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Recently Corporate Screening published a Client Alert explaining why court searches have been delayed in West Virginia. As an update, the main reason for these delays has been due to all magistrate courts in the state being transitioned from an old public access system to a new public access system. Please note that the problem is only affecting magistrate courts.

Transitioning to the new system is taking time, and there is no reliable schedule to predict when a county will transition. To date, 40 courts have been converted to the new system. The largest, Kanawha, will be converted last. The target date for getting all systems converted to the new system is January 2016.

As we informed you in the earlier alert, a further complication is that the Supreme Court redacted all dates of birth from the old system. Additionally, the old system does not provide sentencing information. Therefore, in counties still on the old system, clerks must pull files to confirm birth dates, and most clerks will only pull 10 files a day. This means that wait times may be extremely lengthy for identifiers, or the information may not be attainable. For records with hits (or possible hits) there could be delays of 4-8 weeks, depending on the jurisdiction.

In addition, counties still using the old system are short-handed, as clerks are being sent for training on the new system. This has contributed to delays.

As we stated in our earlier alert, once the new system is in place, it is expected to decrease turnaround time. In the meantime, Corporate Screening and our researchers are doing everything possible to complete searches as quickly as possible. Once again, we apologize for the delays and appreciate your patience during this time. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide you with updates as we receive additional information.