OPINION ISSUED FEBRUARY 14, 1989
STANLEY D. SATTERFIELD
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Claimant appeared in person.
Timothy Murphy, Special Assistant Attorney General, for
In July 1986, claimant, an inmate of the West Virginia
facility of the respondent,
followed the procedure set forth for having his clothing laundered.
clothing was not returned
to him and he seeks $144.00 for his property loss.
Claimant explained that inmates serve as the laundry personnel.
clothing is placed in bags
and taken to be laundered. The guards then deliver the laundered
clothing by placing the laundry
bags on the outside of the cells of the inmates.
James Kirby, Property Officer for the Penitentiary, testified that
staff notice dated January
17, 1985 was applicable at the time of this incident. It provided
follow: "The West Virginia
Penitentiary will not be responsible for loss, damage or theft of
personal property received
by an inmate." Officer Kirby stated that once an inmate signs for
laundry, thereby assuming
responsibility for it, there is no method to account for its loss.
Inmates are issued an adequate
amount of clothing from the State. However, claimant's lost
The Court is of the opinion that the State is not an insurer of
personal clothing which
inmates choose to keep in their possession in a State facility.
Therefore, the Court is of the
opinion to, and does, disallow this claim.