West Virginia

1. Who may sue?

Any "citizen" of this state may file a petition challenging the action of a public agency under the Open Meetings Act. W. Va. Code §§ 6-9A-3 and 6. Although the statute originally required the plaintiff to "show a good faith and valid reason for making the application," the provision was deleted in a 1993 amendment. Only a person "adversely affected" by a decision may have the decision invalidated solely on the grounds the body gave improper notice of the meeting. W. Va. Code § 6-9A-3.

2. Special or emergency meetings.

(This section is blank. See the subpoints below.)

1. Time limit.

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

B. Can the requester obtain a customized search of computer databases to fit particular needs?

There are no state Supreme Court cases addressing whether someone can obtain a customized search, and agencies willingness to do so reportedly varies.  For instance, the staff of one agency that oversees the computerized census information may perform customized searches, but will only make the information available in hard copy.

A. Burden, standard of proof

In civil and administrative proceedings, a subpoenaing party may overcome the qualified reporter's privilege only if it can make "a clear and specific showing that the information is highly material and relevant, necessary or critical to the maintenance of the claim, and not obtainable from other available sources." State ex rel. Hudok v. Henry, supra. In criminal proceedings, a criminal defendant must make a similar showing, "with particularity," as it relates to his theory or theories of defense, meaning, he must explain "what information he/she expects the media material to contain.

2. Time limits for filing appeals.

An appeal to the state Supreme Court must be filed within four months after the challenged order was issued by the circuit court.

(2). To whom notice is given.

The presiding officer is required to announce to the other members of the governing body and the general public that the public agency is going to go into executive session and to provide the authority for doing so.