Trump Ignores Court Reform

Carmichael Also Fails Action

Mitch B. Carmichael

In West Virginia, you can go into court, make a false accusation against someone, and have a restraining order or arrest warrant taken on them, without their knowledge and without them having a chance to state their side of the story.

In West Virginia, those same restraining orders can be extended – without a hearing and without a reason.

In West Virginia, an innocent person can be slapped with a Domestic Violence Protection order – even if they are not being accused of violence.

In West Virginia, complaints against judges are confidential, with the press banned from proceedings and the complainant left outside the room.

In West Virginia, temporary orders are not subject to appeal, even if they last months.

In West Virginia, reporters are not allowed to cover family court proceedings, leaving judges to do whatever they want, without oversight.

In West Virginia, 50-percent parenting time is not the law – despite the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of Equal Protection.

In West Virginia, suspended judges still accrue pension credits.

In West Virginia, there are no recall elections allowed for bad judges.

In West Virginia, Guardian ad Litems are allowed to lie in court proceedings.

In West Virginia, legislative leaders are content to leave these unfair situations alone, no matter how many people are hurt.

And in West Virginia, the mainstream press fails to cover family court issues, which allows the abuse to continue.

Senate President Mitch B. Carmichael, (R-4th), Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump, (R-15th) and House Judiciary Chair John Shott are a few of the powerful politicians who recently turned their back on vital court reform legislation and proposals.

Other politicians, who refused to help are Delegates Kelli Sobonya, (R), Scott Brewer, (D-13th), Joshua Higginbotham, (R-13th), Jim Butler, (R-14th) and Zach Maynard, (R-22nd).

A fair court system is crucial to a fair society and is needed to attract jobs and strengthen the economy. 

West Virginia’s Supreme Court of Appeals allows lower court judges to lie and has been labeled a “Judicial Hellhole” for a decade and “A circus masquerading as a court.” Legislators could clean up this mess, but don’t seem to show much interest.

There are some bright spots: A 50-50 parenting bill, authored by Senator Charles “Ed” Gaunch, (R-8th) passed, in 2017, but was killed, by Shott, who refused to put the measure on the Judiciary Committee agenda.

In 2016, freshman Delegate Geoff Foster, (R-15th) managed to get a bill passed that makes it easier for working dads and moms to get parenting time.

Carmichael failed to make good on his promise to introduce court reform legislation, and Trump waited until 5:20 on Friday night of Labor Day Weekend to return telephone messages left for more than a year.

Former Senator William “Mike” Hall failed to introduce any reform measures before taking a job as Chief of Staff with Governor James C. “Jim” Justice, II, who also shows no interest in cleaning up West Virginia’s courts.

As the legislators play political games, West Virginians continue to be hurt.’s motto is “West Virginians Deserve The Best.” We don’t deserve the disrespect shown to us by politicians who are satisfied with our awful courts.