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the state Supreme Court in mid-March overturned a Circuit Court judge's decision ordering two newspapers to turn over unpublished photographs to a defendant on trial for murder.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

3. Courts.

The Open Meetings Act excludes courts from its coverage. In the definition of public agency, it is stated that such term "does not include courts created by article eight of the West Virginia constitution or the system of family law masters created by article four [§ §  48A-4-1 et seq., repealed], chapter forty-eight-a of this code." This exclusion does not mean courts are permitted to meet in secret. Courts are required by Article III, Section 17 of the West Virginia Constitution to be open to the public.

3. Transactions.

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

7. Others.

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

E. Appellate proceedings

Overview

West Virginia

P. Security, national and/or state, of buildings, personnel or other.

The statute permits closed meetings to discuss "[m]atters of war, threatened attack from a foreign power, civil insurrection or riot," W. Va. Code § 6-9A-4(l), as well as the "development of security personnel or devices." W. Va. Code § 6-9A-4(8).