New Addition to the Open Meeting Law

Martha CoakleyA new condition to the Open Meeting Law in Massachusetts could take place.  Attorney General Martha Coakley proposed this new change.  This proposition makes a distinction in the violation of the Open Meeting Law.  If a public body knowingly violates the Open Meeting Law, then they will be subject to a large fine.

This new proposition was initially published on December 12, 2011 on the Attorney General’s website.  If a board violates this law knowingly, they will have to pay a $1,000 fine.  An intentional violation is classified as: “an act or omission by a public body or a member thereof, in knowing violation of the open meeting law.”

The proposition basically means that a fine can be charged only if a person or group is defying the law with intent to break it, violating it after being explained which behavior infringes on the law, or any form of purposely breaching the Open Meeting Law.  This allows for a public body to breathe easy and know that a small mistake may not lead to a $1,000 fine.  If one follows the Open Meeting Law and makes a small unintentional deviation, he or she will not be breaking the law, according to the proposition.

A public hearing on this proposed order is to be held in Boston on Thursday, January 19th.  If you’d like to hear more about this proposition, be there!  More information can be found on the Attorney General’s website.


“Attorney General Coakley Proposes Clarification to Open Meeting Law.” – Home Page – Your Link to SouthCoast Massachusettsand beyond. 12 Jan. 2012. Web. 18 Jan. 2012. <>.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply