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West Virginia law defines agencies as all branches of government at both the state and local levels and all bodies created by those branches or funded by public money. West Virginia Constitution of 1872 Chapter 1. West Virginia Government records cover a broad range of genealogy subject areas that can help you as part of your research, such as land ownership, courts, taxes, and naturalization’s. WV.gov is the official Web site for the State of West Virginia and is the result of an innovative public-private partnership between the state and West Virginia Interactive. West Virginia Public Records Exceptions to publicly available information include trade secrets, information of a personal nature, test questions & scoring keys, investigation files, records relating to undeveloped archaeological sites, and emergency scenario plans & security measures. (1) Any person denied the right to inspect the public record of a public body may institute proceedings for injunctive or declaratory relief in the circuit court in the county where the public record is kept. If the records requested exist in magnetic, electronic or computer form, the custodian of the records shall make copies available on magnetic or electronic media, if so requested. According to a document entitled The West Virginia Freedom of Information Act, published by the West Virginia Attorney General's Office: "The State statute on public records, known as the Freedom of Information Act, was enacted for the express purpose of providing full and complete information to all persons about the workings of government and the acts of those who represent them as public officials and employees so that the people may be informed and retain control. Search through the Public Resources, Supreme Court, Lower Courts, Legal Community, and Court Administration sections for court related information. A public body may not charge a search or retrieval fee or otherwise seek reimbursement based on a man-hour basis as part of costs associated with making reproduction of records. Look below to find popular and useful statewide databases. State sunshine laws are the laws in each state that govern public access to governmental records. (b) As used in subdivisions (9) through (16), inclusive, subsection (a) of this section, the term “terrorist act” means an act that is likely to result in serious bodily injury or damage to property or the environment and is intended to: (1) Intimidate or coerce the civilian population; (2) Influence the policy of a branch or level of government by intimidation or coercion; (3) Affect the conduct of a branch or level of government by intimidation or coercion; or. Overview. If you are a citizen of Virginia, you have a statutory right to inspect a vast number of Virginia’s public records using the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). All Rights Reserved. (e) The public body may establish fees reasonably calculated to reimburse it for its actual cost in making reproductions of records. Any citizen of Virginia may request public records, however Virginia does limit the right of incarcerated felons to request any records whatsoever. Contact Us | (4) "Public body" means every state officer, agency, department, including the executive, legislative and judicial departments, division, bureau, board and commission; every county and city governing body, school district, special district, municipal corporation, and any board, department, commission council or agency thereof; and any other body which is created by state or local authority or which is primarily funded by the state or local authority. Legislature. West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information. Explore the entire West Virginia Court System, and the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. West Virginia public records are governed by law enforcement agencies, vital records offices, medical institutions, churches and courthouses. The court shall determine the matter de novo and the burden is on the public body to sustain its action. Links | The Virginia Freedom of Information Act does not require a statement of purpose, nor are there any restrictions on the use of records. Please address your request in writing to: FOIA Request §222; (19) Records of the Division of Corrections, Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority and the Division of Juvenile Services relating to design of corrections, jail and detention facilities owned or operated by the agency, and the policy directives and operational procedures of personnel relating to the safe and secure management of inmates or residents, that if released, could be used by an inmate or resident to escape a facility, or to cause injury to another inmate, resident, or to facility personnel; (20) Information related to applications under §61-7-4 of this code, including applications, supporting documents, permits, renewals, or any other information that would identify an applicant for or holder of a concealed weapon permit: Provided, That information in the aggregate that does not identify any permit holder other than by county or municipality is not exempted: Provided, however, That information or other records exempted under this subdivision may be disclosed to a law-enforcement agency or officer: (i) To determine the validity of a permit, (ii) to assist in a criminal investigation or prosecution, or (iii) for other lawful law-enforcement purposes; (21) Personal information of law-enforcement officers maintained by the public body in the ordinary course of the employer-employee relationship. 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