PART VI. FUNDING.

§48-26-603. Domestic Violence Legal Services Fund.

     (a) There is continued in the State Treasury a special revenue account, designated as the "Domestic Violence Legal Services Fund," that shall be an appropriated fund for receipt of grants, gifts, fees, or federal or state funds designated for legal services for domestic violence victims. Expenditures from the fund shall be limited to attorneys employed or contracted by licensed domestic violence programs, or employed or contracted by West Virginia's federally designated legal services program, its successor organization or other nonprofit organization as determined by the department, that establish a collaborative relationship with a licensed domestic violence program, to provide civil legal services to victims of domestic violence.

     (b) Any court of this state may order a nonprevailing party to pay an amount equivalent to the reasonable attorney's fee to which the prevailing litigant would be entitled into the Domestic Violence Legal Services Fund, established in subsection (a) of this section, if the following circumstances occur:

     (1) A prevailing litigant is entitled by statute or common law to a reasonable attorney's fee, and

     (2) The prevailing litigant's legal counsel informs the court that no fee will be requested.