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.

D. Federal programs.

The statute does not except meetings involving federal programs from the requirement that they be open to the public.

2. Legislative bodies.

The Act applies to all legislative bodies, such as the State Legislature or a city council. A 1993 amendment to the statute provides that "a governing body of the Legislature is any standing, select or special committee, except the commission on special investigations, as determined by the rules of the respective houses of the legislature."

2. Negotiations.

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

A. Exemptions in the open records statute.

"Three cardinal rules must be remembered in any FOIA case regardless of which exemption is claimed to be applicable. First, the disclosure provisions are to be liberally construed. Second, the exemptions are to be strictly construed. Finally, the party claiming exemption from the general disclosure requirement . . . has the burden of showing the express applicability of such exemption to the material requested." Daily Gazette v. W. Va. Development Office, supra, Syllabus pts. 1 and 2 (citations omitted).

C. Testimony vs. affidavits

Although the rules in West Virginia do not specify whether a sworn affidavit may take the place of in-court testimony, litigants have been known to accept such affidavits in return for dropping the personal appearance requirement of the subpoena, especially when the subpoena was issued simply confirm that an article was true and accurate as published. Thus, it usually is helpful to inquire of the subpoenaing party's counsel whether they will accept an affidavit in lieu of a personal appearance, as oftentimes such an offer will be accepted.

O. Real estate negotiations.

"Matters involving or affecting the purchase, sale or lease of property" may be discussed in executive session. W. Va. Code § 6-9A-4(9).