State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > West-virginia > 61 > 61-3-32

§61-3-32. Removal out of county of property securing claim; penalties; fraudulent disposition of personal property in possession by virtue of lease; notice to return; failure to return; penalty; right to immediate possession.
(a) Any debtor under any security instrument conveying personal property, who retains possession of such personal property, and who, without the consent of the owner of the claim secured by such security instrument, and with intent to defraud, removes or causes to be removed any of the property securing such claim out of the county where it is situated at the time it became security for such claim or out of a county to which it was removed by virtue of a former consent of the owner of the claim under this section, or, with intent to defraud, secretes or sells the same, or converts the same to his own use, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned not more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court.

(b) Any person in possession or control of any personal property by virtue of or subject to a written lease who, with intent to defraud and without written consent of the owner, disposes of such property by sale or transfer, or, after receiving a written notice to return the property or otherwise make the property available to the lessor, secretes or converts such property to his own use and in so doing places the property in a location other than the locations described in the written lease, or removes or causes to be removed such property from the state shall be deemed guilty of the larceny of such property.

In any prosecution under the provisions of this subsection, written notice may be mailed by certified mail, addressed to the consumer at the address of the consumer stated in the lease, and served on the consumer within ten days of the expiration of the lease, which notice shall state that the lease has expired and that consumer has ten days from receipt of such notice to return the leased property. Proof that the consumer failed to return the property within ten days of receiving such notice shall in any prosecution under this subsection constitute prima facie evidence that the consumer intended to defraud the owner.

Whenever the consumer is a resident of the county in which the lease was contracted, the dealer, after written notice to the consumer within ten days after the expiration of the lease, has the right to immediate possession of the leased property, without formal process to secure return and possession of the leased property, if this can be done without breach of the peace. The dealer is not liable to the consumer for any damages for any action taken that is reasonable, necessary and incidental to the reclaiming or taking possession of the leased property.