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3. Contents of request for ruling

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  • Alabama

    Inapt; Alabama has no administrative forum for consideration of Alabama Open Meetings Act challenges.

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  • Alaska

    Not applicable, except that a complaint filed in court must contain at least a short and simple statement of your claims.

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  • Arizona

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

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  • Arkansas

    The FOIA does not address this issue. However, it is advisable that the request for an open meeting be in writing and set forth the reasons why the meeting must be open.

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  • California

    When making a written demand to a legislative body to cure or correct the alleged violation under the Brown Act, the demand must clearly describe the challenged action and the nature of the alleged violation. Cal. Gov't Code § 54960.1(b).

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  • Colorado

    Not Applicable.

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  • Connecticut

    The notice of appeal should request a hearing on the denial or violation, and it should state:

    a. the public agency involved;

    b. the FOIA violation/denial; and

    c. the date of the violation.

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  • Delaware

    The Act does not prescribe a specific form.

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Georgia

    Any request for a ruling from a court of law should state the grounds on which the request is based, including the specific provisions of the Act that the agency has violated or will violate in the future. Suits to enforce the Act are typically initiated by filing with the court a verified complaint against the agency officials who have violated or threatened to violate the Act, explaining the violation and describing the relief sought. The complaint typically seeks issuance of an injunction to remedy past and/or prevent future violations and is accompanied by a motion and supporting memorandum to the same effect. Where time is an issue, the motion should request entry of an immediate injunction and request that the court hear the matter on an emergency basis.

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  • Hawaii

    No requirements.

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  • Idaho

    Any request for a ruling must, necessarily, include all facts to support the contention that a violation of the Open Meeting Act has occurred.

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  • Indiana

    Basic rules of notice pleading apply. See Ind. R. Tr. P. 8. At a minimum, the plaintiff should identify what constitutes the violation, when it occurred, and the relief sought. The plaintiff need not allege or prove special damage different from that suffered by the public at large. Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-7(a).

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  • Iowa

    a. A chapter 21 action must allege "the body in question is subject to the requirements of this chapter and has held a closed session." See Iowa Code § 21.6(2). In addition, the petition must contain "a demand for judgment for the type of relief sought." Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.403(1).

    b. "This section changes the burden of going forward with the evidence rather than shifting the burden of proof from plaintiffs to defendants. KCOB/KLVN Inc. v. Jasper Cty. Bd. of Supervisors, 473 N.W.2d 171, 177 (Iowa 1991). A plaintiff must show substantive proof of a secret meeting rather than mere speculation in order to shift the burden of going forward. Id." Gavin v. City of Cascade, 500 N.W.2d 729, 731-732 (Iowa App. 1993).

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  • Kansas

    No provision.

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  • Kentucky

    If the complaining party is seeking the Attorney General's review, the party must provide copies of the party's written complaint to the public agency and the agency's written denial, if any, to the party. Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.846(2).
    If the public agency has agreed to remedy an alleged violation, but the efforts have been inadequate, the complaining party is required to submit the request, the denial, and a "written statement of how the public agency has failed to remedy the alleged violation." Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.846(3)(b).

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  • Louisiana

    No specified pleading format.

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  • Maine

    A complaint should be filed with the Court setting out a concise statement of the grounds for relief and the specific relief sought. Any meeting notice, minutes or decision can be attached.  The same information and documents should be provided to the Attorney General in connection with any informal request for a ruling.

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  • Maryland

    A complaint, signed by the person making it, shall identify the public body, its action, and the date and circumstances of the action. § 3-205(b).

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  • Massachusetts

    There is no formal administrative review procedure. Most District Attorneys require that requests for action by them on asserted violations be in writing.

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  • Montana

    Regular pleading standards apply under Montana Rules of Civil Procedure

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  • Nebraska

    No statutory requirements as to contents. Rules issued by the Nebraska Supreme Court, "Nebraska Rules of Pleading in Civil Actions," govern pleadings in civil cases. If complaining party files suit, such action must comply with general rules governing civil cases.

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  • Nevada

    While no ruling may be obtained, a complaint to the Attorney General for possible action should be in writing and describe the body, agenda, date of meeting and the events leading to closure. NRS 241.039.

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  • New Hampshire

    The Statute does not require that a person initiating the court action be represented by counsel, and it states that a petition "shall be deemed sufficient if it states facts constituting a violation of this chapter." RSA 91-A:7.

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  • New Mexico

    No administrative procedure, no specific contents for ruling required.

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  • North Carolina

    There are no special pleading requirements for a lawsuit brought pursuant to the Open Meetings Law.

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  • North Dakota

    The open meetings law does not specify the requirements of the contents of a request for review of a denial of access to a meeting.

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  • Ohio

    The person suing for injunctive relief must refer to the statute, specifically § 121.22(I), and should state that the statute provides that irreparable harm is "conclusively and irrebuttably presumed," as is prejudice to the person seeking injunctive relief.

    Otherwise, the statute does not address how to ask a public body to open a meeting, create minutes, or otherwise comply with the duties imposed by the statute. A request for compliance can be in writing or orally.

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  • Oklahoma

    There are no guidelines for requesting access. If such a request is made, then it should contain a description of the meeting a person seeks to attend and the reasons why that meeting should be open.

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  • Oregon

    None specified.

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  • Pennsylvania

    There is no requirement that a formal or informal protest or request for openness be made to the agency before court proceedings are begun.

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  • Rhode Island

    There are no applicable requirements concerning the contents of any request for a ruling.

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  • South Carolina

    Pleadings would be governed by the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and the complaint would require factual allegations and a request for relief.

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  • South Dakota

    Specifically set out facts of incident, cite relevant law, establish standing and assert grounds why the issue is not moot.

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  • Texas

    The required contents of a petition for a writ of mandamus is detailed in Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 52.  The petition requesting a writ of mandamus must include the following: (1) Identity of Parties and Counsel; (2) Table of Contents; (3) Index of Authorities; (4) Statement of the Case; (5) Statement of Jurisdiction; (6) Issues Presented; (7) Statement of Facts; (8) Argument; (9) Prayer; (10) Certification; and an (1) Appendix.  Tex. R. App. P. 52.3.

    Excluding those pages containing the identity of parties and counsel, the table of contents, the index of authorities, the statement of the case, the statement of jurisdiction, the issues presented, the signature, the proof of service, the certification, and the appendix, the petition and response must not exceed 50 pages each if filed in the court of appeals, or 15 pages each if filed in the Supreme Court. A reply may be no longer than 25 pages if filed in the court of appeals or 8 pages if filed in the Supreme Court, exclusive of the items stated above. The court may, on motion, permit a longer petition, response, or reply.  Tex. R. App. P. 52.6

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  • Utah

    Not applicable.

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  • Vermont

    Prior to filing an action in court, an aggrieved party must provide the public body with written notice alleging “a specific violation” of the Open Meeting Law and requesting a specific cure of such violation.  1 V.S.A. § 314(b)(1).

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  • Virginia

    No special pleading form is required other than the form of a petition for mandamus or prohibition, but the pleading must be accompanied by an affidavit.

    A form petition for injunctive or mandamus relief under the Act in a General District Court [Form DC-95] is available on the Supreme Court of Virginia’s website. See http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/district/dc495.pdf.

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  • West Virginia

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

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  • Wyoming

    The Public Meetings Act has no procedural requirements for right of access.

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