news & events

News & Events
Indiana Open Door Law and the APRA

Indiana Open Door Law and the APRA


The Open Door Law is a law that requires certain meetings of government agencies to be open to the public. Similarly, the Access to Public Records Act (“APRA”) requires certain government records be accessible for inspection by the public. Together, these two laws serve to promote greater transparency by government agencies and accountability to the public. Elected officials should be aware of their duties under these laws. While these laws are construed liberally to permit disclosure of information, there are some exceptions to be aware of as well.

The Open Door Law, found in Indiana Code section 5-14-1.5, requires all meetings held for the purpose of taking official action to be open to the public. Notice of these meetings must be given to the public at least 48 hours prior to the meeting and must include the date, time, and location of the meeting. Official action can mean a number of things, including establishing policy or taking final action. Executive sessions in which, for example, confidential information is discussed or collective bargaining is taking place, do not have to be open to the public. Additionally, school boards are required to allow oral public comment at public meetings as set forth in Indiana Code section 5-14-1.5-3.

APRA provides that any material that is created, received, retained, maintained, or filed by or with a public agency is a public record. Requests to review public records must be in writing and provide a certain level of specificity as to what is being requested. Once a request is made, the agency must respond and provide the requested documents to be inspected and copied, unless the requested documents are non-disclosable. Records such as those protected by state or federal law, trade secrets, or other confidential information are generally non-disclosable. A complete list of records excepted from disclosure is found in Indiana Code section 5-14-3-4.

Compliance with Open Door Laws and APRA is crucial for elected officials and government agencies to avoid complaints and investigations. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these laws, McNeelyLaw has Indiana municipal law attorneys who are available for consultation to ensure you are in compliance. Contact us at (317) 825-5110 to speak with an attorney today.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

Welcome To Our Blog. Looking for a specific post?