West Virginia

H. Computer software

There have been no court decisions or agency guidance indicating how online discussion board posts social media postings and messages are to be treated for purposes of FOIA analysis.

Q. Students; discussions on individual students.

Another broad exemption under the Act authorizes executive sessions to discuss the "disciplining, suspension or expulsion of any student in any public school or public college or university, unless such student requests an open meeting." W. Va. Code § 6-9A-4(b)(3).

A. Burden, standard of proof

In civil and administrative proceedings, a subpoenaing party may overcome the qualified reporter's privilege only if it can make "a clear and specific showing that the information is highly material and relevant, necessary or critical to the maintenance of the claim, and not obtainable from other available sources." State ex rel. Hudok v. Henry, supra. In criminal proceedings, a criminal defendant must make a similar showing, "with particularity," as it relates to his theory or theories of defense, meaning, he must explain "what information he/she expects the media material to contain.

c. Text messages.

There have been no reported meetings conducted using text messaging.

a. Arrangements to inspect & copy.

Each "custodian" of records subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act is required to "furnish proper and reasonable opportunities for inspection and examination of the records in his office and reasonable facilities for making memoranda or abstracts therefrom, during the usual business hours, to all persons having occasion to make examination of them." W. Va. Code § 29B-1-3(3).

G. Collective bargaining records.

There is no exemption for collective bargain records. However, collective bargaining by public employees is unlawful in West Virginia.

C. Jury records


West Virginia

3. Contents of request for ruling.

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


The Freedom of Information Act's declaration of policy, which is quoted in the Foreword, is the only indication of the legislative intent underlying the statute. There is no recorded legislative history relating to either the statute's original enactment in 1977 or its subsequent amendments. However, the state Supreme Court of Appeals has quoted the FOIA policy declaration repeatedly in its opinions. Daily Gazette v. W. Va. Development Office, supra; Ogden Newspapers v. City of Charleston, 192 W. Va. 648, 453 S.E.2d 631 (1994).