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the state Supreme Court in mid-March overturned a Circuit Court judge's decision ordering two newspapers to turn over unpublished photographs to a defendant on trial for murder.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.

5. Expense reports.

(This section is blank. See the point above.)

5. Multi-state or regional bodies.

Multistate or regional bodies, such as planning authorities, usually will be "created by state or local authority or . . . primarily funded by the state or local authority" and thus will be subject to the FOIA. Alternatively, the statute's provision of coverage for any "board, department, commission, council or agency" of any state or local governmental unit should include these bodies.

b. Invalidate the decision.

(This section is blank. See the point above.)

F. Privacy

Overview

West Virginia

3. Local or municipal.

(This section is blank. See the point above.)

b. Jail

In West Virginia, there is very little, if any history of reporters being jailed for failure to comply with a subpoena. There are no recent examples of reporters who have gone to jail for failure to disclose confidential sources or information. There is no statute or caselaw specifically addressing contempt proceedings where a reporter refuses to comply with a subpoena. However, West Virginia Code § 57-5-6 allows a court to sentence a person to remain in jail until "he shall give such evidence or produce such writing or document" as he was summoned and ordered to give.