West Virginia Judiciary

WV Judicial System Judges

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Family Court Judges

This is an up-to-date list of the Family Court judges. They are listed in alphabetical order. Select a judge from the drop-down below to review their profile.

Court Information by County

Judge Anthony Bisaha
Twelfth Family Court Circuit (McDowell and Mercer Counties)
Judge Anthony Bisaha portrait image

Family Court Judge Anthony Bisaha was born and raised in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. He has a 1982 bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a 1992 law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich.

He started practicing law in 1993 in Mercer County and had been practicing family law for fifteen years when then-Governor Joe Manchin III appointed him to the bench in the Twelfth Family Court Circuit (McDowell and Mercer Counties) in 2008 and re-elected in 2016. He was elected to the seat in 2010.

Judge Bisaha is the substitute judge for the Twelfth Circuit Juvenile Drug Court.

He is a middle school baseball coach, Concord University Adjunct Professor, and a Knights of Columbus member. Judge Bisaha and his wife, Debra, have been married since 1987 and have three sons.


Judge David A. Camilletti
Twenty-Fourth Family Court Circuit (Berkeley and Jefferson Counties)
Judge David A. Camilletti portrait image

Family Court Judge David Camilletti was born in Morgantown and raised in Wheeling. He has a 1977 bachelor’s degree in history from West Virginia University and a 1982 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed him to the bench in the Twenty-Fourth Family Court Circuit (Berkeley and Jefferson Counties) in July 2015 and he was elected to the seat in 2016.


Judge Joyce Helmick Carpenter
Twenty-Seventh Family Court Circuit (Pocahontas and Webster Counties)
Judge Joyce Helmick Morton portrait image

Judge Joyce Helmick Carpenter is a native of Gilmer County. She has a 1977 bachelor’s degree in history from Glenville State College and a 1980 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

She was elected to the bench in the Twenty-Seventh Family Court Circuit (Pocahontas and Webster Counties) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

She previously was an attorney in private practice. She worked at VanNostrand & Morton, PLLC, from 1990 to 2012, Milan Puskar Trust from 2011 to 2012, and she had a solo practice from 2013 until she took the bench.

Before her election, Judge Carpenter was active in the West Virginia State Bar, including terms on the Board of Governors and several State Bar committees. She served on the Lawyer Disciplinary Board and was vice-chairman of the board for one year. She served on the West Virginia Law Institute and was a 2005 Bar Foundation Fellow.

She lives in Webster Springs with her husband, Michael Ray Carpenter. They have six children and nine grand-children.


Judge Joyce D. Chernenko
First Family Court Circuit (Brooke, Hancock, and Ohio Counties)
Judge Joyce D. Chernenko portrait image

The Honorable Joyce Dumbaugh Chernenko was born and raised in Weirton, West Virginia, and graduated from Weir Senior High School in 1974. She attended Bethany College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications in 1978, magna cum laude, and having been awarded Distinction on her Comprehensive Examinations.

Judge Chernenko then entered West Virginia University College of Law, and received her Juris Doctor degree in 1981. While at WVU she excelled at legal writing and appellate advocacy. She won membership on the College of Law’s Moot Court Board, was awarded membership in the Order of the Barristers honorary, and represented WVU at several national appellate advocacy competitions.

She returned to the upper Ohio Valley upon graduation, accepting a clerkship with The Honorable John H. Kamlowsky, Federal Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia, and entered private practice in 1982 in the courts of the Northern Panhandle, with the firm of William E. Watson and Associates.

Judge Chernenko was elected Judge for the First Family Court Circuit of West Virginia in 2002, and re-elected in 2008 and 2016. Prior to her election, Governors Gaston Caperton and Bob Wise had appointed Judge Chernenko to the Family Court in 1996 and 1999 respectively.

In October of 1999 Judge Chernenko was elected President of the West Virginia Family Court Association, serving two consecutive terms until October 2001. During the 2000 and 2001 West Virginia legislative sessions, she was the primary representative of the Family Court Association, traveling across the state to advocate for the new court system, and interacting with legislative leadership to assist them in their efforts to establish the Court.

Judge Chernenko has been on the vanguard of family court judicial administration, with the goal of making better the lives of children and families. She implemented a family court parenting mediation program two years before it was mandated statewide by the West Virginia Legislature. She also adopted a parent education program in her circuit prior to the legislature having implemented such a program statewide.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals awarded one of two grants given statewide to Judge Chernenko, used to establish a children's waiting area at her court facility in Wheeling. In 2002 and 2003 the Supreme Court awarded her a two-year total of $100,000 in grants for the purpose of establishing monitored parenting and exchange centers in Wheeling and Weirton to protect victims of domestic violence and children in high conflict parenting cases.

Since the passage of the Family Court Amendment to the West Virginia Constitution in November of 2000, Judge Chernenko has been named to the Supreme Court's Family Court Legislative Committee, and the Committee on Transfer of Domestic Violence Jurisdiction. She has been selected by the Supreme Court to train new Family Court Judges in domestic violence law, shared parenting law, and other areas of family law.

In 2001 the Judge represented West Virginia's judiciary at a national conference in San Antonio, Texas, on the relationship between domestic violence and child abuse. In 2017 she was one of 15 West Virginians awarded the Lawyers and Leaders Award from the West Virginia University College of Law and West Virginia Executive Magazine. This year Judge Chernenko enters her 27th year on the bench in Family Court.

Judge Chernenko and her husband, Marc (Bethany College Class of ’78), have remained active at their alma mater, where he served on Bethany’s Board of Trustees for 20 years before his election to emeritus trustee status last year. Judge Chernenko served, from 1996 to 2004, as the general advisor to Bethany’s Theta chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha national women’s fraternity, the chapter having been founded at Bethany in 1905. The Judge founded two annual scholarships for Theta chapter members in memory of Bethanian Beth Mayer Hersh (Zeta ’79), who succumbed to breast cancer in 2008. She and her brother, Jack, (Bethany Beta Class of ’74), also founded annual scholarships for members of Psi Chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity in memory of their father, William C. Dumbaugh (Bethany Beta Class of ’48).

In the past Judge Chernenko has also been an alumnae advisor to both the Bethany College Panhellenic Council and the Bethany College Student Court. In 2004 Judge Chernenko was named outstanding alumna for her service to Bethany, in 2012 she and her husband were jointly awarded alumni of the year honors, and they have each been inducted into the Bethany College Greek Hall of Fame.

Judge Chernenko is active as a member of the Supporters of the Brooke Pioneer Trail, a “rails to trails” organization that works to maintain and advance recreation trails for hiking and bicycling in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia.


Judge Lisa K. Clark
Twelfth Family Court Circuit (McDowell and Mercer Counties)

Judge Peter Conley
Eighteenth Family Court Circuit (Doddridge and Harrison Counties)
Judge Peter Conley portrait image

Judge Peter Conley was raised in Bridgeport. He has a 1980 bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Marshall University and a 1984 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

He was elected to the bench in the Eighteenth Family Court Circuit (Doddridge and Harrison Counties) in May 2016 to a term beginning January 1, 2017.

He previously was an attorney with the Siegrist & White law firm for more than 30 years and was a frequent volunteer with Legal Aid of West Virginia. He also was a member of the Harrison County Board of Education from 1990 to 1998 and served as president of the board for four of those years. He served as co-counsel for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Court Improvement Program.

Judge Conley is active in his church, Simpson Creek Baptist Church, and since 1993 has been a volunteer reader at Johnson Elementary School. He helped develop the James and Derick Hotsinpiller Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc., for college students studying law enforcement. He is a past president of the Clarksburg Lion’s Club, the Harrison County Bar Association, and of the Board of Directors of the Harrison County Sheltered Workshop.

He and his wife, Cindy live in Bridgeport. They have two adult daughters and two grandchildren.


Judge Bryan Cromley
Fifth Family Court Circuit (Jackson, Mason, and Wirt Counties)
Judge Bryan Cromley portrait image

Judge Bryan Cromley is a native of Point Pleasant. He has a 2006 bachelor’s degree in economics from West Virginia University and a 2009 law degree from Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He began his career as an extern then law clerk for Fifth Judicial Circuit (Calhoun, Jackson, Mason, and Roane Counties) David W. Nibert. He subsequently opened his own practice and worked as a Jackson County assistant prosecuting attorney.

Judge Cromley was elected to the Fifth Family Court Circuit (Jackson, Mason, and Wirt Counties) bench in May 2016 for a term beginning January 1, 2017. When his predecessor resigned, then-Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed him on August 15, 2016, to serve the remainder of her term before starting his own.


Judge Sabrina Deskins
Eighth Family Court Circuit (Mingo County)
Judge Sabrina Deskins portrait image

Judge Sabrina L. Deskins was born in South Williamson, Kentucky. She has a 1998 bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Marshall University and a 2002 law degree from the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia.

She was an Assistant Logan County Prosecutor from 2002 until Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed her to the bench in September 2014. She took office on October 27, 2014 and won the seat in the 2016 election.

Before she became a judge, she also had been a family court guardian ad litem for Lincoln, Logan, and Mingo Counties since 2005 and an approved family court mediator for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals since 2013.

She previously was the city attorney for the town of West Logan in 2013 and 2014.

Judge Deskins was an adjunct criminal justice professor at Southern Community and Technical College in Logan from 2011-2013.

She has spent countless hours over the past several years volunteering for WE CAN, Tug Valley Recovery Shelter, Logan All Girls Basketball League, Logan County Circuit Court Teen Drug Court, and the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia’s Court Improvement Program.

Judge Deskins and her husband, Chad, have four children.


Judge Jim Douglas
Eleventh Family Court Circuit (Kanawha County)
Judge Jim Douglas portrait image

Judge Jim Douglas was born in Sutton and raised in Charleston, Ohio, and Ivydale, Clay County. He has a 1973 bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Morris Harvey College (now the University of Charleston), a 1975 master’s degree from West Virginia University in German History and Literature, and a 1977 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

He was elected to the bench in the Eleventh Family Court Circuit (Kanawha County) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

He previously worked as a sole practitioner from 1977 until his election, specializing in divorce and family law.

He also served as the Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney from 1985-1988.

He has lived in Charleston since 2004. His hobbies include skiing, scuba diving, boating, walking his dog, and the New England Patriots.


Judge Matthew D. England
Fourteenth Family Court Circuit (Fayette County)
Judge Matthew D. England portrait image

Judge Matthew Dean England was born and raised in Beckley. He went to high school in Bluefield, Virginia, and is a 1990 graduate of Graham High School.

Judge England is a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran as a Security Police Law Enforcement Specialist and was stationed at Shaw A.F.B. in South Carolina. He was awarded achievement and meritorious service medals for his service in support of Operation Desert Storm while deployed to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain; and for his service in support of Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.

Judge England was a law enforcement officer and firearms instructor for the Beckley Police Department from 1998 to 2002, a deputy sheriff in Raleigh County from 1997 to 1998, and police officer with the Bishopville Police Department in South Carolina from 1995 to 1997.

He has a 2002 bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration magna cum laude from Mountain State University in Beckley; and a 2005 law degree magna cum laude from Appalachian School of Law in Virginia.

Judge England served as an assistant prosecutor in Fayette County from 2005 until Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed him to the bench in 2011. He was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016.

Judge England attends Mountain View Church of God in Oak Hill. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married for twenty-five years and they have four children and one grandchild.


Judge Mary Ellen Griffith
Twelfth Family Court Circuit (McDowell and Mercer Counties)
Judge Mary Ellen Griffith portrait image

Judge Mary Ellen Griffith was born and raised on a ranch in the sand hills of western Nebraska. She attended Concord College from 1972 to 1976. She has a 1976 bachelor’s degree in education from Roger Williams College and a 1988 law degree with honors from West Virginia University College of Law.

Then-Governor Joe Manchin appointed Judge Griffith to the bench in the Twelfth Family Court Circuit (McDowell and Mercer Counties) in 2006. She was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2016. She oversees the Juvenile Drug Court in her circuit.

She worked at the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund in Princeton in 1988 to 1991 before entering private practice, during which time she was a partner at Bell & Griffith, LC, from 1990 to 2000. She became a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children in 1993 and began service on the West Virginia State Bar Commission on Children at its inception in 1994, eventually serving as chairwoman for ten years.

In 2001 she established Child Law Services Inc., the state’s only legal service program for children.

She is a former trustee of the West Virginia State Bar’s Client Protection Fund, chairwoman of the West Virginia State Bar Commission on Children and the Law, and a member of the West Virginia Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Work Group. She is also on the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Bar Foundation, West Virginia Court Improvement Program, and the Appalachian South Folklife Center.

She has won numerous awards for her work, including the United States Congress’ Angel in Adoption Award, the Commissioner’s Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Children’s Justice Task Force Award, the West Virginia Childcare Association Award, and the West Virginia University Women’s Law Caucus Award, She also is a West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow.

She has one daughter and one grandchild.


Judge Bobby Hale
Tenth Family Court Circuit (Boone and Lincoln Counties)
Judge Bobby Hale portrait image

Judge Bobby Hale is a native of Madison. He has a 1970 bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the West Virginia University Institute of Technology and a 1985 law degree summa cum laude from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta.

He was elected to the bench in the Tenth Family Court Circuit (Boone and Lincoln Counties) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

Before he was elected, he was concurrently a math teacher at Boone County Career and Technical Center (two years), a Boone County fiduciary commissioner (two years) and an attorney with Cook and Cooke Attorneys in Madison (26 years).

He was a member of the Boone County Board of Education from July 1, 1986, to Sept. 6, 2011, and was president of the Board for fourteen years. He is the author of the book “Hale on Wills.”

He lives in Madison and has two sons.


Judge Lori Haynes
Twenty-Second Family Court Circuit (Randolph and Tucker Counties)
Judge Lori Haynes portrait image

Judge Lori Haynes is a native of St. Marys. She has a 1995 bachelor’s degree in communication and political science from Davis & Elkins College and a 2008 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

She was elected to the bench in the Twenty-Second Family Court Circuit (Randolph and Tucker Counties) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

She previously was the Randolph County Assistant Prosecutor from 2012 until her election. Before that she worked at the Curnutte Law Office in Elkins from 2008 to 2012.

Judge Haynes lives in Elkins with her husband, Voras Haynes, Jr., and their three children.


Judge Patricia T. Hill
Twentieth Family Court Circuit (Monongalia and Preston Counties)
Judge Patricia T. Hill portrait image

Family Court Judge Patricia Hill was born and raised in Beckley. She has a 1976 bachelor’s degree in social work and a 1977 master’s degree in social work, both from West Virginia University. She has a 1985 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law, where she was Order of the Barristers and won first place in a moot court competition in Philadelphia.

She was elected to the bench in the Twentieth Family Court Circuit (Monongalia and Preston Counties) in 2008 and re-elected in 2016.

She previously practiced law at Coldren, DeHaas & Radcliffe in Uniontown, Pennsylvania (1985 to 1986); Hajduk & Associates in Uniontown, Pennsylvania (1988 to 1989); Hajduk & Hill in Morgantown (1989 to 1991); and Hill and Associates in Morgantown (1991 to 2008). She was a nursing home ombudsman at the West Virginia Commission on Aging in Charleston (1977 to 1978), an assistant professor in social work at Salem College (1978 to 1982), and a claim representative at State Farm in Fairmont (1986 to 1988).

Judge Hill attends Chestnut Ridge Community Church. She and her husband, Leonard “Ike” Hill, have two sons.


Judge Jara Howard
Sixth Family Court Circuit (Cabell County)
Judge Jara Howard portrait image

Judge Jara Howard is a native of Cabell County. She has a 1991 bachelor’s degree in (topic) from Marshall University and a 1994 law degree from Ohio Northern University College of Law.

She was elected to a new seat in the Sixth Family Court Circuit (Cabell County) in May 2016 and took office January 1, 2017.

She previously worked as a Child Support Enforcement Attorney with the West Virginia Bureau of Child Support Enforcement Division from 1994 to 1997. From 1997 until she took the bench she was an assistant prosecuting attorney in Cabell County.

She is a member of the Rotary Club of Huntington, GFWC Women's Club of Huntington, and Advocates Saving Adoptable Pets. She is a board member of Western West Virginia Animal Rescue Alliance.

She and her son live in Huntington.


Judge Robert M. Ilderton
Ninth Family Court Circuit (Logan County)
Judge Robert Ilderton portrait image

Judge Ilderton was sworn in as a judge in the Ninth Family Court Circuit (Logan County) on September 16, 2022.

Governor Jim Justice appointed Judge Ilderton to replace Judge Kelly Codispoti, whom the governor had appointed to the circuit bench in Logan County.

Judge Ilderton is a life-long resident of Logan County who had 19 years of legal experience at the time of his appointment.

After graduating from Capital University Law School, he was a law clerk to former Judge Eric O’Briant of the 7th Judicial Circuit (Logan County). He then served as a Logan County assistant prosecuting attorney from 2004 to 2009 and as a partner at the law firm of Abraham & Ilderton, PLLC, from 2009 to 2017. He maintained a private practice, Ilderton Law, PLLC, in Logan County from 2017 until his appointment to the bench.

He is married, has three children, and is a youth sports coach.



Judge Lori B. Jackson
Eighteenth Family Court Circuit (Doddridge and Harrison Counties)

Judge Steve Jones
Fourth Family Court Circuit (Calhoun, Gilmer, Ritchie, and Roane Counties)

Judge Steve Jones was born in Charleston and raised in Dunbar. He has a 1978 bachelor’s degree from Alderson-Broaddus College (now University) and a 1989 law degree from Ohio Northern University.

He was elected to the bench in the Fourth Family Court Circuit (Calhoun, Gilmer, Ritchie, and Roane Counties) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

He previously was the Ritchie County Prosecutor from 2005 to 2008 and 2013 to 2016. He was an attorney in private practice from 1992 to 2005 and 2008 to 2013.

He has coached youth basketball for many years and is active in his church.

He and his wife, Patricia Jones, have been married for more than thirty-five years. They have three children and two grandchildren.


Judge Patricia A. Keller
Sixth Family Court Circuit (Cabell County)
Judge Patricia A. Keller portrait image

Judge Keller was born and raised in Keyser, W.Va. She has a 1980 bachelor’s degree in social welfare from Shepherd College (now University) and a 1983 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

She was appointed Family Court Judge in 2001 by then-Gov. Bob Wise and was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2008 and 2016. She presides over domestic relations hearings, including divorce, child custody, visitation, domestic violence and support, as well as modification and contempt matters.

In addition to her family court duties, Judge Keller presides over and helped implement the adult drug court in Cabell County. As an attorney, she argued several cases in front of the West Virginia Supreme Court.

Judge Keller is an adjunct instructor at West Virginia University where she has taught graduate classes in the Master of Legal Studies Program since 1999. She teaches both Law & Society, as well as Family Law.


Judge Lyndsey W. Matschat
Twenty-Fourth Family Court Circuit (Berkeley and Jefferson Counties)

Family Court Judge Lyndsey W. Matschat graduated from Hedgesville High School, earned her undergraduate degree from Shepherd University (double majoring in accounting and economics), and obtained her law degree from The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law.

Governor Jim Justice appointed her to the bench in October 2022 to replace Family Court Judge Sally G. Jackson, who retired.

Judge Matschat served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for 11 years, focusing primarily on child abuse/neglect and adult/child sexual assault cases. She was a member of the Jefferson County Multi-Disciplinary Investigative Team, a statutorily mandated team of professionals that reviews all cases of sexual abuse and serious physical abuse involving children to improve outcomes. Judge Matschat also was a member of the Jefferson County Sexual Assault Response Team and Human Trafficking Subcommittee, which is dedicated to improving the judicial process for sexual assault and human trafficking victims. She routinely provided training to law enforcement and other organizations in the community including teachers, medical students, social workers, and Court-Appointed Special Advocates.

Judge Matschat served as a representative of the prosecutor’s office on the Jefferson County Adult Treatment Court. She remains a member of the drug court treatment team and serves as a secondary judge when needed.

She received the Partners in Prevention Award in April 2017 from the Children’s Home Society Safe Haven Child Advocacy Center. She also received an award from the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center in October 2019.

Judge Matschat is a member of the Junior League of the Eastern Panhandle and is a board member of the Shepherd University Alumni Association and the Shepherd University Foundation. She is a member of Women Investing in Shepherd and actively serves on the student-family association of her children’s school. She is also a past board member of Court-Appointed Special Advocates of the Eastern Panhandle.


Judge Sean Maynard
Seventh Family Court Circuit (Wayne County)
Judge Sean Maynard portrait image

Judge Sean Maynard is a native of Wayne County. He has a 2000 bachelor’s degree in human resource management from West Virginia Institute of Technology and a 2004 law degree from Appalachian School of Law.

He was elected to the bench in the Seventh Family Court Circuit (Wayne County) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

He previously was an assistant prosecuting attorney in Wayne County; an associate at Bellomy & Turner, LC; and a law clerk for Twenty-Fourth Judicial Circuit (Wayne County) Darrell Pratt.

He and his wife, Stephanie Maynard, live in Lavalette. They have four children.


Judge H. Suzanne McGraw
Thirteenth Family Court Circuit (Raleigh, Summers, and Wyoming Counties)
Judge H. Suzanne McGraw portrait image

Family Court Judge H. Suzanne McGraw was born and raised in Wyoming County. She has a 1988 bachelor’s degree in history and economics from Concord College and a 1991 law degree from Wake Forest Law School, where she won the American Jurisprudence Award for Trial Advocacy.

In 1999 she was appointed a Family Law Master and in 2001 then-Gov. Bob Wise appointed her to the bench in the Thirteenth Family Court Circuit (Raleigh and Wyoming Counties). She was elected in 2002. In 2008 and 2016 she was re-elected to a circuit that also included Summers County.

Judge McGraw was in private practice from 1991 to 1999 in Pineville; Beckley; Charleston; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Washington, D.C.

Previously she has served as a Girl Scout leader and a member of the Young Lawyer Division of the American Association for Justice. She has been a life-long member of the Methodist Church.

Judge McGraw is married to Andrew Dimlich, and they have two children.


Judge Randal A. Minor
Twentieth Family Court Circuit (Monongalia and Preston Counties)
Judge Randal A. Minor portrait image

Family Court Judge Randal Minor was born in Morgantown. He has a 1978 bachelor’s degree in accounting and a 1981 law degree from West Virginia University, where he was a member of the Law Review and played on the University rugby team.

Judge Minor was elected to the bench in 2008 in the Twentieth Family Court Circuit (Monongalia and Preston Counties) and re-elected in 2016. He previously served as a Magistrate in Monongalia County in 1984.

Immediately before becoming a Family Court Judge, Judge Minor was the director of the Appalachian Center for Law and Public Service at West Virginia University College of Law. For fifteen years he coordinated public service opportunities for law students while providing free legal services to needy individuals throughout a five-county area.

Before coming back to West Virginia in 1994, Judge Minor worked for ten years in Washington, D.C., where he was a law school clinician at Antioch School of Law, a managing attorney of a neighborhood Legal Aid office, and most recently was the director of pro bono programs for the District of Columbia Bar Association. At the beginning of his career, Judge Minor worked in private practice with attorneys Allan Karlin and Regina Charon in Morgantown.

Judge Minor and his wife, Janine Breyel, have four sons who have been very active in sports, music, and theatre. Judge Minor and his wife have coached teams, and have driven many miles in support of their children’s activities. The family loves to travel, and together or individually they have travelled throughout the United States and visited a number of other countries on four continents.


Judge Robert M. Montgomery
Eleventh Family Court Circuit (Kanawha County)
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Judge Robert Montgomery was born and raised in Weston. He has a 1989 bachelor’s degree in government from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a 1992 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

In 2001 then-Gov. Bob Wise appointed him to be a Family Court Judge in the Eleventh Family Court Circuit (Kanawha County). He was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2008 and 2016.

Before taking the bench, Judge Montgomery was a Family Law Master and in private practice at Clark & Marlow, Marlow & Montgomery, Policy Studies, Inc., and Swartz & Stump.

He is married to Dr. Emily Montgomery, and they have three children.


Judge Julie A. Pence
Eleventh Family Court Circuit (Kanawha County)
Judge Julie Pence portrait image

Judge Julie A. Pence was born and raised in Wayne County, West Virginia, where she graduated from Ceredo-Kenova High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Marshall University in 1999, and went on to earn her Juris Doctor degree from the West Virginia University College of Law in 2002, where she was a member of the West Virginia Law Review and served as Vice-President of her class.

From 2002 to 2010, Judge Pence practiced as a litigator with the law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP in Charleston, West Virginia. Following the birth of her second daughter in 2010, Judge Pence practiced in-house with a real estate development company for nearly three years before returning to private practice with Hardy Pence PLLC, where she devoted her entire practice to family law matters.

In June 2021, Governor Jim Justice appointed her as Family Court Judge for the 2nd District of the 11th Family Court Circuit in Kanawha County. Her predecessor was appointed as a Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge.

Judge Pence is married to Chris Pence, a lawyer in Charleston. They reside with their two daughters in South Charleston.


Judge Brittany Ranson Stonestreet
Eleventh Family Court Circuit (Kanawha County)
Judge Brittany Ranson-Stonestreet portrait image

Judge Brittany Ranson Stonestreet was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia. She is a proud 2001 alumna of Capital High School. A lifelong Mountaineer fan, she later obtained a B.S. in Journalism and minors in Business Administration and Political Science from West Virginia University in 2007. She was a member of Delta Gamma where she held various leadership positions.

Judge Ranson Stonestreet graduated from WVU College of Law in 2010. In addition to serving as her class President, she was a member of the Order of the Barristers, Moot Court Board, and M.E. Lugar Trial Association. She and her law school trial partner (now husband) were finalists in the school’s annual trial competition – The Lugar Trial Association Invitational. She was also awarded the CALI excellence for the Future Award in Legal Research and Writing and a leadership award from the Women’s Law Caucus.

In 2010, she joined Lyne Ranson Law Offices, PLLC, where she practiced exclusively in the area of family law over the next 10 years. She is an active member of the American Bar Association – Family Law Section and currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Alimony Committee. She has previously served as chair of the ABA child support and custody committees. She is also a member of the Kanawha County Family Law Bench Bar Committee.

Judge Ranson Stonestreet loves writing and has authored numerous family law publications. In 2015, she co-authored “Divorce in West Virginia: The Legal Process, Your Rights and What to Expect.” She has presented at numerous national and state conferences on the subject of family law.

Governor Jim Justice appointed Judge Ranson Stonestreet to the bench in the 11th Family Court Circuit (Kanawha County) after her predecessor retired. She took office on December 28, 2020.

She is married to her law school sweetheart, Matthew Stonestreet, who is a consumer rights and class action attorney at Giatras Law firm. Together, they live in Charleston with their young twin daughters.


Judge Susan Riffle
Nineteenth Family Court Circuit (Marion County)
Judge Susan Riffle portrait image

Judge Susan Riffle is a native of Harrison County and grew up in Clarksburg. She has a 1987 bachelor's degree in business from Fairmont State College and a 1990 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

She was elected to a seat in the Nineteenth Family Court Circuit (Marion County) in May 2016, for a term beginning January 1, 2017.

She previously had practiced law with the firm of Hodges & Riffle PLLC with attorney J.T. Hodges since 2006. She served as Marion County’s elected prosecuting attorney from 2002 to 2006. She was also a sole practitioner from 1990 to 2000.

Judge Riffle is a board member of the Communities of Shalom, President of the Stepping Stone, Inc., Trustee at LIFE United Methodist Church, Adjunct Professor at Pierpont Community and Technical College, on the Board of Wesley Foundation, and is a board member of Fairmont Community Development Partnership.


Judge Deanna Rock
Twenty-Third Family Court Circuit (Hampshire, Mineral, and Morgan Counties)
Judge Deanna Rock portrait image

Judge Deanna Rock resides in Mineral County. Prior to her legal career, she obtained an Associates Degree in Nursing from Mount Aloysius Junior College in 1986. She worked as a Registered Nurse, primarily in the operating room.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1999 from Frostburg State University and her law degree in 2002 from West Virginia University College of Law.

She was elected to a new seat in the Twenty-Third Family Court Circuit (Hampshire, Mineral and Morgan Counties) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

Before her election, she worked as an attorney in private practice from 2003 to 2016. She was licensed in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland and focused on domestic, personal injury, and workers’ compensation cases.

She is married to Kenneth Rock, MD, and has an adult son.


Judge Jeffrey R. Roth
Twenty-Fifth Family Court Circuit (Grant, Hardy, and Pendleton Counties)
Judge Jeffrey Roth portrait image

Judge Roth was born and raised in Grant County. He is a 1986 graduate of Petersburg High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from West Virginia University in 1990 and a law degree from Western Michigan Thomas C. Cooley School of Law in 1994.

Upon graduating law school, Judge Roth began his career with Walters and Krauskopf in Moorefield. In 2001, he formed Roth Legal Services in Petersburg and practiced solo until 2013. During this time he engaged in extensive work in civil, criminal, and domestic law as well as real estate and estate planning. In 2012, he began serving as assistant prosecutor of Grant County and in 2012 was elected Prosecutor for Grant County for the 2013-2016 term.

In April 2017, Governor Jim Justice appointed him to fill a vacancy in the Twenty-Fifth Family Court Circuit (Grant, Hardy, and Pendleton Counties). He was elected to the bench in 2018.

Judge Roth is a member of the Oak Dale Presbyterian Chapel where he has served as Elder and Deacon and currently teaches adult Sunday school and serves as Trustee. He served on the Grant Memorial Hospital Board of Directors for 12 years. He also coached little league basketball and soccer for 10 years. He is a member of the Petersburg Masonic Lodge.

Judge Roth is married to Kim (Hiser) Roth. They have three children and one granddaughter.


Judge Ron Salmons
Tenth Family Court Circuit (Boone and Lincoln Counties)
Judge Ron Salmons portrait image

Judge Ron Salmons was born in Huntington and raised in West Hamlin. He has a 1983 bachelor’s degree from Marshall University and a 2006 law degree from Regent University.

He was elected to the bench in the Tenth Family Court Circuit (Boone and Lincoln Counties) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

He previously worked at Salmons Law Offices and is a former member of the West Virginia Ethics Commission.

He and his wife, Kelley Salmons, have two children.


Judge David M. Sanders
Fifteenth Family Court Circuit (Greenbrier and Monroe Counties)

Judge David Sanders was born and raised in Ashland, Kentucky. He has a 1978 bachelor’s degree in special education and a 1980 master’s degree in industrial safety, both from Marshall University. He also has a 1986 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

He was appointed to the bench in the Fifteenth Family Court Circuit (Greenbrier and Monroe Counties) in 2007 and elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2016. Before becoming a judge, he worked for Legal Aid of West Virginia in both Parkersburg and Lewisburg for twenty years.

Judge Sanders is married to Barbara Sanders.


Judge Eric Shuck
Thirteenth Family Court Circuit (Raleigh, Summers, and Wyoming Counties)
Judge Eric Shuck portrait image

Judge Eric Shuck, a true native of southern West Virginia, was born in Raleigh County and raised in both Summers and Raleigh. He has a 1996 associate’s degree in paralegal studies and a 1999 bachelor’s degree in legal studies from the College of West Virginia (formerly Mountain State University). He has a 2002 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law, where he graduated thirteenth in a class of 137.

He was elected to the bench in the Thirteenth Family Court Circuit (Raleigh, Summers, and Wyoming Counties) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

Before his election, he had worked in the Raleigh County Public Defender's Office since 2002. He previously worked as a paralegal, a general laborer, a farmhand, and a Lowe’s Associate.

Judge Shuck has mentored for the Mountaineer Challenge Academy and served on the Human Rights/Quality Assurance Board of Family Options Providers, Inc. He also speaks at various schools and churches.

He lives in Beckley with his dogs and enjoys hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, riding ATVs and traveling. His family, including his parents Ronnie and Pamela Shuck, still enjoy and maintain property in Summers County.


Judge Ellen Smith
Third Family Court Circuit (Wood and Pleasants Counties)
Judge Ellen Smith portrait image

Judge Ellen Smith is a native of Parkersburg. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, from Marietta College in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in International Business Management and French and from West Virginia University College of Law in 1992. In law school, she was a member of the West Virginia Law Review.

She was elected to the bench in the Third Family Court Circuit (Wood and Pleasants Counties) in 2016 and took office January 1, 2017. She previously practiced law in Parkersburg for 24 years. Before forming her own firm in 2000, she worked as a trial attorney for corporate law firms in Parkersburg, including Bowles Rice, LLP, Steptoe and Johnson, PLLC.

She and her husband, Justin, live in Wood County with their two children.


Judge Jason Spears
Sixth Family Court Circuit (Cabell County)
Judge Jason Spears portrait image

Judge Jason Spears is a native of Huntington. He received an associate’s degree in paramedic science and a Regents bachelor’s degree from Marshall University in 2002. He also attended Middle Tennessee State University with an emphasis on music business law and percussion studies. He has a 2005 law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida.

Judge Spears was elected to the Sixth Family Court Circuit (Cabell County) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017. Prior to taking the bench he was an assistant prosecuting attorney in Cabell County, specializing in juveniles, truancy, arson, violent crime, and narcotics. He was the prosecutor assigned to Cabell County’s Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts. Judge Spears also served as municipal judge for the City of Milton.

He still serves the community as a volunteer firefighter/paramedic with both the Barboursville and Milton Fire Fepartments. He started his career in emergency medicine with Cabell County Emergency Medical Services and continued as a paramedic and attorney for HealthNet Aeromedical Services, an emergency helicopter service owned jointly by West Virginia University Healthcare, Charleston Area Medical Center, and Cabell Huntington Hospital. He also maintained a private practice specializing in civil law, family law, criminal law, entertainment law, and aviation law. He still serves as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol.

After his time in Nashville in the country music industry, his roots are still deep in music. Judge Spears spends his spare time as a drummer and guitarist with several music groups, including his church praise band. He also is an avid photographer.

He and his daughter live in Barboursville.


Judge Richard Stephens
Twenty-Fourth Family Court Circuit (Berkeley and Jefferson Counties)


Judge Harley Stollings
Sixteenth Family Court Circuit (Clay and Nicholas Counties)

Judge Glen R. Stotler
Twenty-Third Family Court Circuit (Hampshire, Mineral, Morgan Counties)
Judge Glen R. Stotler portrait image

Judge Stotler is a native of Berkeley Springs. He has a 1975 bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Shepherd College (now Shepherd University) and a 1989 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Judge Stotler to the seat in the Twenty-Third Family Court Circuit (Morgan, Hampshire, and Mineral Counties) in 2011. He was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016.

He practiced law in Berkeley Springs, primarily in the areas of family law and real estate law, for twenty years. From 1985 until 2008 he also served as a Morgan County Commissioner. Prior to serving on the County Commission, he served as a member of the Morgan County Board of Education and the Town of Bath Council. He also served on the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority.

President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the United States Architectural and Barriers Compliance Board and he was reappointed by President George H.W. Bush. Judge Stotler is a former member of the Eastern Panhandle Community Foundation and a member of the Physically Challenged Advisory Board to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. He is a former chairman and member of the Region 9 Planning and Development Council.

In 2010, he was selected as the West Virginia Bankers Title Attorney of the Year.

He and his wife, Kate, live in Berkeley Springs.


Judge C. Darren Tallman
Third Family Court Circuit (Pleasants and Wood Counties)
Judge C. Darren Tallman portrait image

Judge Darren Tallman was born and raised in Pennsboro, in Ritchie County. He has a 1983 bachelor’s degree in political science from West Virginia University and a 1986 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

He was elected to the Third Family Court Circuit (Pleasants and Wood Counties) in 2002 and re-elected in 2008 and 2016. He also has been the Wood County Juvenile Drug Court judge since 2010.

He served as a Wood County Mental Hygiene Commissioner from 1999 to 2002. Judge Tallman worked in the West Virginia Child Advocate Office from 1993 to 1996 and was a Wood County assistant prosecutor from 1989 to 1993. He coached Parkersburg Catholic Elementary girls’ basketball in 2010 and boys’ basketball in 2011.

Judge Tallman is married to Sharyn Tallman, and they have three children.


Judge Constance Thomas
Fifth Family Court Circuit (Jackson, Mason, and Wirt Counties)

Judge Theresa Cogar Turner
Seventeenth Family Court Circuit (Braxton, Lewis, and Upshur Counties)
Judge Theresa Cogar Turner portrait image

Judge Theresa Cogar Turner is a native of Lewis County. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from West Virginia University and a law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

She was elected to the bench in the Seventeenth Family Court Circuit (Braxton, Lewis and Upshur Counties) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

She previously was an assistant public defender in Kanawha County from 2000 to 2005 and in Harrison County in 2006. She was a Child Support Attorney for the West Virginia Bureau for Child Support Enforcement from 2006 to 2014 and then served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Lewis County.

She lives in Weston with her husband, Jamie, and two sons.


Judge Lera K. VanMeter
Eleventh Family Court Circuit (Kanawha County)
Judge Lera K. VanMeter portrait image

Judge Lera K. VanMeter is a native of Williamson. She has a 1991 bachelor’s degree in business, with a major in finance and a minor in English, from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a 1994 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

She was elected to the bench in the Eleventh Family Court Circuit (Kanawha County) in May 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017.

She previously was a sole practitioner.

She enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with friends and family. She lives in Charleston with her partner, Mark Kelley, and two dogs and seven cats.


Judge Richard C. Witt
Twenty-Sixth Family Court Circuit (Putnam County)
Judge Richard C. Witt portrait image

Judge Richard Witt was born and raised in Red House in Putnam County. He has a 1994 bachelor’s degree in political science from West Virginia State University and a 1997 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

He practiced law at Jack Hickok, Attorney at Law approximately three years and was a sole practitioner approximately fourteen years before being elected to the bench in the Twenty-Sixth Family Court Circuit (Putnam County) in 2014. He was re-elected in 2016.

He has been an assistant baseball coach.

He is married to Sheryl Witt and he has one son, two step-daughters, and two step-grandsons.


Judge Heather Wood
First Family Court Circuit (Brooke, Hancock, and Ohio Counties)
Judge Heather Wood portrait image

Judge Heather A. Wood graduated with departmental honors from the University of New Mexico in 1991 with a B.A. degree. She graduated from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1996. She was a member of the Order of the Barristers, a member of the NITA and ATLA Moot Court trial teams, and recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Evidence Workshop and the Oklahoma Trial Handbook Award. She had a limited license to practice law while in law school and worked for the Tulsa County Public Defender’s office.

In 1996 she was employed as a public defender at the First Judicial Circuit Public Defender Corporation in Wheeling, West Virginia. In 2000 she joined the firm of Frankovitch, Anetakis, Colantonio & Simon in Weirton, West Virginia, where she practiced family law, bankruptcy, and general civil litigation. In 2008 she joined the office of First Judicial Circuit (Brooke, Hancock, and Ohio Counties) Ronald E. Wilson as his law clerk. In 2018 she was appointed by Governor Jim Justice to the unexpired term of First Family Court Circuit (Brooke, Hancock and Ohio Counties) Judge William F. Sinclair, who retired January 1, 2018. She retained the position through election in May 2018.

She has been actively involved in youth soccer in the Upper Ohio Valley as a coach, referee and board member of a local soccer league.

Judge Wood resides in Weirton with her husband, Jack, and their two children.


Judge Christopher Workman
Ninth Family Court Circuit (Logan County)
Judge Christopher Workman portrait image

Christopher Workman was born and raised in Chapmanville. He has a 1998 bachelor’s degree in economics from Centre College and a 2002 law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While in law school he served on the editorial staff of the Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law and Policy.

Judge Workman was a law clerk in Cabell County to former Sixth Judicial Circuit Judge Dan O’Hanlon from 2002 to 2004 and in Logan County to Seventh Judicial Circuit Judge Eric O’Briant from 2011 to 2015, where he was a participant in the Adult Drug Court team. He was first appointed to the seat on October 8, 2015 and won the seat in the 2016 election.

From 2005 to 2011 he practiced law in the Charleston, W.Va., office of Hawking Parnell Thackston and Young, LLP. , and served as counsel to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance in the West Virginia Legislature in 2005.