West Virginia

6. Relief

A reporter's attorney should seek an order from the appellate court ordering the lower court to either grant the reporter's motion to quash and/or prohibiting the lower court from enforcing the subpoena or contempt citation. It is possible that the appellate court will order the trial judge to reconsider the issues at stake in light of the appellate decision, but there is nothing preventing the appellate court from making the decision itself.

D. Information and/or identity of source

No reported West Virginia case has addressed the use of the reporters' privilege to protect the identity of a source. However, the Hudok court concluded that the qualified privilege articulated therein applied equally to both confidential and non-confidential information obtained by the reporter in his/her newsgathering role.

a. Administrative forum.

There is no provision in the Open Meetings Act for an administrative challenge to a public agency's actions. However, it is possible that some agencies may have promulgated regulations that provide such an administrative forum. In that case, provisions regarding time limits for requesting or receiving a ruling or subsequent administrative remedies should also be contained in the agency's regulations. With few exceptions, such regulations must be filed with the office of the Secretary of State and can be obtained either from that office or from the agency involved.

C. Does the existence of information in electronic format affect its openness?

To date, there has been no distinction between information in electronic format and more traditional format and state agencies routinely provide information to FOIA requesters in electronic format.

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.)

V. Procedures for issuing and contesting subpoenas

In West Virginia, there are no special legal procedures required to serve a subpoena on a member of the news media unique from the general requirements of service of such subpoenas on any other party.

c. Order future meetings open.

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

1. Is software public?

There have been no court decisions or agency guidance indicating how software is to be treated for purposes of FOIA analysis.