A&A: Little League, Pop Warner, and open meeting laws

Little League, Pop Warner, and open meeting laws

Q: Are non-profit youth sports organizations (like Pop Warner, Little League, etc.)  subject to the “open meetings” laws? If not, do you know what?

A: As a general rule, open meeting laws, like the Brown Act, only apply to government agencies.  If Pop Warner and Little League are run by private entities, not governmental agencies, then the general rule would be that the open meetings laws would not apply.

The only private entity subject to the Brown Act is a “board, commission, committee or other multimember body that governs a private corporation or entity that either” (A) was created by a governmental agency to exercise authority that may lawfully be deleted by the agency or (B) receives funds from a local agency (like a city of Santa Maria) and at least one member of the corporation’s governing body is a member of the governing elected body of the local agency (i.e., a city council member).  If either condition applies, the board of even a private corporation must hold noticed public meetings that comply with the Brown Act, per Government Code section 54952(c)(1).

The open records law, the Public Records Act, applies to “nonprofit organizations of local governmental agencies and officials that are supported solely by public funds.”  Gov’t Code sec. 6252.

We cannot tell whether Pop Warner or Little League would meet the qualifications of a corporate body subject to the Brown Act or nonprofit organization subject to the PRA, but it seems doubtful.