Court system to be studied

House Speaker Rick Thompson and I, along with other Delegates, have introduced legislation calling for a year-long study of the state Supreme Court’s new appellate rules to determine whether they are providing litigants with a fair, effective and efficient appeals process.

In announcing House Concurrent Resolution 44, Speaker Thompson was joined by West Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts who stated, “This is the kind of initiative West Virginia businesses want to see coming from our Legislature. Our members will be encouraged that lawmakers are working to ensure that our state’s court system treats everyone fairly. I hope that this measure receives further bipartisan support as it moves through the legislative process.”

I believe that the Supreme Court, as well as the Legislature, has taken positive steps to address the legality issues in West Virginia in trying to ensure a business friendly climate, as well as protecting people’s rights. This study will provide an outlet to hear from all sides so we can understand the issues and concerns that surround our current system and identify ways that will truly improve our court system in West Virginia.

I was happy to recently welcome Rhonda Stubbs, director, and Jennifer Reitter, volunteer coordinator of A Child’s Place CASA, Ltd. to the State Capitol. A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a volunteer appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of a child who has been abused or neglected. CASA does a wonderful job in providing a strong voice and being a protector of children in Hancock and Brooke counties. I cannot thank Rhonda and Jennifer enough for the true difference that CASA makes in the lives of abused children every day and we all should be grateful for the great work that they do.

Also visiting the State Capitol was West Liberty University student Tara Gajtka for the 10th-annual Undergraduate Research Day. Tara is the daughter of Edward and Sandra Gajtka of Weirton. Tara’s research was to investigate the effect of temperature on antibiotic research and identify the molecular mechanisms involved in the observed temperature, depending on the resistance of the antibiotic. Tara has devoted many hours of great research in hopes of identifying why, in some cases, antibiotics don’t perform like they should. With devoted students like Tara we have real hope of developing antibiotics that can overcome these findings.

Stop by if you are in Charleston. Contact information: Facebook page: Randy Swartzmiller, or follow me on Twitter: @WV_Delegate, or my e-mail: or write to: Randy Swartzmiller, State Delegate, Room 242, Building 1 State Capitol Complex Charleston, WV 25305 or call, Capitol Office: 304.340.3138 or Mobile: 304.479.5140

(Swartzmiller is the speaker pro tempore of the House of Delegates, and represents the 1st District, including Hancock County and parts of Brooke County)