In today's Legal Ledger, OSBA's division of legal services is introducing its new vlog, Sidebars, which will feature short conversations about legal issues frequently raised on the hotline and other topics. Today's Sidebar is a discussion between Sara and Jennie on executive sessions, which is a perennial hot topic. We'll cover the basics, delve into new case law, and provide practical guidance on how to manage executive sessions.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued an opinion in Hicks v. Clermont County Board of Commissioners, in which a public body was sued for violations of the Open Meetings Act (OMA). The Supreme Court determined that, when alleging a violation of the OMA, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving the violation.
Earlier this week, two amicus curiae briefs were filed with the Supreme Court of Ohio on behalf of the Ohio School Boards Association. In both briefs, OSBA was joined by other parties. OSBA had been asked by member school districts to prepare these briefs through its Legal Assistance Fund.
OSBA offers school districts and ESCs in Ohio a wide range of services, access to up-to-date information and research on school issues, and the opportunity to participate actively in the development of educational policy at the state and federal levels. But board members may not be aware of one of the most valuable resources available through OSBA: the Legal Assistance Fund (LAF).
On Tuesday, the Ohio Supreme Court held in the case White v. King that Ohio’s Open Meetings Act prohibits any private prearranged discussion of public business by a majority of the members of a public body regardless of whether the discussion occurs face to face, telephonically, by video conference, or electronically by email, text, tweet or other form of communication.
The Supreme Court of Ohio recently ruled on a public records case between Columbus State Community College and a former employee. The ruling may assist school districts dealing with overbroad public records requests.
In the case, State ex Rel. Zidonis v. Columbus State Cmty. Coll., 2012-Ohio-4228, Sunday Zidonis was terminated from her employment with Columbus State. Following her termination, Zidonis made several public records requests to the college for certain emails as well as complaint and litigation files over a six-year period.