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Los Angeles COE |  BB  9321  Board Bylaws

Closed Session Purposes And Agendas   

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The Los Angeles County Board of Education (County Board) is allowed to meet in closed session for the following purposes:

A. Meet with negotiator prior to the purchase, sale, exchange or lease (or lease renewal) of properties (GC 54956.8)

B. Meet with counsel on pending (anticipated) or existing litigation (GC 54956.9)

C. Meet regarding matters relating to threat to public safety (GC 54957)

D. All closed session topics will be duly noted on the agenda. The chair will announce the reason for closed session and will report decision(s) following closed session

Legal Reference: Education Code Section 1080(c); 85 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 77 (2002)

The County Board may hold closed sessions only for purposes authorized by law. The County Board may hold a closed session at any time during a regular or special meeting and during emergency meetings in accordance with law. (Government Code 54956.5, 54957.7, 54962)

(cf. 9320 - Meetings and Notices)

(cf. 9322 - Agenda/Meeting Materials)

The agenda shall contain a brief general description of all closed session items to be discussed. (Government Code 54954.2)

The County Board shall disclose in open meeting the items to be discussed in closed session. In the closed session, the County Board may consider only those matters covered in its statement. (Government Code 54957.7)

No agenda, notice, announcement, or report required by the Brown Act need identify any victim or alleged victim of tortious sexual conduct or child abuse unless the identity of the person has been publicly disclosed. (Government Code 54961, 54957.7)

In accordance with law, a County Board member shall not disclose confidential information received in a closed session unless the County Board authorizes the disclosure of that information. (Government Code 54963)

(cf. 9011 - Disclosure of Confidential/Privileged Information)

Matters Related to Students

The County Board shall meet in closed session to consider the expulsion of a student, unless the student submits a written request at least five days before the date of the hearing that the hearing be held in open session. Regardless of whether the expulsion hearing is conducted in open or closed session, the County Board may meet in closed session for the purpose of deliberating and determining whether the student should be expelled. (Education Code 48918)

(cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)

(cf. 5144.3 - Expulsion Appeals)

The County Board shall meet in closed session to address any student matter that may involve disclosure of confidential student information, or to consider a suspension, disciplinary action, or any other action against a student except expulsion. If a parent/guardian or adult student submits a written request to have the matter heard in open session within 48 hours of receiving notice of the County Board's intention to hold a closed session, it will be honored to the extent that it does not violate the privacy rights of any other student. (Education Code 35146, 48912, 49070)

(cf. 5117 - Interdistrict Attendance)

(cf. 5144 - Discipline)

Agenda items related to student matters shall briefly describe the reason for the closed session, such as "student expulsion appeals hearing," without violating the confidentiality rights of individual students. The student shall not be named on the agenda, but a number may be assigned to the student in order to facilitate record keeping.

Security Matters

The County Board may meet in closed session with the Governor, Attorney General, district attorney, legal counsel, sheriff or chief of police, or their respective deputies, or a security consultant or a security operations manager, on matters posing a threat to the security of public buildings, to the security of essential public services, including water, drinking water, wastewater treatment, natural gas service, and electric service, or to the public's right of access to public services or public facilities. (Government Code 54957)

(cf. 0450 - Comprehensive Safety Plan)

(cf. 3515 - Campus Security)

(cf. 3516 - Emergencies and Disaster Preparedness Plan)

The County Board may meet in closed session during an emergency meeting held pursuant to Government Code 54956.5 to meet with law enforcement officials for the emergency purposes specified in Government Code 54957 if agreed to by a two-thirds vote of the County Board members present. If less than two-thirds of the members are present, then the County Board must agree by a unanimous vote of the members present. (Government Code 54956.5)

Agenda items related to security matters shall specify the name of the law enforcement agency and the title of the officer, or name of applicable agency representative and title, with whom the County Board will consult. (Government Code 54954.5)

Conference With Real Property Negotiator

The County Board may meet in closed session with the County Board's real property negotiator prior to the purchase, sale, exchange or lease of real property by or for LACOE in order to grant its negotiator the authority regarding the price and terms of the property. (Government Code 54956.8)

Before holding the closed session, the County Board shall hold an open and public session to identify its negotiator(s) and the property under negotiation and to specify the person(s) with whom the negotiator may negotiate. (Government Code 54956.8)

For purposes of real property transactions, negotiators may include members of the County Board. (Government Code 54956.8)

Agenda items related to real property negotiations shall specify LACOE negotiator attending the closed session. If circumstances necessitate the absence of a specified negotiator, an agent or designee may participate in place of the absent negotiator as long as the name of the agent or designee is announced at an open session held prior to the closed session. The agenda shall also specify the name of the negotiating parties and the street address of the real property under negotiation. If there is no street address, the agenda item shall specify the parcel number or another unique reference of the property. The agenda item shall also specify whether instruction to the negotiator will concern price, terms of payment, or both. (Government Code 54954.5)

Pending Litigation

Based on the advice of its legal counsel, the County Board may hold a closed session to confer with or receive advice from its legal counsel regarding pending litigation when a discussion of the matter in open session would prejudice the County Board's position in the case. For this purpose, "litigation" includes any adjudicatory proceeding, including eminent domain, before a court, administrative body exercising its adjudicatory authority, hearing officer, or arbitrator. (Government Code 54956.9)

Litigation is considered "pending" when any of the following circumstances exist:

1. Litigation to which the County Board is a party has been initiated formally. (Government Code 54956.9(a))

2. A point has been reached where, in the County Board's opinion based on the advice of legal counsel and on the existing facts and circumstances, there is a significant exposure to litigation against LACOE, or the County Board. (Government Code 54956.9(b))

3. Based on existing facts and circumstances, the County Board has decided to initiate or is deciding whether to initiate litigation. (Government Code 54956.9(c))

"Existing facts and circumstances" authorizing a closed session pursuant to Government Code 54956.9(b) as described in item #2 above are limited to the following: (Government Code 54956.9)

1. Facts and circumstances that might result in litigation against LACOE but which LACOE believes are not yet known to potential plaintiffs and which do not need to be disclosed.

2. Facts and circumstances including, but not limited to, an accident, disaster, incident or transactional occurrence which might result in litigation against LACOE, which are already known to potential plaintiffs, and which must be publicly disclosed before the closed session or specified on the agenda.

3. The receipt of a claim pursuant to the Tort Claims Act or a written threat of litigation from a potential plaintiff. The claim or written communication must be available for public inspection.

(cf. 3320 - Claims and Actions Against the LACOE)

4. A threat of litigation made by a person in an open meeting on a specific matter within the responsibility of the County Board.

5. A threat of litigation made by a person outside of an open meeting on a specific matter within the responsibility of the County Board, provided that LACOE official or employee receiving knowledge of the threat made a record of the statement before the meeting and the record is available for public inspection.

The above record does not need to identify an alleged victim of tortious sexual conduct or anyone making a threat on his/her behalf or identify an employee who is the alleged perpetrator of any unlawful or tortious conduct, unless the identity of this person has been publicly disclosed.

Before holding a closed session pursuant to this section, the County Board shall state on the agenda or publicly announce the subdivision of Government Code 54956.9 under which the closed session is being held. If authority is based on Government Code 54956.9(a), the County Board shall either state the title or specifically identify the litigation to be discussed or state that doing so would jeopardize LACOE's ability to effectuate service of process upon unserved parties or to conclude existing settlement negotiations to its advantage. (Government Code 54956.9)

Agenda items related to "pending litigation" shall be described as a conference with legal counsel regarding "existing litigation" or "anticipated litigation." (Government Code 54954.5)

"Existing litigation" items shall identify the name of the case specified by either the claimant's name, names of parties and case or claim number, unless the County Board states that to identify the case would jeopardize service of process or existing settlement negotiations. (Government Code 54954.5)

"Anticipated litigation" items shall state that there is significant exposure to litigation pursuant to Government Code 54956.9(b) and shall specify the potential number of cases. When LACOE expects to initiate a suit, items related to anticipated litigation shall state that the discussion relates to the initiation of litigation pursuant to Government Code 54956.9(c) and shall specify the potential number of cases. The agenda or an oral statement before the closed session may be required to provide additional information pursuant to items #2-5 above. (Government Code 54954.5, Government Code 54956.9(b)(3)(B-E))

Review of Audit Report from Bureau of State Audits

Upon receipt of a confidential final draft audit report from the Bureau of State Audits, the County Board may meet in closed session to discuss its response to that report. After public release of the report from the Bureau of State Audits, any County Board meeting to discuss the report must be conducted in open session, unless exempted from that requirement by some other provision of law. (Government Code 54956.75)

Closed session agenda items related to an audit by the Bureau of State Audits shall state "Audit by Bureau of State Audits." (Government Code 54954.5)

When an action taken during a closed session involves final approval or adoption of a document such as a contract or settlement agreement, a copy of the document shall be provided to any person present at the conclusion of the closed session who submitted a written request. If the action taken results in one or more substantive amendments, the document shall be made available the next business day or when the necessary retyping is complete. Whenever copies of an approved agreement will not be immediately released due to an amendment, the County Board president shall orally summarize the substance of the amendment for those present at the end of the closed session. (Government Code 54957.1)

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

35145 Public meetings

35146 Closed session (re student suspension)

44929.21 Districts with ADA of 250 or more

48918 Rules governing expulsion procedures; hearings and notice

49073 Release of directory information

49076 Access to records by persons without written parental consent

49079 Notification to teacher re: students whose actions are grounds for suspension or expulsion

60617 Meetings of governing board

GOVERNMENT CODE

3540-3549.3 Educational Employment Relations Act

6250-6268 California Public Records Act

54950-54963 The Ralph M. Brown Act

COURT DECISIONS

Morrison v. Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles Board of Commissioners (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 860

Bell v. Vista Unified School District (2001) 82 Cal.App.4th 672

Fischer v. Los Angeles Unified School District (1999) 70 Cal.App.4th 87

Furtado v. Sierra Community College District (1998) 68 Cal. App.4th 876

Roberts v. City of Palmdale (1993) 5 Cal.4th 363

Sacramento Newspaper Guild v. Sacramento County Board of Supervisors (1968) 263 Cal.App.2d 41

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

86 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 210 (2003)

78 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 218 (1995)

59 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 532 (1976)

Management Resources:

CSBA PUBLICATIONS

The Brown Act: School Boards and Open Meeting Laws, 2003

ATTORNEY GENERAL PUBLICATIONS

The Brown Act: Open Meetings for Legislative Bodies, California Attorney General's Office, 2002

CALIFORNIA CITY ATTORNEY PUBLICATIONS

Open and Public III: A User's Guide to the Ralph M. Brown Act, 2000

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

California Attorney General's Office: http://www.caag.state.ca.us

Bylaw LOS ANGELES COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION

adopted: October 15, 2019 Downey, California