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§3-7-7. County court to hear county and district contests; procedure; review.

The county court shall hear and decide election contests initiated pursuant to the provisions of the preceding section. Subpoenas for witnesses for either party shall be issued by the clerk of the county court, and served as in other cases, and the witnesses shall be entitled to the same allowances and privileges, and be subject to the same penalties, as witnesses attending a circuit court in a civil suit. The notice of contest shall be presented to the county court at its first term after the same is delivered to the person whose election is contested, and the same shall be docketed for trial in such court. At the trial of such contest, the court shall hear all such legal and proper evidence that may be brought before it by either party, and may, if deemed necessary, require the production of the poll books, certificates and ballots deposited with its clerk, and examine the same. The hearing may be continued by the court from time to time, if it be shown that justice and right require it, but not beyond three months from the day of election. At the final trial of such contest the court shall declare the true result of such election, and cause the same to be entered on the records of the court. When the result of the election is declared, as aforesaid, a certified copy of the order declaring such result shall, if required, be delivered by the clerk of the court to the person declared elected, if such be the result of the trial, and such copy shall be received in all courts and places as legal evidence of the result of the election therein declared. Either the contestant or contestee shall have the right of appeal to the circuit court of the county from the final order or decision of the county court in such proceeding, upon the filing of a bond with good personal security, by the party desiring the appeal, to be approved by the county court, in a sum deemed sufficient by such court, with condition to the effect that the person proposing to appeal will perform and satisfy any judgment which may be rendered against him by the circuit court on such appeal. But such appeal shall not be granted unless the party desiring the appeal shall make application for such appeal, and file such bond, within thirty days from the entering of the final order in such proceeding; and the circuit court may at any time require a new bond or increase the penalty thereof when the court deems it necessary. When such appeal is taken to the circuit court, as hereinbefore provided, it shall be heard and determined upon the original papers, evidence, depositions and records filed before and considered by the county court, and the circuit court shall decide the contest upon the merits. From the decision of the circuit court, an appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court of Appeals, as in other cases, but such appeal shall be heard upon the original papers and copies of all orders made, without requiring the same to be printed.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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