West Virginia

E. Homeland Security Measures.

In 2003 the West Virginia Legislature amended FOIA by adding eight new exemptions related to homeland security and anti-terrorism planning. See, W. Va. Code § 29B-1-4(9) - (16). No judicial decisions have been reported which have involved any of the new exemptions. See supra., II A (2).

(3). Where posted.

Except for the requirement that state executive agencies file notice of their meetings with the secretary of state for publication in the state register, the statute does not state where notice of meetings must be posted. The Attorney General has advised that posting a notice on the courthouse door will fulfill the requirements of the statute for county commission meetings, Op. Att'y Gen., June 23, 1978, and that all state agencies should, at a minimum, file notice with the Secretary of State. Op. Att'y Gen., Nov. 20, 1978.

e. Other.

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

a. Fines

In West Virginia, there is very little, if any history of reporters being fined for failure to comply with a subpoena. There is no specific cap on such fines, and there is no statute or caselaw specifically addressing contempt proceedings where a reporter refuses to comply with a subpoena.


Sean McGinley

DiTrapano Barrett & DiPiero, PLLC

604 Virginia St. East

Charleston, WV 25301


b. Invalidate the decision.

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

5. Private matter message on private hardware.

There have been no court decisions indicating how private matter messages on private hardware should be treated. However, based upon the West Virginia Court’s holding in Associated Press v. Canterbury, supra. it is likely that records of discussion of private matters on private e-mail will fall outside the law’s disclosure requirements because they fail to fall within the definition of West Virginia FOIA’s definition of “public record.”

c. Minutes.

Emergency meetings are subject to the same requirements as any other meetings with respect to maintaining, and granting public access to minutes.

6. Subsequent remedies.

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

B. Separation orders

West Virginia case law and statutes do not address separation orders issued against reporters who are both trying to cover the trial and are on a witness list. Anecdotally, this problem has occurred in federal cases in West Virginia, although reporters have resolved the issue by informally persuading the party who named them to remove them from the list.