H. B. 2192
(By Delegates Miley, Fleischauer and Ellem)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §55-7A-2 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to increasing parental liability
for the willful, malicious or criminal acts of their juvenile
children; eliminating the limitation on actual damages to out-
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §55-7A-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
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
$5,000 $15,000 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 another;
(b) The malicious and willful injury or damage to the property
of another, whether the property be real, personal or mixed; 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.
shall be is limited to the actual damages
suffered 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 her 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.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the amount of
parental liability for willful, malicious or criminal acts to
children from $5,000 to $15,000, and to eliminate the limitation on
actual damages to out-of-pocket loss.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would