VanMeter seeking office of Randolph magistrate
ELKINS – Michele Hommema VanMeter filed her Certificate of Announcement with the Randolph County Clerk last week, officially announcing her candidacy to fill the vacant Magistrate seat in Division I.
With strong ties to this area, VanMeter is a 1988 graduate of Elkins High School and has raised her family in Randolph County. She is married to David VanMeter, formerly of Petersburg. Between the two, they have four sons — Nathan Cooper, Nick Cooper, Dylan VanMeter, and Trea VanMeter.
“My kids have always been involved in extra-curricular activities and sports and I have been blessed to be able to be involved with their adventures,” she said.
VanMeter has served as a volunteer coach for Elkins Little League and spends time every spring and summer supporting the Elkins “Elks” Babe Ruth, Elkins High School and American Legion Post 29 baseball programs. VanMeter volunteered her time for the Elkins High School Baseball Facility Improvement Project, where both she and her husband have been honored as “Double Club” contributors.
She and her son, Nick, also enjoy volunteering their time walking dogs for the Randolph County Humane Society. VanMeter is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Tygart Valley Lodge No. 66.
VanMeter is no stranger to the law. Upon her graduation from Fairmont State University, she began a career that is approaching three decades in the legal field. While working as a legal secretary and a paralegal for different law firms, she earned experience and knowledge in multiple areas of the law, including civil, criminal, divorce, custody, domestic violence, child support, personal injury litigation, insurance defense and real estate.
Over the last 20 years, VanMeter has been employed by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. She is currently employed as Case Coordinator for the 22nd Family Court Circuit (Randolph and Tucker counties). In her capacity as Case Coordinator, VanMeter assists the Family Court Judge with a multitude of tasks relating to family law on a daily basis.
“Working in Family Court is challenging, but Family Court, much like Magistrate Court, has given me the opportunity to come into direct contact with so many of the citizens of this county, on a daily basis, as they are dealing with the most significant legal issues they may ever face,” VanMeter also held this position in Family Court from Oct. 1, 1999 through Dece. 31, 2008.
VanMeter credits her employment between 2008 and 2016 as giving her the most direct, on-point experience, qualifying her for the position of Magistrate, when she served as Magistrate Assistant. As a result of this eight-year period, VanMeter has a working knowledge of the Magistrate Court system, Magistrate Court policies and procedures, and the law applicable to legal matters that present themselves in Magistrate Court.
“As a Magistrate Assistant, I routinely prepared documents in civil proceedings, criminal proceedings, landlord/tenant disputes, worthless check matters and domestic violence cases. I am grateful for that on-the-job experience because I feel it puts me in a unique position to be able to hit the ground running if the citizens of Randolph County elect me to serve them in this position,” VanMeter said.
VanMeter said she understands the serious issues our county is facing and is committed to running a fair and impartial courtroom if elected to the position of Magistrate.
“What I want the voters to know is that I understand how important it is for everyone to be treated fairly, regardless of who they are,” she said. “I want to work hard for this county, give it my best every day, and to always be known as a public servant who administers justice in a firm, but fair manner. If elected, I will ethically carry out the duties of Magistrate and do my best to uphold the integrity of the position with every decision I make. I believe my years of legal experience and my working knowledge of Magistrate Court make me a good choice to be Magistrate.
“I respectfully ask the voters to support my candidacy and to cast their vote for me on May 12, 2020.”