West Virginia

7. Victims.

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

B. Dependency


West Virginia

5. Pleading format.

There is no established pleading format. The petition should contain a short and plain statement of the facts entitling the petitioner to relief and a description of the relief sought. If injunctive relief is sought, the petition must be verified, although generally no bond would be required. The form of the pleading will depend on the nature of the relief sought. It may be a petition for writ of mandamus, a writ of prohibition, a declaratory judgment action, or a complaint seeking injunctive relief.

1. Do text messages and/or instant messages constitute a record?

There have been no court decisions indicating whether text messages and/or instant messages constitute a “public record” under West Virginia FOIA. However, depending on the specific circumstances, the holding of Associated Press v. Canterbury, supra. is likely to be instructive insofar as the Court in Associated Press. In that case, the Court recognized that e-mail communications fall within the scope of “writings” covered by the West Virginia FOIA. Text and instant messages are likely to be viewed in the same light.

A. Newspaper articles

A newsperson is not required to testify in court that a particular article actually appeared in the newspaper in order to authenticate the article. Pursuant to Rule 902(6) of the West Virginia Rules of Evidence, newspapers are self-authenticating and therefore, testimony by the author/reporter is unnecessary to authenticate the article for admissibility purposes. Therefore, if a reporter is subpoenaed for that purpose, the subpoena should be quashed easily.

7. Advisory boards and commissions, quasi-governmental entities.

The Open Meetings Act's definition of a "public agency" — as "[A]ny administrative or legislative unit of state, county or municipal government, including any department, division, bureau, office, commission, authority, board, public corporation, section, committee, subcommittee or any other agency or subunit of the foregoing, authorized by law to exercise some portion of executive or legislative power." W. Va. Code § 6-9A-2.

1. Athletic records.

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

E. Are there sanctions for unapproved comment?

The Act provides that "this article does not prohibit the removal from a meeting of any member of the public who is disrupting the meeting to the extent that orderly conduct of the meeting is compromised."

3. Nature of appeal

There is no "appeal by right" to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals; the acceptance of an appeal by that court is entirely discretionary. A party may seek extraordinary relief in the Supreme Court by filing a Petition for Writ of Prohibition or for Writ of mandamus to preclude enforcement of the circuit court's ruling or to compel the court to rule in the correct manner. Like a Petition for Appeal, Petitions for extraordinary writs, such as Prohibition or Mandamus are discretionary.