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7. What court?

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  • Alaska

    Suits to remedy open meetings violations, or to enjoin such violations, should be brought in the superior court for the appropriate locale where the meeting has occurred or is to occur. State district courts do not have authority to issue injunctions, AS 22.15.050(2), and AS 44.62.310(f) says suits to set aside action taken in violation of the OMA are to be filed in superior court.

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  • Arizona

    An action may be brought in “the superior court in the county in which the public body ordinarily meets.”  A.R.S. § 38-431.07(A).

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  • Arkansas

    If a state agency is involved, an FOIA suit must be brought in Pulaski County circuit court or the circuit court of the judicial district in which the plaintiff resides. If any other government body or a private entity is involved, venue is proper only in the circuit court of the district in which the entity is located. Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-107(a); ACORN v. Jackson, 263 Ark. 67, 562 S.W.2d 589 (1978).

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  • California

    The action should be filed in the Superior Court of the county in which the violation of the Act occurred.

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  • Colorado

    Only the district court of the district where the agency or board is located, or where the meetings are held, has jurisdiction and venue to grant relief. Because most state agencies are located and meet in Denver, the proper court would be Denver District Court.

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  • Connecticut

    See Records Outline at V.D.

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  • Delaware

    Actions should be brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery. 29 Del. C. § 10005(a).

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  • District of Columbia

    The Open Government Office must file any enforcement lawsuits in D.C. Superior Court.  D.C. Code Ann. § 2-579(a).

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  • Georgia

    Georgia's superior courts have jurisdiction to enforce compliance with the Act. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-5(a).

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  • Hawaii

    Suits should be commenced in the circuit court of the circuit in which the prohibited act occurred. Id. § 92-12(c).

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  • Idaho

    Suits are filed in the magistrate division of the district court of the county in which the public agency ordinarily meets. Idaho Code § 74-208(6).

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  • Illinois

    The action may be brought in the circuit court for the judicial circuit in which the alleged violation occurred (or is about to occur), or in which the affected public body has its principal office. See 5 ILCS 120/3(a).

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  • Indiana

    The complaint may be filed in any court of competent jurisdiction. Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-7(a).

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  • Iowa

    In the district court for the county in which the governmental body has its principal place of business. Iowa Code § 21.6(1).

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  • Kansas

    An action can be brought in the district court of the county "in which meeting is held." K.S.A. 75-4320a(a). K.S.A. 60-512 is a three-year statute of limitations for "liability created by statute."

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  • Kentucky

    An appeal or an original action under the Open Meetings Act must be filed in the Circuit Court of the county where the public agency has its principal place of business or where the alleged violation occurred. Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.848(1); Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.846(4)(a).

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  • Louisiana

    The district court for the parish in which the meeting took place or will take place. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 42:27(A).

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  • Maine

    Any action must be filed in Superior Court.  The action is usually filed in the county where the challenged executive session or meeting took place.

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  • Maryland

    The petition must be filed in a circuit court that has venue over the action. § 3-401(b)(1).

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  • Michigan

    Venue for an invalidation action under Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.270 will be in any county in which a local public body serves or, if the decision of a state public body is at issue, in Ingham County. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.270(4). Venue in an action for injunctive relief against a local body under Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.271 will also be in any county in which that body serves or, if the action is against a state public body, in any county in which that body has its principal office, or in Ingham County. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.271(2).

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  • Montana

    This action should be filed in the state district courts.

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  • Nebraska

    District court for county in which public body meets. Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-1414(3).

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  • Nevada

    A person may file suit in the district court of the district in which the public body ordinarily holds its meetings or in the district in which the plaintiff resides. NRS 241.037(2).

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  • New Jersey

    The Complaint in Lieu of Prerogative Writ is filed in the Superior Court, Law Division, of the county wherein the public body is located.

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  • New Mexico

    Actions are filed in the state district court. Venue will lie in the district where the public body normally meets or perhaps where the action of the public body will take effect.  NMSA 1978 § 10-15-3(C).

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  • North Carolina

    G.S. § 143-318.16 provides that a court in either division of the General Court of Justice has jurisdiction to enter mandatory or prohibitory injunctions to enjoin threatened, recurring, or continuing violations of the Open Meetings Law. Thus, suits seeking injunctive relief may be filed in District Court or in Superior Court.
    G.S. § 143-318.16A provides that a suit seeking a declaratory judgment under the Open Meetings Law must be filed in Superior Court. In view of the likelihood that suits brought pursuant to the Open Meetings Law are likely to seek both an injunction and a declaratory judgment, suits brought to enforce the Open Meetings Law generally are filed in Superior Court.
    Suits arising out of Open Meetings Law violations by local public bodies, such as city councils, school boards, and boards of county commissioners, should be filed in the county in which the public body conducts its business and exercises its jurisdiction. Most suits arising out of violations by state bodies should be filed in the Superior Court of Wake County, where such bodies generally conduct their business.

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  • North Dakota

    Venue for an action is in the county where the entity has its principal office or, if the entity does not have a principal office within the state, in Burleigh County. N.D.C.C. § 44-04-21.2(1).

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  • Ohio

    Injunction actions must be brought in common pleas court, and should be brought in the county where the public body is located.

    For mandamus relief, where that remedy is appropriate, sue in common pleas court, or a court of appeals, or the Ohio Supreme Court. Art. IV, §  2, Ohio Constitution.

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  • Oklahoma

    The action should be commenced in district court. However, compare Oklahoma Ass'n of Municipal Attorneys v. Derryberry, 1978 OK 59 (original action for declaratory relief concerning Attorney General opinion regarding Open Meeting Act filed in Oklahoma Supreme Court).

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  • Oregon

    Public meetings disputes are to be commenced in the circuit court of the county in which the governing body ordinarily meets. ORS 192.680(2).

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  • Rhode Island

    Suit must be brought in the Superior Court.  R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-46-8(c).

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  • South Carolina

    Court of Common Pleas.

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  • South Dakota

    Circuit court is the usual choice, but if the case is exceedingly strong and there is little likelihood of setting a bad precedent, thought should be given to an original proceeding before the South Dakota Supreme Court, if permissible.

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  • Tennessee

    Suit can be brought in the circuit courts, chancery courts, and other courts having equity jurisdiction, and these courts have the power "to issue injunctions, impose penalties, and otherwise enforce the purposes" of the Act. T.C.A. § 8-44-106. There is a right to a jury. Smith County Educ. Ass'n v. Anderson, 676 S.W.2d 328, 337 (Tenn. 1984).

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  • Texas

    Venue for open meetings cases is governed by the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. In a state as large as Texas, there are complicated venue provisions. Generally, local governmental bodies may be sued in the county where they are located. Some state agencies must be sued in Travis County where the state capital is located.

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  • Utah

    Utah Code sections 52-4-303(3) states that suits to challenge violations of the Open Meetings Act or to seek an injunction of a violation of or a declaratory judgment about the applicability of the Act shall be brought in “a court of competent jurisdiction.” Generally, this refers to a district court in the county in which the alleged violation occurred.

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  • Vermont

    “[T]he Attorney General or any person aggrieved by a violation of the provisions of this subchapter may bring an action in the Civil Division of the Superior Court in the county in which the violation has taken place for appropriate injunctive relief or for a declaratory judgment.”  1 V.S.A. § 314(c).

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  • Virginia

    Suits brought to enforce the provisions of this Act shall be filed in the general district court or the circuit court of the county or city from which the public body has been elected or appointed and in which the denial of rights occurred. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3713.A. Suits against state agencies or standing committees of the General Assembly shall be filed in the general district or circuit court of the residence of the aggrieved party or of the City of Richmond. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3713(A).

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  • Washington

    Suit may be brought in the local county court. RCW 42.30.120, .130.

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  • West Virginia

    A petition under the Open Meetings Act must be filed in "the circuit court in the county where the public agency regularly meets." W. Va. Code § 6-9A-6. However, in State ex rel. Fairmont State Univ. Bd. of Gov. v. Wilson, the Supreme Court of Appeals held that Kanawha and not Marion County was the proper venue for action against Fairmont State University and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) that was filed by Fairmont State faculty members alleging violations of the Open Meetings Act. 239 W. Va. 870, 806 S.E.2d 794 (2017). The court found the venue to lie in Kanawha County, even though the Open Meetings Act granted jurisdiction to the circuit court in the county where the public agency regularly met.

    The court further held, “[w]hen a state agency that is made a defendant in a lawsuit filed outside of Kanawha County fails to object to venue, and thereby waives its objection to venue, the circuit court in which the lawsuit was filed has subject matter jurisdiction to enforce the West Virginia Open Meetings Act under W. Va. Code § 6-9A-6. 239 W. Va. 875, 806 S.E.2d at 799. Fairmont State and the HEPC moved to dismiss the Open Meetings action on the basis that Marion County was an improper venue, thus not waiving their objection to venue. Thus, the Marion County circuit court erred by relying upon section 6-9A-6 to find that Marion County was a proper venue for this lawsuit. The Court emphasized that there the terms “venue” and “jurisdiction” are not synonymous.  239 W. Va. at 875-76, 806 S.E.2d at 799-800.

    In extraordinary cases, a petition could be filed in the state Supreme Court, seeking a writ of mandamus or prohibition, but that court generally disfavors such an action, preferring to have litigation originate in the circuit court.

    See the preceding section, on the Freedom of Information Act, for a more detailed discussion of the availability of this remedy.

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  • Wyoming

    The person seeking judicial review must sue in the district court for the county in which administrative action or inaction was taken. Wyo. Stat. § 16-3-114(a) (1977, Rev. 1982).

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