The Virginia FOIA Opinion Archive


Attorney General's Opinion 1989 #016

Agency not exempt from FOIA; closed-door discussion not covered by FOIA exemption

Attorney General's Opinion 1987-88 #236

Planning districts are public bodies. Advisory committees and subcommittees of a planning district are subject to FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1987-88 #034

No secret ballots permitted; recorded votes must occur in open session.

Attorney General's Opinion 1986-87 #031

Annexation is not a 'legal matter' within a school board's jurisdiction, so a closed meeting to discuss annexation is not permissible.

Attorney General's Opinion 1986-87 #030

A group that meets with at least three members of a state board must be open. Meetings with mere employees, who are not appointees or constituent members of the board, do not have to be open.

Attorney General's Opinion 1985-86 #103

General legal matters are not a proper subject for closed meeting. Legal matters must be specific. Board of zoning appeals is subject to FOIAÄ…s meeting requirements.

Attorney General's Opinion 1985-86 #332

A meeting of four of a nine-member public body is a meeting even though the four could not take any action on behalf of the board. Committees and subcommittees are subject to FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1985-86 #331

A public body may admit those persons deemed necessary or whose presence will reasonably aid the public body in its consideration of a topic which is the subject of a properly convened closed meeting.

Attorney General's Opinion 1984-85 #068

Constitutional officers are not entitled to notice any better or any worse than that given to the general public.

Attorney General's Opinion 1984-85 #420

Meetings to discuss employment terms and contract of school board superintendent are properly closed, but the action of employing the superintendent must take place in open session. Employment contract of school superintendent is open.

Attorney General's Opinion 1984-85 #426

Where city attorney calls in council members to prepare them as witnesses in a scheduled trial, there has been no meeting. No public policy is deliberated, the individuals were not gathered as an entity, and no action by the entity was anticipated.

Attorney General's Opinion 1984-85 #427

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 1984-85 #423

Even informal gatherings, such as over a meal, are meetings if part of the purpose is to discuss public business, or the gathering was prearranged with any purpose of discussing business. Notice provisions apply to executive session, as well as open meetings, therefore, notice of time and location of executive session must be given. Reconvening in different location.

Attorney General's Opinion 1983-84 #440

Any official public body action must take place in a meeting where the membership is physically present.

Attorney General's Opinion 1983-84 #441

Nothing in FOIA prohibits a public body member for taking minutes at or tape recording a properly closed meeting.

Attorney General's Opinion 1983-84 #445

Executive meetings should not be continued from one date to a subsequent date when the business before the body cannot be completed on the scheduled date.

Lee Jackson Motel v. Industrial Development Authority

The procedure was not in opposition of the Freedom of Information Act, and the size of the land purchase did not invalidate the proposition.

Roanoke City School Board v. Times-World Corp.

Pre-arranged telephone conference call among members of a local school board, during which matters proper for an executive or closed session are discussed which are, is not a meeting under FOIA and does not violate the statutory requirement of prior notice to the public.

Lee Jackson Motel v. Industrial Development Authority

The burden is on the plaintiff to show that an action was taken in executive or closed session without reconvening in open session.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #714

Discussion of the hiring, firing, resignation, retention, salary and money paid to the city attorney, elected by the city council, may be held in executive session under the personnel exemption.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #719

Mere presence of three members of a county board of supervisors on a private board of trustees does not convert a the board of trustees into a public body that needs to follow FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #713

Discussion about filling one deputy superindent's position and eliminating another may be held under the personnel exemption; however, discussion about general office reorganization is not a proper topic for the personnel exemption.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #712

Virginia Equaly Employment Opportunity Committee may not meet as a body with employees regarding a specific complaint in executive session.