West Virginia

4. Public matter message on private hardware.

There are no cases dealing with private matters discussed in text or instant messages on government hardware. It is possible, however, that the West Virginia Court may require disclosure upon a finding that private matter text or instant messages have been used as a ruse to conduct public business while avoiding FOIA disclosure requirements.

B. Dockets


West Virginia

3. Electronic meetings.

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

a. How exhaustive must search be?

West Virginia courts have not addressed how exhaustive a subpoenaing party's search for other available sources must be, and thus have not formulated any standards for what constitutes "exhaustion."

A. How to start.

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

A. When to challenge.

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

C. Bank records.

Most bank records — and particularly "[i]nformation contained in or related to examination, operating or condition reports prepared by, or on behalf of, or for the use of any" banking regulatory agency — are exempt from disclosure under Exemption 7 of the FOIA, as well as the specific statutes discussed above.


There have been several important court decisions interpreting West Virginia's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) since the Fifth Edition of this guide was published in 2006 and three exemptions to the Act added by amendment. The Open Governmental Proceedings Act (called "the Sunshine Law" in West Virginia, but referred to herein as the Open Meetings Act) has not been amended since 1999.

The West Virginia Freedom of Information Act begins with an emphatic declaration that the people of the state demand an open government:

c. Minutes.

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