Chief Justice Visits

Jenkins honors Randolph court staff

Submitted photos Shown are Adult Probation Officers Jason R. Elmore, Adult Drug Court Probation Officer Anthony Severino, Probation Secretaries Peggy Burgess and Amber Channel, Chief Probation Officer Heidi Hawkins, Chief Justice Evan Jenkins, Magistrate Tracy Harper, Magistrate Clerk Rezena Roth, Deputy Magistrate Clerk Shelia Arbogast and Magistrate Assistant Chasity McCauley.

ELKINS — A very distinguished person paid a visit to Elkins this week.

West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Evan Jenkins came to town Tuesday to meet with court employees in Randolph County on July 20 and thank them for their dedicated service to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Supreme Court is very grateful to all the West Virginia judicial employees who worked so hard throughout the pandemic to fulfill our Constitutional mandate that the courts be open to all,” Jenkins said.

“A victim of domestic violence or a child being abused, for example, needed access to the courts, and our dedicated judicial employees were there to help. It was only through their outstanding service that we were able to keep courts operating, even in the face of an unprecedented national emergency,” he said.

Jenkins presented a special Certificate of Appreciation to the court employees from the Justices of the Supreme Court.

From left are Circuit Judge David Wilmoth, Law Clerk Mary Wendekier, Chief Justice Evan Jenkins and Secretary Teena Marcum.

“I very much appreciate the support the justices and the court staff provided during a very difficult time,” said Judge David Wilmoth of the 20th Judicial Circuit (Randolph County). “With the assistance and information given, I was able to continue to conduct hearings and even a few trials.

“Keeping everyone safe was the key concern, and we were able to go about our daily business with very few problems. Additional technology was supplied which allowed us to conduct hearings virtually when the case permitted,” Wilmoth said. “Without this assistance, we could not have continued as we did. I also appreciate the local Bar members and their efforts and cooperation in keeping the court docket moving smoothly.”

“Justice Jenkins visited our courtroom today on behalf of the Supreme Court Justices to extend his/their appreciation of the work our office has done this past year,” said Judge Lori Haynes of the 22nd Family Court Circuit (Randolph and Tucker counties). “This past year has definitely been different for the Family Court, just as it has been for everyone.

“I would echo the sentiment of Chief Justice Jenkins,” Haynes said. “I, too, appreciate my staff and their hard work. His gratitude and recognition are greatly appreciated!”

Jenkins joined the state Supreme Court of Appeals in 2018 and began serving as Chief Justice this year.

Submitted photo From left are Family Court Judge Lori Haynes, Judicial Secretary Cassandra Plumley, Chief Justice Evan Jenkins and Case Coordinator Michele VanMeter.

He was a member of the West Virginia Senate from the 5th district, which contains Cabell County and a small portion of Wayne County. He served in both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature in Charleston over the course of 20 years, having been elected as a member of the House in 1994, and elected to the Senate in 2002. He gave up his seat to run in the 2014 congressional election, which he won. He served in Congress from 2015 to 2018.


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