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Introduced Version House Bill 4141 History

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hb4141 intr
H. B. 4141


(By Delegates White and Webster)
[Introduced January 23, 2008; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §55-17-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to reducing the number of written status reports on a civil action against a state government agency required to be provided by the chief officer of the government agency.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §55-17-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 17. PROCEDURES FOR CERTAIN ACTIONS AGAINST THE STATE.
§55-17-3. Preliminary procedures; service on Attorney General; notice to the Legislature.

(a)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, at least thirty days prior to the institution of an action against a government agency, the complaining party or parties must provide the chief officer of the government agency and the Attorney General written notice, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the alleged claim and the relief desired. Upon receipt, the chief officer of the government agency shall forthwith forward a copy of the notice to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates. The provisions of this subdivision do not apply in actions seeking injunctive relief where the court finds that irreparable harm would have occurred if the institution of the action was delayed by the provisions of this subsection.
(2) The written notice to the chief officer of the government agency and the Attorney General required by subdivision (1) of this subsection is considered to be provided on the date of mailing of the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the written notice is provided to the chief officer of the government agency as required by subdivision (1) of this subsection, any applicable statute of limitations is tolled for thirty days from the date the notice is provided and, if received by the government agency as evidenced by the return receipt of the certified mail, for thirty days from the date of the returned receipt.
(b) (3) A copy of any complaint filed in an action as defined in section two of this article shall be served on the Attorney General.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any procedural rule or any provision of this code to the contrary, in an action instituted against a government agency that seeks a judgment, as defined in section two of this article, the chief officer of the government agency which is named a party to the action shall, upon receipt of service, forthwith give written notice thereof, together with a copy of the complaint filed, to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates.
(c) At least every sixty days during the pendency of the proceeding, the chief officer of the government agency shall deliver a written status report on the action to the president and the speaker.
(2) Upon request, the chief officer of the government agency shall furnish the President and Speaker with copies of pleadings filed and discovery produced in the proceeding and other documents, information and periodic reports relating to the proceeding as may be requested.
(d) (3) The chief officer of a government agency who fails without good cause to comply with the provisions of this subsection (b) or (c) of this section is guilty of misfeasance. This subsection does not require a notice or report to the President and the Speaker that no action has been instituted or is pending against a governmental agency during a specified period.
(e) (c) The requirements for notice and delivery of pleadings and other documents to the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Delegates pursuant to the provisions of this section do not constitute a waiver of any Constitutional immunity or protection that proscribes or limits actions, suits or proceedings against the Legislature or the State of West Virginia.
(f) (d) The exercise of authority granted by the provisions of this section may not be interpreted as subjecting does not subject the Legislature or any member thereof of the Legislature to any terms of a judgment.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to reduce the number of written status reports on civil actions brought against state government agencies that are required to be provided by the chief officer of the government agency to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates. Currently, agencies are required to furnish one report every sixty days in every case pending against a state government agency. The bill would provide that reports are required only as requested by the President and the Speaker.

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