West Virginia

a. What officials are covered?

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

P. Public utility records.

Public utility records in the possession of any public body such as the Public Service Commission would be subject to disclosure unless the particular information sought is one of the sixteen exempt categories discussed in the previous section.

H. Post-trial records

Overview

West Virginia

6. Material is not cumulative

A discovery request may be denied where the breadth of the information sought would result in the production of material so cumulative as to be inadmissible at trial. State Farm v. Stephens, 188 W.Va. 622, 425 S.E.2d 577 (1992). Whether or not the cumulativeness of the material sought would be inadmissible at trial is in turn governed by Rule 403 of the West Virginia Rules of Evidence. Such determinations are usually left to the discretion of the trial court.

D. How is e-mail treated?

In Canterbury, the Court held that “[a] trial court's determination of whether personal e-mail communication by a public official or employee is a public record, subject to disclosure under the [FOIA] . . . is restricted to an analysis of the content of the e-mail and does not extend to a context-driven analysis because of public interest in the record.”

1. Interviews for public employment.

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

a. "Information gathering" and "fact-finding" sessions.

There is no specific provision in the Act excluding meetings involving information gathering or fact-finding.

4. Infectious disease and health epidemics.

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

1. Civil contempt

In West Virginia, there is very little, if any history of reporters being fined or jailed for failure to comply with a subpoena. There is no statute or caselaw specifically addressing contempt proceedings where a reporter refuses to comply with a subpoena. Generally speaking however, although Rules 11, 16, and 37 of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure do not formally require any particular procedure, before issuing a contempt sanction, a court must ensure it has an adequate foundation either pursuant to the rules or by virtue of its inherent powers to exercise its authority.