West Virginia

B. Whose privilege is it?

No case or statute in West Virginia addresses whether the privilege belongs to the source, the reporter, or both, and no case or statute addresses whether the privilege belongs to the reporter, the employer, or both. On the other hand, both reporters and their employers (i.e., media organizations) have successfully asserted the privilege in West Virginia.

a. Must a minimum number be present to constitute a "meeting"?

A meeting is defined as "the convening of a governing body of a public agency for which a quorum is required in order to make a decision or to deliberate toward a decision on any matter which results in official action." The term "does not include (A) Any meeting for the purpose of making an adjudicatory decision in any quasi-judicial, administrative or court of claims proceeding; (B) Any on-site inspection of any project or program; (C) Any political party caucus; (D) General discussions among members of a governing body on issues of interest to the public when held in a pla

1. Birth certificates.

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

2. Particular fee specifications or provisions.

The FOIA contains no provisions for separate charges for searches, duplication, computer access or printouts, microfiche, or non-print audio or audio-visual records. Since the statute only authorizes charges for the cost of "reproduction," additional "search" charges generally should be prohibited except when expressly authorized by another statute.  An exception to the general rule is found in W. Va.

G. Trial records


West Virginia

B. How to start.

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

e. Additional material

The trial court rules in West Virginia actually require that copies of any case decided by a court other than the West Virginia Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, and cited in support of a motion, such as a motion to quash, must be attached to the motion. Because of its importance, it often is helpful to attach a copy of the Hudok case for easy access by the trial court.

(2). To whom notice is given.

For most public bodies, the Act simply states that advance notice of a meeting must be given "to the public and news media." Id. Again, the statute requires the governing body of each public agency to promulgate rules establishing specific notice provisions. However, as noted above, the Act provides a special rule for the governing bodies of the executive branch of the state, which are required to "file a notice of any meeting with the secretary of state for publication in the state register." Id.

d. Can the request be for future records?

The statute neither prohibits nor specifically authorizes a request for future records. So long as they can be identified with "reasonable specificity," an FOIA request for future records should be valid. Keep in mind, also, that you may have a common law right to require the public body to create records and then make them available for public inspection or copying. See Daily Gazette v. Withrow, supra.