West Virginia

1. Time limit.

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

1. Revenue

Significant information relating to West Virginia State Government is available without charge through the State’s general website found at http://www.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx ,  Additional state information and public records are available via the Office of the Secretary of State of West Virginia: http://www.sos.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx . Fee are charged by the Secretary of State for some searches and for some requested documents.

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.

(2). To whom notice is given.

The presiding officer is required to announce to the other members of the governing body and the general public that the public agency is going to go into executive session and to provide the authority for doing so.

3. Balancing of interests

The essence of the reporter's privilege in West Virginia is the balancing of interests. In some contexts, such as civil cases not involving libel claims, the reporter interest is given the most weight. In other contexts, namely the grand jury context, the "public interest" in solving crimes and bringing criminals to justice is given more weight. And in a third context, such as criminal proceedings implicating a defendant's Fifth Amendment rights, or libel cases, the weight given to the reporter versus the weight given the defendant is more equal.

a. Denial.

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

2. Voting results.

While there are no cases construing FOIA in the context of voting results, such records have been routinely made available to the public upon request.

B. Whose records are and are not subject to the act?

The Freedom of Information Act applies to every branch of government, and no agency is entirely exempt from its provisions. The Act applies to every "public body," and that term is defined broadly: