Open Meetings Act

News & Analysis as of

Limitations of Labor Negotiations Exception to Brown Act - Does Not Include Negotiation of a Project Labor Agreement When the...

The labor negotiations exception to the open-meeting requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act does not permit a community college district’s governing board to meet in closed session to discuss the negotiation of a project...more

California Court: School Districts Cannot Prevent Posting of Videos of Open Board Meetings

Our friends over at the EdLawConnectBlog in California published a blog about an interesting case from the Golden State that school leaders from across the country may find interesting. The case addressed whether school...more

Illinois AG Again Rules on Closed-Session Procedures and Personnel Exceptions

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a binding opinion finding that the Knox County Board Finance Committee violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA) by improperly going into closed session and discussing...more

Illinois Attorney General Limits "Personnel" Exception Under Open Meetings Act

In Public Access Opinion 15-005, issued on Aug. 4, 2015, the Village Board of the Village of Blue Mound was accused of violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA) for going into closed session to consider a contract with...more

Real Estate and Land Use - September 2015

Substance Over Form—A Refreshing Application of CEQA Analysis: City of Irvine v. County of Orange (2015) 283 Cal.App.4th 526 - Why It Matters: The Court of Appeal in City of Irvine v. County of Orange elaborated...more

PAC Finds Village Board in Violation of OMA on Multiple Counts

The PAC recently issued a binding opinion ruling against a local village board for failing to provide proper notice and state a valid exception to enter closed session in violation of the Open Meetings Act (OMA). In PAC...more

Illinois Federal Court Dismisses Some, But Not All, RLUIPA Claims

A federal court in Illinois, in Church of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ v. City of Markham, Illinois (N.D. Ill. 2015), dismissed some of the Church’s religious land use claims while allowing others to proceed. The case is...more

DA Finds Digital Serial Meeting Created By Public Official Choosing to “Reply All”

A “reply all” email among public officials has led to a warning from prosecutors about Brown Act violations and serves as a reminder to keep open meeting laws in mind when talking online....more

PAC Rules on Two OMA Cases

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued two non-binding opinions in July related to the Open Meetings Act (OMA). In one opinion, the PAC found that a school district did not violate the OMA when...more

PAC Rules Collective Bargaining Preparatory Meetings are Subject to OMA

In a non-binding opinion, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) held that a school district violated the Open Meetings Act (OMA) when the board’s negotiations team, which included three board members, held a meeting to discuss...more

Updates to Nevada’s Gaming Laws – 2015 Legislative Session (Cont.#2)

Procedural and Administrative Changes and Clarifications - AB40 - A key administrative change effected by AB40 is to change the name of the “State Gaming Control Board” to the “Nevada Gaming Control Board.”...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Addresses Public Records, Closed Session and "Personnel Matters"

In The Times News Publishing Co. v. The Alamance-Burlington Bd. of Education, No. COA15-99 (July 21, 2015), the Court of Appeals considered the intersection between the State's Open Meetings Laws (N.C.G.S. 143-318.9, et seq.)...more

PAC Upholds Board Action: No OMA Violation for Private Emails

In June, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued a non-binding opinion holding that board members of a school district did not violate the Open Meetings Act (OMA) when partaking in intermittent private email exchanges...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 13

Extending the Reach of Nevada’s Gaming Regulation: SB38, SB40 and SB409 - SB38 - Senate Bill 38 extends the reach of the Board to a new category of licensees, to nightclubs and day clubs that are located on the...more

How to Avoid Brown Act Violations When Discussing Litigation Issues

A nearly $400,000 severance deal struck between Pasadena Community College and its former president was nullified by a judge after determining that the deal was improperly discussed and finalized in closed session. A Los...more

Florida Appellate Court: Open Meetings Law Applies to Collective Bargaining

In a crucial victory for transparency, a Florida state appeals court ruled that the state's open meetings law will not "condone hiding behind federal mediation" when municipal governments try "to thwart the requirements of...more

Legal and Ethical Framework for New Public Officials

As the new year begins, many around California are embarking on a new endeavor: Serving for the first time on a city council, school board or other public agency board or commission. Those newly elected this past November are...more

Circuit Court of Springfield Overturns PAC Opinion on OMA Violation

An Illinois Circuit Court recently overturned a Public Access Counselor opinion. The Court held, contrary to the PAC, that the Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 did not violate Section 2(e) of the Open...more

PAC Strikes Down Five Day Registration Requirement for Public Comment as Violation of OMA

The Public Access Counselor (PAC) in the Illinois Attorney General’s office recently issued a binding opinion regarding public participation in meetings held by public bodies. Section 2.06(g) of the Open Meetings Act...more

Appellate Court Enforces 60 Day Time-Bar on OMA Challenges

Recently, an appellate court in the Fifth District upheld a countywide sales tax implemented through the School Facility Occupation Tax Law. In doing so, the Court denied relief to an Open Meetings Act (OMA) challenge due to...more

Back to School OMA/FOIA Update: Public Access Counselor (PAC) Decisions this Summer

The summer is nearly behind us, and it has been a busy summer for the Public Access Counselor (PAC) office of the Illinois Attorney General, which issued five binding decisions since May on Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom...more

Update on Recent FOIA and OMA Illinois Supreme Court and Attorney General Opinions

- The Illinois Supreme Court rules state's attorneys are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. - The Illinois attorney general rules that: (i) the Open Meetings Act requires public bodies to recite the key terms of...more

Upcoming Changes to California’s Open Meeting Laws

Three bills recently signed by the governor will bring changes to the Brown Act beginning January 1, 2014. The Brown Act governs the conduct of public agency meetings and imposes a variety of requirements to maintain openness...more

Electronic Communications and Open Meeting Laws

Many aspects of the revolution in electronic communications fall into the proverb: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Electronic communications may be faster and may make it easier for multiple individuals...more

Key Takeaways From Recent FOIA And OMA Decisions

The Illinois courts and the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (“PAC”) issued a flurry of decisions in May and June relating to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and the Illinois Open Meetings Act...more

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