West Virginia

a. "Information gathering" and "fact-finding" sessions.

There is no specific provision in the Act excluding meetings involving information gathering or fact-finding.

4. Infectious disease and health epidemics.

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

2. Others, including non-traditional news gatherers

In West Virginia, the reporter's privilege laws do not distinguish -- either by statutory language or by decisional law -- between traditional and so-called "non-traditional" news gatherers. There is no statute or case law addressing such non-traditional news gatherers as authors, freelancers, students, unpaid news gatherers, or academic researchers are entitled to the privilege, nor is there any statute or case law addressing whether others connected to the news process, such as newspaper librarians, may assert the privilege.

E. Business records, financial data, trade secrets.

Trade secrets are the first FOIA exemption, but there is no provision under the FOIA or other statutes for confidentiality of business records or financial data. In Queen v. WVU Hospitals, supra, the Supreme Court refused to create a general exemption for "business confidentiality." In Keegan v. Bailey, 191 W. Va. 145, 443 S.E.2d 826 (1994), the state Supreme Court ruled that the state's uncashed checks were subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, even though the records of abandoned property are specifically exempt under W. Va.

Open Records

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

(1). Agency procedure for challenge.

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

(5). Other information required in notice.

The contents of the notice are left up to the governing body to determine when it promulgates its notice regulations. At a minimum, the Act requires the notice to state the date, time, place and agenda of regular meetings, and the time, place and purpose of special meetings. Every notice given by the governing bodies of the executive branch of the state must include the time, place and purpose of the meeting.

1. Statutory, regulatory or court-set time limits for agency response.

W. Va. Code § 29B-1-3(4), mandates that each "custodian, upon demand for records made under this statute, shall as soon as practicable but within a maximum of five days not including Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays:

(a) Furnish copies of the requested information;

(b) Advise the person making the request of the time and place at which he may inspect and copy the materials; or

(c) Deny the request stating in writing the reasons for such denial."