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Michigan Open Meetings Act Question: A public body met on

Resolved Question:

Michigan Open Meetings Act Question:

A public body met on a Wednesday in February in special session. The following Tuesday it had its regular monthly meeting. At the regular monthly meeting the minutes from the special session were not completed (due to time restrictions of the secretary) and were not approved because of that. MCL 15.269 states:

Sec. 9. (1) …… “Corrections in the minutes shall be made not later than the next meeting after the meeting to which the minutes refer. Corrected minutes shall be available no later than the next subsequent meeting after correction. The corrected minutes shall show both the original entry and the correction.”

My question is, this MCL states that corrections in minutes shall be made not later than the next meeting after the meeting to which the minutes refer. Is there some sort of exception or rule that uses common sense that when there is not enough time to prepare these minutes they can be corrected and approved at the next meeting, ie: March regular monthly meeting? This is going to happen again this month as a special session has been called for a Monday and the regular monthly meeting is on Tuesday, which does not give enough time for the minutes to be properly prepared. The MCL also states: “A public body shall make proposed minutes available for public inspection within 8 business days after the meeting to which the minutes refer.” This requirement can certainly be met; however, having them ready for the public body to approve before those 8 days can be difficult at times. Thoughts/comments on where this might have been addressed in the past?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  John replied 4 years ago.

EmplmntLaw1 :

Generally, speaking a technical violation of not having the minutes ready with the number of days or corrected and approved att he next meeting would not otherwise invalidate the decisions or ordinances adopted in either open or closed sessions. Michigan case law uses the doctrine of substantial complaince i reviewing the public bodies actions in conformance with the OMA. In other words as long as the body is generally complying with the provisions of the Act, then courts will not rule against the public bodies. On top of this, under section 15.270(5) if the public body completely fails to do one of the technical elements of the Act, it gets the chance to reenact the technical violation and its reenactment of the particular element will stand from the day of reenactment forward.

EmplmntLaw1 :

In Arnold Transit Co v City of Mackinac Island, 99 Mich App 266, 275-76; 297 NW2d 904, 908 (1980), aff'd 415 Mich 362 (1982), the public body totally failed to keep minutes of a closed meeting and court still ruled in favor of the public body as it could not be found that the body did this with a desire to somehow cloak its actions in secrecy.

EmplmntLaw1 :

I would also direct your attention to the case of Arnold Transit Co v City of Mackinac Island, 99 Mich App 266, 275-76; 297 NW2d 904, 908 (1980), aff'd 415 Mich 362 (1982)where the court, citing Manning v City of E Tawas, 234 Mich App 244, 251; 593 NW2d 649, 654 (1999), deficiencies in the maintenance of meeting minutes do not provide grounds for invalidating action taken by a public body.





EmplmntLaw1 :

Correction - second case citing should state Willis v Deerfield Tp, 257 Mich App 541; 669 NW2d 279 (2003) citing Manning v City of E Tawas, 234 Mich App 244, 251; 593 NW2d 649, 654 (1999)

EmplmntLaw1 :

I believe I have answered your questions, However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – select the Reply to Expert or Continue Conversation button. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

Expert:  John replied 4 years ago.
Generally, speaking a technical violation of not having the minutes ready with the number of days or corrected and approved att he next meeting would not otherwise invalidate the decisions or ordinances adopted in either open or closed sessions. Michigan case law uses the doctrine of substantial compliance in reviewing the public bodies actions in conformance with the OMA. In other words as long as the body is generally complying with the provisions of the Act, then courts will not rule against the public bodies. On top of this, under section 15.270(5) if the public body completely fails to do one of the technical elements of the Act, it gets the chance to reenact the technical violation and its reenactment of the particular element will stand from the day of reenactment forward.

In Arnold Transit Co v City of Mackinac Island, 99 Mich App 266, 275-76; 297 NW2d 904, 908 (1980), aff'd 415 Mich 362 (1982), the public body totally failed to keep minutes of a closed meeting and court still ruled in favor of the public body as it could not be found that the body did this with a desire to somehow cloak its actions in secrecy.

I would also direct your attention to the case of Willis v Deerfield Tp, 257 Mich App 541; 669 NW2d 279 (2003)where the court, citing Manning v City of E Tawas, 234 Mich App 244, 251; 593 NW2d 649, 654 (1999), found deficiencies in the maintenance of meeting minutes do not provide grounds for invalidating action taken by a public body.

I believe I have answered your questions, However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – select the Reply to Expert or Continue Conversation button. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.
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