West Virginia

3. Death certificates.

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

E. Are there sanctions for unapproved comment?

The Act provides that "this article does not prohibit the removal from a meeting of any member of the public who is disrupting the meeting to the extent that orderly conduct of the meeting is compromised."

f. Tape recording requirements.

The Open Meetings Act does not require a public agency to tape record either the regular meeting or meetings held in executive session. However if such a tape were made at an open meeting, it would constitute a public record under the Freedom of Information Act. Veltri v. Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, supra.

B. Can the requester obtain a customized search of computer databases to fit particular needs?

There are no state Supreme Court cases addressing whether someone can obtain a customized search, and agencies willingness to do so reportedly varies.  For instance, the staff of one agency that oversees the computerized census information may perform customized searches, but will only make the information available in hard copy.

3. Balancing of interests

The essence of the reporter's privilege in West Virginia is the balancing of interests. In some contexts, such as civil cases not involving libel claims, the reporter interest is given the most weight. In other contexts, namely the grand jury context, the "public interest" in solving crimes and bringing criminals to justice is given more weight. And in a third context, such as criminal proceedings implicating a defendant's Fifth Amendment rights, or libel cases, the weight given to the reporter versus the weight given the defendant is more equal.

(4). Public agenda items required.

There are no provisions in the Open Meetings Act specifying agenda items that must be included in the notice of a public agency's regular meetings. However, the notice of any special meeting must include the purpose of the meeting. W. Va. Code §  6-9A-3.

B. How long to wait.

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

B. Budget sessions.

The statute does not permit budget sessions to be closed to the public. As discussed earlier, the state Supreme Court held in Common Cause v. Tomblin that the process of preparing the Budget Digest must be conducted in conformance with the Open Meetings Act.