West Virginia

I. Defamation actions

In West Virginia, there have been no cases addressing penalties for noncompliance in a libel case. From the Hudok case, it is known that a qualified privilege does exist in West Virginia, even in libel cases. Nevertheless, the privilege is not as strong as in other civil claims. Stated another way, the burden a litigant must meet to breach the reporter's privilege is less in cases where defamation or libel is alleged. Although the Hudok court did not delineate the boundaries of the privilege in the defamation context, it did cite to Zerilli v.

S. Vital statistics.

Birth and death certificates are governed by W. Va. Code § 16-5-26, which provides that it is:

D. Are segregable portions of records containing exempt material available?

Where a document contains a segregable combination of exempt and nonexempt material, the nonexempt portion should be disclosed. An example of this approach is found in Child Protection Group v. Cline, where the court held that information falling within the personal privacy exemption could be redacted and the document disclosed:

B. How to start.

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

C. Criminal trials

Overview

West Virginia

(1). Time limit for giving notice.

The Open Meetings Act requires that, except in emergencies, state executive agencies must give notice of their meetings "at least five days prior to the date of the meeting":

4. Judicial approval

In West Virginia, a lawyer may issue and sign a subpoena as an officer of the court. Rule 45(a)(3) of the W.Va.R.Civ.P. A judge or magistrate need not approve a subpoena before a party can serve it.

c. Plea for quick response.

The Freedom of Information Act requires a response to all requests within five working days, and the request should ask that this time limit be met. If there is a particularly urgent need for the records, this should be explained and an expedited response requested.

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.

a. Open the meeting.

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