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Trustee Support Resources

Penalties for Breaking the Law

What happens if a board member knowingly violates the Open Public Meetings Act?
Every trustee who attends a board meeting that is in violation of the Open Public Meetings Act, with knowledge that the meeting is in violation, is subject to personal liability for a civil penalty of $100. The penalty shall be assessed by a judge of the Superior Court.  RCW 42.30.120(1)
Who may bring enforcement action?
Anyone may initiate the action. A person who prevails in the courts for violation of the Act may be awarded all costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred in connection with the legal action. RCW 42.30.120(2)
What about frivolous cases?
A library board that prevails in the courts for a violation may be awarded reasonable expenses and attorney fees upon final judgment and written findings by the trial judge that the action was frivolous and advanced without reasonable cause. RCW 4.84.185