H. B. 4475
(By Delegates Trump, Faircloth, Doyle and Douglas)
[Introduced February 9, 2000; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section two, article two, chapter
fourteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend and reenact
section one, article one, chapter fifty-six of said code,
all relating to expanding venue for certain suits; and
exempting suits against liability insurance carriers.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section two, article two, chapter fourteen of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted; and that section one, article
one, chapter fifty-six of said code be amended and reenacted, all
to read as follows:
CHAPTER 14. CLAIMS DUE AND AGAINST THE STATE.
ARTICLE 2. CLAIMS AGAINST THE STATE.
§14-2-2. Venue for certain suits and actions; exempting suits
against liability insurance carriers.
(a) The following proceedings shall be brought and
only either in the circuit court of Kanawha County or
in the circuit court of any county in which the cause of action
(1) Any suit in which the governor, any other state officer,
or a state agency is made a party defendant, except as garnishee
(2) Any suit attempting to enjoin or otherwise suspend or
affect a judgment or decree on behalf of the state obtained in
any circuit court.
(b) Any proceeding for injunctive or mandamus relief
involving the taking, title, or collection for or prevention of
damage to real property may be brought and presented in the
circuit court of the county in which the real property affected
(c) An action against a liability insurance carrier or
guaranty association of a state agency is not an action against
the state and the venue provisions of this section do not apply.
This section shall apply only to such proceedings as are not prohibited by the constitutional immunity of the state from suit
under section thirty-five, article VI of the constitution of the
CHAPTER 56. PLEADINGS AND PRACTICE.
ARTICLE 1. VENUE.
§56-1-1. Venue generally.
(a) Any civil action or other proceeding, except where it is
otherwise specially provided, may hereafter be brought in the
circuit court of any county:
(1) Wherein any of the defendants may reside or the cause of
action arose, except that an action of ejectment or unlawful
detainer must be brought in the county wherein the land sought to
be recovered or some part thereof, is; or
(2) If a corporation be a defendant, wherein its principal
office is, or wherein its mayor, president or other chief officer
resides; or if its principal office be not in this state, and its
mayor, president or other chief officer do not reside therein,
wherein it does business; or if it be a corporation organized
under the laws of this state, which has its principal office
located outside of this state, and which has no office or place
of business within the state, the circuit court of the county in
which the plaintiff resides or the circuit court of the county in which the seat of state government is located shall have
jurisdiction of all actions at law or suits in equity against
such corporation, where the cause of action arose in this state
or grew out of the rights of stockholders with respect to
corporate management; or
(3) If it be to recover land or subject it to a debt,
wherein such land or any part thereof may be; or
(4) If it be against one or more nonresidents of the state,
wherein any one of them may be found and served with process, or
may have estate or debts due him or her or them; or
(5) If it be to recover a loss under any policy of
insurance, upon either property, life or health, or against
injury to a person, wherein the property insured was situated
either at the date of the policy or at the time when the right of
action accrued; or the person insured had a legal residence at
the date of his or her death or at the time when the right of
action accrued; or
(6) If it be on behalf of the state in the name of the
attorney general or otherwise, wherein the seat of government is;
(7) If a judge of a circuit be interested in a case which, but for such interest, would be proper for the jurisdiction of
his or her court, the action or suit may be brought in any county
in an adjoining circuit.
(b) Whenever a civil action or proceeding is brought in the
county wherein the cause of action arose, under the provisions of
subsection (a) of this section, if no defendant resides in such
county, a defendant to the action or proceeding may move the
court before which the action is pending for a change of venue to
a county wherein one or more of the defendants resides, and upon
a showing by the moving defendant that the county to which the
proposed change of venue would be made would better afford
convenience to the parties litigant and the witnesses likely to
be called, and if the ends of justice would be better served by
such change of venue, the court may grant such motion.
(c) Any civil action against the state described in section
two, article two, chapter fourteen of this code shall be excepted
from the provisions of this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to expand venue for
certain lawsuits involving state officials, to include the county
in which the cause of action arose as well as Kanawha County.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.