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Brown act
 

Brown act

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From the Region VI training conference Winter 2010 Region VI of the SSCCC at SBCC

From the Region VI training conference Winter 2010 Region VI of the SSCCC at SBCC

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    Brown act Brown act Presentation Transcript

    • GET TO KNOW THE BROWN ACT
    • DISCLAIMER
      • The following information is designed to be a general guide to the Brown Act and should NOT be considered legal advice. For questions about specific situations concerning the Brown Act please consult an attorney.
    • WHO MUST COMPLY?
      • Legislative Bodies:
        • Governing body of a local agency
        • Advisory committees (with exceptions)
        • Citizen volunteer groups, task forces, etc.
        • Standing committees of legislative body
          • continuing subject matter jurisdiction or
          • schedule fixed by resolution or other formal action
    • WHAT IS A MEETING?
      • Congregation of a majority of a legislative body
        • same time and place
        • to hear, discuss or deliberate
        • agency business
        • TECHNOLOGY COUNTS!
      • Retreats Are Meetings (the interaction among board members is the public’s business)
    • WHAT IS NOT A MEETING?
      • Individual Contacts and Conversations
      • Attendance at:
        • conferences
        • other agency meetings
        • Ad hoc committee meetings
        • social/ceremonial events
        • DON’T DISCUSS AGENCY BUSINESS
    • TYPES OF MEETINGS
      • Regular
      • Special
      • Adjourned
      • Emergency
    • GENERAL MEETING REQUIREMENTS
      • Open and Public
      • No Conditions on Attendance
      • Accessible
      • Video/Audio & Broadcasting
    • MEETING REQUIREMENTS, PART 2
      • Teleconferencing
      • Location
      • Public Opportunity to Address Board
      • Agendas
    • REGULAR MEETINGS
      • Time and Place Set by Ordinance, etc.
      • 72 Hours Notice Required
    • WHAT ABOUT ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA
      • No action can be taken… except
        • Emergency situations
        • 2/3 of the full board, or if less than full board is present, a unanimous vote that immediate action is needed and need came to board’s attention after agenda was posted
      • Applies to Regular Meetings ONLY!
    • SPECIAL MEETINGS
      • Allows action prior to next regular meeting
      • Usual purpose: to meet deadlines
      • 24 hours notice
      • Business is limited to subjects on agenda, including public comment
      • Written notice to each board member & each media member requesting notice
    • EMERGENCY MEETINGS
      • Disruption of public facilities
      • Work stoppage / Disaster
      • Activity which impairs public health/safety
      • Notice/Agenda requirements DO NOT apply
      • Government Code Section 54956.5
    • NOTICE REQUREMENTS FOR EMERGENCY MEETINGS
      • Written notice to each board member and each media member requesting notice
      • Additional requirements
        • One hour notice
        • No Closed Sessions
        • Post minutes ASAP - Leave posted 10 days
      • Other posting requirements
    • ADJOURNED MEETINGS
      • Treated like a regular meeting
      • If meeting is continued within five days of original meeting -- use original agenda…
      • If not… USE A NEW AGENDA!
      • Post notice of adjournment on or near the door of meeting place within 24 hours.
      • If no members show up, clerk may adjourn.
    • PROHIBITED MEETINGS
      • Serial
        • Hub and Spoke
        • Daisy Chain
      • Informal Gatherings
        • At which agency business is discussed
      • Collective Staff Briefings
        • Special challenges for staff discussion with board members
    • TELECONFERENCING
      • May be used for all purposes
      • At least a quorum within jurisdiction
      • Notice, agenda & meeting requirements apply at each location
      • Votes must be by roll call
    • PUBLIC OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THE BOARD
      • Regular meetings ONLY
      • Within the subject matter jurisdiction
      • Brief response, but NO ACTION!
      • Do not prohibit public criticism
      • Reasonable time limitations and other regulations are permitted (be consistent)
    • AGENDA REQUIREMENTS
      • Post in Accessible Location
      • A Brief General Description of the Items Being Considered. (Usually Less Than 20 Words).
      • Specify Time and Location
        • Regular – 72 hours
        • Special – 24 hours
        • Emergency – 1 hour
        • Adjourned – Depends on how adjourned
    • RECORDS & PUBLIC ACCESS
      • General rule - agendas, minutes & writings distributed at board meetings are public records.
      • Materials must be made available during or after the meeting if materials are provided at the meeting.
    • EXCEPTIONS TO PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF DOCUMENTS
        • Specified special election documents
        • Preliminary drafts not regularly kept
        • Records relating to pending litigation
        • Records relating to personal privacy
        • Privileged records
        • Contents of real estate appraisals
    • CLOSED SESSION RECORDS
      • Government Code Section 54957.2
      • Minutes may be kept  public record
      • Board members can review
      • Persons designated by court order
    • ENFORCEMENT, PENALTIES & REMEDIES
      • Civil Action
        • Stop or prevent violations
        • Review board rules/actions or determine applicability
        • Compel taping of closed sessions
      • Criminal Action (Misdemeanor)
        • Need intent and overt act
      • Invalidation
        • Lawsuit filed to declare action null and void
        • Board given “cure and correct” opportunity
    • PENALTIES FOR BROWN ACT VIOLATIONS
      • Court costs
      • Reasonable attorneys’ fees
      • Misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment in county jail for six months or less and/or fine not exceeding $1000