On April 15, Preston County Judge Steven L. Shaffer, issued an emergency order stopping seizure of bank account and stimulus funds to pay old debts of a Preston County family during the COVID-19 crisis. Judge Shaffer explained that "seizure of personal property during the court closure and stay at home order and related state of emergency . . . violates due process of law." The Judge also stated, "seizure of the Federal CARES Act payments violates Plaintiffs' right to life, liberty, and property," under the due process clause of the West Virginia Constitution.

The Federal CARES Act payments were authorized by the federal government to ensure that Americans in crisis have the essential funds to pay for necessities, such as food, shelter and medicine. The funds began to be deposited into individuals’ bank accounts on April 11. Some recipients, have already reported that this money that they desperately need was snatched up to pay debts, providing taxpayer dollars to banks and debt collectors, in contravention of the funds’ congressional purpose.

See original story   Hospitals in West Virginia are seizing bank accounts, garnishing wages over unpaid debt during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic