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Native Son Seeks Another Term Serving Public

By Staff | Feb 10, 2016

SISTERSVILLE – Robert C. Hicks of Sistersville is running unopposed for re-election as Family Court Judge for the Second Judicial Circuit.

Hicks said public service is about helping people.

“Life is given meaning through service,” he said. “What I like best is the opportunity to have impact upon the lives with which I come into contact; and hope, that the majority will accept that impact as positive.”

Non-partisan judicial elections will be held May 10 – the same day as the primary election for county and statewide offices.

Family court judges hear cases involving divorce; annulment; separate maintenance; paternity; grandparent visitation; issues involving allocation of parental responsibility; and family support proceedings, except those incidental to child abuse and neglect proceedings. Family court judges also hold final hearings in domestic violence civil proceedings.

There are forty-five family court judges who serve twenty-seven family court circuits. Family court judges, who were previously appointed by the governor, were elected in partisan elections for the first time in 2002. Their initial terms are for six years. Subsequent terms are for eight years. Beginning in 2016 all judicial elections are nonpartisan elections.

Next to the Magistrate Court system, this is the Court with the greatest impact upon your typical reader’s life. The Second Family Court Circuit covers Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler Counties, and as indicated by the recent case load studies, this circuit is among the busiest in the state.

Hicks grew up in Tyler County and was salutatorian when he graduated from Sistersville High School in 1976. From there, Hicks graduated in 1980 with bachelor of science degrees in economics and business administration from Fairmont State University. He earned his law degree in 1983 from West Virginia University. Hicks has worked as an attorney, served as a Tyler County Magistrate and later as the county’s prosecuting attorney before taking his place on the judicial bench in 1999 as Family Law Judge.

If re-elected, this would be Hicks’ third elected term. He said when Family Court was first being developed, he served three short terms by virtue of appointment first by a Circuit Judge, then by two successive governors.

Hicks said if re-elected, he hopes to maintain the same high standards required of this position.

“Of course, Judicial Canons prohibit Judges from ‘promising’ prospective actions,” he said. I would note, though, that time studies show that my circuit has one of the greater ‘per Judge’ case load within the state. My staff and I have managed to maintain the expected time standards for the disposition of cases. I do hope to draw upon my experience to even better manage the case load of our jurisdiction. I would hope to continue to treat everyone that comes before me with the dignity and respect that they are entitled to receive, and ensure that everyone else is treated that way as well. My staff and I will never lose sight of the significance of the present circumstances to everyone who must come before the Court.”