FOIA Opinions by Topic
Opinions by topic: (MEETINGS) Minutes
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- FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-03-10 (7/14/2010): FOIA provides exemptions from mandatory disclosure for certain records related to closed meetings. However, FOIA does not address whether a mayor may demand that at the conclusion of a closed meeting members of a local governing body give to the mayor any documents distributed or notes taken during the closed meeting.
- FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-05-09 (5/19/2009): Boards of equalization are public bodies and are required to keep minutes of their meetings. Even before law takes effect July 1, 2009, minutes should be in writing. Audio recordings cannot be a substitute. Votes must be recorded, though those who vote need not be identified.
- FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-06-07 (6/8/2007): Meetings must be noticed for the time when they actually begin. A public body must approve by vote in an open meeting a motion to convene a closed meeting, and must certify the closed meeting after reconvening in open session. The motion and certification must be included in the meeting minutes, along with records of the votes taken to approve the motion and certification.
- FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-01-06 (2/23/2006): FOIA requires that meeting minutes contain a summary of the discussion on matters proposed, deliberated or decided, and a record of any votes taken. Public bodies should always include in meeting minutes a summary of any matter that appears on the agenda for that meeting and of any matters that are the subject of a motion or vote.
- William H. Turner v. Virginia Board of Dentistry, Department of Health Professions, et al. (6/2/2005): Board of Dentistry meeting minutes were inadequate, did not include even a summary of the discussion on a particular subject and decision. Attorney fees awarded for FOIA violation. No wilful violation found.
- FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-25-04 (12/8/2004): FOIA requests and responses should be clearly communicated and shold avoid editorial comments so that the process does not become adversarial. Minutes of state agencies created prior to July 1, 2004, may be inadequate representations of what transpired in a meeting; a public body is not required to recreate the actions of a pre-July 1, 2004, meeting in revised minutes.
- Attorney General's Opinion 1984-85 #427 (10/31/1984): All public bodies must take minutes at their open meetings. A tape recording of a public bodyÄ…s meeting is an acceptable form of meeting minutes. However, because FOIA allows inspection or copying of minutes, a public body may want to do something else.
- Attorney General's Opinion 1983-84 #441 (1/27/1984): Nothing in FOIA prohibits a public body member for taking minutes at or tape recording a properly closed meeting.
- Attorney General's Opinion 1978-79 #313 (6/15/1979): Minutes or transcripts of a properly held executive meeting are exempt from mandatory disclsoure.
- Attorney General's Opinion 1977-78 #485 (9/28/1977): Prearranged out-of-town meeting of two public bodies required that notice be sent to those requesting it and that minutes be taken.
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