Citations to Open Meeting Laws Recognition

Citations in Court Decisions and Compliance Board Opinions

Citations in Attorney General Opinions

Citations in State and Municipal Manuals

Citations in Law Reviews

Other Citations

Readers' Recommendations

Citations in Court Decisions and Compliance Board Opinions

  • Garlock v. Wake County Board of Education, 712 S.E.2d 158, 170, 171, 173 (N.C.App. 2011) (“other states which have addressed the issue have consistently held that the Open Meeting Laws, other than the exceptions, should be liberally construed ‘in favor of open meetings and full disclosure.’ Schwing, supra, § 3.6.”)
  • Rangra v. Brown, 566 F.3d 515, 527 n.32 (5th Cir.), dism’d as moot, 584 F.3d 206 (5th Cir.2009) (“Numerous states apparently employ similarly tailored provisions in their open meetings acts. See ANN TAYLOR SCHWING, OPEN MEETING LAWS 2d 275, 285 (2000).”)
  • State v. Beaver Dam Area Dev. Corp., 312 Wis.2d 84, 752 N.W.2d 295 (Wis. 2008) (“A leading treatise on open meetings laws sets forth 14 factors used by courts in determining whether private entities are subject to such laws.”), citing Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meetings Laws § 4.100 (2d ed. 2000)
  • McElroy v. Strickland, No. 168933-2 (Chancery Court, Knox County Tennessee (Oct. 2007), (quoting Open Meeting Laws 2d §§ 6.18, 6.24, 6.86 and citing §§ 3.22, 3.24, 6.10, 6.12)
  • Associated Press v. Crofts, 321 Mont. 193, 200, 89 P.3d 971, 975 (2004) (“Many factors have been considered in deciding if a particular committee's meetings were required to be open to the public. Additionally, each situation must be examined in the context of the applicable constitutional and statutory provisions. ANN TAYLOR SCHWING, OPEN MEETING LAWS 2D § 4.42, at 89, § 4.44, at 94 (2000).”)
  • Dewey v. Redevelopment Agency of Reno, 64 P.3d 1070, 1075 n.18 (Nev. 2003) (“Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws 2d § 6.10(a), at 265, 269 n.78 (2000) (citing NRS 241.015(2) (1997) and 85-19 Op. Att’y Gen. 90 (1985)). Schwing distinguishes between quorum jurisdictions (where the Open Meeting Law is activated whenever a quorum of a public body is present), deliberation jurisdictions (jurisdictions which expressly apply their Open Meeting Law to meetings of fewer than a quorum of a particular public body) and jurisdictions which have not made a determination either way.”)
  • Shapiro v. San Diego City Council, 96 Cal.App.4th 904, 914 n.5, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d 631, 619 n.5 (4th Dist. 2002) (“As a commentator referenced by the court in Kleitman, explained: ‘ “The need for executive [closed] sessions in this circumstance is obvious. No purchase would ever be made for less than the maximum amount the public body would pay if the public (including the seller) could attend the session at which that maximum was set, and the same is true for minimum sale prices and lease terms and the like.” (Schwing, Open Meeting Laws (1994) Executive Sessions, § 7.76, pp. 416-418.)’ ”)
  • Kleitman v. Superior Court, 74 Cal.App.4th 324, 331, 87 Cal.Rptr.2d 813, 818 (6th Dist. 1999)

Citations in Attorney General Opinions

  • Cal.Op.Atty.Gen. 10-206, at 5 n.21 (Dec.27, 2011)
  • An oft-cited commentator has described the purpose of the real-estate-negotiations exception this way: "The need for executive [closed] sessions in this circumstance is obvious. No purchase would ever be made for less than the maximum amount the public body would pay if the public (including the seller) could attend the session at which that maximum was set, and the same is true for minimum sale prices and lease terms and the like."
  • Md.Op.Atty.Gen. (Sept. 29, 2009) (“The term ‘executive session’ is also undefined, but it presumably refers to the closure of all or part of a meeting. See Schwing, Open Meeting Laws §7.4.A (1994).”)
  • Nevada AG Complaint. AG 08-014 (June 30, 2008) (“A committee is an assembly or group of persons to whom the consideration of a matter has been committed or referred.  Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws 2d, §4.40 (2000) citing Ohio Op. Atty. Gen. 92-077 (Dec. 30, 1992).”)

Nevada AG Complaint OMLO 2008-02 (Feb. 6, 2008) (“whether a discussion during a recess is in violation of the law is in part dependent on factual details surrounding the discussion such as: (1) location of the discussion, i.e. whether it took place behind closed doors, in secret, or whether it took place in the same room where the public meeting was being conducted and whether the discussion barred the public from participation or whether the public was free to overhear the conversation (2) whether the discussion was recorded (3) length of discussion (4) whether a quorum was present (5) whether the discussion took place during consideration of one matter or between consideration of different matters on the agenda (6) whether the public body voted immediately following the recess without further public discussion (7) the substance of the discussion (8) whether there was evidence of prejudice to the public and (9) whether the public body acted in good faith. Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws 2d § 6.54, pps. 314-316 (2000).”)

  • Nevada AG Complaint OMLO 2008-03) (June 2008) (“As a general proposition, minutes of meetings of public bodies should contain an accurate description of the topics discussed, the action taken, if any, but not a description of the discussion itself. Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws 2d, § 5.52 (2000) citing NRS 241.035(1); Ariz.Op.Atty.Gen. I83-006 (Jan. 17, 1983) (minutes need not repeat verbatim or summarize discussions that occur in meetings); Maready v. City of Winston-Salem, 342 N.C. 708, 733, 467 S.E.2d 615, 631 (1996) (minutes “ ‘should contain a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said by the members’”), quoting Henry Robert, Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised § 47 at 458 (9th ed. 1990). Verbatim stenographic records are not required in the absence of a statute so requiring such a record (citations omitted).”)
  • Letter Addressing Open Meeting Law Inquiry # 07-07, Office of the District Attorney, Norfolk, MA (Jan. 24, 2008) (“While the Open Meeting Law provides no specific decibel level at which a meeting must be conducted, see G.L. c. 39, § 23B; see also Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws 2d § 5.8 (2000), the law would be rendered hollow if those in attendance were unable to hear the proceedings. The public's right to attend and observe a meeting of a governmental body is rendered meaningless if the public is unable to hear the verbal exchange by the members of the governmental body.”)
  • Nev.Op.Atty.Gen. 2005-05 (March 31, 2005), quoting the Nevada Open Meeting Manual §3.01 (“Those definitions repeatedly use the plural word “members” and also the words “quorum” and “simple majority,” which indicate the body must be comprised of more than one person and those persons share voting powers. The definitions further indicate the Open Meeting Law concerns itself with meetings, gatherings, decisions, and actions obtained through a collective consensus of the members, all of which indicates a fundamental assumption the Open Meeting Law concerns itself only with collegial bodies. See A. Schwing, OPEN MEETING LAWS, § 6.32 (1994).”)
  • Nev.Op.Atty.Gen. 2005-05 (March 31, 2005) (“ ‘Fundamental to the nature of public bodies is their character as collegial entities, acting as a body rather than as a number of separate individuals.’ OPEN MEETING LAWS 2d, A. Schwing § 6.3 (2nd ed. 2000).”)
  • Nev.Op.Atty.Gen. 2005-08 (July 12, 2005) (“The United States Supreme Court has held: ‘[h]owever wise or practicable various levels of public participation in various kinds of policy decisions may be, this Court has never held, and nothing in the Constitution suggests it should hold, that government must provide for such participation.’ Minnesota State Board for Community Colleges v. Knight, 465 U.S. 271, 285 (1984). However, ‘some state constitutions’ and state laws may be interpreted differently and provide such right, ‘but the right is qualified to permit public bodies to regulate the time and circumstances of public participation.’ OPEN MEETING LAWS 2d, A. Schwing, § 5.94, p. 247 (2000).”)
  • Hawaii Office of the Information Practices, Opinion No. 05-11 (April 27, 2005) (“Where a board so unreasonably departs from the noticed time for a meeting that it substantially deprives the public the notice provision of the Sunshine Law has been violated. See Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws 2d 167 (2000) (‘Notice has not been given within the meaning of the open meeting law if the public body convenes the meeting at a time so unreasonably departing from the time stated in the notice that the public is misled or substantially deprived of the opportunity to attend, observe and record the meeting.’).”)
  • 89 Md.Op.Atty.Gen. 22, 26-27 (Feb. 17, 2004) (“A statute that applies to the gathering of a quorum of an entity necessarily implies that the entity has multiple members. Schwing, Open Meeting Laws §4.48 n. 2 (1994).”)
  • Maryland Compliance Board Opinion 99-11 (August 12, 1999) (“ ‘The requirement that meetings be open to the public encompasses all the public ....’ Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws 227 (1994). Accordingly, a public body may not bar reporters from an open meeting.”)
  • IowaOp.Atty.Gen. 98-4-4(L) (April 17, 1998)

Citations in State and Municipal Manuals

  • Maryland Open Meetings Act Manual 1-2, 2-6, 3-4 (7th ed. October 2010) (“Other states have prohibited serial communications. See Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws §6.40c.”) (“The location should be as convenient as possible for public attendance. “[T]he law would almost certainly be interpreted to preclude selection of a meeting location so distant and inconvenient as to prevent public attendance. Selection of such a site would subvert the policy of open meetings ....’ ” quoting Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws §5.72, at 213.)
  • Great Falls, Montana, City Attorney Opinion by James W. Santoro (April 16, 2010) (“The reason for a formal motion is to identify the basis for executive session and enable members and participants of the open meeting to know the parameters of the subject matter to be discussed in private.  Also, it allows the courts to review the propriety of the grounds stated as the basis for the closes session. Once a motion is passed, the meeting’s officer may move the meeting to another location away from the public or may ask the public to leave the area, until the executive session ends.  At the conclusion of the executive session, the public meeting must be reconvened.”), citing Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws (1994)
  • Nevada Open Meeting Law Manual, Attorney General George J. Chanos, 19 (Tenth Edition December 2005) (“The definitions further indicate the Open Meeting Law concerns itself with meetings, gatherings, decisions, and actions obtained through a collective consensus of the members, all of which indicates a fundamental assumption that the Open Meeting Law concerns itself only with collegial bodies. See A. Schwing, OPEN MEETING LAWS, § 6.32, (1994) (“The collegial character of the public bodies subject to open meeting requirements is a fundamental assumption underlying the laws’).”)
  • Brookings City Council, Brookings, South Dakota (“A discussion of various State law requirements pertaining to minutes is found in a detailed law book . . . .”)
  • Maryland Open Meetings Act Manual at 1, 7, 19 (Fifth Edition October 2004) (“Nearly every state has made the same policy judgment. For a comprehensive review of state “sunshine” laws, see Ann Taylor Schwing, Open Meeting Laws (1994) ….”)
  • Understanding the Open Meeting Law: A Handbook from Norfolk County, Norfolk County, Massachusetts (June 2002)
  • Maryland Open Meetings Act Manual 1, 7, 19 (Fourth Edition 2000)

Citations in Law Reviews

  • Mulroy, Sunlight’s Glare: How Overbroad Open Government Laws Chill Free Speech and Hamper Effective Democracy, 78 Tenn. L. Rev. 309 (2011) (citing or quoting the treatise 24 times)
  • Fenster, Seeing the State: Transparency as Metaphor, 62 Admin. L. Rev. 617, 661-62 & n.187 (2010) (“The public is not invited to view everything the government does, however. By definition, the only event that these laws make thoroughly visible is the official occasion of a ‘meeting,’ a term whose meaning is not self-evident. n187 SCHWING, supra note 183, § 6.6 (discussing various definitions of meeting in open meeting law, and describing it as ‘[t]he most telling single element to determine whether an open meeting act is strong and encompassing or weak and limited in scope’).”)
  • McLendon & Hearn, State Law, Policy, and Access to Information: The Case of Mandated Openness in Higher Education, 112 Teachers College Record 2649 (2010)
  • Note Open Meetings and Closed Mouths: Elected Officials’ Free Speech Rights After Garcetti v. Ceballos, 61 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 551 (2010) (citing or quoting the treatise 18 times)
  • Note Administrative Law--Deliberating in the Open? Applying Wyoming’s Public Meetings Act to Contested Case Hearings; Decker v. State Ex Rel. Wyo. Med. Comm’n (Decker II), 10 Wyo. L. Rev. 203 (2010) (citing or quoting the treatise 12 times)
  • Cramer, The Power of Secrecy and the Secrecy of Power: FACA and the National Energy Policy Development Group, 13 Comm. L. & Pol’y 183, 226 (2008)
  • Chance, The Government-in-the-Sunshine Law Then and Now: A Model for Implementing New Technologies Consistent with Florida’s Position as a Leader in Open Government, 35 Fla. St. U.L. Rev. 245 (2008) (“Despite the similarities between the values of the public's "right to know" how the government works and the values implied in the First Amendment guarantee of a free press, there is no First Amendment right of access to government meetings. 9 In fact, the framers of the Constitution met in secret.”), citing the treatise
  • Crowder, “Ain’t No Sunshine”: Examining Informality and State Open Meetings Acts as the Anti-Public Norm in Inner-City Redevelopment Deal Making, 74 Tenn. L. Rev. 623, 625, 633, 641-44, 646, 650, 656 (2007)
  • Fenster, The Opacity of Transparency, 91 Iowa L. Rev. 885, 922 n.161 (2006)
  • McLendon & Hearn, Mandated Openness in Public Higher Education: A Field Study of State Sunshine Laws and Institutional Governance, 77 J. Higher Educ. 645 (2006)
  • Hearn, McLendon & Gilchrist, Governing in the Sunshine: Open Meetings, Open Records, and Effective Governance in Public Higher Education (2004) (“scholar A.T. Schwing’s comprehensive cataloguing of state open-meeting statutes published in 2000.”)
  • Comment: Sunshine In Cyberspace? Electronic Deliberation and The Reach of Open Meeting Laws, 48 St. Louis L.J. 755 (2004) (at 757 n.8: “As suggested by the title, this reference provides an in-depth discussion of all aspects of open meeting laws”)
  • Nuckolls, Kansas Sunshine Law; How Bright Does It Shine Now? The Kansas Open Meetings and Open Records Acts, 72 J. Kan. B.A. 28 (2003)
  • Reiman, In Congress Electric: The Need For On-Line Parliamentary Procedure, 18 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 963, 979 (2000)
  • Davis, Chance & Chamberlin, Guardians of Access: Local Prosecutors and Open Meeting Laws, 3 Comm. L. & Pol’y 35 (1998)

Other Citations

    • Amicus Brief, Asgeirsson v. Texas Attorney General (5th Cir. 2011), available at http://www.rcfp.org/news/documents/20111027-amicusbriefinasgeirssonetalvtexasattorneygeneralgr.pdf
    • W.K. Poston, School Budgeting for Hard Times: Confronting Cutbacks and Critics (2010)
    • Patterson, Public Meetings and Communication Excellence: Exploring the Intersection of Public Affairs and Public Involvement (2009), available at http://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/1903/9992/1/Patterson_umd_0117N_10966.pdf
    • Cleek, Guarino & Youril, Sneaking the “Big Lie” Through the Back Door: How Special Interest Groups Are Hijacking Local Legislation, available at http://spcpo.homestead.com/The_Big_Lie.pdf
    • J.C. Smart, Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research (2006)
    • Hodge, Regents, Show Us the Sausage, A primer on open meetings laws, Las Vegas Weekly (Feb 5-11, 2005)
    • Submission to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills - Bill 123: Transparency in Public Matters Act, Ontario, Canada (2004)
    • Hearn, McLendon & Gilchrist, Open Meetings, Open Records, and Effective Governance in Public Higher Education (2004): "More recently, Schwing’s (2000) comprehensive cataloguing of state open-meetings statutes identified nine particular dimensions along which those laws vary. For instance, laws vary from one state to the next in their definitions of public entities subject to open-meetings and records provisions; in their definitions of meetings, quorums, deliberations, and voting; in their exemptions for executive sessions; and, in the remedies and cures they provide for violations of the law, among other dimensions. As with Cleveland’s earlier work, Schwing’s compilation demonstrates the extraordinary richness and variety of the nation’s sunshine laws.

      "
      • Transparency International, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Tools to Support Transparency in Local Governance (2004)
      • Reporter invokes her state’s public-records laws — and triumphs, Isabelle Gan, Special to chipsquinn.org, Posted: March 18, 2004
      • McLendon, Gilchrist & Hearn, State Open-Meetings and Open-Records Laws in Higher Education: An Annotated Bibliography (2003): " This 727-page reference guide, a second edition, provides a comprehensive survey, description, and classification of open-meetings laws in the fifty states. Following an overview of the constitutional context in which state open-meetings laws have arisen in the U.S., Schwing annotates state statutes as they pertain to each of the following topics: entities subject to open-meetings laws; mechanical details of open-meetings laws; meetings, quorums, deliberations, and voting; executive laws; defenses to actions under open-meetings laws; the process of open meeting litigation; and, attorneys fees, defense, and reimbursement. For those interested in the application of state open-meetings laws to higher education, the most pertinent and valuable sections of Schwing’s volume are pages 59-69, which detail open-meetings provisions governing state educational institutions, particularly colleges and universities."

      • Boxer-Macomber, Too Much Sun?: Emerging Challenges Presented by California & Federal Open Meeting Legislation to Public Policy Consensus-building Processes (2003)
      • Making Municipal Government More Accountable: The Need for an Open Meetings Law in Ontario, Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario, Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D., Commissioner, Tom Mitchinson, Assistant Commissioner (October 2003)
      • W. Warters, Mediation in the Campus Community: Designing and Managing Effective Programs (2000)
      • Koay & Richardson, Appendices to Openness & Transparency, Appendix A, California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law: Features of Member Access to Information & Decision-Making, Harvard Law School (October 31, 1999)
      • C.T. Dienes, L. Levine & R.C. Lind, Newsgathering and the Law (1999)
      • Heath, Observations after Three Decades of Open Meetings, Presented at the National Education Law Association Conference (November 1998)
      • Letzring, The Impact on Institutional Research of Open Meeting and Open Records Laws in Higher Education, 24 New Directions Inst. Research 27 (1997)

      Readers' Recommendations

      • This exhaustive treatise on Open Meeting laws in general discusses their application to nonprofit corporations in detail. Volunteer Legal Handbook, 6th Edition Supplemental Materials © 2000 Guess & Rudd P.C
      • Ann Taylor Schwing has written a second edition of her excellent book summarizing open meetings and records laws throughout the United States. The book has extensive citations to court cases, attorney general opinions and law review articles from all over the country. I have a copy of the first edition of this book in my law library, and have already sent off a request for the second edition.  Patrick Cronan May 2000 MMAA Newsletter
      • An excellent reference tool, this volume covers meeting requirements, litigation procedures as well as a list of defenses that typically fail. In addition, Open Meeting Laws provides an invaluable table of statutes, cases, attorney general opinions and a comprehensive listing of secondary authorities to aid in research. http://www.reporters.net/nfoic/web/resource/federal/federal.htm
      • The first edition is a most impressive work. I’m glad to have it in my personal library.   John J. Watkins, Professor of Law, Robert A. Leflar Law Center, University of Arkansas,
        Author of The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (2d ed. 1992) and Open Meetings Under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, 38 Ark.L.Rev. 268 (1984)
      • Open Meeting Laws 2d is an invaluable reference tool. My office refers to it whenever there is an open meetings question, it saves days of research. David H. Shoup, Esq, Tindall, Bennett & Shoup, Anchorage, Alaska
      • By the publication in 1994 of Open Meeting Laws, Ann Taylor Schwing made a substantial down payment towards the cost of insuring that our fundamental freedoms survive. With this, an updated, second edition of that work, Ms. Schwing reprises that contribution, Ann Taylor Schwing has significantly elevated the democratic values of government openness, responsiveness and accountability . . . . From the Foreword by Robert K Puglia, Former Presiding Justice, California Court of Appeal, Third Judicial District (1974-1998)