News & Analysis as of

Open Meetings Act

Attorney General’s Office Finds School Board Held Improper Discussion in Closed Session

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

The Attorney General’s Office recently issued a non-binding opinion concluding that a board of education improperly discussed matters in closed session that were not within the scope of the exceptions on which the board...more

PAC Finds Library Board’s General Description of Action Item Complies with OMA

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

Government bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act (OMA) sometimes struggle to strike the right balance between too much and too little detail contained in their published Board meeting agendas. A recent advisory opinion from...more

IL Supreme Court Interprets OMA Requirement for Public Recital Prior to Final Action

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

The Illinois Supreme Court recently affirmed the decisions of the lower courts, which had overturned a Public Access Counselor opinion, in Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 v. the Attorney General of...more

The Final Four Binding PAC Opinions of 2016 Remind School Districts of FOIA and OMA Requirements

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

In the final days of the year, the Illinois Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued four binding opinions that reiterate the requirements of both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Open Meetings Act (OMA). Below is a...more

The Ethics Advisor: Good Governance Floats on a Sea of Integrity

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

“In civilized life, law floats in a sea of ethics,” the late Earl Warren, who served as a U.S. Supreme Court chief justice and as California attorney general and governor, stated in a 1962 speech. In a closely related sense,...more

Looking Forward: New California Laws for Public Agencies

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Like years past, there were plenty of laws passed in Sacramento in 2016 that will impact public agencies. Here is a summary of those that have specific importance to your work. We hope that you will contact us for further...more

Court Rules that Final Board Action Requires a Public Recital that Includes the Key Terms of an Action Item

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

In a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision, the Court held that a public body was in violation of the Open Meetings Act (OMA) where the public body failed to include the key terms in its public recital approving two action...more

Court of Appeals Holds Email Deliberations Among a “Quorum" of a Public Body Violates the Open Meetings Act

by Miller Canfield on

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that email deliberations among a quorum of public body members violates the Open Meetings Act. The Nov. 1, 2016, unpublished opinion was issued by a three-judge panel in the case of...more

PAC Ruling Further Clarifies Impermissible Restrictions on Public Comment

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

One of the most legally perilous jobs of a school board is to preside over the public participation portion of a meeting. The key for a board is to balance its need to run efficient and orderly meetings with the ability of...more

Attorney General (PAC) Deems RIF Joint Committee for Teacher Placement Subject to OMA

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

The Public Access Counselor (PAC) division of the Attorney General’s Office recently held that the reduction in force joint committee (the “Joint Committee”) was subject to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act (OMA)....more

2016 Legislative Update: Summary of Changes in School Law

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

BOARDS OF EDUCATION - ENFORCEMENT OF BINDING PUBLIC ACCESS COUNSELOR OPINIONS - Public Act 99-586 - Effective Date: January 1, 2017 - Individuals who file lawsuits to enforce binding opinions from the PAC...more

Points & Authorities - Summer 2016

by Buchalter on

There Ought to be a Law: Consider This Alternative To Litigation - Government is becoming more intrusive. At the state and federal levels, a host of agencies and departments continuously create new rules for us to live...more

Massachusetts Church Alleges Solar Panel Denial Violates Religious Freedom

A Massachusetts Superior Court is soon to consider the interplay of three important planning principles – historic preservation, sustainable development, and freedom of religion. A Unitarian Universalist church is suing the...more

Defend Trade Secrets Act — Implications for Private Funds

On May 11, 2016, the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) became law. The DTSA provides trade-secret protections on the federal level that are similar to those available through the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA)...more

Changes to the Open Meetings Act Allow Inspection of Closed Session Records

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

Effective June 30, 2016, the Open Meetings Act (OMA) has been amended to allow elected board members, or those appointed to fill vacancies on the board, to access closed session recordings and minutes. Access must be granted...more

Court Clarifies the Cease & Desist Requirement Prior to Initiating Brown Act Litigation

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

City’s Loss Illustrates Risks of Litigating Open Meeting Law Violation Claims - In 2012 the California Legislature amended the judicial remedies aspect of the Brown Act “Opening Meetings” Law. That amendment added...more

Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds and The FOIA: More Interesting Cases From The FOIC (Part One)

Dropping thermometers did not diminish the heated action occurring before Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. It should also go without saying that the accompanying snow, ice and other perils of winter...more

Boards Of Education Beware: Ohio Supreme Court Closes Door On Open Meeting Loopholes

by Fisher Phillips on

Because public body meetings are required to be open to the public in Ohio, just exactly what constitutes a “meeting” of a public body has long been a matter of some debate, especially as means of communication have expanded...more

Iowa Supreme Court: So-Called “Shuttle Diplomacy” May Violate Open Meeting Law

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

This is the first part in a three part series exploring important changes to Iowa’s open meeting law. Iowa’s open meeting law seeks to ensure that the basis and reasoning for governmental decisions are easily accessible...more

Open Meetings Act Update: "Informal Meetings;" Remote Participation

by Clark Hill PLC on

A recent Court of Appeals decision regarding Open Meetings Act requirements for "informal meetings" of the University of Michigan Board of Regents, and continued questions about whether members of public bodies can...more

Hutchison v. Shull: Expanding Iowa’s Open Meeting Law (Part 1)

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Warren County is governed by a three-member Board of Supervisors. The supervisors asked the Warren County Administrator to assist the Board in their stated goal of improving the efficiency of the county government. To that...more

Health Care Advisory: Georgia Hospitals Can Close the Door on Open Records Requests

by Alston & Bird on

In a closely watched case, the Georgia Court of Appeals, in Smith v. Northside Hospital, Inc., affirmed the determination that Northside Hospital—a private, nonprofit corporation—was not required to comply with a request for...more

Bagley-Keene Act Roils State Bar Committees

by Allen Matkins on

Today, the California State Bar becomes subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Cal. Gov’t Gov’t Code § 11120 et seq. ). The Bagley-Keene Act generally requires multimember state bodies to provide public notice of...more

The Brown Act – Reminding Local Governments that the Sun Continues to Shine in California

by Nossaman LLP on

Transparency in government is a staple of American democracy. The Federal Freedom of Information Act and California’s Public Records Act are two examples of laws that are intended to provide transparency for government’s...more

Appellate Court Affirms Circuit Court Reversal of PAC Opinion on OMA Violation

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

Last year, an Illinois Circuit Court overturned a Public Access Counselor opinion that found that the Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 violated the Open Meetings Act when it voted on the separation...more

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