Public Access Opinion 12-010

Right to record open meetings

Open Meetings Act - OMA
Case: Public Access Opinion 12-010
Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rules that require advance notice to the public body before recording a meeting violate the OMA. Here, a public body prohibited a citizen from recording its meeting because the citizen failed to provide advance notice that he would record the meeting. The public body’s rules required advance notice of the recording. The public body’s reason for its rule was so the public body’s clerk could ensure a citizen could get his or her equipment through the security checkpoint and to notify the public body of the recording. A public body may limit the right of the public to record open meetings only pursuant to prescribed rules, and then only to the extent that those rules are designed to prevent disruptions or avoid safety hazards and do not unduly interfere with the right to record. This public body’s rule was not reasonable or necessary to prevent interference with public meetings or protect the safety of those in attendance.