Deadline is Jan. 1 for letters requesting notice of public meetings, executive sessions 

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If newspapers want notification of public meetings and executive sessions of various state or local public agencies, the Open Door Law requires newspapers to request that notice in writing to each public agency.

This statutory requirement is found in IC 5-14-1.5-5(b). Newspapers are required to deliver their written request for notices to the public agencies by January 1. If the newspaper fails to do this, a public agency would not be legally obligated to give the newspaper 48 hours notice of its meetings.

If you have any questions concerning this requirement, please contact Steve Key, general counsel, at (317) 624-4427 or skey@hspa.com.

Following is some sample language that could be used by a newspaper in its lettersto various governmental entities:

 

Dear (public agency or its governing body):

 The (name of the newspaper) requests that your governing body give the newspaper written notice of the date, time, and place of any of its meetings, executive sessions, or any rescheduled or reconvened meetings.

This request also applies to all of the governing body’s committees, and any other of the public agency’s entities subject to the public notice provisions of the Open Door Law.

 This request is made pursuant to IC 5-14-1.5-5. This statute requires 48 hours notice (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) be given to the public and specifically to news media that request such notice in writing prior to January 1.

 Please respond to this letter so that we can confirm your receipt of this request and verify which entities will be covered by this letter.

 Thank you for your attention to this request.

 Sincerely,