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Introduced Version House Bill 2330 History

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H. B. 2330

 

         (By Delegate Michael)

         [Introduced January 11, 2012

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; referred to the

         Committee on the Judiciary.]

 

 

 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §30-18-1, §30-18-3, §30-18-4, §30-18-5, §30-18-6, §30-18-7, §30-18-8, §30-18-9, §30-18-10, §30-18-11 and §30-18-13 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said article by adding thereto three new sections, designated §30-18-4a, §30-18-7a and §30-18-14, all relating to the licensing of private investigators and security guards; registration of private investigative and security guard employees; exemption for federal and federally trained officers; prohibited acts; penalties for late registration; and fees and charges for services of the Secretary of State.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §30-18-1, §30-18-3, §30-18-4, §30-18-5, §30-18-6, §30-18-7, §30-18-8, §30-18-9, §30-18-10, §30-18-11 and §30-18-13 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said article be amended by adding thereto three new sections, designated §30-18-4a, §30-18-7a and §30-18-14, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 18. PRIVATE INVESTIGATIVE AND SECURITY SERVICES.

§30-18-1. Definitions.

    For the purposes of this article, except where the context clearly requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them:

    (1) (a) "Applicant" means a person who files a completed application as required by sections three and six of this article to be licensed to conduct a private investigation business or a security guard business. When a person other than a natural person is applying for a license, the applicant shall be the person whose qualifications are presented to meet the experience or education requirements of sections section two or five of this article.

    (2) (b) "Private investigation business" means the business of doing an investigation or investigations, for hire, reward or any other type of remuneration, to obtain information about:

    (A) (1) A crime which is alleged to have occurred or is threatened to occur;

    (B) (2) The habits, activities, conduct, movements, location, associations, transactions, reputation or character of any person;

    (C) (3) The credibility of witnesses or other persons;

    (D) (4) The location or recovery of lost or stolen property;

    (E) (5) The causes or origins of any fire, accident or injury to any property, real or personal, or to identify or locate any person or persons responsible for any such fire, accident or injury;

    (F) (6) The truth or falsity of any statement or representation, whether written or oral, or of any type of depiction;

    (G) (7) Any matters which constitute evidence or which may lead to the discovery of evidence to be used before any judicial or quasijudicial tribunal, including, but not limited to, civil or criminal courts, administrative agencies, investigating committees, or boards of award or arbitration;

    (H) (8) The whereabouts of any missing or kidnapped person;

    (I) (9) The affiliation, connection or relationship of any person with any corporation or other business entity, union, organization, society or association, or with any official, member or representative thereof;

    (J) (10) Any person or persons seeking employment in the place of any employee or employees who have quit work by reason of any strike; or

    (K) (11) The conduct, honesty, efficiency, loyalty or activities of employees, agents, contractors and subcontractors.

    (3) (c) "Firm license" means the license held by a person whom the Secretary of State has authorized to operate a private detective investigative firm or security guard firm after such person has filed and completed an application pursuant to the application requirements contained in sections section three or six and has satisfied the eligibility requirements contained in sections two or five.

    (4) (d) "Person" means a natural person, a group of persons or individuals acting individually or as a group, a corporation, company, partnership, association, society, firm, or any business organization or entity organized or existing under the laws of this or any other state or country;

    (5) (A) (e) (1) "Private detective" or "private investigator" means a person who is licensed pursuant to the provisions of this article to conduct a private investigation business, as defined in subdivision (2) subsection (b) of this section, and who conducts such business individually and independently from any private detective or investigative firm;

    (B) (2)"Private detective" or "private investigator" does not include:

    (i) (A) Any individual while acting as an adjuster for an insurance company or companies;

    (ii) (B) Individuals employed exclusively and regularly by only one employer in connection with the affairs of such employer only;

    (iii) (C) An officer or employee of the United States, or any law-enforcement officer of this state or any political subdivision thereof, while such officer or employee is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties or while working for a private employer in his or her off-duty hours;

    (iv) (D) Attorneys or counselors-at-law or any employee or representative of such attorney or counselor;

    (v) (E) Any corporation duly authorized by this state to operate central burglar or fire alarm protection business; or

    (vi) (F) Any investigator of crime appointed by a prosecuting attorney of a county pursuant to the provisions of section two, article four, chapter seven of this code.

    (6) (G) "Private detective or investigative firm" means any private detective agency or business or any investigative agency or business that is operated by a licensed private detective or investigator and which employs one or more other persons who actually conduct the private investigation business as defined in subdivision (2) subsection (b) of this section.

    (7) (A) (f) "Security guard" means a person who is licensed pursuant to the provisions of this article to conduct a security guard business, as defined in subdivision (8) subsection (h) of this section, and who conducts such business individually and independently from a security guard firm.

    (B) (g) "Security guard" does not include a person who is employed exclusively and regularly by only one employer in connection with the affairs of such employer only, or a person who is otherwise hereinafter excluded from the requirements of this article;

    (8) (A) (h) (1) "Security guard business" means the business of furnishing, for hire, reward or other remuneration, watchmen, guards, bodyguards, private patrolmen or other persons, to:

    (i) (A) Protect property, real or personal, or any person;

    (ii) (B) To prevent theft, unlawful taking, misappropriation or concealment of goods, wares or merchandise, money, bonds, stocks, notes or other valuable documents, papers and articles of value; or  

    (iii) (C) To furnish for hire, guard dogs or armored motor vehicle security services, in connection with the protection of persons or property;

    (B) (2) "Security guard business" does not include any activities or duties for which it is necessary to be trained and certified as a law-enforcement officer in accordance with the provisions of article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code.

    (9) (i) "Security guard firm" means any security guard agency or business that is operated by a licensed security guard and which employs one or more other persons who actually conduct a security guard business as defined in subdivision (8) subsection (i) of this section.

§30-18-3. Application requirements for a license to conduct the private investigation business.

    (a) To be licensed to be a private detective or a private investigator or to operate a private detective or investigative firm, each applicant shall complete and file a written application, under oath, with the Secretary of State and in such on a form as the secretary may prescribe.

    (b) On the application, each applicant shall provide the following information: The applicant's name, birth date, citizenship, physical description, military service, current residence, residences for the preceding seven years, qualifying education or experience, the location of each of his or her offices in this state and any other information requested by the Secretary of State in order to comply with the requirements of this article.

    (c) In the case of a corporation or other business entity that is seeking a firm license, the application shall is to be signed by the president or comparable authorized officer, and verified by the secretary or treasurer of the such corporation or comparable authorized officer and shall is to specify the name of the corporation or other business entity, the date and place of its incorporation formation, the names and titles of all officers, the location of its principal place of business, and the name of the city, town or village, stating the street and number, and otherwise such or an apt description as will reasonably indicate the location. If the corporation has been incorporated business entity was formed in a state other than West Virginia, a certificate of good standing from the state of incorporation formation must accompany the application. This information must be provided in addition to that required to be provided by the applicant.

    (d) (1) To qualify for an individual license, the The applicant shall provide:

    (1) (A) Information in the application about whether the applicant has ever been arrested for or convicted of any crime or wrongs, either done or threatened, against the government of the United States;

    (2) (B) Information about offenses by the applicant against the laws of West Virginia or any state; and

    (3) (C) Any facts as may be required by the Secretary of State to show the good character, competency and integrity of the applicant.

    (2) To qualify for a firm license, the applicant shall provide such information for each person who will be authorized to conduct the private investigation business and for each officer, member or partner of the firm.

    (e) As part of the application, each applicant shall give the Secretary of State permission to review the records held by the division of public safety conduct a criminal records check through the Criminal Identification Bureau of the West Virginia State Police and a national criminal history check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation for any convictions that may be on record for the applicant. A federal security officer, or a person who has undergone a federal security training program and who has passed a federal (FBI) criminal background check is otherwise exempt from the requirements of this subsection.

    (f) For each applicant for a license and for each officer, member and partner of the firm applying for a license, the application shall be accompanied by one recent full-face photographs and one complete set of the person's fingerprints one set of classifiable fingerprints on an applicant fingerprint card and two recent head and shoulders color photographs of the applicant of acceptable quality for identification, at least one inch by one inch in size. A federal officer, or a person who has completed a federal security training program, and who has passed a federal (FBI) criminal background check is otherwise exempt from the requirements of this subsection.

    (g) For each applicant, the application shall is to be accompanied by:

    (1) Character references from at least five reputable citizens. Each reference must have known the applicant for at least five years preceding the application. No reference may be connected to the applicant by blood or marriage. All references must have been written for the purpose of the application for a license to conduct the private investigation business. A federal officer, or a person who has completed a federal security training program, and who has passed a federal (FBI) criminal background check is otherwise exempt from the requirements of this subdivision;

    (2) A nonrefundable application processing service charge of fifty dollars, which shall be payable to the Secretary of State to offset the cost of license review and criminal investigation background report from the department of public safety, along with a license fee of one hundred dollars if the applicant is an individual, or two hundred dollars if the applicant is a firm, or five hundred dollars if the applicant is a nonresident of West Virginia or a foreign corporation or business entity. The license fee shall be deposited to the General Revenue Fund, and shall be refunded only if the license is denied.

    (2) A written statement of standards of professional conduct, to be furnished by the Secretary of State with the application form, signed by the applicant;

    (3) The applicable license fee and the nonrefundable processing service charge provided in section thirteen of this article; and

    (3) (4) For an annual application for renewal of one or more licenses filed after the license expiration date, the late application fee provided in section thirteen of this article.

    (h) All applicants for private detective or private investigator licenses or for private investigation firm licenses shall file in the office of Secretary of State a surety bond. Such The bond shall must:

    (1) Be in the sum of $2,500 and conditioned upon the faithful and honest conduct of such the business by such the applicant;

    (2) Be written by a company recognized and approved by the Insurance Commissioner of West Virginia and approved by the Attorney General of West Virginia with respect to its form; and

    (3) Be in favor of the State of West Virginia for any person who is damaged by any violation of this article. The bond must also be in favor of any person damaged by such a violation of this article.

    (i) Any person claiming against the bond required by subsection (h) of this section for a violation of this article may maintain an action at law against any licensed individual or firm and against the surety. The surety shall be is liable only for damages awarded under section twelve of this article and not the punitive damages permitted under that section. The aggregate liability of the surety to all persons damaged by a person or firm licensed under this article may not exceed the amount of the bond.

    (j) The Secretary of State shall issue an identification card bearing the licensee’s photograph, name and license number assigned in accordance with section seven-a of this article and the date the license expires. The licensee shall carry a valid license card at all times he or she is engaged in activities within the scope of his or her employment. Upon loss of the license card, the licensee shall immediately order a replacement card and pay the fee for a replacement card specified in section thirteen of this article.

§30-18-4. Requirements for employees conducting the private investigative business under a firm license.

    (a) For the purposes of this article, a “representative” of a private detective or private investigative firm is any person who conducts the investigative business of the firm or who acts as an investigator under the auspices of the firm, regardless of whether that person receives compensation for his or her acts.

    (b) Any person who has holds a private detective firm or investigative firm license shall;

    (1) be responsible for supervising any employee or other individual who conducts the private investigation business under the authority of such person's firm license, regardless of whether such employee or other individual receives compensation for conducting such business. Such supervision shall include providing Supervise any representative, as defined in subsection (a) of this section;

    (2) Provide any education or training that is reasonably necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of this article or which is required for registration of the representative as required by this section; and

    (3) Submit on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State an application for registration of each representative of the licensee. A firm licensed on July 1, 2011, must file its initial application(s) for representative registration with the firm’s next license renewal application. However, no firm license expires solely by reason of the licensee’s failure to file a timely representative registration application if the licensee files the registration application within ninety days after its license is renewed. The application for registration of any representative who begins work after July 1, 2011, is to be submitted within ten working days of the representative's first day of work.

    (c) Each application for registration under this section must:

    (1) State the representative’s name, residence address, birth date, social security number, first date of service as a representative of the applying firm, and the name and address of the employer legally responsible for employment of the person;

    (2) Indicate whether the representative holds a valid current registration under this section as an employee of another firm and whether the application for registration is a transfer or concurrent registration;

    (3) Affirm that the representative has previously received a minimum of four hours of training through a program approved by the Secretary of State, or affirm that the representative is a federal officer or has previously completed a federal security training program. The Secretary of State may provide the necessary state training, in which case all fees associated with the training shall be paid to the Secretary of State;

    (4) Be signed and dated by the license holder of the applying firm;

    (5) Be accompanied by one set of classifiable fingerprints on an applicant fingerprint card and two recent head and shoulders color photographs of the representative of acceptable quality for identification, at least one inch by one inch in size;

    (6) Be accompanied by a statement, signed by the representative, indicating whether he or she has ever been arrested for or convicted of any crime against the laws of the United States, of the State of West Virginia or of any other state;

    (7) Be accompanied by a statement, signed by the license holder, that the representative has presented proof of identity by displaying for the license holder a valid photographic identification issued by a recognized state or federal government agency, such as a driver’s license or passport;

    (8) Be accompanied by a written statement of standards of professional conduct, to be furnished by the Secretary of State with the application form, signed by the representative; and

    (9) Be accompanied by the fee required by section thirteen of this article.

    (d) The applicant shall retain a copy of the application and shall give a copy to each representative. The representative’s copy serve as a temporary registration card for up to sixty days. The temporary registration is valid only if the application for registration was received by the Secretary of State within ten working days after the date on which the representative began work.

    (b) (e) Any employee or individual representative who conducts the private investigation business under the authority of a private detective or investigative firm license shall:

    (1) Satisfy the requirements of section two of this article, except that such person the representative need not satisfy the education and training requirements contained in subdivision (7), subsection (a), section two of this article; and

    (2) Authorize the Secretary of State to review the records held by the division of public safety conduct a criminal records check through the criminal identification bureau of the West Virginia State Police and a national criminal history check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation for any convictions that may be on record for such employee or individual the representative. A representative who is a federal officer, or a representative who has completed a federal security training program, and who has passed a federal (FBI) criminal background check is otherwise exempt from the requirements of this subdivision.

    (c) (f) A holder of a private detective or investigative firm license is prohibited from authorizing any individual or employee representative to conduct a private any investigative business of the firm if such individual the representative does not comply with the requirements of this section.
    (d) For every employee or individual who conducts the business of private investigation under the authority of a security guard firm license, the holder of such license must maintain a recent full-face photograph and one complete set of fingerprints on file at such firm's central business location in this state. Upon request, the holder of the firm license must release the photographs and fingerprints to the Secretary of State.

    (g) The Secretary of State shall issue an identification card bearing the representative’s photograph, name and registration number assigned in accordance with section seven-a of this article and the date on which the registration expires. The representative shall carry a valid registration card at all times he or she is engaged in activities within the scope of his or her employment. Upon loss of the registration card, the registrant shall immediately order a replacement card and pay the fee for a replacement card specified in section thirteen.

    (h) A representative who transfers employment or whose services are supplied to another licensed private investigative agency at any time during the duration of the two-year registration period shall submit a transfer of registration or a concurrent registration which is to be in effect for the remainder of the registration period. The request for transfer or concurrent registration must be made on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State and is to be accompanied by the fee prescribed in section thirteen of this article. In the event of concurrent registration, the representative shall carry the registration card of the licensee for which the representative is acting at that time.

§30-18-4a. Temporary permit for private investigator licensed in another state.

    A nonresident person who holds a valid private investigator license in another state and who is currently in good standing with that state may apply for a temporary permit to conduct private investigation activities within this state if the investigative activities originated in the state of licensure. The application is to be made on forms prescribed by the Secretary of State and accompanied by proof that the standards of licensure in the other state are at least substantially equivalent to the licensure requirements in this state, certification that the applicant holds a valid current license in the other state, and the fee established in section thirteen of this article. The Secretary of State may, at his or her discretion, issue the nonrenewable temporary license for a period not to exceed thirty days. It is the duty of the applicant to comply with any business registration requirements of this state.

§30-18-5. Eligibility requirements to be licensed to conduct security guard business.

    (a) In order to be eligible for any license to conduct security guard business, an applicant shall:

    (1) Be at least eighteen years of age;

    (2) Be a citizen of the United states or an alien who is legally residing within the United States;

    (3) Not have had any previous license to conduct security guard business or to conduct the private investigation business revoked or any application for any such licenses or registrations denied by the appropriate governmental authority in this or any other state or territory;

    (4) Not have been declared incompetent by reason of mental defect or disease by any court of competent jurisdiction unless said court has subsequently determined that the applicant's competency has been restored;

    (5) Not suffer from habitual drunkenness or from narcotics addiction or dependence;

    (6) Be of good moral character;

    (7) Have had at least one year verified, full time employment conducting security guard business or conducting the private investigation business working for a licensed firm or have one year of substantially equivalent training or experience;

    (8) Not have been convicted of a felony in this state or any other state or territory;

    (9) Not have been convicted of any of the following:

    (A) Illegally using, carrying or possessing a pistol or other dangerous weapon;

    (B) Making or possessing burglar's instruments;

    (C) Buying or receiving stolen property;

    (D) Entering a building unlawfully;

    (E) Aiding an inmate's escape from prison;

    (F) Possessing or distributing illicit drugs;

    (G) Any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or for which dishonesty of character is a necessary element; and

    (10) Not having violated any provision of section eight of this article.

    (b) The provisions of This section shall does not prevent the issuance of a license to any person who, subsequent to his conviction, shall have has received an executive pardon therefor, removing this disability.

§30-18-6. Application requirements for a license to conduct security guard business.

    (a) To be licensed as a security guard or to operate a security guard firm, each applicant shall complete and file a written application, under oath, with the Secretary of State and in such on a form as the secretary may prescribe.

    (b) On the application, each applicant shall provide the following information: The applicant's name, birth date, citizenship, physical description, military service, current residence, residences for the preceding seven years, qualifying education or experience, the location of each of his or her offices in this state and any other information requested by the Secretary of State in order to comply with the requirements of this article.

    (c) In the case of a corporation or other business entity that is seeking a firm license, the application shall must be signed by the president or comparable authorized officer, and verified by the secretary or treasurer of such the corporation or comparable authorized officer and shall specify the name of the corporation or other business entity, the date and place of its incorporation formation, the names and titles of all officers, the location of its principal place of business, and the name of the city, town or village, stating the street and number, and otherwise such or an apt description as will reasonably indicate the location. If the corporation has been incorporated business entity was formed in a state other than West Virginia, a certificate of good standing from the state of incorporation formation must accompany the application. This information must be provided in addition to that required to be provided by the applicant.

    (d) (1) To qualify for an individual license, The the applicant shall provide:

    (1) (A) Information in the application about whether the applicant has ever been arrested for or convicted of any crime or wrongs, either done or threatened, against the government of the United States;

    (2) (B) Information about offenses by the applicant against the laws of West Virginia or any state; and

    (3) (C) Any facts as may be required by the Secretary of State to show the good character, competency and integrity of the applicant.

    (2) To qualify for a firm license, the applicant shall provide such information for each person who would be authorized to conduct security guard business under the applicant's firm license and for each officer, member or partner in the firm.

    (e) As part of the application, each applicant shall give the Secretary of State permission to review the records held by the department of public safety conduct a criminal records check through the criminal identification bureau of the West Virginia State Police and a national criminal history check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation for any convictions that may be on record for the applicant. A federal officer, or a person who has completed a federal security training program, and who has passed a federal (FBI) criminal background check is otherwise exempt from the requirements of this subsection; and

    (f) For each applicant for a license and for each officer, member and partner of the firm applying for a license, the application shall be accompanied by one recent full-face photograph and one complete set of the person's fingerprints one set of classifiable fingerprints on an applicant fingerprint card and two recent head and shoulders color photographs of the applicant of acceptable quality for identification, at least one inch by one inch in size.

    (g) For each applicant, the application shall be accompanied by:

    (1) Character references from at least five reputable citizens. Each reference must have known the applicant for at least five years preceding the application. No reference may be connected to the applicant by blood or marriage. All references must have been written for the purpose of the application for a license to conduct security guard business. A federal officer, or a person who has completed a federal security training program, and who has passed a federal (FBI) criminal background check is otherwise exempt from the requirements of this subdivision; and

    (2) A written statement of standards of professional conduct, to be furnished by the Secretary of State with the application form, signed by the applicant;

    (2) A nonrefundable application processing service charge of fifty dollars, which shall be payable to the Secretary of State to offset the cost of license review and criminal investigation background report from the department of public safety, along with a license fee of one hundred dollars if the applicant is an individual, or two hundred dollars if the applicant is a firm, or five hundred dollars if the applicant is a nonresident of West Virginia or a foreign corporation or business entity. The license fee shall be deposited to the General Revenue Fund, and shall be refunded only if the license is denied.

    (3) The applicable license fee and nonrefundable processing service charge provided by section thirteen of this article; and

    (4) For an annual application for renewal of one or more licenses filed after the license expiration date, an additional late application fee as provided in section thirteen of this article.

    (h) All applicants for security guard licenses or security guard firm licenses shall file in the office of Secretary of State a surety bond. Such The bond shall must:

    (1) Be in the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars $20,000 and conditioned upon the faithful and honest conduct of such the business by such the applicant;

    (2) Be written by a company recognized and approved by the Insurance Commissioner of West Virginia and approved by the Attorney General of West Virginia with respect to its form;

    (3) Be in favor of the State of West Virginia for any person who is damaged by any violation of this article. The bond must also be in favor of any person damaged by such a violation of this article.

    (i) Any person claiming against the bond required by subsection (h) of this section for a violation of this article may maintain an action at law against any licensed individual or firm and against the surety. The surety shall be is liable only for damages awarded under section twelve of this article and not the punitive damages permitted under that section. The aggregate liability of the surety to all persons damaged by a person or firm licensed under this article may not exceed the amount of the bond.

    (j) The Secretary of State shall issue an identification card bearing the licensee’s photograph, name and license number assigned in accordance with section seven-a of this article and the date on which the license expires. The licensee shall carry a valid license card at all times during the scope of employment, and present that card upon the request of any person. Upon loss of the license card, the licensee shall immediately order a replacement card and pay the fee for a replacement card specified in section thirteen of this article.

§30-18-7. Requirements for employees conducting security guard business under a firm license.

    (a) For the purposes of this article, a “representative” of a security guard firm is any person who conducts the security business of the firm or who acts as a security guard under the auspices or in the uniform of the firm, regardless of whether that person receives compensation for his or her acts.

    (a) (b) Any person who has holds a security guard firm license shall:

    (1) be responsible for supervising Supervise any employee or other individual who conducts security guard business under the authority of such person's firm license, regardless of whether such employee or other individual receives compensation for conducting such business. Such supervision shall include providing representative, as defined in subsection (a) of this section;

    (2) Provide any education or training that is reasonably necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of this article or which is required for registration of the representative as required by this section; and

    (3) Submit on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State, an application for registration of each representative of the licensee. Any firm licensed on July 1, 2011, shall file its representative registration application(s) with the firm’s license renewal application prior to the next expiration of the firm license. However, no firm license expires solely by reason of the licensee’s failure to file a timely representative registration application if the licensee files the registration application within ninety days after its license is renewed. The application for registration of any new representative who begins work after July 1, 2011, must be submitted within ten working days after the representative's first day of work.

    (c) Each application for registration under this section must:

    (1) State the representative’s name, residence address, birth date, social security number, first date of service as a representative of the applying firm and the name and address of the employer legally responsible for employment of the person;

    (2) Indicate whether the representative holds a valid current registration under this section as an employee of another firm and whether the application for registration is a transfer or concurrent registration;

    (3) Affirm that the representative has previously received a minimum of four hours of training through a program approved by the Secretary of State, or affirm that the representative is a federal officer or has completed a federal security training program. The Secretary of State may provide and charge a fee for such state training;

    (4) Be signed and dated by the license holder of the applying firm;

    (5) Be accompanied by one set of classifiable fingerprints on an applicant fingerprint card, two recent head and shoulders color photographs of the representative of acceptable quality for identification, at least one inch by one inch in size;

    (6) Be accompanied by a statement, signed by the representative, indicating whether he or she has ever been arrested for or convicted of any crime against the laws of the United States, of the State of West Virginia or of any other state;

    (7) Be accompanied by a statement, signed by the license holder, that the representative has presented proof of identity by displaying for the license holder a valid photographic identification issued by a recognized government agency, such as a driver’s license or passport;

    (8) Be accompanied by a written statement of standards of professional conduct, provided by the Secretary of State with the application form, signed by the representative; and

    (9) Be accompanied by the appropriate fee required in section thirteen of this article.

    (d) The applying firm shall retain a copy of the application and shall give each representative a copy. The representative’s copy will serve as a temporary registration card for sixty days. The temporary registration is valid only if the application for registration was received by the Secretary of State within ten working days after the representative began work.

    (b) (e) Any employee or individual representative who conducts security guard business under the authority of a firm license shall (1) satisfy the requirements of section five of this article, except that such the person need not satisfy the prior employment requirements contained in subdivision (7), subsection (a) of section five. and

    (2) (f) Authorize A representative who conducts security guard business under authority of a firm license and whose job duties require him or her to carry a weapon or to provide security services for public or government buildings, airports or schools shall authorize the Secretary of State to review the records held by the division of public safety conduct a criminal records check through the criminal identification bureau of the West Virginia State Police and a national criminal history check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation for any convictions that may be on record for such employee or individual the representative. A representative who is a federal officer or has completed a federal security training program and passed a federal (FBI) criminal background check is otherwise exempt from this subsection.

    (c) (g) A holder of a security guard firm license is prohibited from authorizing any individual or employee to conduct any investigative or security guard business of the firm if such the individual does not comply with the requirements of this section.

    (d) For every employee or individual who conducts security guard business under the authority of a security guard firm license, the holder of such license must maintain a recent full- face photograph and one complete set of fingerprints on file at such firm's central business location in this state. Upon request, the holder of the firm license must release the photographs and fingerprints to the Secretary of State.

    (h) Any representative who conducts security guard business under authority of a firm license and who is required to undergo the criminal records check pursuant to subsection (f), or who is exempt from such requirement as a federal officer or a person who has completed a federal security training program and passed a federal(FBI)criminal background check shall be registered as a Class I representative. Any other representative who conducts security guard business under the authority of a firm license shall be registered as a Class II representative.

    (i) The Secretary of State shall issue an identification card bearing the representative’s photograph, name, class number, registration number assigned in accordance with section seven-a of this article and the date on which the registration expires. The representative shall carry a valid registration card at all times during the scope of employment, and present that card upon the request of any person. Upon loss of the registration card, the representative shall immediately order and pay the fee for a replacement card specified in section thirteen.

    (j) A representative who transfers employment or whose services are supplied to another licensed security guard agency at any time during the two-year registration period shall submit a transfer of registration or a concurrent registration which is to be in effect for the remainder of the registration period. The request for transfer or concurrent registration must be made on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State and is to be accompanied by the appropriate fee prescribed in section thirteen of this article. In the event of a concurrent registration, the representative shall carry the registration card of the licensee for which the representative is acting at that time.

§30-18-7a. Assignment of license number and registration number.

    The Secretary of State shall assign a unique number to each licensee and representative upon approval of an application for license or registration. It is the duty of each licensee or representative to refer to his or her license or registration number in all written documents used in the course of the private investigation or security guard business. An individual or entity who holds a valid license on July 1, 2011, shall be issued a license number the next time the license is renewed.

§30-18-8. Prohibitions.

    (a) No A person shall may not engage in the private investigation business or security guard business without having first obtained from the Secretary of State a license to conduct such that business.

    (b) An unlicensed person may not conduct any private investigation business or security guard business on behalf of a person, firm or agency holding a firm license without having first been registered with the office of the Secretary of State in accordance with sections four and seven of this article.

    (b) (c) All licensed persons Any licensee or registered representative, including a private detectives detective, private investigators investigator, security guards guard, private detective or investigative firms firm and security guard firms firm, are is prohibited from transferring their licenses his, her or its license or representative registration to an unlicensed or unregistered person, firm or agency. This prohibition includes contracting or subcontracting with an unlicensed or unregistered person, firm or agency to conduct the private investigation business or security guard business.

    (c) (d) It is unlawful for any person subject to the provisions of this article to knowingly commit any of the following:

    (1) Employ any individual to perform the duties of an employee who has not first complied with all provisions of this article and the adopted regulations rules;

    (2) Falsely represent that a person is the holder of a valid license or representative registration;

    (3) Make a false report with respect to any matter with which he or she is employed;

    (4) Divulge any information acquired from or for a client to persons other than the client or his or her authorized agent without express authorization to do so or unless required by law;

    (5) Accept employment which includes obtaining information intended for illegal purposes;

    (6) Authorize or permit another person to violate any provision of this article or any rule of the Secretary of State adopted for this article.

§30-18-9. Renewal of license.

    (a) A license granted under the provisions of this article shall be in effect for one year from the date the certificate of license is issued and may be renewed for a period of one year by the Secretary of State upon application, in such a form as the secretary may prescribe, and upon payment of the appropriate fee required by section thirteen of this article and upon the filing of the surety bond required by sections three and six of this article.

    (b) A registration granted under this article shall be in effect for two years from the date the certificate of registration is issued and may be renewed for a period of two years by the Secretary of State upon application, in a form as the secretary may prescribe, and upon payment of the appropriate fee required by section thirteen of this article.

    (c) At the time of applying Upon receipt of an application for renewal of a license or registration, the Secretary of State may require any person to provide additional information to reflect any changes in the original application or any previous renewal.

§30-18-10. Authority of Secretary of State.

    (a) When the Secretary of State shall be is satisfied as to the good character, competency and integrity of an applicant, of all employees or individuals representatives conducting the private investigation business or security guard services under a firm license and, if the applicant is a firm or other business entity, of each member, officer or partner, he or she shall issue and deliver to such the applicant a certificate of license. Each license issued shall be for a period of one year and shall be revocable at all times for cause shown pursuant to subsection (b) of this section or any rules promulgated pursuant thereto.

    (b) The Secretary of State shall have the authority to may propose for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code such legislative rules as may be necessary for the administration and enforcement of this article and for the issuance, suspension and revocation of licenses issued under the provisions of this article. The Secretary of State shall afford any applicant an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel when a determination is made to deny, revoke or suspend any such applicant's license or application for license, including a renewal of a license. Such applicant shall have fifteen days from the date of receiving written notice of the Secretary of State's adverse determination to request a hearing on the matter of denial, suspension or revocation. The action of the Secretary of State in granting, renewing or in refusing to grant or to renew, a license, shall be subject to review by the circuit court of Kanawha County or other court of competent jurisdiction.

    (c) At any hearing before the Secretary of State to challenge an adverse determination by the Secretary of State on the matter of a denial, suspension or revocation of a license, if the adverse determination is based upon a conviction for a crime which would bar licensure under the provisions of this article, the hearing shall be an identity hearing only, and the sole issue which may be contested is whether the person whose application is denied or whose license is suspended or revoked is the same person convicted of the crime.

§30-18-11. Penalties.

    (a) Any person, licensed or unlicensed, who violates any of the provisions of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 or be confined in jail for not more than one year, or both.

    (b) In the case of a violation of subsection (a) or (b) of section eight of this article, a fine is assessed by the court for each day that an individual conducted the private investigation business or security guard business without a license or registration. In the case of a firm license, the fine is based on each day that the private investigative or security services were provided multiplied by the number of unauthorized persons providing those services.

    (c) In addition to penalties provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the Secretary of State may charge any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of section eight of this article a monetary penalty.

§30-18-13. Licensing and registration fees and service charges.

    All fees collected hereunder by the Secretary of State shall be paid to the treasurer of the state and deposited in the General Revenue Fund.

    (a) Each West Virginia resident or West Virginia domestic corporation, limited liability company or other business entity which applies for a license under this article shall pay a nonrefundable processing service charge of $50 and a licensing fee according to the following schedule:

    (1) $100 for a private investigator license for one individual.

    (2) $200 for a private investigator license for one firm.

    (3) $100 for a security guard license for one individual.

    (4) $200 for a security guard license for one firm.

    (5) For any combination of license types or individual and firms licenses combined, the sum of each of the applicable license fees.

    (b) Each out-of-state resident or foreign corporation, limited liability company or other business entity which applies for a license under this article shall pay a nonrefundable processing service charge of $50 and a licensing fee according to the following schedule:

    (1) $500 for a private investigator license for one individual or one firm.

    (2) $500 for a security guard license for one individual or one firm.

    (3) For any combination of license types or individual and firms combined, the sum of each of the applicable license fees.

    (4) $50 for a thirty day temporary private investigator permit for one individual.

    (c) Each applicant for renewal of a license received by the Secretary of State after the expiration of the previous license shall pay a late fee of $50 for each whole or partial month the application is late.

    (d) Each initial application for registration as a representative of a licensed private investigative or as a Class I representative of a security guard firm shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable processing service charge of $60.

    (e) Each initial application for registration as a Class II representative of a security guard firm shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable processing service charge of $15.

    (f) Each application for renewal of registration for a representative of a licensed private investigative or a Class I representative of a security guard firm shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable processing service charge of $30.

    (g) Each application for renewal of registration for a representative of a Class II representative of a security guard firm shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable processing service charge of $15.

    (h) Each application for transfer of the registration of a representative from one firm to another or for concurrent registration at any additional firm during the two-year registration period shall be accompanied by a fee of $15.

    (i) Each applicant for renewal of a registration received by the Secretary of State after the expiration of the previous registration shall pay a late fee of $10 for each whole or partial month the application is late.

    (j) Each applicant for a replacement license card or registration card shall pay a service charge of $10.

    (k) Initial representative registration fees, representative registration renewal fees, representative registration transfer fees and representative registration concurrent fees collected by the Secretary of State pursuant to this article shall be deposited in the service fees and collections account established by section two, article ten, chapter fifty-nine of this code for the operation of the office of the Secretary of State. All other fees and moneys collected by the Secretary of State pursuant to this article shall be deposited as follows: Fifty percent shall be deposited in the state fund, general revenue and fifty percent shall be deposited in the service fees and collections account established by section two, article ten, chapter fifty-nine of this code for the operation of the office of the Secretary of State.

§30-18-14. Inactive license.

    (a) The Secretary of State shall transfer any licensee in good standing to inactive status for a period of one year upon receipt of an application, on a form provided by the Secretary of State and completed by the licensee and upon payment of an inactive status fee of $25. A licensee may renew the transfer to inactive status every year by completing and filing with the Secretary of State another application and paying a fee of $25.

    (b) The Secretary of State may waive the inactive status fee upon receipt of proof that the licensee is on active duty with the military. Within thirty days after leaving active duty with the military, the licensee must notify the Secretary of State of the change and pay the $25 fee to remain on inactive status.




    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to strengthen enforcement in the private investigating and security guard field by revising the current law governing the licensing of private investigators and security guards. It modifies the licensing of private investigators and security guards, with exceptions for federal officers, provides for the registration of private investigative and security guard employees, and provides penalties for late registration and fees and charges for services of the Secretary of State.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.


    §30-18-4a, §30-18-7a and §30-18-14 are new; therefore, they have been completely underscored.

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