West Virginia

d. Other elements

There is no West Virginia caselaw or statute addressing whether a journalist may be deemed to have waived the privilege. Because the privilege is constitutional in nature, it is likely the privilege may never be deemed to have been waived.

b. If an oral request is denied:

If an oral request is denied, the agency should be asked to provide the denial in writing, as required by the Freedom of Information Act. If this request is refused, or if the denial does not specifically and correctly describe what records were requested, a written record of what was requested should be made together with the reasons given for the denial. If a clerk, or someone other than the actual "custodian" of the records made the denial, a formal written request should be directed to the custodian.

I. Licensing examinations.

Subject to the access requirements of the open courts provision of the state constitution, discussed previously, the Open Meetings Act permits public bodies to meet in executive session to "issue, effect, deny, suspend or revoke a license, certificate or registration under the laws of this state or any political subdivision." (W. Va. Code § 6-9A-4(4)). The person seeking such license may request an open meeting.

a. Definition.

An emergency meeting is defined simply as a meeting required to be held because "immediate official action" is required.

3. Provisions for fee waivers.

The FOIA does not contain any specific provisions for fee waivers when disclosure would be in the public interest. However, the statute merely authorizes, and does not require, public bodies to charge for copies. Therefore, agencies clearly have discretion to waive copying charges when this would serve the public interest.

2. To whom is an appeal directed?

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

1. Does the law provide expedited procedure for reviewing request to attend upcoming meetings?

The Open Meetings Act does not provide for any particular expedited procedure for reviewing a request to attend upcoming meetings, although it does authorize the issuance of an injunction to enforce the statute's provisions. W. Va. Code § 6-9A-6. Any citizen of the state may bring an action in circuit court under the statute. Ordinarily no bond will be required unless it appears to the court that the petition was filed solely to harass or delay the governing body.

D. Still cameras


West Virginia