Here is a list of significant state Supreme Court rulings concerning public records access: Daily Gazette Co. vs. Committee on Legal Ethics, 1984 - Opened records of lawyers' disciplinary proceedings. Hechler vs. Casey, 1985 - Categories of documents exempt from disclosure must be narrowly construed. Daily Gazette Co. vs. Withrow, 1986 - Government agencies that settled lawsuits against them must keep records of the terms of those settlements and make those records public. Child Protection Group vs. Cline, 1986 - Outlined a detailed test for weighing the public interest in disclosure against unreasonable invasion of individual rights. Daily Gazette Co. vs. Board of Medicine, 1986 - Opened records of doctor disciplinary proceedings.
Queen vs. WVU Hospitals, 1987 - Government officials who wish to withhold documents have the burden of proving why those documents are exempt from disclosure. 4-H Road Community Association vs. WVU Foundation, 1989 - Fund-raising arm of the university is not subject to FOIA disclosure requirements. Common Cause vs. Tomblin, 1991 - Legislature must create and maintain for public inspection records of budget digest negotiations. Ogden Newspapers vs. City of Williamstown, 1994 - Police incident reports must be made public. Only information that would compromise an investigation may be withheld, and if incidents involved juveniles, the reports must be made public with the names withheld. Daily Gazette Co. vs. West Virginia Development Office, 1996 - Exemption for internal memos covers only those records consisting of advice, opinions and recommendations that reflect an agency's deliberative, decision-making process. Source: W.Va. Code, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press