West Virginia rules of civil procedure lays down the rules that should be followed by West Virginia state courts. The rules govern civil actions. These rules are promulgated, construed and administered to secure just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every civil action in state courts. Civil actions in West Virginia commences by filing of a complaint. Party who commences the action is called the plaintiff, and the opposite party is called the defendant. A civil action can be classified into various stages that include: pleading stage, discovery stage, trial stage, and judgment stage. According to Rule 4, once a complaint is filed, the court clerk will issue the required summons to the defendant(s).
Pleadings recognized in West Virginia courts are: complaint, answer to complaint, counter claim, reply to counterclaim, cross claim, reply to cross claim, third party complaint and answer to third party complaint. A complaint should be filed by the real party in interest. Parties may obtain discovery by depositions upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property for inspection and other purposes; physical and mental examination; and requests for admission.
At the trial stage, a party may demand for trial by jury. A judgment is passed after trial. The judgment may include a decree or an order upon which an appeal is permissible. Generally, cost of litigation is adjudged to the prevailing party.