Thursday, December 24, 2015

Research Q of the Week: Notice for Special Meetings (12/24/15)

Question: What’s the deal with notice for special meetings? How about notice for emergency meetings?

Answer: Yes, of course all your city council meetings are special. But on a technical level, "special meetings" are meetings held at a time or place that is different from the regularly scheduled meetings.

Special meetings are often scheduled to deal with specific items that need to be addressed before the next scheduled meeting.

Often public hearings are scheduled outside the regular meeting, and if it’s not a regular meeting, it’s a special meeting. (Of course, when it comes to special meeting notices, public hearing notice may have its own statutory requirement, depending on the subject matter.)

In statutory cities, special meetings may be called by the mayor or by any two members of a five-member council, or three members of a seven-member council. Home rule charter cities may have different requirements for calling special meetings.

When a special meeting has been called, the clerk must:
  • mail a notice to all councilmembers at least one day before the meeting stating the time and place of the meeting. If all councilmembers attend and participate in the meeting, the notice requirements will be considered to have been satisfied.
  • post written notice of the date, time, place, and purpose of the special meeting on the city’s principal bulletin board at least three days before the meeting. A principal bulletin board must be located in a place reasonably accessible to the public. If the city does not have a principal bulletin board, the notice must be posted on the door of its usual meeting room.
  • mail or deliver notice to each person who has filed a written request for notice of special meetings with the city. Notice to these individuals must be mailed or delivered at least three days before the meeting. Alternatively, the city may publish this notice in the official newspaper at least three days before the meeting.
The rules are a little different for emergency meetings. We'll review those next week.

Written by Quinn O'Reilly, staff attorney with the League of Minnesota Cities. Contact: or (651) 281-1271.

This blog post conveys general information. It’s not legal advice. Please check with your city attorney before acting on this information. 

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