Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

October 2009 Nevada Open Meeting Law Nathan Edwards Deputy District Attorney Washoe County District Attorneys Office.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "October 2009 Nevada Open Meeting Law Nathan Edwards Deputy District Attorney Washoe County District Attorneys Office."— Presentation transcript:

1

2 October 2009 Nevada Open Meeting Law Nathan Edwards Deputy District Attorney Washoe County District Attorneys Office

3 October 2009 Open Meeting Law Is it worth it? Must local governments give public notice before deciding a matter? Is it worth it? Must local governments give public notice before deciding a matter? Must every meeting be agendized? Must every meeting be agendized?

4 October 2009 SUNSHINE The Peoples Business, conducted by public bodies, shall be open to the public. Thus, the Open Meeting Law applies to all meetings of a public body at which deliberation takes place and/or action is taken….The Peoples Business, conducted by public bodies, shall be open to the public. Thus, the Open Meeting Law applies to all meetings of a public body at which deliberation takes place and/or action is taken…. NRS 241.010, et. seq.

5 October 2009 What Is a Public Body? Any administrative, advisory, executive or legislative body of the State or a local government which expends or disburses or is supported in whole or in part by tax revenue or which advises or makes recommendations to any entity that expends or disburses or is supported in whole or in part by tax revenue Any administrative, advisory, executive or legislative body of the State or a local government which expends or disburses or is supported in whole or in part by tax revenue or which advises or makes recommendations to any entity that expends or disburses or is supported in whole or in part by tax revenue CABs have advisory power CABs have advisory power Legislature and Judiciary Exempted Legislature and Judiciary Exempted

6 October 2009 What Is a Meeting? Gathering of members of a public body in which a quorum is present to deliberate toward a decision or to take action on any matter over which the public body has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power. Gathering of members of a public body in which a quorum is present to deliberate toward a decision or to take action on any matter over which the public body has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power.

7 October 2009 Meeting (continued) A series of gatherings of members of a public body at which A series of gatherings of members of a public body at which Less than a quorum is present at any individual gathering; Less than a quorum is present at any individual gathering; The members attending the individual gatherings collectively constitute a quorum; and The members attending the individual gatherings collectively constitute a quorum; and The series of gatherings was held with the specific intent to avoid the provisions of the law. The series of gatherings was held with the specific intent to avoid the provisions of the law.

8 October 2009 Exceptions Social Functions Social Functions If members do not deliberate toward a decision or take action on any matter over which the public body to which they belong has control, supervision, jurisdiction or advisory power If members do not deliberate toward a decision or take action on any matter over which the public body to which they belong has control, supervision, jurisdiction or advisory power Attorney-Client Communication Attorney-Client Communication To receive information from the public bodys attorney and to deliberate on potential or existing litigation on a matter over which the body has control, supervision, jurisdiction or advisory power To receive information from the public bodys attorney and to deliberate on potential or existing litigation on a matter over which the body has control, supervision, jurisdiction or advisory power

9 October 2009 What Constitutes a Quorum? A simple majority of the constituent membership of a public body unless another proportion is established by law A simple majority of the constituent membership of a public body unless another proportion is established by law Elected body requires majority of full membership for affirmative action Elected body requires majority of full membership for affirmative action Appointed body requires majority of quorum for any action Appointed body requires majority of quorum for any action

10 October 2009 What Constitutes an Action? A decision made by a majority of members present during a meeting of a public body A decision made by a majority of members present during a meeting of a public body A commitment or promise made by a majority of members of a public body during a meeting A commitment or promise made by a majority of members of a public body during a meeting

11 October 2009 Action (continued) Serial Decision-making Constitutes a Violation Serial Decision-making Constitutes a Violation Requires a majority of the members Requires a majority of the members Applies to Communications in Writing, i.e., Letters and E-mails Applies to Communications in Writing, i.e., Letters and E-mails Includes Discussions by and among Members about a Matter to be Heard Includes Discussions by and among Members about a Matter to be Heard

12 October 2009 What Constitutes Notice? Written notice, to include: Written notice, to include: Time, place and location of meeting Time, place and location of meeting List of locations where notice has been posted List of locations where notice has been posted An agenda, to include: An agenda, to include: Clear and complete statement of topics scheduled to be considered during meetingClear and complete statement of topics scheduled to be considered during meeting Indication of those items on which action may be takenIndication of those items on which action may be taken A public comment periodA public comment period

13 October 2009 Notice (continued) Notice to be posted at principal office of public body or building at which meeting is to be held Notice to be posted at principal office of public body or building at which meeting is to be held Not less than three additional separate and prominent places within jurisdiction Not less than three additional separate and prominent places within jurisdiction Not later than 9 a.m. of third working day prior to meeting Not later than 9 a.m. of third working day prior to meeting

14 October 2009 Notice (Continued) Delivered to the postal service used by the public body not later than 9 a.m. of the third working day prior to the meeting Delivered to the postal service used by the public body not later than 9 a.m. of the third working day prior to the meeting If agreed by requestor, delivered by e-mail not later than 9 a.m. of the third working day prior to the meeting If agreed by requestor, delivered by e-mail not later than 9 a.m. of the third working day prior to the meeting Supplemental posting on website, if available Supplemental posting on website, if available

15 October 2009 Other Requirements Public body must make available, upon request, and at no charge: Public body must make available, upon request, and at no charge: A copy of the agenda A copy of the agenda A copy of any proposed ordinance or regulation to be discussed at meeting A copy of any proposed ordinance or regulation to be discussed at meeting Any other supporting material provided to public body Any other supporting material provided to public body May provide by electronic mail May provide by electronic mail

16 October 2009 Exceptions Confidential documents Confidential documents Materials not yet provided to members Materials not yet provided to members Caveat: Unless confidential by law or subject to an attorney-client privilege, materials must be available to public at time provided to members

17 October 2009 Emergency Items Emergency means – as stated on the record Emergency means – as stated on the record An unforeseen circumstance which requires immediate action and includes, but is not limited to, An unforeseen circumstance which requires immediate action and includes, but is not limited to, Disasters; orDisasters; or Impairment of health or safetyImpairment of health or safety Loss of money or grant opportunityLoss of money or grant opportunity

18 October 2009 Other Issues Time of Meeting and Time Certains Time of Meeting and Time Certains Cancellations Cancellations No Quorum No Quorum Accommodations for Disabled Accommodations for Disabled Closed Meetings Closed Meetings Special notice when taking property or administrative action against a person Special notice when taking property or administrative action against a person

19 October 2009 Public Comment Must be on agenda, but placement up to public body Must be on agenda, but placement up to public body Not limited to only one public comment period Not limited to only one public comment period May not circumscribe content of speech on public comment except: May not circumscribe content of speech on public comment except: Comments may be required to be directed to board as a whole – no personal attacks Comments may be required to be directed to board as a whole – no personal attacks Comments may be limited to matters not on the agenda as long as comment will be allowed at time of agenda item Comments may be limited to matters not on the agenda as long as comment will be allowed at time of agenda item

20 October 2009 Disruptive Behavior Public body may adopt rules governing public comment and input on agenda items Public body may adopt rules governing public comment and input on agenda items Rules may not be based upon content of a persons speech/comment Rules may not be based upon content of a persons speech/comment Warning appropriate Warning appropriate Removal not a violation Removal not a violation

21 October 2009 Minutes and Public Access Minutes must include, at minimum: Minutes must include, at minimum: Date, time and place of meeting Date, time and place of meeting Members present and those absent Members present and those absent Substance of matters discussed or decided and record of any vote Substance of matters discussed or decided and record of any vote Substance of comments of member of general public, if requested, and copy of written materials, if any. Substance of comments of member of general public, if requested, and copy of written materials, if any. Any other matter if requested by member of public body Any other matter if requested by member of public body

22 October 2009 Minutes (continued) To be available for inspection within 30 days of meeting (even if in draft form) To be available for inspection within 30 days of meeting (even if in draft form) Maintained for 5 years; to be archived Maintained for 5 years; to be archived Available to subject of closed session upon request or if confidentiality waived Available to subject of closed session upon request or if confidentiality waived

23 October 2009 Recorded and/or Audiotaped The meeting may be recorded or audio- taped by third party - as long as not disruptive of meeting The meeting may be recorded or audio- taped by third party - as long as not disruptive of meeting Tape must be retained for at least 1 year Tape must be retained for at least 1 year Tape must be made available to public – at any time following meeting Tape must be made available to public – at any time following meeting

24 October 2009 What Happens if Law Violated? Attorney General may bring action to: Attorney General may bring action to: Have action declared void (60 days) Have action declared void (60 days) Obtain injunctive relief to require compliance with law (120 days) Obtain injunctive relief to require compliance with law (120 days) Bring a criminal action (6 months) Bring a criminal action (6 months) Civil action may be maintained by other than Attorney General Civil action may be maintained by other than Attorney General

25 October 2009 Violation (continued) Misdemeanor Misdemeanor Member attending a meeting where action is taken in violation of law (with knowledge of violation) Member attending a meeting where action is taken in violation of law (with knowledge of violation) Wrongful exclusion of person from meeting Wrongful exclusion of person from meeting

26 October 2009 Other Meeting Matters Correction of Minutes Correction of Minutes Preparation of Agenda Preparation of Agenda

27 October 2009 Final Comments Drowning under the open meeting law? Let staff or counsel be your oars: knowledge, experience, advice. Drowning under the open meeting law? Let staff or counsel be your oars: knowledge, experience, advice.

28 October 2009 Who to Contact Bob Webb Bob Webb 328-3623; bwebb@washoecounty.us 328-3623; bwebb@washoecounty.usbwebb@washoecounty.us Sheri Ingley Sheri Ingley 328-3612; singley@washoecounty.us 328-3612; singley@washoecounty.ussingley@washoecounty.us Nathan Edwards Nathan Edwards 337-5700; nedwards@da.washoecounty.us 337-5700; nedwards@da.washoecounty.usnedwards@da.washoecounty.us

29 October 2009 Questions???


Download ppt "October 2009 Nevada Open Meeting Law Nathan Edwards Deputy District Attorney Washoe County District Attorneys Office."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google