Public Access Opinion 12-008

Convenient location

Open Meetings Act - OMA
Case: Public Access Opinion 12-008
Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A public body may not meet in a private residence, even when it gives a proper notice and posting of the meeting to the public. Here, a public body called a special meeting due to impending statutory time constraints. The public body knew that its routine meeting location would be closed for a holiday on the special meeting’s date, so it chose a public official’s private residence as the meeting location. The meeting location was not “convenient and open to the public” because a private residence could “reasonably be expected to deter citizens from attending the gathering. Citizens may have felt uncomfortable going to a public official’s home to attend a meeting. In this sense, the private residence was ‘ill-suited’ for a public meeting.”