West Virginia

B. Probate


West Virginia

C. Waiver or limits to testimony

There is no West Virginia caselaw or statute addressing whether a journalist may be deemed to have waived the privilege. Because the privilege is constitutional in nature, it is likely the privilege may never be deemed to have been waived.

a. Open the meeting.

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

(1). Information required.

The Act's 1999 amendments appear to exempt minutes of executive sessions from public disclosure; the amendment appears to presume that such minutes will be prepared. Provision is made for the later disclosure of that portion of executive session minutes when they contain reference to confidential settlement and other matters that are later rendered non-confidential by subsequent action.

7. What court.

Suits seeking access to records under the Freedom of Information Act ordinarily must be brought "in the circuit court in the county where the public record is kept." W. Va. Code § 29B-1-3(4).

3. Commission or agency enforcement.

Neither the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act nor the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act provides for commission or agency enforcement.

3. Applications.

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

2. Criminal contempt

There are no known instances of a court sentencing a reporter to a fixed sentence for criminal contempt in failing to comply with a court order to provide information. Such a remedy is highly unusual and unlikely. Nevertheless, conviction for criminal contempt is provided for in West Virginia Code § 61-5-26(d), that allows a court to sentence and/or fine an individual for disobedience to an order of the court. The putative contemnor is permitted a jury trial, but there is no statutory limitation on the amount of the potential fine or the period of incarceration.

B. Must a commenter give notice of intentions to comment?

As noted above, a governing body may require those persons who wish to speak to register no more than fifteen minutes prior to the start of a scheduled meeting.