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Form 870 online WV: What You Should Know
West Virginia state law (and federal law as well) 1) The West Virginia General Assembly considers the punitive damages' doctrine “unavoidably vague “ The legislative history of the doctrine shows that the punitive damages' doctrine is not in effective use today. The legislative intent of the doctrine was to ensure an individual is not financially destroyed, rather than to punish him for criminal conduct. “(The) legislature intended that only an exceptionally vindictive individual would be subject to the doctrine.” “ 2) A person seeking to recover punitive damages must plead and establish in their individual case that he or she is entitled to recover damages. (T)he defendant must demonstrate that the sum demanded is grossly disproportioned to the harm suffered.” “ “ It is a rebut table presumption that punitive damages are not recoverable for conduct that is not punishable or that was not intended by the defendant's conduct. The court should therefore not weigh the punitive damages claim or reduce the amount the defendant claims to have suffered based upon the harm or loss suffered.” 3) The defendant must plead that the amount of the damages is reasonable in the total loss. (I) The damages must be clearly delineated in the action and must not be excessive in amount or degree,” and must be reasonably compensation to the defendant.” “ 4) The award must be reasonable in relation to the defendant's actual, tangible injury or loss. “ 5) In order to establish the claim, the defendant must produce credible evidence of the fact, and amount of the damages allegedly suffered. “ The punitive damages are recoverable only if the judge finds that the plaintiff's claim is totally frivolous or brought for the purpose of harassing, vexatious or maliciously injuring the defendant. (WAC § 20-1-19) West Virginia State Criminal Procedure Act for State Offenses with a Punitive Damages Claim West Virginia Criminal Procedure Act (c. W. Va. Code § 16-25-2). “ 16-25-2. Punitive damages.
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