Section 36-25A-3

Notice requirements.

(a) Unless otherwise specified by law and as provided herein, any governmental body subject to this chapter, except for an advisory board, advisory commission, advisory committee, task force, or other advisory body created solely to make recommendations on public policy issues and composed of persons who do not receive compensation for their service from public funds, shall post notice of all meetings, as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6)a.1., at least seven calendar days prior to the meeting as follows:

(1) The respective houses of the Alabama Legislature shall develop rules consistent with the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, providing for access to and prior notice of all sessions and standing committee and standing subcommittee meetings and all meetings of permanent and joint legislative committees.

(2) Any governmental body with statewide jurisdiction shall submit notice of its meeting to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall post the notice on the Internet for at least seven calendar days prior to the day of the meeting. The Secretary of State shall also send electronic mail notifications to anyone who has registered with the Secretary of State to receive notification of meetings. The Secretary of State may promulgate reasonable rules and regulations necessary for the uniform receipt and posting of notice and of registration for electronic mail notification. The Secretary of State shall provide during regular office hours a computer terminal at a place convenient to the public in the office of the Secretary of State that members of the public may use to view notices of meetings posted by the Secretary of State. Any governmental body with less than statewide jurisdiction may also submit notice to the Secretary of State for posting on the website. Nothing shall prevent a governmental body subject to this subsection from posting notice in any additional manner.

(3) A municipal governmental body shall post notice of each meeting on a bulletin board at a place convenient to the public in the city hall, provided, however, that a corporation a majority of whose governing board is appointed or elected by a municipality and that has a principal office separate from the city hall may, in lieu of posting notice in the city hall, post notice of each meeting on a bulletin board at a place convenient to the public in the principal office of the corporation or other instrumentality.

(4) A local school board shall post notice of each meeting on a bulletin board at a place convenient to the public in the central administrative office of the board.

(5) Any other governmental body shall post notice of each meeting in a reasonable location or shall use a reasonable method of notice that is convenient to the public. Any change of the location or method for posting notices of meetings shall not take effect until the change has been approved at an open meeting by the members of the governmental body and announced to the public at an open meeting.

(6) If practicable, a governmental body other than those with statewide jurisdiction, in addition to the posting requirements, shall provide direct notification of a meeting, as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6)a., to any member of the public or news media covering that governmental body who has registered with the governmental body to receive notification of meetings. A governmental body may promulgate reasonable rules and regulations necessary for the uniform registration and payment for direct notice and for the distribution of the notices. The governmental body may choose to transmit a notice using electronic mail, telephone, facsimile, the United States Postal Service, or any other method reasonably likely to provide the requested notice. The actual cost of issuing notices, if there is one, may be required to be paid in advance by the person requesting notice by the governmental body. Direct notice to persons who have registered with the governmental body shall, at a minimum, contain the time, date, and place of the meeting.

(b) Unless otherwise specified by law directly applicable to the governmental body, notice of a meeting, as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6)a.2. and 3. as well as meetings called pursuant to Section 11-43-50 shall be posted as soon as practicable after the meeting is called and in no event less than 24 hours before the meeting is scheduled to begin, unless such notice (i) is prevented by emergency circumstances requiring immediate action to avoid physical injury to persons or damage to property; or (ii) relates to a meeting to be held solely to accept the resignation of a public official or employee. In such situations, notice shall be given as soon as practical, but in no case less than one hour before the meeting is to begin. At the same time general notice is given, special notice shall be directed to any person who has registered to receive direct notices pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a)(6).

(c) Posted notice pursuant to this section shall include the time, date, and place of meeting. If a preliminary agenda is created, it shall be posted as soon as practicable in the same location or manner as the notice given pursuant to this section. A governmental body may discuss at a meeting additional matters not included in the preliminary agenda. If a preliminary agenda is not available, the posted notice shall include a general description of the nature and purpose of the meeting.

(d) County commissions which provide proper notice in conformance with Section 11-3-8 shall not be required to comply with subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, nor shall committees or subcommittees of such commissions so long as the committees also comply with the notice procedures applicable to the full commission in Section 11-3-8.

(e) Governmental bodies may give, but shall not be required to give, notice of quasi-judicial or contested case hearings which could properly be conducted as an executive session under this chapter or existing state law.

(f) A governmental body is authorized, but not required, to provide notice in addition to that specified in this section and to provide notice for gatherings which are not meetings as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6).

(Act 2005-40, p. 55, §3.)