Q&A: Notice of meeting violation?

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From the Boonville Standard:

Q: After the Boonville Town Council gave us notice of a meeting, which we published, it decided to move the date forward by four days.

A citizen has filed a complaint with the public access counselor alleging a violation of the Open Door Law after arriving at the meeting location four days after the council had gathered.

The newspaper did get notice of the change in date but not in time to publish it. Was there a violation? 

A: It will come down to the timing of the second notice. There’s nothing to prevent a governing body from changing its meeting date, whether forward or backward, as long as proper notice was given.

If the new notice was posted and given to media outlets 48 hours in advance of the new meeting time, the town council fulfilled its obligation. There isn’t a requirement that notice under the Open Door Law be published or broadcast, only that it be given.

Reminder: The 48-hours rule doesn’t include either weekends or holidays.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

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