West Virginia

1. Interviews for public employment.

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

a. "Information gathering" and "fact-finding" sessions.

There is no specific provision in the Act excluding meetings involving information gathering or fact-finding.

b. Motion to compel

In West Virginia, it is advisable that the media party who resists or intends to resist a subpoena should not wait for the subpoenaing party to file a motion to compel before filing a motion to quash. Such a tactic could turn the court against the reporter, and could result in sanctions, such as costs and attorney fees. The better strategy is to move to quash the subpoena as soon as practicable after the subpoena is served.

4. Infectious disease and health epidemics.

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

C. Does the existence of information in electronic format affect its openness?

To date, there has been no distinction between information in electronic format and more traditional format and state agencies routinely provide information to FOIA requesters in electronic format.

(1). Agency procedure for challenge.

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

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

Although the Open Meetings Act does not spell out the notice requirements for most public bodies, it does include a very specific penalty for the failure to provide adequate notice in accordance with the statute. Where an "adversely affected party" files a petition challenging the public agency's action, any court of competent jurisdiction "may invalidate any action taken at any meeting for which notice did not comply" with the notice requirements of the Act. W. Va. Code §  6-9A-3.

c. Source is an eyewitness to a crime

The situation where a member of the media has a source who is an eyewitness or participant in a crime, and the source's information is unobtainable from other available sources, is not a circumstance that has been addressed specifically by West Virginia courts. However, in Hudok v. Henry, the West Virginia Supreme Court did analyze the United States Supreme Court's holding in Branzburg, stating that the identity of such sources generally could be compelled in grand jury proceedings: