West Virginia

a. Rules for active investigations.

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

5. Addressing mootness questions

West Virginia courts have not had occasion to address "mootness" as an issue when a trial or grand jury session for which a reporter was subpoenaed has concluded.

D. Budgets.

Generally, final versions of budgets of West Virginia governmental entities should be disclosed upon receipt of a FOIA request. It is possible that government bodies may claim that proposed budgets fall within exemption 8 of the FOIA, §29B-1-4(a)(8). That exemption relates to internal predecisional information. See Daily Gazette v. W. Va. Development Office, 198 W.Va. 563, 482 S.E.2d 180 (1996).

3. Grand jury

Although there are no West Virginia cases directly on point addressing a reporter's privilege in the grand jury context, nevertheless, the Hudok court acknowledged that a reporter's privilege "will yield in proceedings before a grand jury where the reporter has personal knowledge or is aware of confidential sources that bear on the criminal investigation[.]" The Hudok court cited with approval the United States Supreme Court's decision in Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665, 92 S.Ct.

Open Meetings

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

3. Courts.

The Open Meetings Act excludes courts from its coverage. In the definition of public agency, it is stated that such term "does not include courts created by article eight of the West Virginia constitution or the system of family law masters created by article four [§ §  48A-4-1 et seq., repealed], chapter forty-eight-a of this code." This exclusion does not mean courts are permitted to meet in secret. Courts are required by Article III, Section 17 of the West Virginia Constitution to be open to the public.

5. Other.

The Open Meetings Act provides a practical limitation on challenges made to bond issues. If notice of the meeting at which the bond issue was finally considered was given at least ten days prior to the meeting by a Class I legal advertisement in a qualified newspaper having general circulation in the geographical area, then the bond issue will not be rendered void in a challenge by a citizen. W. Va. Code § 6-9A-6.

3. Transactions.

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