e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 76415
Opinion Date : 10/28/2021
e-Journal Date : 11/15/2021
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : Rotta v. Miller
Practice Area(s) : Freedom of Information Act Open Meetings Act
Judge(s) : Per Curiam - Ronayne Krause, Cameron, and Rick
Full PDF Opinion

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) & the Open Meetings Act (OMA); Action to compel compliance with the OMA’s quorum requirement; MCL 15.267(1); Reasons for a closed session; MCL 15.268(e); Principle that separate minutes must be taken at closed sessions; MCL 15.267(2); Request for records or information specifically described & exempted from disclosure by statute; MCL 15.243(1)(d); Exemption for minutes of a closed meeting conducted under the OMA; Traverse City Record-Eagle v Traverse City Area Pub Schs Bd of Educ; Reenactment procedure; MCL 15.270(5)


The court held that the trial court did not err by granting defendants-city and city council members summary disposition of plaintiff’s FOIA/OMA action. Plaintiff sued the city in an underlying action. The city agreed to settle the matter after entering a closed session, and the parties signed the settlement. Despite the settlement, plaintiff asserted “that the decision to go into closed session had been improper.” The city council subsequently “unanimously voted to go into closed session to ‘re-enact a potentially violated decision.’” It then again voted to agree to the settlement. Plaintiff claimed “a legitimate purpose existed for the first closed session but not a proper quorum, whereas a legitimate quorum existed for the second closed session, but not a proper purpose.” He submitted a FOIA request for the separate minutes taken at the closed portions of the meetings, which was denied. The trial court found that because the OMA was not violated, defendants properly denied the FOIA request. On appeal, the court noted that the trial court correctly held that the “OMA violation of the procedurally-erroneous vote to enter closed session” at the first meeting was cured by defendants’ subsequent vote, at the second meeting, to re-enact the decision. It further concluded that the trial court correctly held that the second vote “to enter closed session was not a violation of the OMA, because it was proper for defendants to cure the prior violation and because it was proper for defendants to be concerned about the financial effect of the settlement being potentially voidable. Because no violation of the OMA ultimately occurred, the trial court correctly granted summary disposition in favor of defendants as to all claims.” Affirmed.

Full PDF Opinion