Senate Bill No. 461
(By Senator Bowman)
[Introduced February 20, 1995;
referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend article two-a, chapter fourteen of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated section fourteen-a,
relating to providing procedure for the compensation of
victims under the West Virginia crime victims compensation act
from profits received by a person convicted of a felony who
has contracted with an entity to produce a book or other work
detailing the crime for which the person was convicted.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article two-a, chapter fourteen of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
fourteen-a, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2A. COMPENSATION AWARDS TO VICTIMS OF CRIMES.
§14-2A-14a. Awards to a victim from profits of the crime obtained
by a person convicted of a felony.
(1) "Crime" means any felony as defined under the provisions
of this code;
(2) "Profits from the crime" means:
(A) any property obtained through or income generated
from the commission of a crime for which the defendant is under a
(B) any property obtained by or income generated from the
sale, conversion or exchange of proceeds of a crime, including any
gain realized by the sale, conversion or exchange; and
(C) any property which the defendant obtained or income
generated as a result of having committed the crime, including any
assets obtained through the use of unique knowledge obtained during
the commission of, or in preparation for the commission of the
crime, as well as any property obtained by or income generated from
the sale, conversion or exchange of the property and any gain
realized by the sale, conversion or exchange.
(3) "Crime victim" means victim as defined in section three of
this article, and also means the representative of a crime victim
as defined in article one, chapter forty-four of this code.
(b) Every person, firm, corporation, partnership, association
or other legal entity which knowingly contracts for, pays, or
agrees to pay, any profit from a crime as defined in subdivision
two of this section, to a person under a final conviction of a
felony for that crime, shall give written notice to the clerk of
the court of claims of the payment or obligation to pay as soon as
practicable after discovering that the payment or intended payment
is a profit from a crime.
The clerk, upon receipt of notice of a contract, an agreement
to pay or payment of profits of the crime shall notify all known
crime victims of the existence of the profits at their last known
address by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, any per
son entitled to recover money damages from a person convicted of a
felony of which he or she is a crime victim shall have the right to
bring a civil action in the circuit court of Kanawha county or in
the county in which the crime victim resides. The civil action
against the convicted person or the legal representative of the
convicted person shall be filed within two years of the actual
discovery of any profits of the crime, as defined in subdivision
two of this section, or within two years of the actual receipt of
the notice from the clerk of the court of claims. Any damages
awarded in the civil action shall be recoverable only up to the
value of the profits of the crime.
(d) Upon filing a civil action pursuant to this section, the
crime victim shall give notice to the clerk of the court of claims
of the filing of the action and forward a copy of the summons and
complaint to the clerk.
Upon receipt of a copy of a summons and complaint, the clerk
shall immediately notify all other known victims of the crime of
the civil action and of the alleged existence of profits of crime
by certified mail, return receipt requested. The clerk shall also
forward a copy of the summons and complaint to the prosecuting
attorney of the county in which the civil action was filed.
(e) Upon receipt of a copy of the summons and complaint, the prosecuting attorney, acting on behalf of the plaintiff and all
other crime victims of the convicted person, in order to protect
the profits of the crime, shall file actions or pleadings as are
necessary with the circuit court which are available under the
Rules of Civil Procedure or any other provision of this code,
including but not limited to, attachment, injunction and notice of
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide a procedure
whereby victims of a person convicted of a felony may recover
profits received by that person who has contracted with an entity
to produce a book or other work detailing the the crime for which
the person was convicted.