W.Va. judge complies with justices’ order

CHARLESTON (AP) — A Putnam County Family Court judge avoided contempt proceedings before the state Supreme Court by ruling on motions in a divorce case that languished for nearly two years.

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Judge William Watkins to rule on the motions by Tuesday or appear before the justices for contempt proceedings Aug. 7.

Watkins told the Charleston Gazette that he complied with the court’s order at around noon Friday.

According to the Supreme Court, a circuit judge had twice ordered Watkins to rule on the motions, but he had not done so. The motions involved a dispute over how a couple would split their property.

Watkins attributed the delay to a misunderstanding between himself and the parties’ lawyers.

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