Magistrate / Municipal

The difference between magistrate and municipal courts can be confusing. The magistrate courts in West Virginia have roots in what was previously the justice of the peace system. Every county in West Virginia has at least two magistrate courts, with a total of 158 magistrates throughout the state. The duties of magistrates are to try cases involving misdemeanor offenses, perform preliminary assessments of felony cases and issue important legal documents such as arrest warrants, search warrants and emergency protective orders in domestic violence cases. Additionally, these types of courts hear cases that involve civil issues in which the dispute is over an issue totaling $5,000 or less.

Municipal courts are similar to magistrate courts, but they are part of the city or town's local court system. Municipal courts can be thought of as city courts. The jurisdiction of municipal courts is limited to cases involving local city or town ordinances. In areas where municipal courts do not exist, cases involving violations of municipal ordinances are heard by magistrate courts. For more information on magistrate and municipal Courts in West Virginia, visit

If you have been charged with a crime from a magistrate or municipal court, you will be informed of when you must appear before the court to defend the charges. In many cases, the help of an experienced lawyer can mean the difference between fines and jail time. If you have been charged with a crime and are scheduled to appear before a magistrate or municipal court, contact the Wolfe Law Firm today. Our experienced staff will fight for you and help protect your rights. Contact the Wolfe Law Firm today for your free consultation.