West Virginia

d. Can the request be for future records?

The statute neither prohibits nor specifically authorizes a request for future records. So long as they can be identified with "reasonable specificity," an FOIA request for future records should be valid. Keep in mind, also, that you may have a common law right to require the public body to create records and then make them available for public inspection or copying. See Daily Gazette v. Withrow, supra.

3. Use of records.

It is not necessary for a requester to indicate the use intended for the documents requested. It may, however, be advisable in some circumstances to indicate the underlying purpose if it is one that the public body receiving the request is likely to endorse or at least toward which the agency will have no negative reaction.

(6). Penalties and remedies for failure to give adequate notice.

The penalties and remedies described above in reference to general notice requirements of the Open Meetings Act also apply to emergency meetings.

G. Settlement records

Overview

West Virginia

b. Refuting the reasons for denial.

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

3. Are certain records available for inspection but not copying?

Under the literal terms of the FOIA, any "public record" subject to inspection also may be copied. However, the statute recognizes a narrow exception that permits public agencies to deny all access to certain records that could be damaged by handling. W. Va. Code § 29B-1-4(6). It seems certain that if particular documents could be inspected, but not copied, without the threat of damage, the courts would permit this approach as the least restrictive alternative.

G. Are there sanctions for noncompliance?

The West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act, specifically W.Va. Code § 6-9A-7 provides for both civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance. Subsection (a) provides that any person who is a member of a public or governmental body required to conduct open meetings under the Act who willfully and knowingly violates the Act's provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars. Second or subsequent offenses also constitute misdemeanors for which a minimum fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand may be imposed.

5. Threat to human life

There are no cases in West Virginia where the courts have discussed the issue of a matter subpoenaed involving a threat to human life.