Posted on Jun 30, 2016 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 16-05
June 30, 2016
Description of Meeting Location

In OIP Op. Ltr. No. F16-05, OIP concluded that while the Sunshine Law does not necessarily require a meeting notice to provide a street address for a meeting location, the description of the location in the meeting notice must be sufficiently detailed to reasonably allow a member of the public to actually find the meeting location.  In this case, the Agribusiness Development Corporation’s Notice of Meeting failed to adequately describe the meeting location, with the result that at least one member of the public was actually unable to find it.  This failure violated the Sunshine Law’s requirement that a board give written public notice of every meeting including “the date, time, and place of the meeting.”  HRS § 92-7(a) (2012).  Nevertheless, OIP is without authority to void any final action taken by a board, and thus need not consider whether such a remedy would have been appropriate in this case.  See HRS § 92-11 (permitting a “suit to void any final action” taken in violation of sections 92-3 and 92-7, HRS, which must be brought in court within 90 days of the action).

Additionally, OIP concluded that section 92-7(b), HRS, requires posting the notice of a board’s meeting at the meeting site “whenever feasible,” but nothing in this requirement suggests that a board must post signs directing members of the public to the meeting site, such as maps or guideposts with the use of arrows.  Further, because the Sunshine Law’s notice requirement only requires posting of the meeting notice at the meeting location when “feasible,” a board may not even be required to post the notice of its meeting at the meeting site for a particular meeting.  HRS § 92-7(b).

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