Any nonresident person, except a nonresident corporation authorized to do business in this state pursuant to the provisions of chapter thirty-one of this code, who takes or holds any negotiable instrument, nonnegotiable instrument, or contract or other writing, arising from a rent-to-own lease which is subject to the provisions of this chapter, shall be conclusively presumed to have appointed the secretary of state as his attorney-in-fact with authority to accept service of notice and process in any action or proceeding brought against him arising out of such rent-to-own transaction. A person shall be considered a nonresident hereunder if he is a nonresident at the time such service of notice and process is sought. No act of such person appointing the secretary of state shall be necessary. Immediately after being served with or accepting any such process or notice, of which process or notice two copies for each defendant shall be furnished the secretary of state with the original notice or process, together with a fee of two dollars, the secretary of state shall file in his office a copy of such process or notice, with a note thereon endorsed of the time of service or acceptance, as the case may be, and transmit one copy of such process or notice by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to such person at his address, which address shall be stated in such process or notice: Provided, That such return receipt shall be signed by such person or an agent or employee of such person if a corporation, or the registered or certified mail so sent by said secretary of state is refused by the addressee and the registered or certified mail is returned to said secretary of state, or to his office, showing thereon the stamp of the U.S. postal service that delivery thereof has been refused, and such return receipt or registered or certified mail is appended to the original process or notice and filed therewith in the clerk's office of the court from which such process or notice was issued. But no process or notice shall be served on the secretary of state or accepted fewer than ten days before the return date thereof. The court may order such continuances as may be reasonable to afford each defendant opportunity to defend the action or proceeding.
The provisions for service of process or notice herein are cumulative and nothing herein contained shall be construed as a bar to the plaintiff in any action from having process or notice in such action served in any other mode and manner provided by law.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session