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2. Only certain adjudications closed, i.e. under certain statutes

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  • Alaska

    Various statutes noted throughout this outline provide for closed adjudications in specified circumstances. Also, provisions of the OMA or related statutes provide for executive sessions, or exempt a gathering from as a meeting for purposes of the act, insofar as it is judicial or “quasi-judicial” in nature, analogous to court proceedings where the fact-finding process of a trial is all open, but the deliberations of a jury or judge on those facts are not. For example, the Open Meetings Act does not apply to a governmental body performing a judicial or quasi-judicial function when holding a meeting solely to make a decision in an adjudicatory proceeding, AS 44.62.310(d)(1), or to parole or pardon boards, AS 44.62.310(d)(3), meetings of a hospital medical staff, AS 44.62.310(d)(4), or meetings of the governmental body or any committee of a hospital when holding a meeting solely to act upon matters of professional qualifications, privileges or discipline. AS 44.62.310(d)(4).

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  • Arizona

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Arkansas

    Some statutes expressly allow closed hearings and deliberations, e.g., Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-507(d)(2) (student expulsion hearing before school board), while others permit executive sessions for deliberations at the close of public hearings. E.g., Ark. Code Ann. § 16-10-404(b)(2) (Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission).

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  • California

    Bagley-Keene Act: A state body that administers the licensing of persons engaged in business or professions may hold a closed session to prepare, approve, grade or administer examinations. Cal. Gov't Code § 11126(c)(1). An advisory body to a state licensing body may hold a closed session to discuss matters concerning a licensee or applicant that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy, including a review of an applicant's qualifications or any inquiry related to the licensing body's enforcement program. Cal. Gov't Code § 11126(c)(2). A state body may hold a closed session to deliberate on a decision regarding evidence in an administrative hearing pursuant to Government Code Section 11500 (Administrative Adjudication Act) or similar provisions of law. Cal. Gov't Code § 11126(c)(3).

    Brown Act: A legislative body of a local agency may hold a closed session to discuss and determine whether an applicant for a license or license renewal, who has a criminal record, is sufficiently rehabilitated to obtain a license. Cal. Gov't Code § 54956.7. When a local agency provides services pursuant to a contract with health care providers for services to Medi-Cal providers (Welfare and Institutions Code Section 14087.3), it may hold a closed session to hear a charge or complaint from a member enrolled in its health plan if the member does not want his or her name, medical status or other information that is protected by federal law publicly disclosed. Cal. Gov't Code § 54956.86. However, prior to the closed session, the legislative body must inform the member in writing of his or her right to have an open session. Cal. Gov't Code § 54956.86.

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  • Colorado

    Certain adjudications are closed under statute.

    Disciplinary proceedings of the following professional review boards are declared confidential and/or exempt from the Open Meetings Law: State Board of Dental Examiners, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-35-118(7); State Board of Media Examiners, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-36-118(10); State Board of Nursing, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-38-120(10); State Grievance Board relating to mental health professionals, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-43-705(4).

    Although these statutory sections grant professional review boards the discretion to close hearings to the public, in practice, complaints and hearings in disciplinary proceedings against licensed professionals are made public. The confidentiality provisions do not confer any right upon a person who is the subject of a disciplinary proceeding to require that hearings be closed to the public. Coe v. United States District Court, 676 F.2d 411 (10th Cir. 1982).

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  • Connecticut

    There are no specific provisions or exemptions in FOIA on this issue. There are also no reported court decisions on this issue.

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  • Delaware

    The open meeting laws are clear that only certain meetings can be closed to the public. Such closed meetings are governed by statutes.

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Georgia

    A number of the state’s professional licensing bodies are permitted by their enabling statutes to conduct deliberations in closed session. See, e.g., O.C.G.A. § 43-11-12 (permitting non-disclosure of deliberations of the state dentistry board with respect to an application, an examination, a complaint, an investigation, or a disciplinary proceeding, except as may be contained in the official board minutes).

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  • Hawaii

    All "board" adjudications are closed. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92-6(a)(2). Contested case hearings conducted by an agency are not governed by the Sunshine Law. See E&J Lounge Operating Co. v. Liquor Comm’n of City & County of Honolulu, 118 Hawai‘i 320, 334 n.20, 189 P.3d 432, 446 n.20 (2008).

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  • Indiana

    Unless there is a specific statutory authority for a closed meeting, the adjudications must be conducted in public. Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-1.

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  • Kentucky

    If the "person involved, his representatives" or other third parties are present, the adjudication is not automatically closed. Meetings of planning commissions, zoning commissions and boards of adjustment are open. See Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.810(1)(j).

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  • Maine

    Except where authorized by a specific statute, all adjudicatory proceedings must be open to the public.  1 M.R.S.A. § 405.

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  • Maryland

    The Act permits sessions closed to the public under certain circumstances and permits the adjournment of an open session to a closed session. § 3-305(b). In general, closed sessions are permitted for personnel matters, to protect the privacy interests of individuals, and to consider preliminary matters involving state investments, litigation matters and public security matters. See id.

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  • Michigan

    Some administrative adjudications are specifically exempted in Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.263(8). In other cases, statutes governing certain administrative adjudications may render some information confidential. See Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.268(h).

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  • New Hampshire

    The Statute is not framed in terms of “adjudications.” RSA 91-A:3 provides for nonpublic sessions concerning some matters that could take place a adjudications, e.g., subparagraph II(a)(“dismissal” or “disciplining” a public employee); II(c)(“Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person”).

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  • New Mexico

    A variety of other substantive statutes provide for additional rules or modifications to this general rule, and regulations of the administrative body should be consulted as well.

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  • North Carolina

    Deliberations are open unless they fall within a specific statutory exemption.

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  • Ohio

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue (not applicable).

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  • Oklahoma

    Only certain adjudications are closed (i.e. under certain statutes). The Corporation Commission when sitting in its judicial capacity as granted by the Oklahoma Constitution is not subject to Open Meeting Act requirements. Monson v. State, ex rel. Oklahoma Corp. Comm'n, 1983 OK 115, 673 P.2d 839. Further, the legislature has directed in the event that executive sessions may be held for engaging in deliberations or rendering a final or intermediate decision in an individual proceeding under the Administrative Procedures Act. 25 O.S. § 307.B.8.   The Workers’ Compensation Commissioners is a quasi-judicial decision-making body and may therefor engage in confidential pre-decisional deliberations in cases considered the exercise of their judicial power.  2015 OK AG 8

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  • South Carolina

    A public body considering discipline or release of an employee, a student, or a person regulated by a public body may deliberate in closed session, but must vote on the issue in public. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-70.

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  • South Dakota

    If routine hearings are presumably open and professional licensing investigations are generally closed.

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  • Tennessee

    Only sessions to communicate with the attorney for the body may be closed.

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  • Texas

    The Act exempts meetings for certain administrative actions including personnel matters, medical board or medical committee meetings where medical or psychiatric records of an individual applicant for a disability benefit from a public retirement system are debated, a meeting of the commissioner of insurance or the commissioner’s designee with the board of directors of a guaranty association, or a meeting involving The Finance Commission of Texas deliberations on a matter made confidential by law. See Tex. Gov’t Code. §§ 551.074; .078; .079; .082.

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  • Vermont

    No. See 1 V.S.A. § 312(e) (excluding “the deliberations of any public body in connection with a quasi-judicial proceeding” from coverage under the Open Meeting Law).

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  • Virginia

    See the Administrative Process Act, Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-4000, et seq.

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  • West Virginia

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Wyoming

    Governing bodies may deliberative in private after a hearing on a complaint against an employee or public officer.

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