NPRI NEWS RELEASE
LAS VEGAS — NPRI’s Center for Justice Constitutional Litigation’s case to defend Nevada’s Open Meeting Law is going to be heard by the Eighth District Court after the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the District Court’s earlier decision not to grant an injunction sought by CJCL.
Joseph Becker, chief legal officer and director of CJCL, issued the following statement:
Today, the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the Nevada Policy Research Institute’s case defending Nevada’s Open Meeting Law. It simply denied the injunction sought by NPRI which would have prevented voter confusion over a $669 million property-tax-increase proposal that lacks legal effect from being on the ballot.
NPRI’s case to defend Nevada’s Open Meeting Law will now return to District Court for full adjudication on the merits.
If the District Court defends the Open Meeting Law by ruling in favor of NPRI, then it doesn’t matter what happens in November, because the question will have been placed on the ballot in violation of the Open Meeting Law. We tried to prevent this by asking for the injunction.
Preserving and defending Nevada’s Open Meeting Law requires a constant effort, because — as we’ve seen in the case — elected officials will twist and ignore the law unless they are held accountable. That is why NPRI will continue to defend transparency and openness in government.
This case was filed by NPRI and Karen Gray in the Eighth Judicial District Court on Aug. 3, 2012, alleging that the Clark County Regional Debt Management Commission violated Nevada’s Open Meeting Law (NRS Chapter 241) at a June 7 meeting, when it approved the Clark County School District’s $669 million property-tax increase for the fall ballot without seeking comment from the public before proceeding to vote.
Nevada’s Open Meeting Law, at NRS 241.020(2)(c)(3), requires that public comment must be taken “before the public body takes action on the item.” Another provision in the chapter, NRS 241.036, states that: “The action of any public body taken in violation of any provision of this chapter is void.”
Supreme Court’s Order of Affirmance in Nevada Policy Research Institute, et al. v. CCSD, et al. is available at: http://www.npri.org/docLib/20120906_nv-supreme-court-ruling-oml-violation.pdf.
NPRI President Andy Matthews describes the arguments and implications of this case: http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/law-requires-a-clear-call-for-public-comments-168303806.html.
CJCL’s Open Meeting Law Violation Complaint in Nevada Policy Research Institute, et al. v. CCSD, et al. is available at: http://www.npri.org/docLib/20120807_Nevada_Policy_Research_Institute_v._Clark_County_School_District.pdf.