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.
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the state Supreme Court in mid-March overturned a Circuit Court judge's decision ordering two newspapers to turn over unpublished photographs to a defendant on trial for murder.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
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.
Although technically there is no right to an interlocutory appeal, if a motion to quash a subpoena is denied, the reporter may file a Petition for Writ of Prohibition or a Petition for Writ of Mandamus directly in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Although such Petitions are deemed "extraordinary" procedures for relief, the state Supreme Court historically has allowed such Petitions in cases involving a reporter's privilege because the First Amendment constitutional implications. The acceptance of such a Petition acts as an automatic stay of the lower court's ruling.
The reported caselaw, i.e., Hudok v. Henry, is the sole source of the qualified reporter's privilege in West Virginia. There are no court rules, state bar guidelines, or administrative procedures that articulate a reporter's privilege.