G. Are there sanctions for noncompliance?

The Open Meetings Act does not create a private cause of action for violations of the statute.  It instead entrusts enforcement to D.C.’s Open Government Office.  D.C. Code Ann. § 2-578(a).  Section 2-578 of the Act specifies several remedies and penalties for noncompliance:

1)      If the court finds that a resolution, rule, act, regulation, or other official action was taken, made, or enacted in violation of the Act, the court may order an appropriate remedy, including requiring additional forms of notice, postponing a meeting, or declaring action taken at a meeting to be void. Actions shall not be declared void unless the court finds that the balance of equities compels the action or the court concludes that the violation was not harmless.

2)      If the court finds that a public body plans to hold a closed meeting or portion of a meeting in violation of the Act, the court may a) enjoin the public body from closing the meeting or portion of the meeting; b) order that future meetings of the same kind be open to the public; or c) order that the record of a meeting be made public.

3)      If the court finds that a member of a public body engages in a pattern or practice of willfully participating in one or more closed meetings in violation of the provisions of the Open Meetings Act, the court may impose a civil fine of not more than $ 250 for each violation.

4)      The Act also authorizes courts to grant “such additional relief as it finds necessary to serve the purposes” of the Act.