West Virginia

1. Rules for active investigations.

Other than cases construing FOIA exemptions, there have been no specific court decisions or statutory references to application of FOIA to active administrative law enforcement investigations. Worker safety and health inspections, or accident investigations arguably may be viewed as falling within the FOIA exemption for records of law-enforcement agencies that deal with the detection and investigation of crime and the internal records and notations of such law-enforcement agencies which are maintained for internal use in matters relating to law enforcement


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4. How long should you wait for a response?

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a. Definition.

An emergency meeting is defined simply as a meeting required to be held because "immediate official action" is required.

2. To whom is an appeal directed?

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d. Language

For the purposes of filing the motion to quash, there is no stock language necessary. Indeed, the motion itself can be quite brief, although it is often preferable to file a memorandum going into some detail about the contours of the privilege. It should be remembered that in West Virginia, trial judges are not accustomed to regularly addressing issues concerning the reporters' privilege and its First Amendment implication, and often a detailed but concise explanation of the application of the privilege will be helpful to the success of the motion.

2. Disciplinary records.

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3. Courts.

Court records are open to public inspection under the Freedom of Information Act. Associated Press v. Canterbury, 224 W.Va. 708, 688 S.E.2d 317 (2009). Access to court records is also guaranteed by the open courts provision of the state constitution (W. Va. Constitution, Article III, §  17) (see Daily Gazette v. W. Va. State Bar, 326 S.E.2d 705, Syllabus pt. 4) and by W. Va. Code §  51-4-2 (1981), which the Supreme Court applied in Richardson v. Town of Kimball, supra.

11. Other penalties.

Prior to the 1999 amendments, the Act required that upon conviction of the misdemeanor offense of willfully and knowingly violating the provisions of the Open Meetings Act, a member of a public or governmental body may be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than ten days, in addition to the fine. W. Va. Code § 6-9A-6. That provision was removed from the Act in 1999.