WEST VIRGINIA CODE
§5-11A-14. Enforcement by private persons; civil actions;
appointed attorneys; remedies; bona fide
purchasers; intervention by attorney general.
(a) (1) (A) An aggrieved person may commence a civil action in
an appropriate circuit court not later than two years after the
occurrence or the termination of an alleged discriminatory housing
practice, or the breach of a conciliation agreement entered into
under this article, whichever occurs last, to obtain appropriate
relief with respect to such discriminatory housing practice or
(B) The computation of such two-year period shall not include
any time during which an administrative proceeding under this
article was pending with respect to a complaint or charge under
this article based upon such discriminatory housing practice. This
subparagraph does not apply to actions arising from a breach of a
(2) An aggrieved person may commence a civil action under this
subsection whether or not a complaint has been filed under
subsection (a), section eleven of this article and without regard
to the status of any such complaint, but if the commission has
obtained a conciliation agreement with the consent of an aggrieved
person, no action may be filed under this subsection by such
aggrieved person with respect to the alleged discriminatory housing
practice which forms the basis for such complaint except for the
purpose of enforcing the terms of such an agreement.
(3) An aggrieved person may not commence a civil action under
this subsection with respect to an alleged discriminatory housing
practice which forms the basis of a charge issued by the commission
if an administrative law judge has commenced a hearing on the
record under this article with respect to such charge.
(b) Upon application by a person alleging a discriminatory
housing practice, the court may: (1) Appoint an attorney for such
person; or (2) authorize the commencement or continuation of a
civil action under subsection (a) of this section without the
payment of fees, costs or security, if in the opinion of the court
such person is financially unable to bear the costs of such action.
(c) (1) In a civil action under subsection (a) of this
section, if the court finds that a discriminatory housing practice
has occurred or is about to occur, the court may award to the
complainant actual and punitive damages, and subject to subsection
(d) of this section, may grant as relief, as the court deems
appropriate, any permanent or temporary injunction or other order,
including an order enjoining the respondent from engaging in such
practice or ordering such affirmative action as may be appropriate.
(2) In a civil action under subsection (a) of this section,
the court, in its discretion, may allow a prevailing complainant a
reasonable attorney's fee and costs.
(d) Relief granted under this section shall not affect any
contract, sale, encumbrance or lease consummated before the
granting of such relief and involving a bona fide purchaser, encumbrancer or tenant without actual notice of the filing of a
complaint with the commission or civil action under this section.
(e) Upon timely application, the attorney general may
intervene in such civil action, if the attorney general certifies
that the case is of general public importance. Upon such
intervention the attorney general may obtain such relief as would
be available to the attorney general under subsection (d), section
fifteen of this article in a civil action to which such section
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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