West Virginia

2. Expedited appeals

There is no specific procedure for requesting an expedited appeal. Rule 2 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure allows the state Supreme Court to suspend its usual rules "[i]n the interest of expediting decision, or for other good cause shown[.]" There are no special considerations that affect news media subpoenas, other than the fact that Petitions for a Writ of Prohibition or a Writ of Mandamus are more favorably looked upon because of their First Amendment considerations than such Petitions that address other issues.

F. Addressing government suits against disclosure.

In re Charleston Gazette FOIA Request, a City refused to release to a newspaper certain payroll records of police officers 222 W.Va. 771, 671 S.E.2d 776 (W.Va. 2008), After refusing to disclose the requested records, the City sought a declaratory judgment. The Supreme Court of Appeals confirmed that a public body may seek a declaratory judgment as a means of vindicating its’ authority to withhold records made exempt by FOIA or other statute.

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.

6. Compilations of criminal histories.

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

C. Court mandated opening, closing.

As discussed previously, the open courts mandate of the state constitution provides a broad right of public access to judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings.

a. Reporter

Beyond the Hudok court's citation to the Von Bulow case, and the Von Bulow court's elaboration on the criteria used to determine whether one is a member of the class entitled to claim the reporter's privilege, there is no caselaw or statute that formally defines who qualifies as a "reporter."

6. Multi-state or regional bodies.

Where a multistate or regional body holds a meeting in this state, the threshold question is whether it is a "public agency" under the Open Meetings Act. The statute's definition of public agency is limited to agencies of government in this state, whether it be on the local, county, or state level of government. The fact that the membership of these two bodies is not limited to this state, but includes other states, seems to preclude the Act from being applied to the entire multistate or regional body.