WEST virginia legislature
2018 regular session
House Bill 4533
By Delegates Hornbuckle, Canestraro, Dean, Diserio, Lovejoy and R. Miller
[Introduced February 13,
to the Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-8-32, relating to making it a misdemeanor for a person to knowingly allow a felony drug offense to be committed on his or her property; creating a duty to report; creating criminal penalties; and allowing a private cause of action.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 8. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY, AND DECENCY.
§61-8-32. Property owners allowing felony drug activities by tenants; penalty.
It is unlawful for any person who owns real property to rent to or otherwise allow a person that has exclusive possession of his or her real property to knowingly allow that person or another invitee to the real property to commit a felony drug crime in violation of this code without reporting the crime to a law-enforcement agency. Upon discovery of a felony being committed the property owner shall, within 48 hours, report the activity to a state or local law-enforcement agency. Any person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $500. Upon a second or subsequent conviction he or she shall be confined up to 10 days in jail, or fined not more than $500, or both fined and confined. Any person owning adjoining real property has standing to sue the owner for creating a public nuisance and may file a civil action for damages for the landowner’s criminal and negligent act.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make it a misdemeanor for a person to knowingly allow a felony drug offense to be committed on his or her property. The bill creates a duty to report. The bill creates criminal penalties. The bill allows a private cause of action.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.