West Virginia

2. Disciplinary records.

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


Sean McGinley

DiTrapano Barrett & DiPiero, PLLC

604 Virginia St. East

Charleston, WV 25301


3. Courts.

Court records are open to public inspection under the Freedom of Information Act. Associated Press v. Canterbury, 224 W.Va. 708, 688 S.E.2d 317 (2009). Access to court records is also guaranteed by the open courts provision of the state constitution (W. Va. Constitution, Article III, §  17) (see Daily Gazette v. W. Va. State Bar, 326 S.E.2d 705, Syllabus pt. 4) and by W. Va. Code §  51-4-2 (1981), which the Supreme Court applied in Richardson v. Town of Kimball, supra.

1. Any sessions regarding collective bargaining.

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

11. Other penalties.

Imprisonment in the county jail for not more than twenty days is an alternative sanction that, in lieu of or in addition to a fine, may be imposed in the courts' discretion. W. Va. Code § 29B-1-6. Once a circuit court has ordered production of documents or disclosure of information, noncompliance with the order of the court may be punished as contempt of court. W. Va. Code § 29B-1-5(2).

A. Newsroom searches

At present, the federal Privacy Protection Act (42 U.S.C. 2000aa) has not been used in West Virginia. There are no similar provisions under West Virginia state law.

2. Police blotter.

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

F. Published and/or non-published material

The Hudok court concluded that the qualified privilege articulated therein applied equally to both confidential and non-confidential information obtained by the reporter in his/her newsgathering role. The court also held that the privilege applies equally to published and unpublished information.

3. Provisions for fee waivers.

The FOIA does not contain any specific provisions for fee waivers when disclosure would be in the public interest. However, the statute merely authorizes, and does not require, public bodies to charge for copies. Therefore, agencies clearly have discretion to waive copying charges when this would serve the public interest.