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Newly launched online magistrate court database brings court info home

Residents of West Virginia will now have easier access to county magistrate court filings from the comfort of home — or wherever you might be. 

In an effort to make court records more accessible, Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Chief Justice Tim Armstead announced the new online database Thursday afternoon in a brief press conference. A demonstration of the new online service followed.

Justice Elizabeth D. Walker, Justice John A. Hutchison, Justice William R. Wooton and Justice C. Haley Bunn joined Armstead for the announcement in the West Virginia Law Library.

Armstead said residents are now able to easily search magistrate court records back to 2003 or earlier for all 55 counties simultaneously, thanks to the internal efforts of I.T. staff for the court system. 

Prior to the online database, magistrate court information could only be accessed through the local county courthouse. It can now be found from any computer, smart phone or internet capable device. 

“We understand that this court belongs to the people of our state, and it needs to be open and accessible to those who have a need to have information related to our court system and filings in magistrate court,” Armstead said. 

The database was rolled out Thursday and is now live and can be accessed by visiting

The search system is completely free to use and does not require any type of registration,
Armstead said. Anyone with a computer or mobile device can enter a first or last name or
a case number and it will generate search results.

With a quick scroll down the main webpage, users will see a resources section. Under that, there is a Magistrate Records Search option. 

Clicking that link takes you to the database search page — it may ask you to verify you are a human first — where you can search by name, case number, citation number, filing date, case type and court location. 

It is important to pay attention to your search results as two or more people may have the same name. For example, a common name like John Smith could show results for several different people with that name. Birth dates will typically be listed with search results to help clear potential confusion. 

Once results are generated, you can pull up case-related information like prior and future court dates, bond or fine amounts, judgments and people involved with your case. However, related court documents are not available for viewing online. Case-related documents can still be obtained through county courthouses. 

The search system can help callers and visitors in need of copies of court records to know what to ask for and which county they need to contact.

The public can continue to use existing public access terminals located in each magistrate
court clerk’s office, which will be enhanced to include search results from all counties

“There has been a real commitment with this court over the last several years to try to make court records more accessible,” Armstead said. “We think this is the next step in that process. We’re going to continue to look for new opportunities to make our documents and records even more accessible.” 

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