Committee Substitute House Bill 2800 History

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WEST virginia legislature

2016 regular session

Committee Substitute


House Bill 2800


[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary]

A BILL to amend and reenact §29B-1-2 and §29B-1-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to adding law‑enforcement officers= contact information and the names and contact information of family members to the list of exemptions from public records requests; providing exception for law-enforcement information voluntarily disclosed on campaign documentation; providing exception for law-enforcement officer’s government-issued email addresses and telephone numbers; and defining law-enforcement officers.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §29B-1-2 and §29B-1-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

article 1. public records.

'29B‑1‑2. Definitions.

As used in this article:

(1) ACustodian@ means the elected or appointed official charged with administering a public body.

(2) “Law-enforcement officer” shall have the same definition as this term is defined in W.Va. Code §30-29-1, except for purposes of this article, “law-enforcement officer” shall additionally include those individuals defined as “chief executive” in W.Va. Code §30-29-1.

(2) (3) APerson@ includes any natural person, corporation, partnership, firm or association.

(3) (4) APublic 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.

(4) (5) APublic record@ includes any writing containing information prepared or received by a public body, the content or context of which, judged either by content or context, relates to the conduct of the public's business.

(5) (6) AWriting@ includes any books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings or other documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics.

'29B‑1‑4. Exemptions.

(a) There is a presumption of public accessibility to all public records, subject only to the following categories of information which are specifically exempt from disclosure under the provisions of this article:

(1) Trade secrets, as used in this section, which may include, but are not limited to, any formula, plan pattern, process, tool, mechanism, compound, procedure, production data or compilation of information which is not patented which is known only to certain individuals within a commercial concern who are using it to fabricate, produce or compound an article or trade or a service or to locate minerals or other substances, having commercial value, and which gives its users an opportunity to obtain business advantage over competitors;

(2) Information of a personal nature such as that kept in a personal, medical or similar file, if the public disclosure of the information would constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy, unless the public interest by clear and convincing evidence requires disclosure in this particular instance: Provided, That this article does not preclude an individual from inspecting or copying his or her own personal, medical or similar file;

(3) Test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment or academic examination;

(4) Records of law‑enforcement agencies that deal with the detection and investigation of crime and the internal records and notations of such law‑enforcement agencies which are maintained for internal use in matters relating to law enforcement;

(5) Information specifically exempted from disclosure by statute;

(6) Records, archives, documents or manuscripts describing the location of undeveloped historic, prehistoric, archaeological, paleontological and battlefield sites or constituting gifts to any public body upon which the donor has attached restrictions on usage or the handling of which could irreparably damage the record, archive, document or manuscript;

(7) Information contained in or related to examination, operating or condition reports prepared by, or on behalf of, or for the use of any agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions, except those reports which are by law required to be published in newspapers;

(8) Internal memoranda or letters received or prepared by any public body. ;

(9) Records assembled, prepared or maintained to prevent, mitigate or respond to terrorist acts or the threat of terrorist acts, the public disclosure of which threaten the public safety or the public health;

(10) Those portions of records containing specific or unique vulnerability assessments or specific or unique response plans, data, databases and inventories of goods or materials collected or assembled to respond to terrorist acts; and communication codes or deployment plans of law‑enforcement or emergency response personnel;

(11) Specific intelligence information and specific investigative records dealing with terrorist acts or the threat of a terrorist act shared by and between federal and international law‑enforcement agencies, state and local law‑enforcement and other agencies within the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety;

(12) National security records classified under federal executive order and not subject to public disclosure under federal law that are shared by federal agencies and other records related to national security briefings to assist state and local government with domestic preparedness for acts of terrorism;

(13) Computing, telecommunications and network security records, passwords, security codes or programs used to respond to or plan against acts of terrorism which may be the subject of a terrorist act;

(14) Security or disaster recovery plans, risk assessments, tests or the results of those tests;

(15) Architectural or infrastructure designs, maps or other records that show the location or layout of the facilities where computing, telecommunications or network infrastructure used to plan against or respond to terrorism are located or planned to be located;

(16) Codes for facility security systems; or codes for secure applications for facilities referred to in subdivision (15) of this subsection;

(17) Specific engineering plans and descriptions of existing public utility plants and equipment;

(18) Customer proprietary network information of other telecommunications carriers, equipment manufacturers and individual customers, consistent with 47 U.S.C. '222; and

(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 section four, article seven, chapter sixty-one 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.; and

(21) The names, residential addresses, mailing addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of a law-enforcement officer’s family members; and the residential addresses, personal mailing addresses, personal telephone numbers and personal email addresses of law‑enforcement officers: Provided, That this exemption shall not apply to campaign documentation voluntarily provided by law-enforcement officers running for political office: Provided, however, That nothing shall be construed to prohibit the disclosure of the law-enforcement officer’s government-issued email address or telephone number.

(b) As used in subdivisions (9) through (16), inclusive, subsection (a) of this section, the term Aterrorist 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

(4) Retaliate against a branch or level of government for a policy or conduct of the government.

(c) The provisions of subdivisions (9) through (16), inclusive, subsection (a) of this section do not make subject to the provisions of this chapter any evidence of an immediate threat to public health or safety unrelated to a terrorist act or the threat of a terrorist act which comes to the attention of a public entity in the course of conducting a vulnerability assessment response or similar activity.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to add law‑enforcement officers= contact information and names and contact information of family members to the list of FOIA exemptions.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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