Justia Constitutional Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

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Petitioner filed a complaint seeking a writ of mandamus to compel the return of items seized by a state police trooper (Trooper) in his execution of a search warrant at Petitioner’s business premises. In his complaint, Petitioner alleged that the search warrant was an improper general warrant. Also named as a defendant was the former prosecuting attorney for Mineral County (Prosecutor). The circuit court denied Petitioner’s complaint. Petitioner appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court properly denied Petitioner’s complaint seeking a writ of mandamus because mandamus was not a proper remedy in this case. View "Pristine Pre-Owned Auto, Inc. v. Courrier" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of robbery in the first degree, nighttime burglary, and conspiracy. At issue in this case were two plea deals offered by the State. The first was a pre-trial offer and the second was a post-conviction offer regarding a recidivist action. Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus alleging that his trial counsel was ineffective by giving erroneous advice before trial and by failing adequately to prepare him for his trial testimony. After an omnibus hearing, the circuit court denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court correctly determined that Petitioner could not establish a reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s errors, the result of the proceedings would have been different. View "Raines v. Ballard" on Justia Law

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The State filed an information charging Caleb Toparis with the misdemeanor offenses of domestic assault and domestic battery. Toparis filed a motion to dismiss the information, asserting that his right to a speedy trial had been violated because he had not been tried on the charges within one year of the execution of the warrant. The circuit court granted the motion to dismiss. The State sought a writ of prohibition to prohibit the circuit court from dismissing the two misdemeanor charges against Toparis, contending that the circuit court erred in finding that Toparis’s right to a speedy trial had been violated. The Supreme Court granted the requested writ, holding that Toparis’s right to a speedy trial was not violated in this case. View "State ex rel. Sorsaia v. Hon. Stowers" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of fleeing in a vehicle, possession with intent to deliver a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine), and possession with intent to deliver a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine). Prior to trial, Defendant moved to suppress the evidence a police officer discovered upon searching Defendant’s vehicle, arguing that no probable cause existed for either the traffic stop or the subsequent search. The trial court denied the motion. The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s convictions and resultant sentences and remanded, holding that the warrantless search of Defendant’s vehicle was unlawful, and therefore, the circuit court erred by not suppressing the evidence found during that search. View "State v. Noel" on Justia Law