(06/14/2007)
A visit to magistrate court could be a bigger whammy on your pocketbook, since the West Virginia Supreme Court has re-visited a practice that gave citizens a financial break.

Citizen's who get multiple convictions on a single citation and go before a magistrate are looking at bigger court costs.

The Supreme Court has notified state magistrates that a long held practice of allowing one court cost to cover more than one charge on a citation is not allowable under the law.

The court costs are now $168.50.

The court said that the practice of charging a single court cost for several convictions on a single citation came about in the mid-1970s, saying the practice started without "any legal support whatsoever."

The court says WV Code enacted in 1976, provides a court charge for each offense.

The court has advised magistrates they must assess court costs based on the number of convictions, not to be based on the charging instrument.

For example, if a citation is written for speeding and no insurance, the court cost would be $337.00.

Most of court cost money goes to finance WV's regional jail system.


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