Fifth magristrate appointed
By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - U.S. District Court Security Officer and retired Martinsburg Police Lt. Harry L. Snow was appointed Thursday by Circuit Court Judge Christopher Wilkes to be the fifth Magistrate for Berkeley County.
Snow, 56, will begin his duties July 2 after the state Legislature this spring approved a fifth magistrate. Magistrates serve as judges and handle virtually all criminal cases and many civil cases in Magistrate Court, often called the front door of the judicial system because they are the first stop for most defendant. They also handle other civil and domestic cases.
Snow is a life long resident of Berkeley County. He said he wants to help take the load off the other magistrates who have struggled with an increasing caseload in recent years.
"I figure with the fifth magistrate, if we all chip in, we'll be able to catch up on some of the backlog,'' Snow said. First he has to learn the specifics of the jobs, he said.