H. B. 2402
(By Delegates Amores, Hunt, Farris and Seacrist)
(Originating in the House Committee on the Judiciary)
AN ACT to amend and reenact section thirteen-b, article five,
chapter forty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend
and reenact section two, article seven-a, chapter fifty-five
of said code, all relating to the liability of parents for
the acts of their children; providing for parental liability
for restitution not made by a juvenile; providing for
parental liability for willful, malicious or criminal acts
of children; and increasing the monetary liability of
parents for such acts.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section thirteen-b, article five, chapter forty-nine of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that section two,
article seven-a, chapter fifty-five of said code be amended and
reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS.
§49-5-13b. Authority of the courts to order fines; revocation
of vehicle privileges and restitution.
(a) In addition to the methods of disposition provided in
section thirteen of this article, the court may enter an order
imposing one or more of the following penalties, conditions and
(1) Impose a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars upon
(2) Require the child to make restitution or reparation to
the aggrieved party or parties for actual damages or loss caused
by the offense for which the child was found to be delinquent, or
if the child does not make full restitution, require the
custodial parent or parents, as defined in section two, article
seven-a, chapter fifty-five, of the child to make partial or full
restitution to the victim to the extent the child fails to make
(3) Require the child to participate in a public service
project under such conditions as the court prescribes, including
participation in the litter control program established pursuant
to the authority of section twenty-five, article seven, chapter
twenty of this code;
(4) When the child is fifteen years of age or younger and
has been adjudged delinquent, the court may order that the child
is not eligible to be issued a junior probationary operator's
license or when the child is between the ages of sixteen and
eighteen years and has been adjudged delinquent, the court may
order that the child is not eligible to operate a motor vehicle
in this state, and any junior or probationary operator's license
shall be surrendered to the court. Such child's driving privileges shall be suspended for a period not to exceed two
years, and the clerk of the court shall notify the commissioner
of the department of motor vehicles of such order.
(b) Nothing herein stated shall limit the discretion of the
court in disposing of a juvenile case: Provided, That the
juvenile shall not be denied probation or any other disposition
pursuant to this article because the juvenile is financially
unable to pay a fine or make restitution or reparation:
Provided, however, That all penalties, conditions and limitations
imposed under this section shall be based upon a consideration by
the court of the seriousness of the offense, the child's ability
to pay, and a program of rehabilitation consistent with the best
interests of the child.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code to the
contrary, in the event a child charged with delinquency under
this chapter is transferred to adult jurisdiction and there
convicted, the court may nevertheless, in lieu of sentencing such
person as an adult, make its disposition in accordance with this
ARTICLE 7A. LIABILITY OF PARENTS.
§55-7A-2. Parental liability for willful, malicious or
criminal acts of children.
The custodial parent or parents of any minor child shall be
personally liable in an amount not to exceed five thousand
dollars for damages which are the proximate result of any one or
a combination of the following acts of the minor child:
(a) The malicious and willful injury to the person of
(b) The malicious and willful injury or damage to the
property of another, whether the property be real, personal or
(c) The malicious and willful setting fire to a forest or
wooded area belonging to another; or
(d) The willful taking, stealing and carrying away of the
property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the
owner of possession.
For purposes of this section, "custodial parent or parents"
shall mean the parent or parents with whom the minor child is
living, or a divorced or separated parent who does not have legal
custody but who is exercising supervisory control over the minor
child at the time of the minor child's act.
Persons entitled to recover damages under this article shall
include, but not be limited to, the state of West Virginia, any
municipal corporation, county commission and board of education,
or other political subdivision of this state, or any person or
organization of any kind or character. The action may be brought
in magistrate or another court of competent jurisdiction.
Recovery hereunder shall be limited to the actual damages based
upon direct out-of-pocket loss, taxable court costs, and interest
from date of judgment. The right of action and remedy granted
herein shall be in addition to and not exclusive of any rights of
action and remedies therefor against a parent or parents for the
tortious acts of his or their children heretofore existing under
the provisions of any law, statutory or otherwise, or now so existing independently of the provisions of this article.
The provisions of this article shall be applicable to causes
of action arising on and after the effective date of reenactment
of this article. Causes of actions arising before the effective
date of reenactment of this article and proceedings thereon shall
be governed by the previously enacted provisions of this article
in force at the time the cause arose.