REGISTRATION OPEN: Right-to-Know Workshop on Meetings and Records

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 - 9:00am to 2:30pm

2024 Right-to-Know Law: Public Meetings & Governmental Records

9:00 am - 2:30 pm

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, NH

Member cost:  $85.00 in-person attendance and $70.00 virtual attendance.  Non-member* (state and school officials only) cost is $170.00 in-person attendance and $140.00 virtual attendance.

Workshop Description

Join Legal Services Counsel Stephen Buckley and Municipal Services Counsel Jonathan Cowal who will discuss the requirements for holding a proper public meeting, as well the exceptions to the meeting requirement (the so-called "non-meeting").  The attorneys will also address managing virtual public access and allowing public body members to participate remotely when their physical attendance is not reasonably practical.  Consideration will also be directed at preparing meeting minutes and facilitating public comment through meeting rules of procedure. The attorneys will also address statutory changes regarding keeping an inventory of non-public session minutes, exemptions for attorney-client communications, deliberating in non-public session to discuss unsealing minutes, and limiting the nondisclosure of minutes related to the sale or acquisition of real or personal property. The attorneys will also cover the new statutory obligation to review previously sealed nonpublic meeting minutes under HB 321.

In the second half of this presentation, the attorneys will provide information on handling governmental record matters arising under the Right-to-Know Law. The attorneys will clarify the requirement of RSA 91-A:4 to make records available “on the regular business premises” of public bodies, and what that means when municipalities are asked to send records virtually.  They will cover what it means for records to be “immediately available”, record storage, electronic records, redaction, cost estimates, mandated access for certain records and appointments for review of records. This hybrid workshop will also address what records are exempt from disclosure, how to apply the privacy exemption to personal information contained within governmental records, and what it means to compile records. Finally, guidance will be provided on the retention of governmental records, what it means for a record to be legally deleted, and how claims under the Right-to-Know Law are enforced.

The attorneys will explain the newly created Right-to-Know Ombudsman which modifies the Right-to-Know Law to allow a complaint to be filed with the ombudsman rather than superior court.

Attendees will receive an electronic copy of NHMA's publication, New Hampshire's Right-to-Know Law 2023.  Additional materials such as the PowerPoint presentation will also be distributed electronically. No printouts of the materials or hard copy of the publication will be provided.

* Non-member attendance is limited to government officials who are not members of NHMA and not eligible to be members (schools and state agencies). If space is limited, priority will be given to NHMA members. Non-member village districts, counties, regional planning commissions, or other municipal entities interested in attending NHMA workshops can contact to learn about becoming a member. 

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