Montgomery Advertiser v. Montgomery County Board of Education was a case in Alabama's 15th circuit in 1991 concerning closed meetings.
This case established that the exemption for discussion of character did not automatically result in a closed meeting but merely required the meeting leader to control the material presented.
- On May 1, 1991 a petition was entered, calling for the resignation of a principle in the montgomery county school district.
- The board announced that it would hold a closed meeting to hear complaints about the principle. It justified the meeting as closed by the clause of the Alabama Open Meetings Act that declared that meetings could be closed if they pertained to the good name and character of an individual.
- The Advertiser filed suit for press access to the meeting.
Ruling of the court
The court ruled in favor of the press and maintained that the state open meetings act and sunshine law clearly applied to the board and thus the meeting concerning the principle was required to be open. However, it did acknowledge the exemption for the discussion of the character of individuals and merely required the chairmen of the Board of Education to guide the meeting and prevent character attacks so that the meeting was in compliance with this exemption.