South Dakota Open Meetings Law

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The South Dakota Open Meetings Law legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. Chapter 1, section 25 statutes 1-9 of the South Dakota Codified Laws define the law.

Relevant legal cases

See also: Court cases with an impact on state FOIA

Here is a list of open meetings lawsuits in South Dakota. For more information go the page or go to South Dakota 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 South Dakota.


Proposed open meetings legislation

2010

See also Proposed transparency legislation, Open meetings legislation

We do not currently have any legislation for South Dakota in 2010.


Which government meetings are open to the public?

The law states that all official meetings, including teleconferencing, must be open to the public.[1]

Notable exemptions to this definition include:

  • members of a political subdivision attending a meeting of the state

What government bodies are subject to the laws?

The act defines government body as all boards, agencies and committees of the state and all its political subdivisions including all agencies established by law and all bodies which were created by statute or which are non-taxpaying and receive public funds.[1]

==== Legislature====

Ambiguous

The South Dakota Open Meetings Law is ambiguous as to whether or not the law applies to the legislature. While the broad definition of public body found at South Dakota Statute 1-25-1 would presumably include the state legislature, the constitution provides the legislature the opportunity to enter executive session at their own discretion.[2]

Notice requirements

The act requires that all public bodies provide at least 24 hours notice, including the time and place of the meeting as well as an agenda. The public body must post notice in a prominent location at their main office and contact any news media who have requested to receive notice.[3]

Meeting process

The act requires all public bodies to keep detailed minutes of all meetings and make those minutes available to the public.[4]

Executive sessions

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

Executive closed sessions may be held with a majority vote for the following reasons:

  • when discussing the qualifications, character and fitness of any potential or current employee for a position
  • discussing the discipline of a student
  • matters that fall under the attorney-client privilege
  • contract negotiations
  • to discuss marketing or pricing strategies the release of which would put the public body at a competitive disadvantage

No final action can be taken during a closed session.[5]

If violated

Violation of the open meetings law is a class 2 misdemeanor.[1] Any individual may file a complaint with a local attorney general or the South Dakota Open Meetings Commission. If the attorney finds that the public body has violated the open meetings law, it may file a complaint with the Open Meetings Commission. The Open Meetings Commission will decide upon all open meetings cases with a majority vote of the commission members. If it find a violation, it may issue injunctions and reprimands to the public body in violation.[6] The open meetings commission shall be composed of 5 attorneys, appointed by the attorney general.[7]

See also

External links

References