The Virginia FOIA Opinion Archive


Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #721

Cocktail parties attended by members of a public body, like other social functions, are not meetings for purposes of FOIA, provided that they are not held with the intention of conducting business and business does not take place.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #717

Discussion about the desirability of creating a deferred payment plan for hooking up to the city sewer line is not proper subject for closed meeting under the legal matters exemption.Reading a prepared statement to close a meeting does not meet the FOIA requirement that a motion to go into a closed meeting must be adopted.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #716

Proper subject of the legal matters exemption is a fact-based, case-by-case determination.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #434

Telephone poll of individual members is akin to an informal assemblage, not subject to FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #430

Body may meet in executive session at irregular time and place as long as members of the body waive notice and as long as the pass a motion in open session to go into executive session.

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

Nageotte v. Board of Supervisors of King George County

A motion to go into executive/closed session to discuss personnel issues need not identify the identity of the employee to be discussed.

Laird v. City of Danville

Closed Meetings; 2.1-344(b): When Only Two Items on Agenda are Legal Matters, Motion to Confer Privately With Counsel is Valid Under Code sec. 2.1-344(a)(6) Although Whether Both Items or Particular Item Will be Considered is Not Indicated

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.