IN THE COURT OF CLAIMS OF THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
IN THE MATTER OF:
Ruth V. Short
(CV-95-201 and CV-96-297)
O R D E R
Claimant appeared in person.
Joy M. Bolling, Assistant Attorney General, for the State of West Virginia.
Applications of the claimant, Ruth V. Short, for an award under the West Virginia
Crime Victims Compensation Act, were filed August 2, 1995, and November 14, 1996. The
reports of the Claim Investigator, filed May 28 and December 23, 1996, recommended that
no award be granted, to which the claimant filed a response in disagreement. Orders were
issued on August 5, 1996, and April 29, 1997, upholding the Investigator's
recommendation and denying the claims, to which the claimant's requests for hearing were
timely filed. These matters came on for hearing May 23, 2002, claimant appearing pro se
and the State of West Virginia by counsel, Joy M. Bolling, Assistant Attorney General.
At the hearing, the claimant stated that she didn't want any money, that "the funeral
has been paid. I'm here just to get this cleared up." (Transcript, page 5.) She went on to point out several inaccuracies in the Investigator's findings: The date of the crime was
January 12, 1995, not January 11, 1995; Jack Short was not victim Benjamin Short's
brother, rather, his cousin; the prosecutor's office is in fact pursuing criminal charges; and
there was no contributory misconduct on the part of the victim. (Transcript, pages 5-7.)
On the record, it is clear that the claimant's son was the victim of criminal conduct.
It is also undisputed that his blood alcohol content was .36 percent, a factor which may
very well have impaired his judgment not to leave a dangerous situation.
The claimant presented all that she could at the hearing, and her corrections are so
noted by the Court. The claimant is seeking no monetary damages, and indeed, nothing
could serve to compensate her for such a tragic and devastating loss.
Based on the foregoing, the previous ruling that no award be granted is hereby