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High court coming to Jefferson County

June 04, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals will hear cases in Jefferson County Circuit Court for the first time in more than 70 years.

Until early in this century, state Supreme Court justices traveled a circuit, hearing cases in Charles Town, Wheeling and Charleston, said Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Thompson.

This week, the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office received a fax from the state Supreme Court saying that cases will be heard on Oct. 27 in Jefferson County, said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney J. Michael Cassell.

"I think it's a marvelous idea," Cassell said. "I'm very impressed they've decided to do this."

By hearing about a dozen Eastern Panhandle cases, the justices will save people from having to make the nearly 12-hour round-trip to Charleston, where the West Virginia Supreme Court convenes, Thompson

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"They're coming to the people instead of the people having to come to them," Cassell said.

One of the cases the West Virginia Supreme Court will hear in October involves a dispute between Potomac Edison and the Jefferson County Planning Commission. The issue is whether the utility company is exempt from Jefferson County land-use regulations.

A circuit judge ruled in Potomac Edison's favor last August, Cassell said.

Another case involves a dispute between the Opequon Public Service District in Berkeley County and the West Virginia Public Service Commission and Berkeley County Commission.

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