West Virginia

c. Minutes.

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

d. Photo journalist

Beyond the Hudok court's citation to the Von Bulow case and the Von Bulow court's elaboration on the general criteria used to determine whether one is a member of the class entitled to claim the reporter's privilege, there is no law or statute that formally defines who qualifies as a "photojournalist." However, from the Charleston Mail Ass'n v. Ranson case it is clear that news photographers and their photographs are covered by the privilege.

3. Is delay recognized as a denial for appeal purposes?

The FOIA does not specify the consequences of a public body's failure to respond within the five-day limit. The courts routinely have treated such lack of response, for appeal purposes, as a denial of the request.

2. Public matter on government e-mail or government hardware

Public matter on public e-mail systems falls within FOIA’s disclosure mandate if it fits the statutory definition of “public record” found in W.Va. Code §  29B-1-2 (4).

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 executive session is "any meeting or part of a meeting of a governing body which is closed to the public." W. Va. Code § 6-9A-2(2). The Act specifies twelve topics that may be considered in such a closed session, and these are discussed later in this outline. No decision may be made in an executive session. W. Va. Code § 6-9A-4 (a).

b. Motion to compel

In West Virginia, it is advisable that the media party who resists or intends to resist a subpoena should not wait for the subpoenaing party to file a motion to compel before filing a motion to quash. Such a tactic could turn the court against the reporter, and could result in sanctions, such as costs and attorney fees. The better strategy is to move to quash the subpoena as soon as practicable after the subpoena is served.

2. Priority.

The FOIA confers priority on cases involving the denial of access to public records: "Except as to causes the court considers of greater importance, proceedings arising under [the FOIA] shall be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable date." W. Va. Code §  29B-1-5(3). Such a "priority" however, is left to the discretion of the trial court, which may consider other matters to be of greater importance.

J. Money-making schemes.

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