IN THE LEGISLATIVE CLAIMS COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
DIVISION OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION
Claimant appeared pro se.
Briana J. Marino, Assistant Attorney General, for the Respondent.
The Claimant filed this claim to recover the value of certain personal property that he alleged was damaged and lost while under the care of the Respondent.
The Claimant and the Respondent, through its counsel, appeared for a hearing before the Legislative Claims Commission on November 22, 2019.
The Claimant was incarcerated at Mount Olive Correctional Complex. He was taken to the segregation unit on September 7, 2018 for a rules violation. On November 1, 2018, he was released from segregation and returned to general population. He received a property inventory form listing his personal property items that had been placed in storage during his time in segregation. After he reviewed the form for accuracy and completeness, he signed it. Upon receipt of his personal property, the Claimant testified that he discovered that several items were missing, including a beard trimmer and a CD boom box. The Claimant testified that the CD boombox was purchased for him by his aunt; he purchased the beard trimmers. The Claimant believed that there was a time delay between his transfer to segregation and his property being packed up for storage in the State Shop which led to his property being taken or stolen. The Claimant filed a grievance regarding the missing property, which was ultimately denied on the grounds that these items were not in his cell at the time of the inventory and these items were not on his property cards and inventory. The Claimant placed a value of $125.00 on his missing property; however, the Claimant did not submit any invoices, receipts or other documentation to support his valuation of the property.
The Respondent disputed the validity of the claim in its pleadings and at the hearing. The Respondent asserted that the beard trimmers and the CD boombox were not in the Claimant’s possession or in his cell at the time his personal property was inventoried, packed up and stored. The Claimant’s signed property inventories were submitted into evidence. Because these items were not in his cell, the Respondent argued that a bailment situation was not created as the items were not in the custody of the Respondent.
Upon consideration of the evidence filed in this claim and the testimony given at the hearing, the Claims Commission finds that Claimant did not establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the CD Boombox and the beard trimmers had been delivered to the Respondent so as to create a bailment situation between the Claimant and the Respondent. Similarly, the Claimant did not provide sufficient evidence to the Claims Commission to establish that the Respondent had breached any duty owed to the Claimant and was therefore liable for the alleged damage to the Claimant’s property.
Based on the foregoing, the Legislative Claims Commission is of the opinion to, and does hereby, deny the Claimant’s claim.