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N.D. Attorney General opinions: Oct. 17

Attorney General Drew H. Wrigley has issued two new opinions.

Opinion # 2022-O-14

Request: Did the Butte Township Board of Supervisors violate the open meetings law by failing to properly notice meetings?

Conclusion: The Butte Township Board of Supervisors held special meetings on three dates in May and June 2021.  The date of one of the meetings was erroneously posted on the website and the correction was not noted until after the meeting had taken place.  Notice was not posted at the locations of any of the three meetings nor was the official newspaper notified of any of these meeting.  Therefore, the Butte Township Board of Supervisors violated the open meetings laws by failing to properly notice these special meetings.

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Opinion # 2022-O-15

Request: Did the Pelican Township violate the open records laws when it denied a request for records citing pending litigation?

Conclusion: The Pelican Township received a request for records primarily concerning two township meetings during which decisions were made which led to civil litigation.  The township denied the request citing N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18(6) and pending litigation.  At the time of the request, no issue remained for a court to review; there was no remand ordered to another court; neither party had appealed the decision; and the case was not active for purposes of further litigation.  Therefore, Pelican Township violated the open records laws when it improperly relied on pending litigation to deny a records request.

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