ACCESS TO Meetings

About: Sending a Brown Act "Cure & Correct" Letter

This template is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship.

In general, a “Cure and Correct” demand letter is only needed under the Brown Act when a legislative body has taken an “action” that needs to be corrected. In other words, if the Brown Act is violated yet no action was taken, then a cure and correct demand letter would not be sent. Rather, a person would turn to the courts for an order preventing future violations or would ask the district attorney to do so.

“Action taken” means “a collective decision made by a majority of the members of a legislative body, a collective commitment or promise by a majority of the members of a legislative body to make a positive or a negative decision, or an actual vote by a majority of the members of a legislative body when sitting as a body or entity, upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order or ordinance.”

Gov. Code § 54952.6.

Not every violation of the Brown Act allows a court to nullify an action taken by a legislative body. The Act allows nullification only “if the legislative body violated the open and public meeting provisions or the notice requirements of the Act. It does not offer a remedy for actions taken following a violation of section 54954.3 governing the public comment period required at local agency meetings.”

Olson v. Hornbrook Community Services Dist., 33 Cal. App. 5th 502, 518 (2019) (citations omitted).

See Gov. Code § 54960.1(a) for a list of the Brown Act violations which allow a court to declare an action null and void.

The act of sending a cure and correct demand letter triggers a number of requirements and deadlines that you must consider before you send your demand. Gov. Code § 54960.1.

A Cure and Correct Letter must be sent within 30 days of alleged Brown Act violations occurring at open and public meetings or within 90 days of alleged violations that do not occur at open and public meetings.

  • The legislative body must correct action within 30 days of receiving the letter and inform the demanding party in writing of its action or decision not to take action.
  • No response for 30 days is considered a decision by the legislative body not to take action.
  • Any litigation challenging the legislative body’s response to the cure and correct demand letter must be taken within 15 days of the body’s official written response, or within 15 days of the day the legislative body’s 30-day response deadline passes. For more information, see our Brown Act Primer.

Sample: "Cure and Correct" Letter

Presiding Officer
Name of Legislative Body
Name of Local Agency

Dear _________,

This letter is to call your attention to what I believe was a substantial violation of a central provision of the Ralph M. Brown Act, one which may jeopardize the finality of the action taken by (name of legislative body and local agency).

In its meeting of (date), the (name of legislative body) took action to (describe the action taken). In so doing, the (name of legislative body) took “action” as defined in Govt. Code 54952.6 because (specify one or more of the following as appropriate):

  • A majority of the members made a collective decision
  • A majority of the members made a collective commitment or promise to make a positive or a negative decision
  • A majority of the members took an actual vote when sitting as a body or entity, upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order or ordinance.

The action violated the Brown Act because (specify one or more of the following as applicable):

  • It was taken in closed session on a matter the Act does not permit to be discussed in closed session.
  • It was taken on a matter that was not properly described in the agenda for the open meeting at which the action was taken, and none of the exceptions specified in Gov. Code § 54954.2(b) was satisfied. 
  • If the action could properly be discussed in closed session, it was not sufficiently described in the closed session agenda.
  • If the action was “adopting any new or increased general tax or any new or increased assessment,” the legislative body did not follow Gov. Code § 54954.6.
  • The action was taken at a special meeting that did not comply with the requirements of Gov. Code § 54956.

As you are aware, the Brown Act creates specific agenda obligations for notifying the public with a “brief description” of each item to be discussed or acted upon, and also creates a legal remedy for illegally taken actions — namely, the judicial invalidation of them upon proper findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Pursuant to that provision (Government Code Section 54960.1), I demand that the (name of legislative body) cure and correct the illegally taken action as follows: (specify whatever corrective action you believe necessary to redress the illegality and provide the public the awareness and opportunity to comment of which it was deprived, e.g. the formal and explicit withdrawal from any commitment made, coupled with a disclosure at a subsequent meeting of why individual members of the legislative body took the positions — by vote or otherwise — that they did, accompanied by the full opportunity for informed comment by members of the public at the same meeting, notice of which is properly included on the posted agenda. Informed comment might in certain circumstances include the provision of any and all documents in the possession of the local agency related to the action taken, with copies available to the public on request at the offices of the agency and also at the meeting at which reconsideration of the matter is to occur.)

As provided by Section 54960.1, you have 30 days from the receipt of this demand to either cure or correct the challenged action or inform me of your decision not to do so. If you fail to cure or correct as demanded, such inaction may leave me with no recourse but to seek a judicial invalidation of the challenged action pursuant to Section 54960.1, in which case I would also ask the court to order you to pay my court costs and reasonable attorney fees in this matter, pursuant to Section 54960.5.

Respectfully yours,


cc  (Name and title of agency’s legal counsel)