March 25, 2019
On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, Curt Hartman, of counsel attorney with Finney Law Firm, will represent Pat Meade before the Ohio Supreme Court. This suit seeks enforcement of Ohio’s Open Meetings Law (R.C. 121.22) to prohibit local governments from voting by secret ballot.
Meade brought suit in 2016 against the members of the Village of Bratenahl’s Village Council for violating Ohio’s Open Meetings Act by voting via secret ballot during an otherwise public meeting.
The Ohio Coalition for Open Government; the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; and the Ohio Association of Broadcasters filed a friend of the court (amicus) brief in support of Ms. Meade as well.
In 2011, a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court found that secret ballot voting violates the Open Meetings Act. That same year, the Ohio Attorney General issued an opinion letter coming to the same conclusion. In this case, the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas and Court of Appeals ruled that secret ballot voting is permissible. The question has never previously been before the Ohio Supreme Court. The Ohio Supreme Court will provide the final answer on this issue.
Brian Shrive and Justin Walker prepared the Supreme Court briefs and will attend the oral argument with Curt Hartman, Chris Finney and our client.
The Ohio Supreme Court live streaming feed is available here. The Court’s docket begins at 9 a.m. We expect oral argument in our case to begin at approximately 9:30 a.m.
Learn more about Finney Law Firm’s Open Meetings Law practice here.
Read our previous posts about the case here.
Learn more about the Ohio Coalition for Open Government here.
Learn more about the Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press here.