West Virginia


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

A. Adjudications by administrative bodies.

Adjudicatory hearings by state or municipal bodies fall within the Open Meeting Act definition of "meeting." However, in defining the word "meeting," the Legislature excepted "any meeting for the purpose of making an adjudicatory decision in any quasi-judicial, administrative or court of claims proceeding." W. Va. Code §  6-9A-2(6). The exemption thus exempts meetings of such bodies in which the members discuss among themselves decisions that they must make in the course of an adjudication.

(2). To whom notice is given.

For most public bodies, the Act simply states that advance notice of a meeting must be given "to the public and news media." Id. Again, the statute requires the governing body of each public agency to promulgate rules establishing specific notice provisions. However, as noted above, the Act provides a special rule for the governing bodies of the executive branch of the state, which are required to "file a notice of any meeting with the secretary of state for publication in the state register." Id.

A. In general


West Virginia

d. Can the request be for future records?

The statute neither prohibits nor specifically authorizes a request for future records. So long as they can be identified with "reasonable specificity," an FOIA request for future records should be valid. Keep in mind, also, that you may have a common law right to require the public body to create records and then make them available for public inspection or copying. See Daily Gazette v. Withrow, supra.

2. Deposit of security

West Virginia law does not require that the subpoenaing party deposit any security in order to procure the testimony or materials sought from the reporter. For a deposition or in-court testimony, Rule 45(b)(1) of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a subpoenaing party must tender "fees for one days attendance and the mileage allowed by law" if the subpoenaed party so demands. If request for such payment is made, but the payment is not presented, the subpoena is ineffective.

F. How are social media postings and messages treated?

There have been no court decisions or agency guidance indicating how social media postings and messages are to be treated for purposes of FOIA analysis.

M. Patients; discussions on individual patients.

The Open Meetings Act permits closed sessions to discuss the "physical or mental health of any person, unless such person requests an open meeting." (W. Va. Code § 6-9A-4(b)(5)). Moreover, a number of specific statutes, discussed in the Freedom of Information Act section of this outline, provide for confidentiality for mental health, hospital and nursing home records concerning individual patients.

(6). Penalties and remedies for failure to give adequate notice.

The penalties and remedies described above in reference to general notice requirements of the Open Meetings Act also apply to emergency meetings.