Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants...

Closed Sessions

A closed session is a meeting or part of a meeting of a public body which the public is not permitted to observe or review. To go into close session, two-thirds of the members of the public body must affirmatively vote to go into closed session.

Enumerated Purposes

The presumption is that meetings of a public body must be open to the public and must be held in a place available to the general public. However, public bodies may go into closed session for only a limited number of purposes including:
  • Certain personnel issues (i.e. dismissal, suspension, or disciplining an officer or employee but only if the named person requests a closed hearing.)
  • To consider the dismissal, suspension, or disciplining of a student if the student or the student's parent or guardian requests a closed hearing.
  • Discussions on collective bargaining agreements if either negotiating party requests a closed hearing.
  • To consider the purchase or lease of real property
  • To consult with its attorney regarding trial or settlement strategy in connection with specific pending litigation
  • To review and consider an application for employment or appointment to a public office if the candidate requests that the application remain confidential. (But note that interviews must be conduct in an open meeting).
  • Partisan caucuses of members of the Michigan Legislature.
  • Certain aspects of selecting a president of a public university (But note that the selection vote must take place in an open meeting)
  • To consider material exempt from discussion or disclosure by other state or federal statutes.
A separate set of closed session meeting minutes must be compiled and kept but not released to the public.

Common Mistakes

One of the most common recent mistakes of public bodies is having deliberations and decisions via email communications. This is prohibited by OMA as being a closed meeting without being within one of the exemptions noted above.

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 - What is OMA
 - Basic Rights and Responsibilites
 - Notice Requirements
 - Closed Meetings and Sessions
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 - Enforcement and Penalties
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Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants...

Louis D. Brandeis
in Other People's Money

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