H. B. 2817
(By Delegate Hunt)
[Introduced March 1, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §61-13-1,
§61-13-3, §61-13-4, §61-13-5, §61-13-6, §61-13-7, §61-13-8,
§61-13-9, §61-13-10 and §61-13-11, all relating to enacting
the Elder and Mental Retardation Offense Registration Act;
requiring registration of persons convicted of criminal
offenses against persons sixty-five years of age or older and
mentally retarded persons; requiring information on change of
address; duration of registration requirement; providing for
the distribution of registration information; imposing duties
regarding registration on institutional officials; providing
for information disclosure when registrant moves out-of-state;
providing penalty for failure to register or provide change of
address; providing for registration of out-of-state offenders;
and providing for annual address verification.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §61-13-1,
§61-13-3, §61-13-4, §61-13-5, §61-13-6, §61-13-7, §61-13-8,
§61-13-9, §61-13-10 and §61-13-11, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 13. ELDER AND MENTAL RETRDATION OFFENSE REGISTRATION ACT.
§61-13-1. Short title.
This article may be cited as the "Elder and Mental Retardation
Offense Registration Act."
(a) Any person who has been convicted of a violation of the
provisions of this chapter or of a similar provision in another
jurisdiction where the victim of the offense is either sixty-five
years of age or older or mentally retarded, as defined in this
article, shall be required to be registered as set forth in this
article. Any person who has been convicted of an attempt to commit
any of the offenses set forth in this chapter where the victim of
the offense is sixty-five years of age or older or mentally
retarded, as defined in this article, shall also be required to
register as set forth in this article.
(b) On the date that any person convicted of the crimes listed
herein is released, is granted probation, is granted a suspended
sentence, is released on parole or probation, or is ordered to be
placed on home detention, the Commissioner of Corrections, regional jail supervisor or city or sheriff operating a jail which releases
such person and any parole or probation officer who releases such
person or supervises such person following the release shall obtain
all information required by this subsection prior to the release of
the person and shall send written notice of the release of the
person to the State Police within three days of receiving the
information. The notice shall include:
(1) The full name of the person;
(2) The address where the person shall reside;
(3) The person's social security number;
(4) A recent photograph of the person;
(5) A brief description of the crime for which the person was
(c) At the time the person is convicted of a crime set forth
in subsection (a) of this section, the person shall sign in open
court, a statement acknowledging that he or she understands the
requirements imposed by this article. The court shall inform the
person so convicted of the requirements to register imposed by this
article and shall further satisfy itself by interrogation of the
defendant or his or her counsel that the defendant has received
notice of the provisions of this article and that the defendant
understands such provisions. Such statement, when signed and
witnessed shall constitute prima facie evidence that the person had knowledge of the requirements of this article.
(d) When a person required to register under this article is
released following incarceration, the Commissioner of Corrections,
the regional jail supervisor or the city or sheriff or any other
person supervising the operation of the place of confinement shall,
within three days, inform the State Police of such release and
provide such further information as is required by this article.
(e) The State Police shall maintain a central registry of all
persons who register under this article and shall release
information only as provided in this article.
§61-13-3. Change of address.
When any person required to register under this article
changes his or her residence or address, he or she shall inform the
West Virginia State Police of his or her new address, in writing,
within ten days.
§61-13-4. Duration of registration requirement.
Any person required to register under this article shall be
required to do so for a period of ten years after conviction for
the offense defined herein if not imprisoned, and if imprisoned,
for a period of ten years after release from prison by discharge or
parole. A person is no longer required to register at the
expiration of ten years from the date of initial registration, when
that convicted person is not otherwise required, during such
period, to register. A person whose conviction is overturned for the offense which required them to register under this article
shall be permitted to petition the court for removal of their name
from the registry.
§61-13-5. Distribution of information.
(a) Within five working days after receiving any notification
as described in this article, the State Police shall distribute a
copy of the notification statement to:
(1) The supervisor of each county and municipal
law-enforcement office in the city and county where the person will
(2) The adult protective services office charged with
investigating allegations of adult abuse or neglect in the county
where the person will reside; and
(3) All community organizations or religious organizations
which regularly provide services to senior citizens in the county
where the person will reside.
(b) The information and documentation required in connection
with the registration may be provided to any other person upon
application to the circuit court in the county where an applicant
seeking the information resides, when that court finds that the
information is sufficiently relevant to public safety to outweigh
the importance of maintaining confidentiality of this article.
When the court orders the release of that information, the court
shall further order to what extent the applicant may provide for the release of the information to third parties.
(c) The State Police may furnish information and documentation
required in connection with the registration to authorized
law-enforcement and governmental agencies of the United States and
its territories, of foreign countries duly authorized to receive
the same, of other states within the United States and of the State
of West Virginia upon proper request stating that the records will
be used solely for law-enforcement related purposes.
(d) An elected public official, public employee or public
agency is immune from civil liability for damages arising out of
any action relating to the provisions of this section except when
the official, employee or agency acted with gross negligence or in
§61-13-6. Duties of institution officials.
In addition to the duties imposed by sections two and four of
this article, any person required to register under this article,
before parole or release, shall be informed of his or her duty to
register by the official in charge of the place of confinement.
Further, the official shall obtain a statement signed by the person
acknowledging that the person has been informed of his or her duty
§61-13-7. Information shall be released when person moves
When a person who is required to register pursuant to the provisions of this article notifies any law-enforcement official or
corrections official, that he or she is moving to another state,
the official shall notify law-enforcement officials where the
person indicates he or she shall reside of the information provided
by the person under the provisions of this article.
§61-13-8. Failure to register; penalty.
Any person required to register under this article who
knowingly fails to register or knowingly fails to provide a change
of address as required by this article is guilty of a misdemeanor
and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than two
hundred fifty dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars, or
imprisoned in jail not more than one year, or both fined and
imprisoned: Provided, That each time such person changes residence
and fails to register, such failure constitutes a separate offense.
§61-13-9. Registration of out-of-state offenders.
When any probation or parole officer accepts supervision of
and has legal authority over any person required to register under
this article from another state under the terms and conditions of
the uniform act for out-of-state parolee supervision established
under article six, chapter twenty-eight of this code, such officer
shall give the person written notice of the registration
requirements of this article and obtain a signed statement from the
person required to register acknowledging the receipt of the
§61-13-10. Address verification.
The State Police shall verify addresses of those persons
registered under the provisions of this article once a year.
For the purposes of this article, "mentally retarded" means
the condition of significantly subaverage general intellectual
functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive
behavior and manifested during the developmental period.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require registration of
any person convicted of a criminal offense against a person who is
sixty-five years of age or older or a mentally retarded person.
This article is new; therefore strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.