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§14-2B-5. Prosecutor to commence action to distribute profits from crime; joinder of parties; statute of limitations; issues to be determined in action.

(a) The prosecutor shall, within six months of the receipt of any contract or moneys, bring an action in interpleader in accordance with the West Virginia rules of civil procedure for trial courts of record to determine the distribution of any crime profits which have been received or may be received in the future by the defendant. The prosecutor shall join the defendant, any instrumentality of the state or political subdivision thereof which has expended or likely will expend taxpayer funds as a result of the commission of the crime, including, without limitation, funds to prosecute or incarcerate the defendant, all known crime victims, the crime victim's compensation fund and any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity which has paid, or agreed to pay, any crime profits to the defendant, as parties to the action.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code with respect to the timely bringing of an action, the prosecutor shall have the right to bring a civil action authorized by this section within three years after the prosecutor first receives notice pursuant to section four of this article. If, but for the provisions of this section, any party would be barred from bringing an action due to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, said party may not recover damages against the defendant in excess of the value of the crime profits allotted to said party by the court in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(c) A crime victim, the defendant or any instrumentality of the state or political subdivision thereof which has expended or will likely expend taxpayer funds as the result of the commission of the crime may bring a writ of mandamus to compel the prosecutor to bring an interpleader action as authorized by this section. Any applicable statute of limitations shall be tolled during the pendency of such writ.

(d) Any party to the interpleader action may demand a trial by jury on the issues of entitlement to and the amount of damages arising from any claim of any instrumentality of the state or political subdivision thereof or of any crime victim, except that such claims that have already been reduced to judgment in any other civil action by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be conclusively presumed to have been established: Provided, That no jury trial shall be permitted on subrogation claims of the crime victim's compensation fund.

(e) The court may, upon motion of any party or upon its own motion, consolidate with the interpleader action any other pending civil actions by crime victims against the defendant when the basis for such other action is the same crime which has or may result in the generating of crime profits.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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