Judge kills motion to define 'reside' in gov residency case

FILE - In this July 8, 2019, file photo ,West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice speaks at a roundtable on the opioid epidemic at Cabell-Huntington Health Center in Huntington, WVa. Records show Justice's companies owe almost $2 million in delinquent taxes in Virginia. WDBJ-TV reported, Wednesday, July 1, 2019, that companies owned by the Republican governor owe $1.9 million in taxes to several counties in Virginia. Justice lists more than 100 businesses in his most recent financial statement, including coal, timber and agriculture companies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A lawsuit over whether West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice must live in the state capital may be headed to the state Supreme Court.

News outlets report Kanawha County Circuit Judge Charles King last week defended the lawsuit by Democratic Del. Isaac Sponaugle.

He also denied a motion by Justice’s lawyers to certify questions for the state Supreme Court of Appeals to answer before the case can proceed, including defining the word “reside.” Sponaugle wants Justice to live in Charleston, per the state constitution that says governors should “reside at the seat of the government.”

Justice’s lawyers have argued “reside” has vague meaning. Justice’s attorneys have said they would appeal King’s refusal to dismiss the case, but a Supreme Court spokeswoman said Friday that no appeal has been received.