Articles Posted in Landlord - Tenant

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Petitioners filed a petition in the magistrate court seeking to have Respondent evicted from one of their apartments. The magistrate court dismissed Petitioners’ claim as moot after a hearing. Respondent appealed. Thereafter, Respondent filed a complaint against Petitioners for, inter alia, unpaid wages and wrongful termination. The circuit court entered an order consolidating Respondent’s magistrate court appeal with his circuit court original complaint. Petitioners moved to dismiss three counts of the complaint on the grounds that the issues involved were litigated in the magistrate court proceeding. The circuit court denied the motion to dismiss. Petitioners then brought this writ of prohibition proceeding. The Supreme Court granted the writ as moulded, holding that the circuit court was prohibited from exercising original jurisdiction over the challenged counts in the complaint, as (1) W. Va. R. Civ. P. 42(a) allows consolidation of a magistrate court appeal with an action pending under the original jurisdiction of a circuit court; (2) Respondent’s claims for unpaid wages were not barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel, but those counts may go forward in circuit court as amendments to the magistrate court pleadings; and (3) Plaintiff’s wrongful discharge claim was a new cause of action not embraced by the magistrate cause of action for unpaid wages. View "State ex rel. Veard v. Hon. Lawrance S. Miller" on Justia Law