Updates on cases, laws, and other topics of interest to local governments

Subscribe by Email

Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a Reader

Follow Municipal Minute on Twitter


Blog comments do not reflect the views or opinions of the Author or Ancel Glink. Some of the content may be considered attorney advertising material under the applicable rules of certain states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Please read our full disclaimer

Thursday, March 29, 2018

No OMA Violation to Require Public To Leave Building During Closed Session

Recently, the Illinois Attorney General issued an advisory opinion ruling in favor of a public body in  connection with a complaint that the public body violated the Open Meetings Act. 2014 PAC 28285

A resident filed a complaint claiming that a city council violated the OMA in two respects: (1) in requiring members of the public to leave the council chambers and wait outside while the city council conducted a closed session and (2) when the council amended a motion to consider the purchase of property during open session at that same meeting.  

The PAC did not find a violation on either count. First, the PAC acknowledged that an appellate court had previously ruled that it was not a violation of the OMA to require the public to leave the building during a closed session. In that case (In re Foxfield Subdivision), the closed session had lasted from 7:10 pm to 1:15 am, and according to the court, it was a cold and blustery night. The PAC noted that the time period the public had to wait outside in this situation was shorter (about 40 minutes). Second, the PAC determined that the manner in which a public body makes motions, including amending those motions, is not governed by the OMA, so the PAC declined to address that issue. However, the PAC did find that the council's agenda on this item did comply with the OMA requirement of listing the general subject matter of the action.

Full disclosure: Ancel Glink represents the public body that was the subject of this complaint.


Post a Comment