Public Meeting Law (the Brown Act) and the Public Records Act For Community College Districts and School Districts

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This workbook explores the Ralph M. Brown Act, commonly referred to as the "Brown Act." The Brown Act was authored by former State Assembly member Ralph M. Brown and passed by the California State Legislature in 1953.  The Act is contained in California Government Code section 54950, et seq.  It remains as a pivotal piece of legislation and continues to evolve and change.

This workbook serves as an easy-to-understand desktop reference for the Brown Act to assist the user in implementing and complying with the provisions of the Act.

Topics Include:

  • Overview of the Brown Act
  • What is Covered by the Brown Act?
    • Public Agencies Covered by the Act
    • Legislative Bodies Covered by the Brown Act
  • What Constitutes a Meeting?
    • Meetings Covered by the Act
    • Serial Meetings
    • Circumstances That are Not Covered by the Act
    • Types of Meetings
  • Notice and Agenda Requirements
    • Regular Meetings
    • Special Meetings
    • Emergency Meetings
    • Special Notice Requirements for Adopting a New Tax or Assessment
  • Conducting the Meeting
    • Location of Meetings
    • Adjournment of Meetings
    • Continuance of Hearings
  • Rights of the Public
    • Public Attendance at Meetings
    • Public Participation by Teleconferencing
    • Public Right to Record Meeting
    • Public Right to Broadcast a Meeting
    • Public Right to Inspect Documents and Recordings
    • Disorderly Conduct of the Public During Meeting
  • Exceptions to the Open Meeting Requirement
    • Pending Litigation
    • Personnel Matters
    • Student Discipline
    • Labor Negotiations
    • Real Property Transactions
    • Security Threats and Public Safety
    • Reviewing License Applications of an Individual with a Criminal Record
    • Health Plans and Trade Secrets
    • Charges or Complaints from Members of the Local Agency Health Plan
    • Joint Powers Agency or Local Agency Self-Insurance Authority Formed for Insurance Pooling
    • Liability
    • Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Law Enforcement Agency
    • Honorary Degrees and Anonymous Donations
  • Conducting Closed Session Meetings
    • Agenda Descriptions for Closed Session Items
    • Announcement before Closed Sessions
    • Minute Book Record
    • Attendees
    • Public Report of Action Taken
    • No Disclosure of Personal Recollections
    • Disclosure of Confidential Information
  • Remedies for Violation of the Brown Act
    • Preventing Violations of the Act
    • Correcting and Curing an Unlawful Action
    • Prejudice is Necessary to Void Unlawful Action
    • Discovery of Closed Session Tapes
    • Costs and Attorney Fees for Violating the Act
  • The Maddy Act
  • Public Records
    • What Constitutes a Public Record?
    • Types of Public Records
  • Inspection of Public Records
  • Request for Copies
    • Right to Exact Copy of Record
    • Right to Assistance from Agency
    • Agency Response to Request for Records
    • Extension for Response
    • Denial of Request
    • Request and Consideration of Salary History Information
  • Exempt Records
    • Categories of Exempt Records
    • Personnel Files
    • Pending Litigation
    • Attorney-Client Communications and Work-Product
    • Peace Officer Records
    • Records and Information Maintained by a Police Department
    • Deliberative Process Privilege and Preliminary Draft Exemption
    • Official Information Privilege
    • Catch-All Exemption
    • Waiver of Exemption by Local Agency
  • Legal Action to Compel Disclosure of Public Records
    • Determination Process
    • Attorney Fees and Costs
  • Reverse CPRA Actions and Notices
  • District Attorney as the Requesting Party

This document is provided as a benefit to Liebert Library subscribers and cannot be shared outside of their organization. The information contained within is a template only and is not designed to address the specific and unique issues, internal rules, practices, and/or governing documents that might be in place at your organization. You should always consult with legal counsel prior to implementation of any documents.

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