West Virginia

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.

A. Newsroom searches

At present, the federal Privacy Protection Act (42 U.S.C. 2000aa) has not been used in West Virginia. There are no similar provisions under West Virginia state law.

F. Published and/or non-published material

The Hudok court concluded that the qualified privilege articulated therein applied equally to both confidential and non-confidential information obtained by the reporter in his/her newsgathering role. The court also held that the privilege applies equally to published and unpublished information.

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.

b. Mandatory or discretionary?

The Freedom of Information Act simply provides that nineteen specified "categories of information are specifically exempt from disclosure under the provisions of [the FOIA]." W. Va. Code §  29B-1-4. If the issue of agency discretion to release documents that fall within one of the nineteen FOIA exemptions were directly presented to the court, it is likely that it would follow the lead of the federal courts whose interpretation of the federal FOIA has held the exemptions to be discretionary rather than mandatory.

4. Infectious disease and health epidemics.

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

C. Obtaining transcripts


West Virginia