Florida Open Meetings Law

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The Florida Open Meetings Law legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. Statute 286 of the Florida Code defines the law.

Relevant legal cases

See also: Court cases with an impact on state FOIA

Here is a list of open meetings lawsuits in Florida. For more information go to the page or go to Florida sunshine lawsuits.
(The cases are listed alphabetically. To order them by year please click the icon to the right of the Year heading.)

We do not currently have any pages on open meetings litigation in Florida.

Proposed open meetings legislation

2010

See also: Proposed transparency legislation, Open meetings legislation

We do not currently have any legislation for Florida in 2010.

Which government meetings are open to the public?

The law states that all meetings of any governmental body where official acts will be taken are public meetings.[1]

What government bodies are subject to the laws?

The act defines government body as all state agencies and the agencies of the subdivisions of the state.[1]

==== Legislature====

Ambiguous

While the legislature does not fall under the Florida Open Meetings Law, it does fall under an applicable constitutional amendment which mandates that the legislature hold meetings open to the public unless the meeting is specifically exempted by statute or the constitution.[2]

Notice requirements

The body must provide reasonable notice of all meetings.[1]

Meeting process

Minutes must be recorded at every meeting, and they are open to public inspection.[1]

Executive sessions

Common executive session exemptions
Personal privacy (including employees)
Attorney-client privilege/litigation
Security/police informationYes.pngp
Purchase or sale of property
Union negotiations
Licensing exams/decisions
Exempt under other laws

Any body may meet in private with the entity's attorney to discuss present and pending litigation as long as the entity's attorney will be advising the entity concerning settlement negotiations or strategy sessions related to litigation expenditures. The session must be recorded by a certified court reporter. This recording must be made available to the public as an open record at the conclusion of the pending litigation. The public body must still announce closed meetings. Executive sessions must begin at an open meeting. Upon entering the closed session, the board must announce the estimated time of the private meeting, and the names of the people attending it. After the attorney-client session is over, the meeting must be reopened.[1]

Other exemptions to the open meetings act include:

  • Meetings involving security information
  • Negotiations with vendors[3]

If violated

Violations of the open meetings law are punishable by up to a $500 fine. Violations are considered a second degree misdemeanor. The court may also award attorney fees to the individual filing the action or to the public body, if the lawsuit was deemed frivolous.[1]

See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Florida Sunshine Law
  2. Art. I, sec. 24(b), Fla. Const. (1993) via RCFP Guide to FL
  3. Florida Statute 286.0113