California Code, Government Code - GOV § 11126




(a)(1) Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent a state body from holding closed sessions during a regular or special meeting to consider the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, or dismissal of a public employee or to hear complaints or charges brought against that employee by another person or employee unless the employee requests a public hearing.

(2) As a condition to holding a closed session on the complaints or charges to consider disciplinary action or to consider dismissal, the employee shall be given written notice of his or her right to have a public hearing, rather than a closed session, and that notice shall be delivered to the employee personally or by mail at least 24 hours before the time for holding a regular or special meeting.  If notice is not given, any disciplinary or other action taken against any employee at the closed session shall be null and void.

(3) The state body also may exclude from any public or closed session, during the examination of a witness, any or all other witnesses in the matter being investigated by the state body.

(4) Following the public hearing or closed session, the body may deliberate on the decision to be reached in a closed session.

(b) For the purposes of this section, “employee” does not include any person who is elected to, or appointed to a public office by, any state body.  However, officers of the California State University who receive compensation for their services, other than per diem and ordinary and necessary expenses, shall, when engaged in that capacity, be considered employees.  Furthermore, for purposes of this section, the term employee includes a person exempt from civil service pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 4 of Article VII of the California Constitution .

(c) Nothing in this article shall be construed to do any of the following:

(1) Prevent state bodies that administer the licensing of persons engaging in businesses or professions from holding closed sessions to prepare, approve, grade, or administer examinations.

(2) Prevent an advisory body of a state body that administers the licensing of persons engaged in businesses or professions from conducting a closed session to discuss matters that the advisory body has found would constitute an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of an individual licensee or applicant if discussed in an open meeting, provided the advisory body does not include a quorum of the members of the state body it advises.  Those matters may include review of an applicant's qualifications for licensure and an inquiry specifically related to the state body's enforcement program concerning an individual licensee or applicant where the inquiry occurs prior to the filing of a civil, criminal, or administrative disciplinary action against the licensee or applicant by the state body.

(3) Prohibit a state body from holding a closed session to deliberate on a decision to be reached in a proceeding required to be conducted pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500 ) or similar provisions of law.

(4) Grant a right to enter any correctional institution or the grounds of a correctional institution where that right is not otherwise granted by law, nor shall anything in this article be construed to prevent a state body from holding a closed session when considering and acting upon the determination of a term, parole, or release of any individual or other disposition of an individual case, or if public disclosure of the subjects under discussion or consideration is expressly prohibited by statute.

(5) Prevent any closed session to consider the conferring of honorary degrees, or gifts, donations, and bequests that the donor or proposed donor has requested in writing to be kept confidential.

(6) Prevent the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board from holding a closed session for the purpose of holding a deliberative conference as provided in Section 11125 .

(7)(A) Prevent a state body from holding closed sessions with its negotiator prior to the purchase, sale, exchange, or lease of real property by or for the state body to give instructions to its negotiator regarding the price and terms of payment for the purchase, sale, exchange, or lease.

(B) However, prior to the closed session, the state body shall hold an open and public session in which it identifies the real property or real properties that the negotiations may concern and the person or persons with whom its negotiator may negotiate.

(C) For purposes of this paragraph, the negotiator may be a member of the state body.

(D) For purposes of this paragraph, “lease” includes renewal or renegotiation of a lease.

(E) Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude a state body from holding a closed session for discussions regarding eminent domain proceedings pursuant to subdivision (e).

(8) Prevent the California Postsecondary Education Commission from holding closed sessions to consider matters pertaining to the appointment or termination of the Director of the California Postsecondary Education Commission.

(9) Prevent the Council for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education from holding closed sessions to consider matters pertaining to the appointment or termination of the Executive Director of the Council for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education.

(10) Prevent the Franchise Tax Board from holding closed sessions for the purpose of discussion of confidential tax returns or information the public disclosure of which is prohibited by law, or from considering matters pertaining to the appointment or removal of the Executive Officer of the Franchise Tax Board.

(11) Require the Franchise Tax Board to notice or disclose any confidential tax information considered in closed sessions, or documents executed in connection therewith, the public disclosure of which is prohibited pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 19542 ) of Chapter 7 of Part 10.2 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(12) Prevent the Corrections Standards Authority from holding closed sessions when considering reports of crime conditions under Section 6027 of the Penal Code .

(13) Prevent the State Air Resources Board from holding closed sessions when considering the proprietary specifications and performance data of manufacturers.

(14) Prevent the State Board of Education or the Superintendent of Public Instruction, or any committee advising the board or the Superintendent, from holding closed sessions on those portions of its review of assessment instruments pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 60600 ) of, or pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 60850 ) of, Part 33 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code during which actual test content is reviewed and discussed.  The purpose of this provision is to maintain the confidentiality of the assessments under review.

(15) Prevent the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery or its auxiliary committees from holding closed sessions for the purpose of discussing confidential tax returns, discussing trade secrets or confidential or proprietary information in its possession, or discussing other data, the public disclosure of which is prohibited by law.

(16) Prevent a state body that invests retirement, pension, or endowment funds from holding closed sessions when considering investment decisions.  For purposes of consideration of shareholder voting on corporate stocks held by the state body, closed sessions for the purposes of voting may be held only with respect to election of corporate directors, election of independent auditors, and other financial issues that could have a material effect on the net income of the corporation.  For the purpose of real property investment decisions that may be considered in a closed session pursuant to this paragraph, a state body shall also be exempt from the provisions of paragraph (7) relating to the identification of real properties prior to the closed session.

(17) Prevent a state body, or boards, commissions, administrative officers, or other representatives that may properly be designated by law or by a state body, from holding closed sessions with its representatives in discharging its responsibilities under Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3500 ), Chapter 10.3 (commencing with Section 3512 ), Chapter 10.5 (commencing with Section 3525 ), or Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540 ) of Division 4 of Title 1 as the sessions relate to salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits.  For the purposes enumerated in the preceding sentence, a state body may also meet with a state conciliator who has intervened in the proceedings.

(18)(A) Prevent a state body from holding closed sessions to consider matters posing a threat or potential threat of criminal or terrorist activity against the personnel, property, buildings, facilities, or equipment, including electronic data, owned, leased, or controlled by the state body, where disclosure of these considerations could compromise or impede the safety or security of the personnel, property, buildings, facilities, or equipment, including electronic data, owned, leased, or controlled by the state body.

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a state body, at any regular or special meeting, may meet in a closed session pursuant to subparagraph (A) upon a two-thirds vote of the members present at the meeting.

(C) After meeting in closed session pursuant to subparagraph (A), the state body shall reconvene in open session prior to adjournment and report that a closed session was held pursuant to subparagraph (A), the general nature of the matters considered, and whether any action was taken in closed session.

(D) After meeting in closed session pursuant to subparagraph (A), the state body shall submit to the Legislative Analyst written notification stating that it held this closed session, the general reason or reasons for the closed session, the general nature of the matters considered, and whether any action was taken in closed session.  The Legislative Analyst shall retain for no less than four years any written notification received from a state body pursuant to this subparagraph.

(19) Prevent the California Sex Offender Management Board from holding a closed session for the purpose of discussing matters pertaining to the application of a sex offender treatment provider for certification pursuant to Sections 290.09 and 9003 of the Penal Code .  Those matters may include review of an applicant's qualifications for certification.

(d)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any meeting of the Public Utilities Commission at which the rates of entities under the commission's jurisdiction are changed shall be open and public.

(2) Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the Public Utilities Commission from holding closed sessions to deliberate on the institution of proceedings, or disciplinary actions against any person or entity under the jurisdiction of the commission.

(e)(1) Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent a state body, based on the advice of its legal counsel, from holding a closed session to confer with, or receive advice from, its legal counsel regarding pending litigation when discussion in open session concerning those matters would prejudice the position of the state body in the litigation.

(2) For purposes of this article, all expressions of the lawyer-client privilege other than those provided in this subdivision are hereby abrogated.  This subdivision is the exclusive expression of the lawyer-client privilege for purposes of conducting closed session meetings pursuant to this article.  For purposes of this subdivision, litigation shall be considered pending when any of the following circumstances exist:

(A) An adjudicatory proceeding before a court, an administrative body exercising its adjudicatory authority, a hearing officer, or an arbitrator, to which the state body is a party, has been initiated formally.

(B)(i) A point has been reached where, in the opinion of the state body on the advice of its legal counsel, based on existing facts and circumstances, there is a significant exposure to litigation against the state body.

(ii) Based on existing facts and circumstances, the state body is meeting only to decide whether a closed session is authorized pursuant to clause (i).

(C)(i) Based on existing facts and circumstances, the state body has decided to initiate or is deciding whether to initiate litigation.

(ii) The legal counsel of the state body shall prepare and submit to it a memorandum stating the specific reasons and legal authority for the closed session.  If the closed session is pursuant to paragraph (1), the memorandum shall include the title of the litigation.  If the closed session is pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B), the memorandum shall include the existing facts and circumstances on which it is based.  The legal counsel shall submit the memorandum to the state body prior to the closed session, if feasible, and in any case no later than one week after the closed session.  The memorandum shall be exempt from disclosure pursuant to Section 6254.25 .

(iii) For purposes of this subdivision, “litigation” includes any adjudicatory proceeding, including eminent domain, before a court, administrative body exercising its adjudicatory authority, hearing officer, or arbitrator.

(iv) Disclosure of a memorandum required under this subdivision shall not be deemed as a waiver of the lawyer-client privilege, as provided for under Article 3 (commencing with Section 950) of Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the Evidence Code .

(f) In addition to subdivisions (a), (b), and (c), nothing in this article shall be construed to do any of the following:

(1) Prevent a state body operating under a joint powers agreement for insurance pooling from holding a closed session to discuss a claim for the payment of tort liability or public liability losses incurred by the state body or any member agency under the joint powers agreement.

(2) Prevent the examining committee established by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, pursuant to Section 763 of the Public Resources Code , from conducting a closed session to consider disciplinary action against an individual professional forester prior to the filing of an accusation against the forester pursuant to Section 11503 .

(3) Prevent the enforcement advisory committee established by the California Board of Accountancy pursuant to Section 5020 of the Business and Professions Code from conducting a closed session to consider disciplinary action against an individual accountant prior to the filing of an accusation against the accountant pursuant to Section 11503 .  Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the qualifications examining committee established by the California Board of Accountancy pursuant to Section 5023 of the Business and Professions Code from conducting a closed hearing to interview an individual applicant or accountant regarding the applicant's qualifications.

(4) Prevent a state body, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 11121 , from conducting a closed session to consider any matter that properly could be considered in closed session by the state body whose authority it exercises.

(5) Prevent a state body, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 11121 , from conducting a closed session to consider any matter that properly could be considered in a closed session by the body defined as a state body pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 11121 .

(6) Prevent a state body, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11121 , from conducting a closed session to consider any matter that properly could be considered in a closed session by the state body it advises.

(7) Prevent the State Board of Equalization from holding closed sessions for either of the following:

(A) When considering matters pertaining to the appointment or removal of the Executive Secretary of the State Board of Equalization.

(B) For the purpose of hearing confidential taxpayer appeals or data, the public disclosure of which is prohibited by law.

(8) Require the State Board of Equalization to disclose any action taken in closed session or documents executed in connection with that action, the public disclosure of which is prohibited by law pursuant to Sections 15619 and 15641 of this code and Sections 833 , 7056 , 8255 , 9255 , 11655 , 30455 , 32455 , 38705 , 38706 , 43651 , 45982 , 46751 , 50159 , 55381 , and 60609 of the Revenue and Taxation Code .

(9) Prevent the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council, or other body appointed to advise the Director of Emergency Services or the Governor concerning matters relating to volcanic or earthquake predictions, from holding closed sessions when considering the evaluation of possible predictions.

(g) This article does not prevent either of the following:

(1) The Teachers' Retirement Board or the Board of Administration of the Public Employees' Retirement System from holding closed sessions when considering matters pertaining to the recruitment, appointment, employment, or removal of the chief executive officer or when considering matters pertaining to the recruitment or removal of the Chief Investment Officer of the State Teachers' Retirement System or the Public Employees' Retirement System.

(2) The Commission on Teacher Credentialing from holding closed sessions when considering matters relating to the recruitment, appointment, or removal of its executive director.

(h) This article does not prevent the Board of Administration of the Public Employees' Retirement System from holding closed sessions when considering matters relating to the development of rates and competitive strategy for plans offered pursuant to Chapter 15 (commencing with Section 21660 ) of Part 3 of Division 5 of Title 2.

(i) This article does not prevent the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board from holding closed sessions when considering matters related to the development of rates and contracting strategy for entities contracting or seeking to contract with the board, entities with which the board is considering a contract, or entities with which the board is considering or enters into any other arrangement under which the board provides, receives, or arranges services or reimbursement, pursuant to Part 6.2 (commencing with Section 12693), Part 6.3 (commencing with Section 12695), Part 6.4 (commencing with Section 12699.50), Part 6.5 (commencing with Section 12700 ), Part 6.6 (commencing with Section 12739.5), or Part 6.7 (commencing with Section 12739.70) of Division 2 of the Insurance Code .

(j) Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the board of the State Compensation Insurance Fund from holding closed sessions in the following:

(1) When considering matters related to claims pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 3200 ) of Division 4 of the Labor Code, to the extent that confidential medical information or other individually identifiable information would be disclosed.

(2) To the extent that matters related to audits and investigations that have not been completed would be disclosed.

(3) To the extent that an internal audit containing proprietary information would be disclosed.

(4) To the extent that the session would address the development of rates, contracting strategy, underwriting, or competitive strategy, pursuant to the powers granted to the board in Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11770) of Part 3 of Division 2 of the Insurance Code , when discussion in open session concerning those matters would prejudice the position of the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

(k) The State Compensation Insurance Fund shall comply with the procedures specified in Section 11125.4 of the Government Code with respect to any closed session or meeting authorized by subdivision (j), and in addition shall provide an opportunity for a member of the public to be heard on the issue of the appropriateness of closing the meeting or session.





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