Subpoenas and Subpoenas Duces Tecum
If you need to subpoena a witness, or a witness with records, to appear at one of our scheduled hearings, we provide a subpoena form that you may use and serve upon the witness by regular U.S. mail. To receive the form, you need to call our customer service unit at 304-558-1686 or 304-558-0852.
W.Va. Code § 23-2C-21(c) provides that the Office of Judges may order any private insurance carrier or self-insured employer, to pay reasonable attorney fees and expenses to claimants when the Office of Judges determines a denial of compensability; a denial of an award of TTD or a denial of an authorization for medical benefits was unreasonable. A request for attorney fees can only be filed AFTER the initial claim adjustor’s decision has been reversed by the Office of Judges, Board of Review, or Supreme Court of Appeals and the applicable appeal period has run without an appeal being filed. This form must be filed within ninety (90) days of the final decision reversing the claim adjustor. Use the "Unreasonable Denial Form".
Request for Award of Claimant's Attorney Fees and Expenses for "Unreasonable Denial"
Request for Award of Claimant's Attorney Fees and Expenses
W.Va. Code § 23-5-16(c)(1)(2) provides that an attorney’s fee for successful recovery of denied medical benefits may be charged or received by an attorney, and paid by the private carrier or self-insured employer for a claimant or dependent. Following the successful resolution of the denial in favor of the claimant, a fee petition shall be submitted by the claimant’s attorney within thirty days following a decision in which the claimant prevails andthe order becomes final. The Office of Judges, Board of Review or Supreme Court shall enter an order within thirty days of receipt of claimant’s fee petition awarding reasonable attorney fees not to exceed $125.00 per hour and reasonable costs of the claimant to be paid by the private carriers or self-insured employers, whichever is applicable, which shall be paid as directed. In no event may an award of the claimant’s attorney fees exceed $500.00 per litigated medical issue, not to exceed $2,500.00 in a claim. Use the "Petition for Award of Claimants Attorney Fees" form.
Court Reporter Fees
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner of West Virginia will pay reasonable and customary court reporter fees for deposition that is presented as evidence in workers’ compensation litigation before the Office of Judges. The Insurance Commissioner will also pay a reasonable and customary fee for those instances when a deposition is canceled without prior notice to the court reporter. Use the "Court Reporter Invoice".
Court Reporter Invoice for Appearance at Canceled Deposition
The form provided is to be completed when a deposition arranged for use in workers’ compensation litigation is cancelled without advance notice to the court reporter and the court reporter appears at the cancelled deposition. The purpose of the form is to verify to the Insurance Commissioner, so that the Auditor of the State of West Virginia can be notified, that the court reporter is entitled to an appearance fee. Use the "Verification of Court Reporter's Appearance at Cancelled Deposition".
Filing Documents with the Office of Judges
Since the middle of January 2000, documents received by the Office of Judges (as well as the Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Workers’ Compensation Board of Review) have no longer been placed on microfiche, but rather have been electronically stored and indexed on computer disks as part of the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). The key to retrieving these electronic images is the indexing scheme, i.e., the documents are labeled and categorized according to document type/sub type, in order that they may be properly located when the need to review them arises. Based upon our experience in dealing with documents filed with our office, the volume of documents filed, and the importance of correctly indexing them, it has become apparent that the Office of Judges needs your assistance with this process.
The "Document Submission Form" is to be used when filing any litigation document (i.e., general correspondence, copies of subpoenas, etc. do not need to be accompanied by this form) with the Office of Judges. The purpose of this form is to ensure that certain basic information needed to properly index the documents is provided. Please continue to use a cover letter in addition to this form.
Filing Physical Evidence with the Office of Judges
The Office of Judges has created a "Physical Evidence Form" to be used when parties wish to submit physical evidence. Physical evidence consists of video tapes, audio tapes, photos, dust samples, x-rays, etc. The purpose of this form is to ensure that certain basic information needed to properly index the documents is provided. Please continue to use a cover letter in addition to this form. Do not submit CD's containing medical records. The medical records you want the OOJ to consider should be printed and submitted with the "Document Submission Form".
Psychiatric or Psychological Reports
W.Va. Code §23-1-13(f) allows a psychiatric or psychological report of a claimant to be withheld from that claimant if, and only if, the “… treating or evaluating psychiatrist or clinical doctoral level psychologist certifies that exposure to the contents of the full report is likely to cause serious harm to the claimant or is likely to cause the claimant to pose a serious threat of harm to a third party.” (emphasis added). In order to assist the Office of Judges in indexing this kind of certified report in an appropriate location (one which will not be available to the claimant) it is necessary that the attached "Psychiatric or Psychological Report Certification" form be completed by the party submitting the report into evidence and attached to the report to be withheld from the claimant. Please be aware that §23-1-13(f) also requires that a summary of the report, which may be provided to the claimant, be compiled by the psychiatrist or psychologist. It further requires the claimant’s attorney to agree to provide the claimant with only the summary before the full report shall be provided to the attorney.
This form should be used only when the psychiatrist or psychologist certifies the report is to be withheld from the claimant for the reasons stated in the statute. Merely stamping the report "confidential" is insufficient. All psychiatric or psychological reports not certified in accordance with the statute will be indexed in such a manner as to be available to the claimant.
Filing an Appeal for an Office of Judges Decision
The West Virginia Workers' Compensation law (see W.Va. Code §23-5-10) allows parties the right to appeal any decisions issued by the Office of Judges. The "Notice of Appeal to the Board of Review" form is to be used for the purpose of filing an appeal to the Board of Review of an Office of Judges' decision.
W.Va. Code § 23-4-1c(a)(3) provides a process by which claimants may seek the help of the Office of Judges when any private insurance carrier or self-insured employer fails to timely rule or act upon any request or motion in a workers’ compensation claim. Many common actions in workers compensation claims (e.g.: rule on claim; supply copy of file; arrange for doctor’s examination; act upon doctor’s request; etc.) have legally established time limits for insurance carriers to act. Those time limits are found at various sections of Chapter Twenty-Three of the W.Va. Code, and in several regulatory rules in Title 85 of the Code of State Regulations.
PLEASE NOTE: This process does not apply to claims administered by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner through its third party administrator. To start this process and file a complaint, please complete the "Failure of a Carrier to Timely Rule or Act" and submit to:
Office of Judges
P.O. Box 2233
Charleston, WV 25328-2233
Or, call the Office of Judges at 304-558-0852