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§39-3-7. Procedure to prove contents of lost papers or records -- Generally.

Any person desirous of proving the contents of any paper filed in a clerk's office or anything which was of record in any book therein may, if such paper or book be lost within the meaning of this article, present to the circuit court of the county wherein such paper or book was filed or kept, a petition specifying with reasonable certainty the nature of the paper or record, the contents of which he desires to prove, and what persons may be affected by such proof. Reasonable notice of the time and place of proceeding on such petition shall be given to the parties interested. Such notice may be served as prescribed in sections one and two, article two, chapter fifty-six of this code. If any person who may be affected by the proof be an infant or insane person, a guardian ad litem shall be appointed to attend to the case on his or her behalf. Whereupon such court shall make an order referring such petition to one of the commissioners of the court, who shall take proof of the contents of such record or paper, and make report of same, with the evidence taken by him to the court. Such report shall be filed in the office of the clerk of such court at least ten days before it shall be acted upon by the court, when the court may confirm or recommit the same or make any order in relation thereto which may be necessary and proper. If such report be confirmed by the court, it shall be recorded in the book where the original paper was or should have been recorded; or if it was a paper on file in the office, shall be filed away where such paper was or should have been filed; and such report, when finally confirmed and recorded or filed, shall in all cases be prima facie evidence of what is stated therein, and, after ten years from the confirmation of such report, shall be conclusive evidence of what is stated therein.

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