The Michigan Open Meetings Act ("OMA") is meant to enhance transparency, but it can create confusion for public bodies. Often we find that violations of the OMA are not intentional, but rather occur due to lack of knowledge about the law's requirements. Foster Swift helps public bodies and officials comply with the requirements of the OMA.
Some of the OMA questions and issues that we frequently help our clients confront include:
- How much time must be reserved for public comment?
- What are the rules regarding video and tape recordings?
- Do the OMA rules apply to committees?
- What discussions or deliberations can take place in private or via email?
- What notice requirements must be met to satisfy the OMA?
- What subject-matter exemptions allow for closed sessions?
Our comprehensive OMA services include:
- Drafting and review of OMA policies and procedures
- Assisting in the resolution of OMA disputes
- Representing public entities in litigation involving OMA disputes and alleged violations
- Training officials on OMA requirements
- Counseling clients with OMA questions
While the purpose of the OMA is clear, its application is often not so straightforward. Foster Swift attorneys help public entities and officials to understand the law’s requirements, and put in place compliant processes and procedures. Further, we assist our clients to anticipate and resolve OMA issues before they become OMA disputes, helping to reduce strife between government and citizens, save resources, and mitigate risks from noncompliance.
Publications & Alerts
- Michigan Attorney General Issues New Opinion Regarding Virtual Public Meetings Under the Michigan Open Meetings Act and Americans with Disabilities Act, Foster Swift Municipal Law E-blast, February 9, 2022
- MDHHS Changes Gathering Limits for Public Meetings, Municipal Law e-blast, April 1, 2021
- COVID Impacts on Electronic Public Meetings – Emergency Order and Open Meetings Act Updates, Foster Swift Municipal Law News E-blast, December 23, 2020
- Recent Developments Require Libraries to Adopt New Procedures and Policies, Foster Swift Library Law News E-blast, November 17, 2020
- New Requirements for the Open Meetings Act – SB 1108, Foster Swift Library Law News E-blast, October 26, 2020
- An Update on OMA Legislation Amendments, Foster Swift Municipal Law News E-blast, October 19, 2020
- Meeting Myths, Mysteries and Misconceptions, Michigan Townships Association (MTA) Conference, April 21, 2021
- Meeting Virtually: Amendments to the Open Meetings Act, Foster Swift, November 10, 2020
- The ABCs of the FOIA, MTA: Upper Peninsula Municipal Law Seminar, February 15, 2017
- Legal Essentials for Municipal Officials, January 18, 2017
- WEBINAR | Open Meetings Act: What Every Municipality Should Know, August 12, 2014
- Back to the Basics: OMA & FOIA, Michigan Municipal League, Training Week, April 24, 2013
- Public Employment and Labor Law – The Basics, Foster Swift Webinar Series for New Municipal Officials
- Dickinson Receives GRBA 3 in 10 Award, July 21, 2020
- Foster Swift Participates at the 2020 MTA Conference, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, February 16, 2020
- Southfield Office Welcomes Municipal Attorney, December 4, 2018