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West Virginia Government

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West Virginia Government has three branches of governmenWest Virginia Government has three branches of government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial and other state agencies such as Auditor General, West Virginia Department of Commerce, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, West Virginia Department of Education ,West Virginia Division of Forestry, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources,West Virginia Human Rights Commission, West Virginia Division of Labor, West Virginia Department of Revenue and West Virginia Department of Transportation.

West Virginia Executive Branch


The Executive Branch consists of the Governor, the Secretary of State, the State Auditor, the Treasurer, the Commissioner of Agriculture and the Attorney General.

Governor

The Governor of the State of West Virginia is the head of the executive branch of Government. The Governor is elected every four years by a plurality. There is no limit to the number of terms that can be served. The governor is also given the veto privilege. The governor may also call for special sessions if the need arises. The Governor can remit fines and penalties and grant reprieves and pardon person convicted of certain crimes.

Contact Details
Office of the Governor
State Capitol
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
Office Telephone:
(304) 558-2000 or 1-888-438-2731

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Secretary of State

The Secretary of State of West Virginia is an elected official with many responsibilities, including supervising elections and maintaining public records and people.

Contact Details
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305-0770
Phone Numbers
Main (304) 558-6000
Business and Licensing (304) 558-8000
Toll-Free (866) 767-8683
Investigation Hotline (877) 372-8398

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State Treasurer

The State Treasurer is the chief financial officer for the state and is responsible for monitoring the state’s debt, overseeing the state’s operating funds and performing additional banking and accounting duties as prescribed by state law. The Treasurer is also a member of the major financial decision-making boards throughout state government.

Contact Details
State Capitol, Room E-145
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305
Main Office: 304.558.5000 or 800.422.7498
Check Hotline: 304.558.3599
Unclaimed Property: 800.642.8687
Email: wvtreasury@wvsto.com

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Attorney General

Attorney General of West Virginia serves as the attorney and legal advisor for authorities, the Governor, all state agencies and departments. It can initiate civil or criminal actions on behalf of the State when requested to do so by the Governor. By law the Attorney General does not provide legal advice to private citizens.

Contact Details
State Capitol Complex,
Bldg. 1, Room E-26
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-2021
Fax: (304) 558-0140

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West Virginia Legislative Branch


The legislative branch is the branch of government that makes the lawsThe legislative branch is the branch of government that makes the laws. West Virginia's Legislature is a bicameral legislature, that is there are two houses of the legislature and is divided into House of Delegates, with 100 members and a Senate, with 34 members.

Senates

Representing 17 senatorial districts, the Senate is comprised of 34 members - 16 Democrats and 18 Republicans. Senators serve four-year terms with half of those seats up for election every two years.

View complete list of Senators here

House of Delegates

The House of Delegates is composed of 100 members, 36 Democrats and 64 Republicans, from 67 delegate districts throughout the state. Delegates serve two-year terms with all of the seats in the House up for election every two years.

View complete list of house delegates here

West Virginia Judicial Branch


The Judiciary is made up of courtsThe third branch of government is the Judicial branch. The Judiciary is made up of courts, namely the Supreme, Circuit, the magistrate (local) and municipal (city) courts. The duties of the judicial branch include protecting individual rights granted by the state constitution, settling legal disputes, punishing violators of the law, hearing civil cases and determining the guilt or innocence of those accused of violating the criminal laws of the state.

Supreme Court


The Supreme Court is West Virginia’s highest court and the court of last resort. West Virginia is one of only eleven states with a single appellate court. The court system of West Virginia is efficiently managed by the West Virginia Supreme Court. The court is responsible to make effective rules and policies for the appropriate working of the entire court system. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is the busiest appellate court of its type in the United States. The Supreme Court takes appeals from decisions of the district courts and it also hear petitions from lower court decisions. It has main authority to take cases against the state and to issue writs of mandamus, review, habeas corpus and prohibition. The five justices together select the chief justice who serves a four year term.

For complete list of Justices click here

Contact Details
Steven D. Canterbury, Administrative Director
Capitol Complex
Building One, Room E-100
Charleston, WV 25305-0830
304-558-0145
Fax: 304-558-1212

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Circuit courts

Circuit courts are the same as the nine judicial districts for the district courts. The circuit court hears all felony criminal cases and all civil cases with claims of more than $50,000. The main circuit court hears all cases of personal protection actions, juvenile guardianship, delinquency, juvenile offenses, treatment, adoptions, paternity, divorce, safe delivery of newborns and child abuse and neglect. The circuit courts receive appeals from magistrate courts, municipal courts, and administrative agencies, excluding workers’ compensation appeals.

Find court information by county


Family courts

Family court judges hear cases involving grandparent visitation; allocation of parental responsibility; paternity; annulment; divorce; separate maintenance; and family support proceedings. Family court judges takes last verdict in domestic violence civil cases. There are forty-five family court judges who serve twenty-seven family court circuits. Download family court forms here.

Family Court Mediator List


Magistrate Courts

There are 158 magistrates in West Virginia. Magistrates can take cases over civil cases in which the financial amount in dispute is less than five thousand dollars. They hear criminal cases and conduct preliminary examinations in these cases. In criminal cases they make decisions concerning proposed plea agreements,issue and record affidavits, complaints, search warrants and arrest warrants, the collection of cash bonds, courts costs, and fines. Download Magistrate Court forms here


Treatment Courts

The West Virginia court system works effectively toward law and order of the state and continues to add problem-solving courts throughout the state. There are several types of problem-solving courts in West Virginia. There are adult drug courts, juvenile drug courts, one adult reentry court, and one adult mental health court.

Adult Drug Courts
Juvenile Drug Court
Mental Health Court

West Virginia State Agencies

Auditor General

The State Auditor is the payroll officer and chief accountant. The Auditor promotes the state's financial accountability. Assisting agencies to account for public money responsibly and promoting transparency in the State’s finances are top priorities. The State Auditor serves as the Commissioner of Delinquent and Non-entered Lands, Securities Commissioner, chief Inspector, state’s official bookkeeper and Supervisor over Public Offices.

Contact Details
Capitol Complex, Building 1, Room W-100
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-2251
Toll Free: (877) 982-9148
Fax: (304) 558-5200

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The Department of commerce works effectively toward increasing the employment opportunitiesWest Virginia Department of Commerce


The Department of commerce works effectively toward increasing the employment opportunities for all citizens, to encourage appropriate use of state's mineral resources, to improve work conditions for all workers, to maintain state's economic stability and promote the state for tourism.

Contact Details
Capitol Complex Building 6, Room 525
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-2234
Toll Free: (800) 982-3386
Fax: (304) 558-1189

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West Virginia Division of Culture and History


West Virginia Division of Culture and History works toward promoting, protecting, identifying, preserving state's history, arts and culture.

Contact Details
The Culture Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-0220
Toll Free: None
Fax: (304) 558-2779

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West Virginia Department of Education


The Department works toward proper implementation of state's K-12 education requirements by providing proper resources and guidance to all public and private schools. The Department implements federal and state legislative mandates in education.


Contact Details
Building 6, Room 358
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-2681
Toll Free: NONE
Fax: (304) 558-0048

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West Virginia Division of Forestry


The Department coordinates and regulates forestry activities on the state's forest land. The division's programs include Smokey Bear, Urban and Community Forestry, Conservation Education, Firewise West Virginia, Fall Foliage, State Forests Management, Forest Stewardship,Landowner Assistance, Water Quality, Logging Regulation, Forest Fire Control, Ginseng Regulation, Forestry Industry Assistance and Clements State Tree Nursery.


Contact Details
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-2788
Fax: (304) 558-0143

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West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources


The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is responsible for administering many programs that benefit the citizens of West Virginia. The department believes in taking major health initiatives to protect the general health of people and countless visitors to the state.


Contact Details
One Davis Square
Suite 100, East
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 558-0684
Toll Free: NONE
Fax: (304) 558-1130

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government agency that investigates and protect human rightsWest Virginia Human Rights Commission


The West Virginia Human Rights Commission is a state government agency that investigates and protect human rights. They take complaints against discrimination in the areas of public accommodation and employment. Their missions is to eliminate discrimination throughout the state of West Virginia and to create awareness among the public on the West Virginia Human Rights Act and West Virginia Fair Housing Act.

Contact Details
1321 Plaza East, Room 108
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 558-2616
Toll Free: (888) 676-5546
Fax: (304) 558-0085

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West Virginia Division of Labor


The Department works toward improving the conditions of consumers and businesses. The Labor Division implement various programs to eliminate job-site hazards, inspects manufactured homes, conducts boiler, elevator and amusement ride inspections.

Contact Details
Building 6, Room B-749
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-7890
Toll Free: None
Fax: (304) 558-2415

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West Virginia Department of Revenue


The Department works toward enforcement of liquor control lawsThe Department works toward enforcement of liquor control laws, collection and administration of mineral taxes and the wholesale distribution of alcohol beverages. The mission of the department is to provide efficient and accurate distribution of all sales and to maintain timely deposits on all tax payments received.


Contact Details
Capitol Complex, Building 1, Room W-300
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-1017
Toll Free: NONE
Fax: (304) 558-2324

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West Virginia Department of Transportation


The Department provides essential services in transportation and helps in economic stability by providing tourism. They provide services such as: licensing and permitting of drivers and motor vehicles, rail and airport facilities, safety and protection for citizens through modern and operating standards for our highways. Transportation services includes highway construction, public transit, railway operation and maintenance, airport and river port development and economic development through accessible roads, rivers, railways and airports.

Contact Details
Building 5, Room A-109
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-0444
Toll Free: NONE
Fax: (304) 558-1004

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