West Virginia

State high court upholds trial court's closure of juvenile court proceedings

Secret Courts | Feature | August 9, 1999
Feature
August 9, 1999

WEST VIRGINIA--In mid-July, the state Supreme Court of Appeals in Charleston, the state's highest court, unanimously upheld a trial court's order closing a case concerning the suspension of a student by the school board and sealing juvenile education records because it found a compelling public policy of protecting the confidentiality of juvenile information in all court proceedings exists in the state.

Reporter's privilege upheld in murder trial

Reporter's Privilege | Feature | April 21, 1997
Feature
April 21, 1997

Reporter's privilege upheld in murder trial

04/21/97

WEST VIRGINIA--Affirming that a qualified reporter's privilege does exist in West Virginia, the state Supreme Court in mid-March overturned a Circuit Court judge's decision ordering two newspapers to turn over unpublished photographs to a defendant on trial for murder.

Private session with school administrators violated meetings law

Freedom of Information | Feature | June 17, 1996
Feature
June 17, 1996

Private session with school administrators violated meetings law

06/17/96

WEST VIRGINIA--The state Supreme Court of Appeals in mid-May affirmed 5-0 a circuit court decision holding that the Fayette County School Board violated the Open Governmental Proceedings Act when four of its five members met privately with school system administrators the day before voting on the closing and consolidation of three schools.

Judge quashes subpoenas issued by criminal defendant

Reporter's Privilege | Feature | May 16, 1995
Feature
May 16, 1995

Judge quashes subpoenas issued by criminal defendant

05/16/95

WEST VIRGINIA--In early May, a trial judge quashed subpoenas issued to two newspaper reporters by a criminal defendant who was attempting to force the judge to recuse himself from the case.

B. How to start.

(This section is blank. See the subpoints below.)

E. Minor testimony

Overview

West Virginia

(2). To whom notice is given.

For most public bodies, the Act simply states that advance notice of a meeting must be given "to the public and news media." Id. Again, the statute requires the governing body of each public agency to promulgate rules establishing specific notice provisions. However, as noted above, the Act provides a special rule for the governing bodies of the executive branch of the state, which are required to "file a notice of any meeting with the secretary of state for publication in the state register." Id.

F. How are social media postings and messages treated?

There have been no court decisions or agency guidance indicating how social media postings and messages are to be treated for purposes of FOIA analysis.

D. Non-compliance remedies

In West Virginia, there is no special exemption for reporters to protect them from contempt holdings for failing to testify. Thus, if a court finds a reporter in contempt of an order compelling the reporter to testify or produce information, the court has available to it the full range of penalties or remedies to impose on the reporter that it could impose on any other person who fail to comply with a valid, upheld subpoena.

d. Can the request be for future records?

The statute neither prohibits nor specifically authorizes a request for future records. So long as they can be identified with "reasonable specificity," an FOIA request for future records should be valid. Keep in mind, also, that you may have a common law right to require the public body to create records and then make them available for public inspection or copying. See Daily Gazette v. Withrow, supra.