West Virginia Judiciary

Supreme Court of Appeals Argument Docket

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Rule 20 argument - 10:00 a.m.

Valentine & Kebartas, Inc. v. Gary J. Lenahan, No. 16-0127 - Petitioner appeals the circuit court’s January 15, 2016, that found petitioner violated the WVCCPA, W.Va. Code § 46A-2-125(d). Petitioner called respondent-debtor 253 times over an eight-month period. Petitioner did not answer the first 250 of these calls. The calls occurred as follows: March 10-25, 2012: Twenty-two calls over sixteen days (1.4 calls/day). The circuit court found these calls did not violate § 46A-2-125(d). March 26-28, 2012: Seventeen calls over three days (5.7 calls/day). The circuit court found that these calls did violate § 46A-2-125(d) because petitioner “ramped up” the number of calls to annoy, abuse, or harass the debtor because he would not answer his phone. March 29, 2012 through Nov. 20, 2012: 213 calls over 231 days. (0.96 calls/day). The circuit court made no specific findings regarding these calls which tapered off over time, but nevertheless concluded that they violated § 46A-2-125(d) (the fine for these 213 calls was $69,000) (the total fine was $75,000). Importantly, at a deposition in this matter, the debtor testified that before petitioner ever called him, he was receiving twenty to thirty calls a day from other debt collectors. Therefore, he had stopped answering all such calls before petitioner ever called him. The debtor also testified that he believed petitioner had called him fewer than 100 times.

Domestic Violence Survivors’ Support Group v. West Virginia Dept. of Health & Human Resources, No. 16-0146 - Petitioner, a non-profit corporation that provides long-term counseling services to victims of domestic violence, appeals the order denying its application for a behavioral health center license. Respondent OHFLAC denied licensure on the sole ground that petitioner’s professional and counseling staff are not licensed. Petitioner claims that W.Va. Code § 30-31-ll(a)(4) exempts it from the “licensed professionals” requirement found in W.Va. Code § 30-31-1 and that OHFLAC arbitrarily interpreted W.Va. Code R. § 64-11-5.5g.

Rule 19 argument

West Virginia Dept. of Transportation, DOH v. Margaret Z. Newton, 16-0325 - Petitioners appeal the award of attorney’s fees and costs, in addition to related litigation expenses, to respondent in two underlying matters.

West Virginia Dept. of Transportation, DOH v. Douglas R. Veach, et al., 16-0326 - Petitioners appeal the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment and award of attorney’s fees and costs to respondents and the circuit court’s denial of their motion for summary judgment, motion to set aside and rescind stipulation, and motion to certify a question.

SER Raleigh General Hospital, LLC, et al. v. Hon. H. L. Kirkpatrick III, Judge; and Earl Douglas Johnson, No. 16-0752 - Petitioner seeks a writ of prohibition to prevent the enforcement of a circuit court order requiring the disclosure of documents protected from civil discovery by the West Virginia Healthcare Peer Review privilege. Dismissed.