State ex. rel Virginia M. v. Virgil Eugene S
In State ex. rel Virginia M. v. Virgil Eugene S., 197 W. Va. 456, 475 S.E.2d 548 (1996), the Court specified that the most recent statutory enactments clarify that the burden of proof falls upon the parent requesting an improvement period.
In footnote nine of Virginia M., the Court explained as follows:
"We note that West Virginia Code 49-6-12 (1996), recently enacted by the West Virginia Legislature, now requires a parent seeking an improvement period in cases of neglect or abuse to file a written motion requesting it, and to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he or she is likely to fully participate in the improvement period. Thus rather than presuming the entitlement of a parent to an improvement period, as under State ex rel. West Virginia Dept. of Human Services v. Cheryl M., 177 W. Va. 688, 356 S.E.2d 181 (1987)., . . . the law now places on the parent the burden of proof regarding whether an improvement period is appropriate."
(197 W. Va. at 461 n. 9, 475 S.E.2d at 553 n. 9.)