H. B. 3144
(By Delegates Butcher, Paxton, Manchin, Stowers,
Hall, R. Phillips, L. Phillips, Longstreth,
Iaquinta, Rodighiero and Perdue)
[Passed March 12, 2011; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §61-8-15, relating to
creating a criminal offense and adding misdemeanor criminal
penalties for picketing or disrupting funerals or memorial
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-8-15, to read as
ARTICLE 8. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY AND DECENCY.
§61-8-15. Prohibition on certain demonstrations at funerals.
(a) No person may carry out,
with respect to any cemetery or
building at which a funeral or memorial service or ceremony is to
be held, a demonstration within 500 feet of the cemetery or
(1) Is conducted during the period beginning 60 minutes before
and ending 60 minutes after the funeral or memorial service or ceremony is held; and
(2) Includes, as a part of such demonstration, any individual
willfully making or assisting in the making of any noise or
diversion that disturbs or tends to disturb the peace or good order
of the funeral or memorial service or ceremony.
(b) For purposes of this section, the term "demonstration"
includes the following:
(1) Any picketing or similar conduct.
(2) Any oration, speech, use of sound amplification equipment
or device, or similar conduct before an assembled group of people
that is not part of a funeral or memorial service or ceremony.
(3) The display of any placard, banner, flag, or similar
device, unless such a display is part of a funeral or memorial
service or ceremony.
(4) The distribution of any handbill, pamphlet, leaflet, or
other written or printed matter other than a program distributed as
part of a funeral or memorial service or ceremony.
(c) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a)
is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
confined in jail for an indeterminate sentence of not more than one
year and fined not less than $200 nor more than $500.