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
- Recent Court Decisions Make Clear that Municipalities Must Identify Specific Litigation to be Discussed During Closed Meeting, August 2018 Municipal Law News, August 14, 2018
- Going Through the Motions, April 2018 Municipal Law News, April 24, 2018
- Maintaining Attorney-Client Privilege in Public Meetings, April 2018 Municipal Law News, April 24, 2018
- Behind Closed Doors: What Can a Public Body Discuss in Closed Session?, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, January 26, 2016
- Attorney Fees Awarded Only After Party Obtains Injunctive Relief, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, January 27, 2015
- Dealing with Employment Issues and Complying with the Open Meetings Act, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, March 2013
- 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
- Webinar Series for New Municipal Officials
- Back to the Basics: OMA & FOIA, Michigan Municipal League, Training Week, April 24, 2013
- WEBINAR | Nuts & Bolts of the Michigan Open Meetings Act, Foster Swift Webinar Series for New Municipal Officials, December 13, 2012
- Top 10 Open Meetings Act Mistakes & How to Avoid Them, Michigan Municipal League Annual Convention, October 5, 2011