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the state Supreme Court in mid-March overturned a Circuit Court judge's decision ordering two newspapers to turn over unpublished photographs to a defendant on trial for murder.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

A. Newsroom searches

At present, the federal Privacy Protection Act (42 U.S.C. 2000aa) has not been used in West Virginia. There are no similar provisions under West Virginia state law.

5. Have agencies imposed prohibitive fees to discourage requesters?

The use of prohibitive fees is an obvious, and favorite, tactic used by public agencies wishing to discourage requests. On one occasion, for example, West Virginia University initially demanded payment of over eight hundred dollars in search fees and 'overhead costs' for producing a document a few pages long. The fee was subsequently waived after objections were raised.

(6). Penalties and remedies for failure to give adequate notice.

The penalties and remedies described above in reference to general notice requirements of the Open Meetings Act also apply to emergency meetings.

F. Published and/or non-published material

The Hudok court concluded that the qualified privilege articulated therein applied equally to both confidential and non-confidential information obtained by the reporter in his/her newsgathering role. The court also held that the privilege applies equally to published and unpublished information.