West Virginia

(2). Commission or independent agency.

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

4. Public matter message on private hardware.

There are no cases dealing with private matters discussed in text or instant messages on government hardware. It is possible, however, that the West Virginia Court may require disclosure upon a finding that private matter text or instant messages have been used as a ruse to conduct public business while avoiding FOIA disclosure requirements.

b. Consequences of consent

West Virginia courts have not been confronted with the issue of whether a stay pending appeal should be granted automatically where the reporter consents to an in camera review and, following the review, is ordered to comply with the subpoena or other request for information.

(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.

2. Informal telephone inquiry as to status.

Unless the agency has clearly indicated its intention to refuse the request, however, an informal telephone inquiry regarding the status of the request is advisable if the response is not received within the time limit. If the initial request was oral, or was made to someone other than the official "custodian" of the records, a written inquiry directed to the custodian — including a reminder that you will seek reimbursement for attorneys' fees if the agency's failure to respond necessitates legal action — would be preferable.

I. Appellate records


West Virginia

6. Time limit for filing suit.

Under a 1993 amendment to Section 6 of the Open Meetings Act, circuit courts have jurisdiction to enforce the Act only if the action was commenced "within one hundred twenty days after the action complained of was taken or the decision complained of was made." W. Va. Code § 6-9A-6 (1993). Formerly, the statute provided that actions to enjoin or annul actions taken or decisions made in violation of the statute must be filed within thirty days after the date of the action or decision.

C. Bank records.

Most bank records — and particularly "[i]nformation contained in or related to examination, operating or condition reports prepared by, or on behalf of, or for the use of any" banking regulatory agency — are exempt from disclosure under Exemption 7 of the FOIA, as well as the specific statutes discussed above.

7. Civil/criminal rules of procedure

In a civil case, a subpoenaed party may make a motion to quash the subpoena pursuant to Rule 45 of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure if the subpoena is frivolous or unduly burdensome. The subpoenaed party also may make a motion for a protective order pursuant to Rule 26.

3. Closed meetings or executive sessions.

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