West Virginia

R. School and university records.

There is no specific exemption for school or university records. However, individual students' and personnel records generally would be subject to the balancing test applicable to personal information. Information concerning the institution, including trustee records, should be available for public inspection. A specific statute requires colleges and universities in the state to provide information to the public regarding alleged crimes occurring on campus and reported to the school's security or other officials. W. Va. Code § 18B-4-5a.

c. Patterned after federal Freedom of Information Act?

The West Virginia Freedom of Information Act is similar to the federal statute in many respects, and the West Virginia Supreme Court recognized "the close relationship between the federal and West Virginia FOIA . . . in particular the value of federal precedents in construing our state FOIA's parallel provisions." Daily Gazette v. W. Va. Development Office, supra. It should be noted, however, that the eleven new exemptions added to W. Va. Code, §  29B-1-4  since 2003 are not patterned after those contained in the federal FOIA, 5 U.S.C. §  552 (b) (1) - (9).

A. When to challenge.

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

1. Civil contempt

In West Virginia, there is very little, if any history of reporters being fined or jailed for failure to comply with a subpoena. There is no statute or caselaw specifically addressing contempt proceedings where a reporter refuses to comply with a subpoena. Generally speaking however, although Rules 11, 16, and 37 of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure do not formally require any particular procedure, before issuing a contempt sanction, a court must ensure it has an adequate foundation either pursuant to the rules or by virtue of its inherent powers to exercise its authority.

e. Social media and online discussion boards.

There have been no reported meetings conducted using social media or online discussion boards.

(1). How does the requester memorialize the refusal?

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

E. How are text messages and instant messages treated?

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