The Attorney General’s Office (the "Office") has established the Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team (OMLET) to handle inquiries and conduct investigations and enforcement proceedings relating to complaints that public bodies have violated the Open Meeting Law. Investigations are conducted when OMLET receives a signed, written complaint that describes conduct that, if verified, would constitute a violation.
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATIONS
OMLET receives a number of inquiries each year alleging that homeowner associations have violated Arizona's Open Meeting Law (A.R.S. 38-431-431.09). The Open Meeting Law does not apply to homeowner associations. Although not subject to Arizona's Open Meeting Law, homeowner associations are strongly encouraged to always conduct public meetings that are properly noticed.
Download more information on homeowner associations and the Open Meeting Law.
How We Investigate Complaints
The Attorney General’s Office is authorized by statute to investigate and resolve allegations that public bodies have violated the Open Meeting Law. The statute requires that complaints submitted to the Office be in writing and signed. We do not act on anonymous complaints. Complaints and supporting materials are public records and may be disclosed as required by law. Upon receipt of the complaint, the case is assigned to a member of the OMLET. The OMLET member will review the complaint and may contact the public body and other witnesses for a response to your allegations and any other relevant evidence. If necessary, the OMLET member will contact you to obtain further information. In order to expedite the process, please consolidate your complaints as much as possible.
How We Resolve Complaints
After gathering the relevant evidence, the Office will work with the public body to reach a resolution of the case. The Office’s primary mission in enforcing the Open Meeting Law is to ensure compliance and educate the public and public officials about the requirements of the statute. Many cases are resolved with mandatory training for members of the public body. In cases involving repeat offenders who knowingly violate the Open Meeting Law, the Office may seek a civil penalty of up to $500 for a second offense and up to $2,500 for a third or subsequent offense. If the public body refuses to reach an agreed resolution, the Office may file suit in superior court seeking that the appropriate remedies be imposed by court order. If the evidence establishes that a public officer knowingly violated the Open Meeting Law with the intent to deprive the public of information, the Office may seek to have the officer removed from office.
How You Can Help Us
To expedite an investigation as much as possible, please provide as much specific information as you can about the alleged violations, such as the dates and times of events, the people present, and the content of any conversations; this should include the name and contact information for other witnesses who are willing to provide evidence about the alleged violations. Also, please include any documents, photographs, videos, or other evidence that support your allegations.
If you are one of a group of people interested in filing a complaint against a public body, please select one person to file a complaint and attach written statements from the remaining complainants.
More information and resources regarding the Open Meeting Law.