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Non-Board Member Participation in Board Meeting is not Automatic Violation of Open Meetings Act

In the case of State ex rel. Ames v. Portage Count Board of Revision, 2022-Ohio-3003, the Appellate Court found that Appellant failed to establish that the Board violated the Open Meetings Act under R.C. 5715.02.

Here, Appellant argues that the Board violated R.C. 5715.02 by allowing a non-board member to vote and participate in the county board meeting, which in turn “closed” the meeting to the public. The Board argues that the non-board member’s participation in the board meeting was not a violation of the Open Meetings Act. The Court agreed with the Board.

In support of its decision, the Court reasoned that no authority exists to establish that a violation of R.C. 5715.02 in turn violates the Open Meetings Act. The Court explained that it was undisputed that the Board was a public body, a public meeting was held, board members were present in-person, and minutes were prepared. The Court further explained that the presence of a non-board member did not constructively close the meeting.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.


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