West Virginia

K. Negotiations and collective bargaining of public employees.

There is no exemption for collective bargaining negotiations or discussions; this is not surprising because public employees in West Virginia are not authorized to engage in collective bargaining.

e. Additional material

The trial court rules in West Virginia actually require that copies of any case decided by a court other than the West Virginia Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, and cited in support of a motion, such as a motion to quash, must be attached to the motion. Because of its importance, it often is helpful to attach a copy of the Hudok case for easy access by the trial court.

2. Legislative bodies.

Records of legislative bodies are subject to the FOIA to the same extent as records of any other public body. In Common Cause of West Virginia v. Tomblin, 186 W. Va. 537, 413 S.E.2d 358 (1991), the state Supreme Court invalidated the process by which the Legislature's Conferees Committee on the Budget traditionally prepared an informal but influential budget "digest" setting forth its view of the specific purposes for which general appropriations should be used.

A. Fair trial rights

Overview

West Virginia

3. Contact of interested amici.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has a substantial interest in reporters' rights of access to government information and frequently files friend-of-the-court briefs for open records issues when they are being considered at the highest appeal level in the state. Other news organizations and associations within the state also may want to support your position by filing amicus briefs, since any decision in your case will affect them all.

F. Trial records

Overview

West Virginia

5. Arrest records.

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

3. To set aside decision.

Section 3 of the Open Meetings Act specifically authorizes a court of competent jurisdiction to "invalidate any action taken at any meeting for which notice did not comply with the requirements of this section. W. Va. Code § 6-9A-3. Section 6 seems to broaden the court's authority to annul a decision for non-compliance with provisions other than the notice requirements.

4. Subpoena not overbroad or unduly burdensome

In West Virginia, a motion for a protective order may be made to the trial court if the subpoenaed party believes the subpoena is over-broad or unduly burdensome, and the determination of the motion is governed by the procedural rules.

b. Duplication.

Utilizing the principles of statutory interpretation and the case law set forth above, the most cogent view of the language of Section 29B-1-3 (5) is that it clearly and unambiguously states that “[t]he public body may establish fees reasonably calculated to reimburse it for its actual cost in making reproductions of records.”(emphasis added). This language permits of only one reasonable interpretation. A public body may charge fees to reimburse only its actual costs in copying records.