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California Municipal Law Blog
tag:
Brown Act

New Legislation Holds Charter Schools to Same Standards as Public Schools

by on March 6, 2019

posted in Legislative Updates,

SB 126 was one of the fastest pieces of legislation to be signed by Governor Gavin Newsom – going through both houses in seven weeks. The new Education Code Section 47604.1 will require charter schools to follow the same state guidelines on public records (California Public Records Act), open meetings (Brown Act), conflicts of interest (Political Reform Act of 1974, Government Code 1090) that apply to public schools. Charter board members are also prohibited from voting on contracts where they have a financial stake.  ... Continue Reading

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tags: Brown Act, California Public Records Act, Charter Schools, Government Code 1090, Political Reform Act,

Brown Act Committee Exception on Public Comment May Not Apply to Special Meetings

by on February 27, 2019

posted in Meetings, Recent Court Decisions,

“If you will it, it is no dream…” In an unpublished opinion filed on February 22, 2019, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District held that the City of Los Angeles violated the Brown Act when the Los Angeles City Council prevented a member of the public from commenting on real estate development at a special meeting. At issue was the application of the so-called “committee exception” to the requirement that members of the public be allowed to address the legislative body “before or during” its deliberations on an item of business.  ... Continue Reading

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tags: Brown Act, Committee Exception,

Court Holds Six-Minute Discussion on Non-Agendized Matter Doesn’t Violate Brown Act

by on August 15, 2016

posted in Meetings, Recent Court Decisions,

When a person raises an issue not on a meeting agenda, how much can council or board members discuss the issue without running afoul of the Brown Act?  A recent court case provides some helpful guidance. In Cruz v. Culver City, a California appellate court held that a six-minute discussion about how to place an item on a future agenda did not violate the Brown Act.  Fortunately for local agencies, the court rejected a challenge to the discussion that had relied on a hyper-technical reading of the Act’s language.  ... Continue Reading

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tags: Agendas, Brown Act, Discussion on Unagendized Items,

Agencies Don’t Have to Cancel Meetings When Website Outages Temporarily Affect Availability of Online Agendas

by on February 1, 2016

posted in Meetings,

Local agency officials are well aware of the basic requirements for public-meeting agendas.  They know, for instance, that agendas for regular meetings must be posted at least 72 hours in advance.  In light of legislation that took effect in 2012, they also know that if their agencies post agendas online—which most local agencies now do—the agendas must be posted online within the same timeframe. But what happens if an agency’s website goes down during the period in which the agenda must be online?  Does that mean the agency can’t take any action on any of the business items for the ... Continue Reading

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tags: Brown Act, Online Agendas, Technical Difficulties, Website Outages, Websites,

Court Holds Mistaken Agenda Reference Does Not Prevent Holding of Closed Session

by on July 27, 2015

posted in Meetings, Recent Court Decisions,

What happens when a meeting agenda refers to the wrong legal authority for a closed-session item an agency considers?  If it’s clear to the public what action the agency may take, there is no Brown Act violation.  According to a recent court opinion, which dismissed a lawsuit as “hypertechnical,” a mistaken code reference used to describe a closed-session item does not prevent the agency from acting.  (Castaic Lake Water Agency v. Newhall County Water District, published July 22, 2015.)  ... Continue Reading

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tags: Agendas, Brown Act, Closed Sessions, Initiation of Litigation,

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