The Virginia FOIA Opinion Archive


Marsh v. Richmond Newspapers Inc.

An executive session/closed meeting based on the legal matters exemption is not justified by an attorney's mere presence in the room

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #437

Committees established by bodies subject to FOIA (in this case, the curriculum study committee of a school board) must also comply with the Act.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #436

As long as no more than two members from any one local governing body particpate in a joint conference with other governing bodies to discuss regional issues, the joint meetings need not comply with FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #439

Legislatively created political subdivision may discuss bond financing and acquisition of property to be developed and sold for the subdivision. The subdivsion cannot, however, meet in executive session to discuss industrial revenue bond financing of privately owned property for private commercial or industrial purposes.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #432

Just because a contract is a legal document, a redevelopment authority cannot use the legal matters exemption to justify closing a meeting to discusses changes to the contract.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #442

So-called workshop gatherings are still meetings for purposes of FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #058

The use of the word teacher in the personnel exemption to open meetings - personnel evaluations - encompasses college faculty members.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #384

Meeting of county government's two-member subcommittee subject to FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #387

Public body may use real estate exemption to discuss relocation of an arts center onto now-privately owned land. Public body cannot meet in closed session to discuss garbage collection, drainage problems, or the use of a private company for city-owned auto repairs. Legal matters exemption applies to discussion of prosecuting owners of adult entertainment establishments.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #386

Public body may not use the real estate exemption to hold an executive meeting to discuss potential health hazards or government asbestos ratings of publicly owned buildings.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #386A

Virginia Beach City Council may meet behind closed doors to discuss selection of the city's mayor, but election to a new mayor must wait until an open meeting.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #389

Legal matters exemption does not pertain to issues that have a general legal character, like zoning.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #390

School board may hold closed meeting to discuss prospective school board appointees, but must wait until an open meeting to appoint or elect them.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #056

board of supervisors may not close its public meetings to direct broadcast by radio, or to recording for later broadcast, although the board of supervisors may impose reasonable rules and restrictions upon the broadast and recording activities such as are imposed equally on the public.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #385

Because nothing in FOIA demands confidentiality of any record or meeting, school board members-elect may attend executive sessions and review personnel records prior to taking office.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #379

Public body may not discuss any subject in executive session other than those authorized in FOIA's exemptions.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #380

Executive session called without a prior resolution adopted in public meeting violates FOIA. No election of planning commission officers in executive session. Actions taken by illegally elected public body officers are valid up until the point when they learn of the election defect.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #382

The general statement of policy found at the beginning of FOIA is a reflection of the legislative intent of the Act.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #381

Public body cannot adopt a resolution in executive session, and a public vote on the resolution does not cure the error.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #298

School board's attendance at a labor organization's presentation may be subject to FOIA if the purpose of the board's attendance is to discuss/transact public business.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #302

Confirms procedures for going into closed meeting. Board member appointed in an illegal meeting is a de facto officer, and the board's actions are valid, until notice of the illegal appointment is made.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #378

School board may not use personnel exemption to discuss general personnel priorities in exeuctive session. Materials held exclusively by school superintendent are exempt working papers even if the superintendent has given a presentation to school board personnel using those materials.

Attorney General's Opinion 1978-79 #314

Board cannot meet in executive session to discuss expansion of private college.

Attorney General's Opinion 1978-79 #313

Minutes or transcripts of a properly held executive meeting are exempt from mandatory disclsoure.

Attorney General's Opinion 1978-79 #315A

Town council may meet to discuss location of a bridge, where the bridge would not be located upon town property and where the town would not be involved in the acquisition of easements for the bridge right-of-way.