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The Brown Act or Open Meeting Law

By January 19, 2018 No Comments

This act only applies to nonprofit organizations in the specific cases outlined in the excerpt quoted below from The Brown Act: Open Meetings for Local Legislative Bodies  2003 California Attorney General’s Office

Private or Nonprofit Corporations and Other Entities
Under specified circumstances, meetings of boards, commissions, committees or other multi-member bodies that govern private corporations, limited liability companies or other entities may become subject to the open meeting requirements of the Act. Ordinarily, these private corporations or other entities will be nonprofit corporations. In some instances, they are created by the governmental entity to support the efforts of the governmental entity. Other times they are privately created and, to some degree, may partner with a governmental entity to accomplish a common goal. (See Ed. Code, § 47604(a) [concerning possible application to charter schools].) The circumstances that determine whether nonprofit corporations or other entities are governed by the Brown Act are set forth in section 54952(c).

The Act expressly applies to private corporations, limited liability companies and other entities that are created by the legislative body for the purpose of exercising authority which can be lawfully delegated to them. (§ 54952(c)(1); Epstein v. Hollywood Entertainment District II Business Improvement District (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 152 [Property Owners Association covered because it received money from taxes on property and businesses within the Business Improvement District, and it was structured to assume certain administrative functions ordinarily performed by the city]; 85 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 55 (2002) [Act covered private nonprofit corporation formed for the purpose of providing programming for a cable television channel set aside for educational use by a cable operator pursuant to its franchise agreement with a city and subsequently designated by the city to provide the programming services]; 81 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 281, 290 (1998) [community redevelopment agency created nonprofit entity and delegated authority to it].) Typically, the entities subject to this subdivision will be nonprofit corporations established jointly by various government entities for the purpose of constructing, operating or maintaining a public works project or public facility. (International Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union v. Los Angeles Expert Terminal, Inc. (1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 287, 294.)

The Act also applies to the meetings of entities which receive funds from a local agency where the legislative body for the local agency appoints one of its members to the governing board of the entity as a voting member of the board.(§ 54952(c)(2).) The Act does not apply to boards of a nonprofit corporation or other entity where the legislative body appoints someone other than one of its own members to the governing body of such entity. It continues to be the law that the mere receipt of public funds by a nonprofit corporation or other entity does not subject it to the requirements of the Act.