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Introduced Version Senate Bill 595 History

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Senate Bill No. 595

(By Senators Green, Chafin, Facemire, D. Hall,

Kirkendoll, Stollings and Tucker)

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[Introduced February 14, 2014; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §61-3-29 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to prohibiting damage to property of railroads, public utilities and certain production storage and distribution facilities; adding waste management facilities, storage facilities and timber operations to the protected properties; prohibiting destruction, damage or removal of property resulting in impairment to the normal, safe operation of those facilities; and providing criminal penalties.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §61-3-29 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 3. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY.

§61-3-29. Damage or destruction of railroad, public utility company property, waste management facility or real or personal property used for producing, generating, transmitting, distributing, treating, storing or collecting electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, timber, water, wastewater, stormwater, telecommunications or cable service; penalties; restitution.

    (a) Any person who knowingly and willfully damages or destroys any real or personal property owned by a railroad company, or public utility company, waste management facility or any real or personal property used for producing, generating, transmitting, distributing, treating, storing or collecting electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, timber, water, wastewater, stormwater, telecommunications or cable service is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $2,000, or confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and confined.

    (b) Any person who knowingly and willfully: (1) Damages or destroys any real or personal property owned by a railroad company, or public utility company, waste management facility or any real or personal property used for producing, generating, transmitting, distributing, treating, storing or collecting electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, timber, water, wastewater, stormwater, telecommunications or cable service; and (2) creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another or results in the interruption of service to the public is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $5,000, or confined in a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than three years, or both fined and imprisoned.

    (c) Any person who knowingly and willfully: (1) Damages or destroys any real or personal property owned by a railroad company, or public utility company, waste management facility or any real or personal property used for producing, generating, transmitting, distributing, treating, storing or collecting electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, timber, water, wastewater, stormwater, telecommunications or cable service; and (2) causes serious bodily injury to another is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000, or confined in a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

    (d) Any person who knowingly and willfully: (1) Damages or destroys, tampers with or removes any real or personal property owned by a railroad company, public utility company, waste management facility or any real or personal property used for producing, generating, transmitting, distributing, treating, storing or collecting electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, timber, water, wastewater, stormwater, telecommunications or cable service; and (2) thereby hinders, impairs or disrupts, directly or indirectly, the normal operation of any equipment, device, system or service put in place, in whole or in part, to protect, promote or facilitate the health or safety of any person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or confined in a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than three years, or both fined and imprisoned.

    (d) (e) Nothing in this section may be construed to limit or restrict the ability of an entity referred to in subsection (a), (b), or (c) or (d) of this section or a property owner or other person who has been damaged or injured as a result of a violation of this section from seeking recovery for damages arising from violation of this section.


    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for protection against property crimes committed against coal mines, utilities and other industrial facilities. The bill adds waste management facilities and timber operations to the protected facilities and provides for criminal penalties for the removal, destruction, or damage of real or personal property that impairs the normal operation any equipment or system used for the protection of health and safety of any person. This bill is the same as H.B. 4226.


    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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