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1. Appeal routes

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  • Alaska

    The appeal from a superior court decision concerning open meetings violations will be to the Alaska Supreme Court.

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  • Arizona

    Special action to appellate court: Special action, however, is not available when “there is an equally plain, speedy, and adequate remedy by appeal.”  Ariz. R.P.S.A. 1(a); see Ariz. R.P.S.A. 8.  Such an appeal should be heard as soon as is necessary to preserve the legal rights of appellant.

    Regular appeal: A regular appeal is not an expedited action but may be accelerated by order of the appellate court.

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  • Arkansas

    Until recently, FOIA cases were appealed directly to the Supreme Court. Under the Court’s present rules, the appeal may be heard in the first instance by the Court of Appeals. Unless a case poses a question of state constitutional law or falls into certain categories not relevant here, appellate jurisdiction lies initially in the Court of Appeals. Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 1-2(a). However, any appeal is subject to reassignment by the Supreme Court, which will consider such factors as whether the case suggests a need to clarify the law or presents an issue of first impression, a question of statutory interpretation, an issue of substantial public interest, or an issue on which there is a perceived inconsistency among prior decisions. Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 1-2(b).

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  • California

    Unlike the California Public Records Act, there is no special procedure for appealing final judgments or orders under the Bagley-Keene or Brown Act. An appeal after final judgment or a writ or extraordinary review brought under the Bagley-Keene Act or the Brown Act is subject to California's rules of civil procedure and appellate process. The rules vary depending upon the nature of the original action filed, i.e., whether declarative or injunctive relief was sought, or whether a petition for a writ of mandate was filed.

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  • Colorado

    There are two routes of appealing a district court decision which upholds denial of access to meetings of a governmental body.

    a. Appeal to the Court of Appeals pursuant to C.A.R. 1. Pursuant to C.A.R. 1(a)(3), an appeal may be taken from an order denying a preliminary injunction. This is the usual route. The major drawback is a one-to-two year wait for a decision from the Court of Appeals.

    b. Petition for writ to the Supreme Court pursuant to C.A.R. 21. In extraordinary cases, such as where immediate harm is threatened in the absence of an open meeting, or where the issue presented is likely to arise again, the applicant may petition to Supreme Court directly under Appellate Rule 21 for a writ of mandamus directing the district court to order that the further holding or closed meetings be enjoined.

    A Rule 21 petition is not a substitute for an appeal to the Court of Appeals.

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  • Connecticut

    See Records Outline at V.E.

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  • Delaware

    An appeal can be made to the Delaware Supreme Court. There are no intermediate appellate courts.

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Georgia

    Although the Georgia Constitution provides that the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction of "[a]ll equity cases," Ga. Const., Art. 6, §  6, ¶ III—as suits to enforce the Act typically are—the Court has held that "[c]ases in which the grant or denial of [equitable] relief was merely ancillary to underlying issues of law, or would have been a matter of routine once the underlying issues of law were resolved, are not 'equity cases,'" and that, even where equitable enforcement of the Act is sought, an appeal may properly be taken to the Court of Appeals if the appeal involves primarily an issue of law, such as the construction and application of the Act.  Beachamp v. Knight, 261 Ga. 608, 609, 409 S.E.2d 208 (1991).

    Accordingly, appeals in Open Meetings Act cases are now typically taken by the Georgia Court of Appeals.

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  • Hawaii

    In Hawaii, appeals from all final judgments of the circuit courts are made to the Intermediate Court of Appeals. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 641-1.

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  • Idaho

    Because actions filed under the Open Meeting Law begin in magistrate court, the first level of appeal is to the district court. Appeals from magistrate court to district court are governed by Rule 83 of the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure and a party undertaking such an appeal should review the current rules for guidance. Appeals from the district court are handled as other appeals and are governed by the Idaho Appellate Rules. Appeals are assigned to either the intermediate Court of Appeals or directly to the Idaho Supreme Court. If decided by the intermediate Court of Appeals, a party may seek further review before the Idaho Supreme Court.

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  • Illinois

    A circuit court's order can be appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court. After the issuance of a binding opinion of the Public Access Counselor, either party may seek administrative review subject to § 7.5 of the Open Meetings Act. See 5 ILCS 120/3.5(e). An Action for administrative review of a binding opinion of the Attorney General shall be commenced in Cook or Sangamon County. An advisory opinion issued to a public body is not considered a final decision of the Attorney General for purposes of Section 7.5 of the Act. See 5 ILCS 120/7.5. A binding opinion, however, issued by the Attorney General, is considered a final decision of an administrative agency, for purposes of administrative review under the Administrative Review Law (735 ILCS 5/Art. III). Id.

    Note. The decision not to issue a binding opinion shall not be reviewable. See 5 ILCS 120/3.5(e). The Public Access Counselor may resolve a dispute through mediation. Id.

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  • Indiana

    An adverse decision is appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, see Indiana Appellate Rule 5, although a party can seek to go directly to the Supreme Court under Rule 56 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure in rare cases.

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  • Iowa

    Appeal is taken by filing a notice with the clerk of court where judgment was entered. Iowa R. App. P. 6.102.

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  • Kansas

    Appeal is to the Kansas Court of Appeals, then upon application for review (discretionary) to the Kansas Supreme Court. K.S.A. 60-2101.

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  • Kentucky

    An appeal of right is available in the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

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  • Louisiana

    The appeal route is to the state intermediate appellate court for the circuit where the district court is located, then, upon application for writ of certiorari, to the Louisiana Supreme Court. See also Twin Parish Port Comm'n v. Berry Bros. Inc., 650 So. 2d 748 (La. 1995) (District Court finding that an ordinance was adopted in violation of the Open Meeting Law renders the action null and void, not unconstitutional, and does not trigger immediate Louisiana Supreme Court review).

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  • Maine

    A Superior Court decision may be appealed directly to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court sitting as the Law Court.

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  • Maryland

    The Act does not provide procedures for an appeal. Parties generally, however, are absolutely entitled to an appeal of current court decisions to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals; review of that decision is then subject to discretionary review by the Court of Appeals. Md. Rules 8-201, 8-202, 8-301, 8-303.

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  • Michigan

    Usual appeal proceedings under Michigan Court Rules are available.

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  • Montana

    There is only one appeal, and that is to the Montana Supreme Court.

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  • Nebraska

    From district court to Nebraska Court of Appeals. See Neb. Rev. Stat. §24-1106 (Reissue 2016).

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  • Nevada

    A court's order granting or denying relief under the OML is appealable to the Nevada Supreme Court as a final judgment on the merits. NRAP 3.

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  • New Hampshire

    New Hampshire Supreme Court.

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  • New Jersey

    Appeal from an adverse decision of the Superior Court, Law Division is to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. Appeal from the Appellate Division is to the Supreme Court.

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  • New Mexico

    New Mexico Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

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  • North Carolina

    Appeals from orders and decisions of the District and Superior Courts ordinarily are filed in the North Carolina Court of Appeals. In cases of special significance or urgency, the appellant may petition the Supreme Court of North Carolina, in its discretion, to accept the appeal directly. Such “bypass petitions” are rarely granted, but in an appropriate case — such as a suit for injunctive relief seeking admission to an impending meeting of a public body — this procedure might enable the litigants to obtain a definitive and timely ruling.

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  • North Dakota

    Any appeal of a decision of the district court would be taken directly to the North Dakota Supreme Court.

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  • Ohio

    Final judgments of a common pleas court are appealable to the court of appeals for the judicial district in which the common pleas court sits. Ohio R. App. P. 4. Appeals of mandamus actions originating in the court of appeals may be appealed as of right to the Ohio Supreme Court. Art. IV, § 2(B)(2)(a)(i), Ohio Constitution.

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  • Oklahoma

    All final orders are appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. 12 O.S. § 952. The Supreme Court may reassign the case to the Court of Appeals.

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  • Oregon

    Appeal is to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

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  • Rhode Island

    Appeals from the Superior Court ruling must be made to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

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  • South Carolina

    Appeal is taken to the South Carolina Court of Appeals pursuant to the South Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.

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  • South Dakota

    Appeal from circuit court to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

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  • Tennessee

    Appeals must be made pursuant to the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, which make no distinctions for meetings cases. Appeal as of right would be to the Tennessee Court of Appeals. Thereafter, permissive appeal may be made to the Tennessee Supreme Court within 60 days after the Court of Appeals' decision.

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  • Texas

    The losing party may proceed to the intermediate Court of Appeals or the Texas Supreme Court by way of mandamus or, in some instances, by way of appeal.

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  • Utah

    The Utah Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review all “orders, judgments, and decrees of any court of record over which the [Utah] Court of Appeals does not have original appellate jurisdiction.” Utah Code § 78A-3-102(3)(j). Although the Utah Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to review the final orders and decrees resulting from formal adjudicative proceedings of state agencies or a special adjudicative proceeding; or appeals from the district court review of informal adjudicative proceedings of the agencies,” except in the case of a few designated agencies, it would appear that a challenge under the Open Meetings Act is not a “final order” or “decree” of a state agency. See id. § 78A-4-103(2)(a). It seems, therefore, that appellate jurisdiction rests initially with the Utah Supreme Court rather than with the Utah Court of Appeals. However, the Utah Supreme Court may transfer to the Court of Appeals most matters over which the Utah Supreme Court has original appellate jurisdiction, including challenges under the Open Meetings Act. See id. § 78A-4-103(2)(j); see also generally, e.g., Poll v. South Weber City, No. 20040888-CA, 2005 WL 1177231 (Utah Ct. App. May 19, 2005).

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  • Vermont

    Vermont does not have an intermediate appellate court, therefore any appeal of the trial court’s decision, will be to the Vermont Supreme Court.

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  • Virginia

    If the suit was first brought in a general district court it may be appealed to a circuit court for a de novo hearing. Appeals from the circuit courts are to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

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  • Washington

    Appeal may be taken to the state Court of Appeals and, from there, to the state Supreme Court, under the usual rules of appellate procedure.

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  • West Virginia

    The only appeal route from a circuit court decision is to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

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  • Wyoming

    A party who chooses to appeal a court decision should follow the Wyoming Rules of Appellate Procedure.

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