West Virginia

c. Order future meetings open.

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

C. Does the existence of information in electronic format affect its openness?

To date, there has been no distinction between information in electronic format and more traditional format and state agencies routinely provide information to FOIA requesters in electronic format.

B. State constitutional provision

The West Virginia Constitution does not contain a specific "shield" law provision. However, in Hudok v. Henry, where the state Supreme Court of Appeals articulated the qualified privilege for reporters, the state Supreme Court cited Article III, § 7 of the West Virginia Constitution, in addition to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Branzburg standard, as the bases for the qualified reporter's privilege. Article III, § 7 of the West Virginia Constitution states, in pertinent part:

10. Fines.

A "willful" violation of the Freedom of Information Act by a custodian of public records is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of "not less than two hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars. W. Va. Code § 29B-1-6.

1. Accident reports.

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

1. Is software public?

There have been no court decisions or agency guidance indicating how software is to be treated for purposes of FOIA analysis.

e. Requirement to state statutory authority for closing meetings before closure.

The presiding officer of a governing body must publicly state the authority under the Act for requesting the governing body go into executive session. Id.

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West Virginia