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c. Order future meetings open

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  • Alaska

    Where prospective violations of the open meetings laws are proven, the court has the authority to enjoin future violations, at least in the specific context of proven threats of specific violations.

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  • Arizona

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

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  • Arkansas

    The court may issue a declaratory judgment that a closed meeting held in a given situation would violate the FOIA and order that future meetings be held in compliance with the act. See Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-107(c); Depoyster v. Cole, 298 Ark. 203, 766 S.W.2d 606 (1989), overruled on other grounds by Harris v. City of Ft. Smith, 366 Ark. 277, 234 S.W.3d 875 (2006); Arkansas Gazette Co. v. Pickens, 258 Ark. 69, 522 S.W.2d 350 (1975). However, a party must exhaust administrative remedies prior to seeking such relief. Rehab Hospital Services Corp. v. Delta-Hills Health Sys. Agency Inc., 285 Ark. 397, 687 S.W.2d 840 (1985). A court has discretion in deciding whether to entertain an action for declaratory judgment, Jessup v. Carmichael, 224 Ark. 230, 272 S.W.2d 438 (1954), and the presence of factual issues may make the case unsuitable for declaratory relief. See Bankers & Shippers Ins. Co. v. Kildow, 9 Ark. App. 86, 654 S.W.2d 600 (1983).

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  • California

    The court has the authority to order a future meeting to be open if it does not fit within one of the exemptions specifically authorized by the relevant Act.

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  • Colorado

    Not specified.

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  • Connecticut

    The court may provide this remedy at its discretion.

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  • Delaware

    If a court finds that a violation occurred, it can order future meetings to be open and void the meeting that is in violation of the Act. 29 Del. C. § 10005(a).

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  • District of Columbia

    A court may order future meetings to be made public if it finds that a public body plans to hold a closed meeting in violation of the Open Meetings Act.  D.C. Code Ann. § 2-579(c)(2).

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  • Georgia

    The court may grant an injunction or other equitable relief to enforce compliance with the Act, including requiring that future meetings be open.  O.C.G.A. § 50-14-5(a).

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  • Hawaii

    Yes. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92-12(c).

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  • Indiana

    The court may enjoin threatened or future violations of the law. Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-7(a)(2); see Common Council of City of Peru v. Peru Daily Tribune, 440 N.E.2d 726, 733 (Ind. Ct. App. 1982) (holding that proposed executive sessions threatened violation of the Open Door Law and granting injunction); Marion-Adams Sch. Corp. v. Boone, 840 N.E.2d 462, 468 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006) (granting declaratory judgment to prevent violation of Open Door Law).

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  • Iowa

    Iowa Code § 21.6(3)(e) provides for mandatory injunction prohibiting violation of the Act for a period of one year.

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  • Kentucky

    The court may enforce agency compliance with the Open Meetings Act "by injunction or other appropriate order." Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.848(1).

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  • Louisiana

    Yes; injunctive relief is available "to prevent noncompliance with" the Open Meeting Law. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 42:26.

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  • Maine

    The Court order a body to conduct future meetings in public.

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  • Maryland

    The court is expressly authorized to issue an injunction under the Act. § 3-401(d)(2). Thus, the court may enjoin the public body from closing meetings or committing future violations of the Act. See § 3-401(b).

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  • Massachusetts

    The courts have entered orders that governmental bodies shall hereafter comply with the Open Meeting Law and/or that matters considered in improper executive session be reconsidered in public, but statute does not appear to authorize a general order that future meetings be open.

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  • Michigan

    A court may order future meetings open. However, where the court finds that there is no reason to believe that a public body will deliberately fail to comply with OMA in the future, injunctive relief is unwarranted. Nicholas v. Meridian Charter Twp. Board, 239 Mich. App. 525, 609 N.W.2d 574 (2000).

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  • Montana

    Prospective relief is not favored by the courts because whether a matter is private must always be made on a case-by-case basis. See Havre Daily News v. City of Havre, 2006 MT 215, 333 Mont. 331, 143 P.3d 864.

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  • Nevada

    A court can issue an injunction requiring future meetings to be kept open.

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  • New Mexico

    A court could direct the public body to abide by the Open Meetings Act in future meetings.

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  • North Carolina

    The courts have the ability to enjoin threatened violations and recurrence of past violations of the Open Meetings Law.

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  • North Dakota

    The court may award declaratory relief, an injunction, or a writ of probation or mandamus against the public entity, which could include ordering future meetings be open. See N.D.C.C. § 44-04-21.2(1).

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  • Ohio

    The court has the authority to order the opening of future meetings. Ohio Rev. Code § 121.22(I)(1); see State ex rel. Inskeep v. Staten, 74 Ohio St. 3d 676, 660 N.E.2d 1207 (1996).

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  • Oklahoma

    Oklahoma law does not address this issue.

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  • Oregon

    Not addressed.

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  • Rhode Island

    The court may issue injunctive relief and declare null and void any actions of a public body found to be in violation of this chapter.  R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-46-8(d).

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  • South Carolina

    The court could enjoin future illegal executive session meetings. Business License Opposition Committee v. Sumter County, 426 S.E.2d 745 (S.C. 1992).

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  • Texas

    Courts are empowered to determine whether a future meeting should be open. See, e.g., The Pea Picker, Inc. v. Reagan, 632 S.W.2d 674, 677 (Tex. App.—Tyler 1982, writ ref’d n.r.e.) (“the trial court had power to construe the statute as to whether notice of such a meeting must be given, and when a meeting is required to be open.”); see also Tex. Gov’t Code §551.142.

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  • Utah

    A court may enjoin violations of the Open Meetings Act. Utah Code § 52-4-303(3)(a).

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  • Vermont

    Although the statute, appears to allow for a party to seek that future meetings be held through a suit for declaratory judgment, there are no reported cases of a court ordering that future meetings be held open.  See 1 V.S.A. § 314(c).  The most common relief ordered for a violation of the Open Meeting Law is to invalidate the decision and order that the public body hold a new meeting that complies with the requirements of the statute.  See, e.g., Moorcroft v. Town of Brookfield, No. 147-7-10, 2011 Vt. Super. LEXIS 81, *8 (Vt. Super. Orange County Nov. 8, 2011); Kevan v. Town of Randolph Selectboard, No. 137-7-05 2006 Vt. Super. LEXIS 7, *12 (Vt. Super. Orange County July 31, 2006).

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  • Virginia

    The Court only will restrain a governing body from closing future meetings where there is evidence that there was a willful and substantial violation, and that the violation will likely occur again. Nageotte v. King George County, 223 Va. 259, 269-70, 288 S.E.2d 423, 428 (1982).

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  • West Virginia

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

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  • Wyoming

    Citizens may seek injunctive relief to prevent a body from meeting in secret.  See concurrence of Justice Marilyn Kite in Cheyenne Newspapers v. City of Cheyenne Building Code Board of Appeals, see Foreword.

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