H. B. 4404
(By Delegates Hunt and Seacrist)
[Introduced February 12, 1998; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend chapter sixty-one of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article thirteen, relating
to enacting the elder offense registration act; requiring
registration of persons convicted of criminal offenses
against persons sixty-five years of age or older; 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 chapter sixty-one of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article thirteen, to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 13. ELDER OFFENSE REGISTRATION ACT.
§61-13-1. Short title.
This article may be cited as the "Elder Offense Registration
(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 sixty-five years
of age or older 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 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 convicted; and
(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
(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
(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 bad faith.
§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 to register.
§61-13-7. Information shall be released when person moves out of
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 the county 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 notice.
§61-13-10. Address verification.
The state police shall verify addresses of those persons
registered under the provisions of this article once a year.
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.
This article is new; therefore strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.