West Virginia

b. Invalidate the decision.

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

C. Testimony vs. affidavits

Although the rules in West Virginia do not specify whether a sworn affidavit may take the place of in-court testimony, litigants have been known to accept such affidavits in return for dropping the personal appearance requirement of the subpoena, especially when the subpoena was issued simply confirm that an article was true and accurate as published. Thus, it usually is helpful to inquire of the subpoenaing party's counsel whether they will accept an affidavit in lieu of a personal appearance, as oftentimes such an offer will be accepted.

3. Closed meetings or executive sessions.

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

F. How are social media postings and messages treated?

There have been no court decisions or agency guidance indicating how social media postings and messages are to be treated for purposes of FOIA analysis.

1. Who may sue?

Just as "any person" may request access to records under the Freedom of Information Act, "any person denied the right to inspect the public record of a public body" may sue to enforce that right. W. Va. Code § 29B-1-5(1).

C. Can a public body limit comment?

A governing body "may make and enforce reasonable rules for attendance and presentation at any meeting," but this power is limited to "any meeting where there is not enough room for all members of the public who wish to attend." W. Va. Code § 6-9A-3.

d. Requirement to meet in public before closing meeting.

An initial public session, during which the presiding officer presents the justification for closure and the body votes on the issue, is a prerequisite to any executive session. W. Va. Code §  6-9A-4.

5. Addressing mootness questions

West Virginia courts have not had occasion to address "mootness" as an issue when a trial or grand jury session for which a reporter was subpoenaed has concluded.

3. Grand jury

Although there are no West Virginia cases directly on point addressing a reporter's privilege in the grand jury context, nevertheless, the Hudok court acknowledged that a reporter's privilege "will yield in proceedings before a grand jury where the reporter has personal knowledge or is aware of confidential sources that bear on the criminal investigation[.]" The Hudok court cited with approval the United States Supreme Court's decision in Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665, 92 S.Ct.