Dobrovolny v. Reinhardt was a case before the Iowa Supreme Court in 1970 concerning punishment for open meetings laws violations.
This case established that failure to comply with the Iowa Open Meetings Law did not result in invalidating the decisions of the guilty public agency.
- The school district of Monona County, one of whose board members is Reinhardt, was faced with incorporating themselves into a school district that possessed a high school by July 1, 1968. They had submitted a number of proposals to the appropriate state agencies, which had all been rejected.
- On April 29, 1968 the board met, minus one member, in a closed session to discuss the problem. The board agreed to meet again, and on May 3, 1968, the board met in an open session and unanimously approved a plan for incorporating a high school which was approved on May 17 by the state.
- Dobrovolny and others filed a suit addressing this decision, alleging that the school board had failed to announce the May 3 meeting and thus violated the newly enacted Iowa Open Meetings Law. Dobrovolny sought to void the decision of the school board.
- The trial court ruled in favor of the school board and the decision was appealed.
Ruling of the court
The trial court ruled in favor of the school board, determining that failure to comply with the open meetings law did not invalidate a decision by the board.
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial court, ruling in favor of the school board.
The Supreme Court determined that secion 8 of the Iowa Open Meetings Law clearly states that the only remedy for failure to comply with the law are punishments for misdemeanors. Based on this, the court upholds the trial courts decision and upholds the decision of the school board that was arrived at in the meeting in question.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Ruling of the Court