West Virginia


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

4. Public matter message on private hardware.

There are no cases dealing with private matters discussed in text or instant messages on government hardware. It is possible, however, that the West Virginia Court may require disclosure upon a finding that private matter text or instant messages have been used as a ruse to conduct public business while avoiding FOIA disclosure requirements.

B. Pre-trial proceedings


West Virginia

(4). Public agenda items required.

In the case of emergency meetings held by executive agencies of state government, the notice must include the purpose of the meeting. There is nothing in the Act specifying the agenda items that must be included in the emergency meeting notices of other public bodies, but the provision that notice of all "special" meetings include the purpose presumably would apply to emergency meetings also.

6. Amicus briefs

Briefs of amicus curiae often are accepted by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

4. Contents of appeal letter.

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

C. Bank records.

Most bank records — and particularly "[i]nformation contained in or related to examination, operating or condition reports prepared by, or on behalf of, or for the use of any" banking regulatory agency — are exempt from disclosure under Exemption 7 of the FOIA, as well as the specific statutes discussed above.

A. Access to voir dire


West Virginia

B. Any other statutory requirements for closed or open meetings.

A few specific statutes mandate certain proceedings be open or closed to the public. As in the case of specific public record statutes, discussed in the preceding section of this outline, these provisions may create a greater right of public access to particular proceedings.


There have been several important court decisions interpreting West Virginia's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) since the Fifth Edition of this guide was published in 2006 and three exemptions to the Act added by amendment. The Open Governmental Proceedings Act (called "the Sunshine Law" in West Virginia, but referred to herein as the Open Meetings Act) has not been amended since 1999.

The West Virginia Freedom of Information Act begins with an emphatic declaration that the people of the state demand an open government: