West Virginia

C. Federal constitutional provision

The qualified reporter's privilege in West Virginia is based on the Branzburg standard and the state Supreme Court's application of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, as explained in Hudok v. Henry. The state Supreme Court reaffirmed the Hudok holding in the later case of State ex rel. Charleston Mail Ass'n v. Ranson, 200 W.Va. 5, 25 Media L. Rep. 2166, 60 A.L.R.5th 827, 488 S.E.2d 5 (1997).

a. Definition.

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

D. Are segregable portions of records containing exempt material available?

Where a document contains a segregable combination of exempt and nonexempt material, the nonexempt portion should be disclosed. An example of this approach is found in Child Protection Group v. Cline, where the court held that information falling within the personal privacy exemption could be redacted and the document disclosed:

2. To whom is an appeal directed?

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

3. Dismissal; considering dismissal of public employees.

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

(4). Public agenda items required.

There is no requirement for particular public agenda items to be included in the presiding officer's request to go into executive session. However, since the request must specify the justification for a closed session, it necessarily must give some description of the items to be discussed.