OPINION ISSUED JUNE 29, 2001
DIVISION OF CORRECTIONS
Claimant appeared pro se.
Joy M. Bolling, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
Claimant brought this claim to recover the value of a certain
television set that he alleges was lost or stolen while he was in
lock-down at Mt. Olive Correctional Center where claimant is an
The critical issue in this case is whether or not this claim
was timely filled. A hearing was conducted by this Court on
September 29, 2000, at which time the claimant testified as to the
facts and circumstances that gave rise to this claim. Claimant was
moved from Stewart Hall to Quilliams, also referred to as being in
lock-down, in January 1997. He was released from lock-down in
April of 1997, at which time he discovered that his television was
missing. In July 1997, claimant was returned to lock down status.
Claimant did not file a claim with the Court of Claims during the
time period between April 1997 and July 1997. He testified that he
was in lock-down from July 1997 until March 2000. Claimant asserts
that he was not able to file a claim with the Court of Claims while
he was in lock-down.
The Associate Warden of Operations, Tim Whittington, testified
that an inmate at Mt. Olive, regardless of which unit of the prison
he is held, can request the forms to file a grievance or a claim
with the Court of Claims at any time, and that such forms would be
provided. Robert Daniel, the unit manager over Mr. Adkins stated
that any prisoner in Quilliams may file claims with the Court of
Claims. He stated that there is an inmate request form available
to all inmates to do so upon request. The request form is sent to
Robert Daniel's office to be copied and filed as proof that said
request was made. Mr. Daniel testified that the claimant did not
request any claim forms. The claimant himself testified that he
did not request permission to file with the Court of Claims during
the period that he was in lock-down from July 1997 through March
In accordance with the provisions of W. Va. Code §14-2-21, the
Court has no jurisdiction over a claim unless the claim is filed
within the applicable statute of limitations. Bell vs. Division of
Highways, 19 Ct. Cl. 1 (1991). W.Va. Code §55-2-12, is the
applicable statute of limitations for a property claim, and
provides that this claim should have been brought within two years
of the date that claimant discovered the property loss. However,
W. Va. Code §55-2-15 provides that if a person is under a disability which prevented him from filing any action, then the
statute of limitations is tolled until the disability is removed.
Glover vs. Narick , 184 W. Va. 381, 400 S.E.2d 699 (1994).
The evidence in this claim establishes that claimant did not
file his action within the appropriate two year limitation.
Claimant discovered that his television was missing in April 1997,
but he did not file the claim herein until March 21, 2000. The
evidence further establishes that claimant was not under any
disability which would extend the period of time beyond two years
as he was not prohibited from filing a claim while he was in
lock-down in Quilliams. Furthermore, claimant did not request any
claim forms or request permission to file with the Court of Claims.
Claimant's only request was that someone look for his television.
Accordingly, the Court is of the opinion that the filing of the
claim herein by the claimant in March 2000 was not within the
applicable statute of limitations. The Court, lacking jurisdiction
in this matter, is required to and does disallow this claim.