Skip to content

2. Will the court give priority to the pleading?

Posts

  • Alaska

    There are court procedures for obtaining temporary injunctive relief or other expedited consideration of pleadings concerning open meetings violations, but not specially applicable to such cases.

    view more
  • Arizona

    The OML does not contain any express expedited procedures for reviewing OML actions. Combining the special action with a request for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction will expedite the procedure.

    view more
  • Arkansas

    The FOIA requires the court to “fix and assess a day the petition is to be heard” within seven days of its filing. Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-107(b). This provision is probably unenforceable in light of a court’s inherent authority to control its docket. See McConnell v. State, 227 Ark. 988, 302 S.W.2d 805 (1957). In Orsini v. State, 340 Ark. 665, 13 S.W.3d 167 (2000), the Supreme Court left open the question whether Section 25-19-107(b) “requires that a hearing be set within seven days of the FOIA request or actually conducted within that time frame,” as the circuit court had done neither. However, the Supreme Court emphasized that “this section of the FOIA sets a policy in favor of expeditious hearings on all FOIA requests.” Id. at 668, 13 S.W.3d at 169.

    view more
  • California

    Both the Bagley-Keene and Brown Acts provide for writs of mandate or injunctions, which are typically handled in an accelerated manner or are afforded some priority over other civil actions in the court system. Cal. Gov't Code §§ 11130.3 (Bagley-Keene Act); 54960.1 (Brown Act). It is not unusual to receive a decision from the court regarding a challenge to an action taken in violation of either of the Acts within a few weeks.

    view more
  • Colorado

    A motion for preliminary injunction shall be set for hearing at the earliest possible time and take precedence over all matters except similar older matters.

    view more
  • Connecticut

    "Any appeal taken pursuant to this section shall be privileged in respect to its assignment for trial over all other actions except writs of habeas corpus and actions brought by or on behalf of the state, including informations on the relation of private individuals." Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-206(d).

    view more
  • Delaware

    Priority is only given to a pleading/action if it seeks injunctive relief.

    view more
  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

    view more
  • Georgia

    The Act does not specifically require a court to give priority to litigation to enforce the Act, but expedited treatment may be sought and is often afforded depending upon the facts of the case.

    view more
  • Idaho

    Unlike Idaho’s Public Records Act, there is no requirement that a Court give priority to a lawsuit involving the Open Meeting Law. If immediate injunctive relief is also sought, however, at least that portion of the action should receive priority attention from the Court.

    view more
  • Illinois

    The Open Meetings Act contains no provision directing a court to expedite proceedings brought under the Act. It may be advisable to call a court's attention to the expediting provision in the Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140/11(hg), and suggest that the same policy should apply to proceedings brought under the Open Meetings Act.

    view more
  • Indiana

    Yes. Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-7(h) provides that a court shall expedite the hearing of an action filed under this section. Additionally, actions for injunctive relief typically have priority on a court’s docket.

    view more
  • Iowa

    No docket priority.

    view more
  • Kansas

    Yes. K.S.A. 75-4320a(e) provides that action shall take precedence over all other cases except as otherwise provided by law.

    view more
  • Kentucky

    The court is instructed to give the action priority: "Except as otherwise provided by law or rule of court, proceedings arising under this section take precedence on the docket over all other causes and shall be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable date." Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.848(4).

    view more
  • Louisiana

    Yes. "Enforcement proceedings shall be tried by preference and in summary manner. Any appellate court to which the proceeding is brought shall place it on its preferential docket, shall hear it without delay, and shall render a discussion as soon as practicable." La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 42:27(B).

    view more
  • Maine

    Yes. Actions to enforce the Act “may be advanced on the docket and receive priority over other cases when the court determines that the interest of justice so require.”  1 M.R.S.A. § 409(2). A motion may be made for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction to keep a public body from entering an executive session.  1 M.R.S.A. § 409(3); M.R.Civ.P. 65.

    view more
  • Maryland

    There are no specific provisions regarding priority, but if the person alleges a violation of §§ 3-301, 3-302, 3-303, 3-305, or 3-306(c) of the Act, the person must file within 45 days of the alleged violation. § 3-401(b).

    view more
  • Massachusetts

    Generally available. Normal procedure is to issue order of notice returnable in 10 days and to schedule prompt trial. G.L. c. 39, § 23B.

    view more
  • Michigan

    No provision of the OMA specifically gives priority to complaints under the Act.

    view more
  • Montana

    The court virtually always gives priority to the pleading.

    view more
  • Nebraska

    No provision for expedited review. Depends on judge.

    view more
  • Nevada

    There is no provision in the law giving preference to these cases.

    view more
  • New Jersey

    An application for injunctive relief or to void any action taken by a public body will be given an expedited hearing. See N.J. Court Rules 4:52, 4:67 and 4:69.

    view more
  • New Mexico

    No priority is required to be given to an Open Meetings case by the district court.

    view more
  • North Carolina

    The statute contains a provision that actions brought under the Open Meetings Law will be set down for immediate hearing and that all subsequent proceedings shall be accorded priority. G.S. § 143-318.16C.

    view more
  • North Dakota

    The open meetings law does not specify that the court will give priority to the pleading.

    view more
  • Ohio

    The statute does not provide for expedited procedure, however, the remedies of injunction and mandamus often receive expedited treatment by the courts where it is apparent that fast action is needed to provide relief. See Ohio Rev. Code § 2501.09.

    view more
  • Oklahoma

    There is no particular provision allowing for an expedited proceeding.

    view more
  • Oregon

    No statutory requirement.

    view more
  • Rhode Island

    Actions brought under the OML may be advanced on the calendar upon motion of the petitioner.  R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-46-8(g).

    view more
  • South Carolina

    No statutory priority is given, but it is possible to seek temporary injunctive relief in advance of a meeting to prevent the harm, pending an opportunity to get the case heard. Rule 65, S.C. Rules of Civil Procedure.

    view more
  • Tennessee

    The Act has no provision for priority to the pleading. But see Tenn. R. Civ. P. 65.03 (aggrieved party may seek restraining order without notice to opposing party if applicant will suffer immediate and irreparable injury before a hearing can be held).

    view more
  • Texas

    If the suit is for injunction to remedy a threatened violation of the Act, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure apply and provide for an expedited remedy. For example, a party may, on an ex parte basis, apply for a temporary restraining order followed by a hearing for a temporary injunction. If the suit is for mandamus, the plaintiff may request a show cause order requiring the governmental body to respond to the petition at a hearing within ten days.

    view more
  • Utah

    There is no provision under Utah law which gives open meetings issues any priority on the courts’ dockets. Expedited relief is available, however, under the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. See Utah R. Civ. P. 65A. (temporary restraining orders).

    view more
  • Vermont

    The court is directed to expedite open meeting cases and give them priority “[e]xcept as to cases the court considers of greater importance.”  1 V.S.A. § 314(c).

    view more
  • Virginia

    Suits to enforce the provisions of the Act must be heard within seven (7) days of filing. However, if the court is not in its regular term, the hearing must be given precedence over all other cases which are not otherwise given precedence. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3713.C.

    view more
  • Washington

    Such matters are not given any priority on the court calendar by statute. The usual civil rules apply.

    view more
  • West Virginia

    There is no provision directing the court to give priority to a citizen's petition challenging a public agency's actions under the Open Meetings Act. However, if the petition seeks to enjoin an imminent violation of the statute, an expedited hearing will be available.

    view more
  • Wyoming

    The statute is silent on the issue. Courts have, however, always been quite liberal regarding the matter of pleadings in proceedings before administrative agencies. Glenn v. Board of County Comm'rs, 440 P.2d 1 (Wyo. 1968). But see Wyo. Stat. § 16-3-114(b). The Supreme Court has the authority to determine the content of the record upon review, pleadings to be filed, the time and manner for filing pleadings, records and other documents and the extent to which supplemental testimony and evidence may be taken or considered by the district court. Such rules would supersede existing statutory provisions.

    view more