Handbook On the Rules Of Civil Procedure For West Virginia Magistrate Courts - Hardcover Version
Handbook On The Rules Of Civil Procedure For West Virginia Magistrate Courts - PDF Version
Rule 6A. Election Of Jury Trial - Preview Page
(a) Right to Elect. A party to a civil action in magistrate court has the right to elect that the matter be tried by a jury when the amount in controversy exceeds twenty dollars or involves possession to real estate. All parties to such cases shall be notified in writing of the right to election.
(b) Assertion of the Right. The election must be made in writing by the party asserting the right any time after the commencement of the action but not later than
(1) 20 days after the service of any first timely filed answer to the complaint, or
(2) 5 days after service of the summons and complaint in cases involving expedited proceedings such as actions for unlawful entry and detainer and wrongful occupation. When the right to a jury trial is asserted in a case involving an expedited proceeding, the trial shall be scheduled as soon as a jury panel can be assembled
Failure to elect within the relevant time limit constitutes a waiver of the right to trial by jury.
6A Making Demand for a Trial by Jury
 General commentary
Rule 6A addresses two matters involving the right to a jury trial in magistrate court.1 The matters addressed by the rule concern the situations in which a jury trial may be demanded and the time for making a jury demand. These issues are discussed separately in the subsections that follow.
§ 6A(a) Right of Any Party to Elect Trial by Jury
 General commentary
Rule 6A(a) states that a party to a civil action in magistrate court has the right to elect that the matter be tried by a jury when the amount in controversy exceeds twenty dollars or involves possession to real estate.2 The rule requires all parties to such case be notified in writing of the right to election.3 Further, W.Va. Code § 50-5-8(f) states that if neither party demands a jury trial, the matter will be tried by the magistrate sitting without a jury.
About the Authors:
Justice Robin Jean Davis was engaged in the private practice of law in the state of West Virginia from 1982 until 1996. In 1996, she was elected as a Justice to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to fill an unexpired term. She was re-elected in November 2000. Justice Davis served as Chief Justice in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, and 2010. Justice Davis is the author of several West Virginia Law Review articles, including: "A Tribute to Franklin D. Cleckley: A Compendium of Essential Legal Principles from His Opinions as a Justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals"; "A Tribute to Thomas E. McHugh: An Encyclopedia of Legal Principles from Opinions Written by Justice McHugh"; "An Analysis of the Development of Admitting Expert Testimony in Federal Courts and the Impact of That Development on West Virginia Jurisprudence"; and is the co-author with Louis J. Palmer, Jr. of "Workers' Compensation Litigation in West Virginia: Assessing the Impact of the Rule of Liberality and the Need for Fiscal Reform." In addition, Justice Davis is the co-author with Franklin D. Cleckley and Louis J. Palmer, Jr. of Litigation Handbook on West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure (3d ed. 2008).
Louis J. Palmer, Jr. has been a staff attorney on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals since 1996. He has authored several books that include: Encyclopedia of Abortion in the United States (2d ed. 2008); Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment in the United States (2d ed. 2008); Racism in America: A Guide to Understanding Discrimination (2006); and Encyclopedia of DNA and the United States Criminal Justice System (2004). In addition, Mr. Palmer is the co-author with Franklin D. Cleckley and Robin Jean Davis of Litigation Handbook on West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure (3d ed. 2008).