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West Virginia Jail Payroll Records not “Public Records” for Purposes of State FOIA

The Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation sued a West Virginia jail in state court to compel the compilation and disclosure of payroll records for jail guards, pursuant to the state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), W.Va. Code § 29B-1-1 et seq. The trial court ruled against the Foundation, finding the documents not to be public records under the FOIA, and the Foundation appealed.

On appeal, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia found that since the guards were provided by a subcontractor, the payroll records weren’t public records which the jail was obligated by the FOIA to copy and disclose. See: Affiliated Construction Trades v. Regional Jail, 200 W.Va. 621; 490 S.E.2d 708 (1997).

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Related legal case

Affiliated Construction Trades v. Regional Jail