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Cypen & Cypen
SPECIAL NEWSLETTER
for
DECEMBER 24, 2002

Stephen H. Cypen, Esq., Editor

Never Forget - September 11, 2001

FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDS THAT QUORUM OF CITY BOARD MEMBERS MUST BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT AT MEETING:

Section 286.011(1), Florida Statutes, Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law, provides that all meetings of any board or commission of a municipal corporation at which official acts are to be taken are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times. On a number of occasions in the past, the Florida Attorney General has opined regarding the practice of conducting public business by electronic means and the compliance thereof with the Sunshine Law. However, because of the particular facts which underlay those earlier opinions, there was no clear position on whether a quorum of board members actually had to be present at a meeting.

In AGO 2002-82 (December 11, 2002), Richard E. Doran, Florida’s new Attorney General, has put the issue to rest: “In the absence of a statute to the contrary, the requisite number of members must be physically present at a meeting in order to constitute a quorum.” In other words, a board member may participate by electronic means, but in all circumstances a quorum of the board must be physically present at the meeting site.

Thanks, General.

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Items in this Newsletter may be excerpts or summaries of original or secondary source material, and may have been reorganized for clarity and brevity. This Newsletter is general in nature and is not intended to provide specific legal or other advice.


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