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Enrolled Version - Final Version House Bill 4675 History

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HB4675 ENR

ENROLLED

H. B. 4675


(By Delegates Staton, Trump, Gallagher, Ashley

and Phillips)



[Passed March 11, 1994; in effect ninety days from passage.]




AN ACT to amend and reenact section fifteen, article two, chapter fourteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to rules of practice and procedure before the court of claims; authorizing the court of claims to compel discovery and order sanctions for failure to comply with an order of discovery; and authorizing the court of claims to strike certain pleadings, motions or papers.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That section fifteen, article two, chapter fourteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§ 14 - 2 - 15. Rules of practice and procedure.

The court shall adopt and may from time to time amend rules of procedure, in accordance with the provisions of this article, governing proceedings before the court. Rules shall be designed to assure a simple, expeditious and inexpensive consideration of claims. Rules shall permit a claimant to appear in his own behalf or be represented by counsel.

Discovery may be used in a case pending before the court in the same manner that discovery is conducted pursuant to the rules of civil procedure for trial courts of record, rules 26 through 36. The court may compel discovery and impose sanctions for a failure to make discovery, in the same manner as a court is authorized to do under the provisions of rule 37 of the rules of civil procedure for trial courts of record:
Provided, That the court of claims shall not find a person in contempt for failure to comply with an order compelling discovery.
The court, upon its own motion or upon motion of a party, may strike a pleading, motion or other paper which: (1) Is not well-grounded in fact; (2) is not warranted by existing law, or is not based on a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; or (3) is interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in costs. An order striking a pleading, motion, or paper may include an order to pay to the other party or parties the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred because of the filing of the pleading, motion, or other paper, including a reasonable attorney's fee.
Under its rules, the court shall not be bound by the usual common law or statutory rules of evidence. The court may accept and weigh, in accordance with its evidential value, any information that will assist the court in determining the factual basis of a claim.
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