OPINION ISSUED FEBRUARY 19, 1988
FORK RIDGE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT, INC.
STATE FIRE MARSHAL
James W. Baker, Jr. appeared for claimant.
Robert D. Pollitt, Senior Assistant Attorney General, for
Claimant, Fork Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., alleges that
respondent, State Fire
Marshal, wrongfully denied it a share of funds distributable from
municipal pension and protection
funds for the Fiscal Year 1985-1986. Certified similar fire
had each received
$4,575.93. The funds are provided by a State tax on fire and
In W.Va. Code §33-3-14d (b), The State Fire Marshal, "... Before
first day of August ...
of each calendar year ... is required to report to the State
names nad addresses of all
volunteer and part volunteer fire companies and departments within
State which meet the
eligibility requirements established in W.Va. Code §8-15-8a." One
"Each volunteer or part volunteer fire company or department must:
Submit and maintain
current submission of fire loss data to the state fire marshal,
including verification via notary
public, if no fire loss has occurred;"
The State Fire Marshal provides forms for the filing of monthly
for satisfying this
requirement and forms for applying for certification. Claimant had
timely filed its application for
Walter Smittle, III, the State Fire Marshal, testified that he had
certified the claimant to the
Treasurer because he had not received reports from the claimant for
months of September
1985, and February and March of 1986, when he submitted his
certification to the State
Treasurer on July 30, 1986, for the fiscal year 1985-1986. He
that the provisions of the
West Virginia Code do not make any provisions for his department to
recertify departments after
August 1, 1986. He indicated that the September report was received
August 11, 1986, and the
February and March reports were received August 15, 1986.
No witness on behalf of the claimant was able to establish that
reports from the missing
months had been timely filed or mailed by the claimant. Claimant's
witness stated that the
reports had been mailed, but he could not establish a date for the
mailing of the reports.
Although the Court is aware of the fine service provided by
fire departments such as
this claimant, the Court must, upon the testimony and exhibits and
the applicable statutes,
deny this claim.