Open Meeting Law Interpretation Upheld

August 31, 2018

Minnesota Supreme Court

The Minnesota Open Meeting Law provides that “if a person has been found to have intentionally violated this chapter [the Open Meeting Law] in three or more actions brought under this chapter involving the same governing body, such person shall forfeit any further right to serve on such governing body or in any other capacity with such public body for a period of time equal to the term of office such person was then serving” (Minn. Stat. § 13D.06, subd. 3(a)). 

The Minnesota Supreme Court reviewed what constitutes “three or more actions” under this statutory provision in the case of Funk, et al. v. O’Connor, et al., A16-1645 (Minn. 2018).  In a recent opinion, the Court upheld the current interpretation of the law, concluding that “the forfeiture-of-office provision is not triggered unless three separate, sequential adjudications result in findings of three separate, unrelated Open Meeting Law violations.” 

More information about the Minnesota Open Meeting Law can be found in the MCIT Resource Minnesota Open Meeting Law.  Members are encouraged to contact their legal counsel to discuss any specific Open Meeting Law questions.