West Virginia

F. Arbitration

Overview

West Virginia

b. Mandatory or discretionary closure.

The nine specific exceptions of the Open Meetings Act merely authorize a closed session at the discretion of the governing body; a majority vote is required to invoke the provisions permitting executive sessions. Note that in the case of the five exemptions directed toward protecting individual privacy, the individual involved may demand a public meeting.

3. Courts.

The Open Meetings Act excludes courts from its coverage. In the definition of public agency, it is stated that such term "does not include courts created by article eight of the West Virginia constitution or the system of family law masters created by article four [§ §  48A-4-1 et seq., repealed], chapter forty-eight-a of this code." This exclusion does not mean courts are permitted to meet in secret. Courts are required by Article III, Section 17 of the West Virginia Constitution to be open to the public.

A. In general

Overview

West Virginia

3. Transactions.

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

2. Material unavailable from other sources

The requested material must not be obtainable from other available sources. State ex rel. Charleston Mail Ass'n v. Ranson, and State ex rel. Hudok v. Henry. The court in State ex rel. Hudok v. Henry, supra, recognized there may be a situation where a newsperson is the only individual with credible evidence bearing upon an important issue in a civil case.

1. Character of exemptions.

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

J. Litigation; pending litigation or other attorney-client privileges.

The Open Meetings Act does not specifically exempt discussions of pending litigation, or any other attorney-client communications, from its scope. In the 1999 amendments, the following provisions were added:

b. E-mail.

There have been no reported meetings conducted via computer, whether by way of an online chat or through e-mail.