H. B. 2665
(By Delegate Browning, By Request)
[Introduced February 23, 1995; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section fifteen, article two, chapter
fourteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the court of
claims; and providing that the court of claims is bound by
the common law and rules of civil procedure and evidence.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section fifteen, article two, chapter fourteen of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. CLAIMS AGAINST THE STATE.
§14-2-15. Rules of practice and procedure.
The court shall adopt and may from time to time amend rules of procedure, in accordance with the provisions of this article,
governing proceedings before the court. Rules shall be designed
to assure a simple, expeditious and inexpensive consideration of
claims. Rules shall permit a claimant to appear in his own
behalf or be represented by counsel.
Discovery may be used in a case pending before the court in
the same manner that discovery is conducted pursuant to the rules
of civil procedure for trial courts of record, rules 26 through
36. The court may compel discovery and impose sanctions for a
failure to make discovery, in the same manner as a court is
authorized to do under the provisions of rule 37 of the rules of
civil procedure for trial courts of record: Provided, That the
court of claims shall not find a person in contempt for failure
to comply with an order compelling discovery.
The court, upon its own motion or upon motion of a party,
may strike a pleading, motion or other paper which: (1) Is not
well-grounded in fact; (2) is not warranted by existing law, or
is not based on a good faith argument for the extension,
modification, or reversal of existing law; or (3) is interposed
for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in costs. An order
striking a pleading, motion, or paper may include an order to pay
to the other party or parties the amount of the reasonable
expenses incurred because of the filing of the pleading, motion,
or other paper, including a reasonable attorney's fee.
Under its rules, the court shall
not be bound by the usual
common law or statutory rules of evidence, and by the West
Virginia rules of civil procedure for trial courts of record and
the West Virginia rules of evidence. The court may accept and
weigh, in accordance with its evidential value, any information
that will assist the court in determining the factual basis of a
NOTE: the purpose of this bill is to make the Court of
Claims bound by the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure for
Trial Courts of Record and subject to the Rules of Evidence as
well as by the usual common law or statutory rules of evidence.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.