In State ex. Rel. TD Ameritrade, Inc. v. Kaufman, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia concluded that the Circuit Court of Kanawha County exceeded its authority when it ruled on the merits of an issue that ultimately was referred to arbitration. The Supreme Court of Appeals concluded that when a trial court is required to rule on a motion to compel arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"), the trial court is limited to determining the threshold issues of: 1) whether a valid arbitration agreement exists between the parties; and 2) "whether the claims averred by the plaintiff fall within the substantive scope of that arbitration agreement."
Emma Kline, Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Takes Meritorious Claims Back Home to the Place they Belong, 3 316 (2011).