West Virginia FOIA Laws

West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act

The West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. Statute 6-9A of the West Virginia Code define the law. The law states that a meeting is any gathering of a quorum of the members of a public body in order to deliberate and decide on public policy. Judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, on-site inspections, single party caucuses, when discussing scheduling or rescheduling meetings are all instances exempt from the law. If violated, courts may assess fines of up to $500 for a first offense.

Open Governmental Proceedings Act W.Va. Code §6-9A-1 et seq.

Closed: Some medical information; meetings on riots, personnel, discipline, suspension or expulsion of a student.

West Virginia Freedom of Information Act

The West Virginia Freedom of Information Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels. West Virginia law defines records as “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business, prepared, owned and retained by a public body”.

Anyone can request public records and a statement of purpose is not required, nor are there restrictions on the use of the records. The West Virginia Freedom of Information Act allows for 5 business day for records request responses.

Freedom of Information Act W.Va. Code §29B-1-1 et seq.

Exempt: Trade secrets; information violating personal privacy; some exam data; some archaeological sites; and law enforcement records for internal use.

Visit, West Virginia Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.