West Virginia

E. Homeland Security Measures.

In 2003 the West Virginia Legislature amended FOIA by adding eight new exemptions related to homeland security and anti-terrorism planning. See, W. Va. Code § 29B-1-4(9) - (16). No judicial decisions have been reported which have involved any of the new exemptions. See supra., II A (2).

1. Where to ask for ruling.

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

(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.

5. Service of police or other administrative subpoenas

Although there are no cases directly discussing special criteria for issuance of an administrative subpoena to a journalist, generally speaking, there are special rules regarding the use and service of other administrative subpoenas. Regarding the use of such subpoenas, the subject or target of an administrative subpoena has an opportunity to challenge the subpoena before yielding that information. In the course of that resistance, privileges, privacy rights and the unreasonableness of an administrative subpoena are available defenses against enforcement of the subpoena. State ex rel.

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.

5. Private matter message on private hardware.

There have been no court decisions indicating how private matter messages on private hardware should be treated. However, based upon the West Virginia Court’s holding in Associated Press v. Canterbury, supra. it is likely that records of discussion of private matters on private e-mail will fall outside the law’s disclosure requirements because they fail to fall within the definition of West Virginia FOIA’s definition of “public record.”

b. Invalidate the decision.

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

C. Trials


West Virginia

(6). Penalties and remedies for failure to give adequate notice.

The penalties and remedies described above in reference to general notice requirements of the Open Meetings Act also apply to emergency meetings.