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Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland v. Franklin W. James, Jr.

Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland v. Franklin W. James, Jr.

Case No. 
Court Term 
Fall 2014
Certified Question Answered

By order entered October 30, 2013, the circuit court certified the following question to this Court:
May a plaintiff maintain an action solely against the surety on a judgment bond made pursuant to W.Va. Code § 31-17-4 without a judgment against the principal on the bond, when the principal has filed bankruptcy, and a judgment against the principal is precluded due to a Chapter 11 Plan confirmation?
The circuit court answered "YES, the statutory purpose of the bond is to protect consumers against insolvent lenders, See, W.Va. Code § 31-17-4, and the public policy of this State should not allow the bankruptcy of insolvent lender to shield a surety on these bonds from liability for the principal's actions."

Petitioner's Attorneys: 

William W. Booker

Thomas H. Ewing

Erin J. Webb

Kay Casto & Chaney PLLC

Charleston, West Virginia

Respondent's Attorneys: 

Andrew C. Skinner

Skinner Law Firm

Charles Town, West Virginia

Daniel F. Hedges

Daniel T. Lattanzi

Mountain State Justice, Inc.

Charleston, West Virginia


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