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Closed Board meetings illegal?

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Closed Board meetings illegal?

Our nonprofit youth football organization has always made our Board meetings open to the public. At our last meeting, things became quite disruptive when some in attendance became angry and interrupted the flow of our meeting and made it difficult to continue. The next meeting we had was not open to the public. It was only for Board members so that we could accomplish our tasks. Some members of the Board believe that this is an illegal action. Are they right?

Probably not. It is ultimately a matter of state law and your own organizational documents, but I am not aware of state laws that require regular public meetings of nonprofit Boards that are not governmental agencies or performing a governmental function. If you have “members” who have voting rights and other rights similar to those of shareholders of a business corporation, they might be able to amend the bylaws to require open Board meetings, but it would be unusual to do so. Unless someone could point to a specific statute or provision in your governing documents, I think the Board can decide whether or not it wants to let anyone else attend or participate in its meetings. 

Monday, November 26, 2007

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