West Virginia

(1). Information required.

The Act's 1999 amendments appear to exempt minutes of executive sessions from public disclosure; the amendment appears to presume that such minutes will be prepared. Provision is made for the later disclosure of that portion of executive session minutes when they contain reference to confidential settlement and other matters that are later rendered non-confidential by subsequent action.

7. What court.

Suits seeking access to records under the Freedom of Information Act ordinarily must be brought "in the circuit court in the county where the public record is kept." W. Va. Code § 29B-1-3(4).

11. Other penalties.

Prior to the 1999 amendments, the Act required that upon conviction of the misdemeanor offense of willfully and knowingly violating the provisions of the Open Meetings Act, a member of a public or governmental body may be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than ten days, in addition to the fine. W. Va. Code § 6-9A-6. That provision was removed from the Act in 1999.

3. Applications.

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

1. Contact other party first

If a subpoena is issued during the discovery phase of a civil case, it is governed by Rule 26(c) of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure. That Rule requires a party seeking a protective order, i.e., an order that the discovery sought by the subpoenaing party not be allowed, must "confer with other affected parties in an effort to resolve the dispute without court action[.]" Before a motion is filed to stop or quash a discovery subpoena, the party seeking to stop the subpoena must certify to the court that a good faith effort to confer has been made.

1. Salary.

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

1. State.

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

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.