Associations and Open Meetings

One of the great truths of the association culture is that the board shall not conduct its’ business behind closed doors or have “secret” meetings as this deprives the owners of their rights. In concept it sounds like a fine principled idea. In practicality, there are more exceptions than rules and more urban myths than exceptions. Beginning with the minimum legal obligation, we can dispel the biggest myth first. Illinois does have a law called the Open Meetings Act. It is set forth in Ch. 50 ILCS 120, et seq. of the Illinois Statutes. It requires open meetings for public bodies only. Public bodies are duly elected or appointed governmental bodies such as village boards, park districts, etc. It does not apply to private organizations such as condominium and homeowners associations. All of the scuttlebutt about violations of the Open Meetings Act at association meetings is not applicable. Associations are subject to certain “open meetings” requirements set forth in other statutes and often in their operating documents. The following requirements appear in the Illinois General Not-for-Profit Corporation Act, the Illinois Condominium Property Act and many declarations and bylaws: 1. All meetings of the Board where business is conducted are open to the members; 2. Notice…Read more