt, it's crucial to keep tabs on your case. Frequently, collectors don't properly serve defendants with the case documents. So, being proactive and finding your case in the court records is helpful for reviewing the progress of the case.
While West Virginia does not currently offer an online court record database, debt collection lawsuits are recorded at the courts presiding over these cases. Documents and electronic records are available, and you can call or visit the court that holds your case to learn more about how to receive a copy of all documents filed.
Finding your case isn't always easy, so in this article we'll show you what you need to know about searching for your court case in West Virginia.
We'll start off by reviewing West Virginia's civil court structure.
In order to find your case information online or in person, it's important to understand how the civil courts are structured in West Virginia. When you know what courts have jurisdiction over certain types of cases, it will be easier for you to narrow down the court in which your case is assigned. There are three levels of civil courts in West Virginia:
Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals is the highest judicial level in the state. As an appellate court, the Supreme Court of Appeals handles cases that have been appealed from the Circuit Court. In other words, when someone disagrees with the outcome of their Circuit Court case, they can appeal it and have it reconsidered by the Supreme Court of Appeals.
The Circuit Court is a lower court that primarily deals with civil cases that involve $7,500 or more. It also takes on cases that have been appealed from the Magistrate Court. High-dollar debt lawsuits may begin at the Circuit Court level.
Finally, the Magistrate Court has jurisdiction over small claims cases that involve $5,000 or less and regular civil cases of $7,500 or less. It is also considered a lower court. Most debt lawsuits are initiated in the Magistrate Court.
The graphic below illustrates the West Virginia civil court structure:
Besides the appellate and lower courts, West Virginia has two federal courts, one serving the northern part of the state and one serving the southern region. The federal courts hear any criminal or civil case that violates federal law.
Since there are no online case search tools in West Virginia, the best way to check your case status is making a visit to yoru courthouse or calling the court clerk. Most clerks are willing to look up your case for you and answer as many questions as they can without giving legal advice.
In order for the court clerk to search your case, you will need to provide some or all of the following information:
Usually, the clerk can find a case with just the party names, but it's helpful to come with as much information as possible to ensure you look up the correct case.
The West Virginia Judiciary Branch website provides all state courts' addresses and contact information. If you wish to look up court cases in a county, select that county on the map to get the court's contact information, including address and the court clerk's phone number.
You may also order copies of West Virginia court records over the phone or by mail if you do not wish to appear in person at the courthouse. Contact the clerk of the court and give them the case number or name of your case. Your clerk's office will then let you know the cost of your case search request and provide payment instructions.
If you wish to get West Virginia court records by mail, write to the county and courthouse. Courthouses may have different forms for requests, but a request should provide the following information at a minimum:
Traditional government sources and organizations such as the West Virginia State Law depository Library provide access to public records for citizens in West Virginia.
They maintain all information regarding trials, including the court's decision and all documents filed from the beginning to the end.
Yes, West Virginia court records are public under West Virginia's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as long as they are not exempt from disclosure. When you request West Virginia public records, the court clerk must provide them within five business days of your request, and you don't need to specify your reasons.
A case number distinguishes one lawsuit from another and is assigned by a court staff member when the suit is filed. Cases identify the filing year, the type, and the filing staff, besides sometimes identifying the court.
The courthouse clerk where your lawsuit was filed may provide you with your case number. This information must be accurate to facilitate retrieval. Most of the time, finding case numbers only requires knowing the party's full name and a few details about the case. Appear in person to get case numbers after locating the court.
There are options if you find yourself sued for debt in West Virginia. If you've been sued for a debt you owe, SoloSuit can help you respond in minutes. The first step to winning your debt collection lawsuit in West Virginia is to respond to the case with a written Answer. Self-represented litigants in West Virginia have 20 days to respond before losing by default. When you lose by default, the debt collector can garnish your wages or put liens on your property.
To learn more about how to Answer a debt lawsuit, check out this video:
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.
>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate
>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)
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