West Virginia

e. Additional material

The trial court rules in West Virginia actually require that copies of any case decided by a court other than the West Virginia Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, and cited in support of a motion, such as a motion to quash, must be attached to the motion. Because of its importance, it often is helpful to attach a copy of the Hudok case for easy access by the trial court.

1. What kind of records are covered?

The Freedom of Information Act applies to "any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public's business, prepared, owned and retained by a public body." W. Va. Code §  29B-1-2(4).

III. MEETING CATEGORIES -- OPEN OR CLOSED.

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

b. Are certain executive functions covered?

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

Q. Real estate appraisals, negotiations.

The only specific state FOIA exemption for real estate appraisals or negotiation material is the provision of FOIA Exemption 6 that protects the "location of undeveloped historic, prehistoric, archaeological, paleontological and battlefield sites." W. Va. Code § 29b-1-4(6).

In Veltri v. Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, supra, the Kanawha County Circuit Court ordered the Authority to release all appraisals it had obtained on a parcel of real estate it had purchased.

F. Trial records

Overview

West Virginia

4. Subpoena not overbroad or unduly burdensome

In West Virginia, a motion for a protective order may be made to the trial court if the subpoenaed party believes the subpoena is over-broad or unduly burdensome, and the determination of the motion is governed by the procedural rules.

F. Are there sanctions for noncompliance?

The FOIA was amended in 2001 to make "any custodian of any public records who willfully violates the provision of [FOIA] may be charged with a misdemeanor and upon conviction the custodian may be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or be imprisoned for more than twenty days, or both. W. Va. Code § 29B-1-6.

L. Parole board meetings, or meetings involving parole board decisions.

The Open Meetings Act does not specifically authorize the closure of parole board meetings. Although parole board proceedings might arguably fall within W. Va. Code § 6-9A-4(7), it is more likely that the courts would not apply that exception in such circumstances. Moreover, the state Supreme Court narrowed the scope of a similar exemption under the Freedom of Information Act in Hechler v. Casey, supra. Further, to the extent that the parole board exercises quasi-judicial functions, its proceedings are subject to the constitutional open courts mandate.