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§5-11-20. Violations of human rights; civil action by attorney general.

(a) A person has the right to engage in lawful activities without being subject to actual or threatened:

(1) Physical force or violence against him or her or any other person, or

(2) Damage to, destruction of or trespass on property,

any of which is motivated by race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation or disability.

(b) Whenever any person, whether or not acting under the color of law, intentionally interferes or attempts to interfere with another person's exercise or enjoyment of rights secured by this article or article eleven-a of this chapter, by actual or threatened physical force or violence against that person or any other person, or by actual or threatened damage to, destruction of or trespass on property, the Attorney General may bring a civil action:

(1) For injunctive or other appropriate equitable relief in order to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the rights secured, or

(2) For civil penalties as specified in subsection (c) of this section, or

       (3) For both equitable relief and civil penalties.

This action must be brought in the name of the state and instituted in the circuit court for the county where the alleged violator resides or has a principal place of business or where the alleged violation occurred.

(c) A civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per violation may be assessed against any person violating this section.

(d) Each preliminary, temporary, or permanent injunction issued under this section must include a statement describing the penalties to be imposed for a knowing violation of the order or injunction as provided in subsection (e) of this section. The clerk of the circuit court shall transmit one certified copy of each order or injunction issued under this section to the appropriate law-enforcement agency or agencies having authority over locations where the defendant was alleged to have committed the act giving rise to the action, and service of the order or injunction must be accomplished pursuant to the West Virginia rules of civil procedure.

(e) A person who knowingly violates a preliminary, temporary or permanent injunction issued under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned in the county or regional jail not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.

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