IN THE COURT OF CLAIMS OF THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
IN THE MATTER OF:
Golden A. Stapleton
O R D E R
Claimant appeared in person.
Jennifer L. Stollings, Assistant Attorney General, for the State of West Virginia.
An application of the claimant, Golden A. Stapleton, for an award under the West Virginia
Crime Victims Compensation Act, was filed February 5, 2002. The report of the Claim Investigator,
filed September 19, 2002, recommended that no award be granted, to which the claimant filed no
response. An Order was issued on November 21, 2002, upholding the Investigator's recommendation
and denying the claim, in response to which the claimant's request for hearing was filed December
9, 2002. This matter came on for hearing March 27, 2003, claimant appearing pro se and the State
of West Virginia by counsel, Jennifer L. Stollings, Assistant Attorney General.
On November 4, 2001, the 38-year-old claimant was assaulted by the offender, a juvenile,
who struck him in the head and face with a metal pipe. The incident occurred at the residence of the
claimant's brother-in-law in Prenter, Boone County. According to the juvenile complaint information form, the time of the assault was 10:00 p.m.
The initial denial of an award by this Court was based upon the claimant's contributory
misconduct (blood alcohol content of .17) and his failure to cooperate with law enforcement officials
(the juvenile petition was dismissed for the failure of witnesses to appear).
At the hearing, the claimant did not contest the fact that his blood alcohol content was nearly
twice the legal limit, admitting that he had in fact been drinking all day. However, he did provide this
Court with an explanation as to why the juvenile petition was dismissed: failure of the circuit court
staff to notify him of the hearing, which had to be rescheduled twice. Under examination, the
claimant stated that he did nothing to provoke the attack upon him.
This Court is convinced by the testimony adduced at the hearing that the claimant did in fact
cooperate with law enforcement officials in their efforts to bring the offender to justice. However,
the fact that he was in such an inebriated state for such a long period of time precludes this Court
from granting an award of compensation.
Based on the foregoing, the previous ruling that no award be granted is hereby upheld.