Open Meetings - Background Check

P.A. 102-348

Creates the Empowering Public Participation Act. Provides that a law enforcement agency or an officer employed by a law enforcement agency may not knowingly and intentionally conduct a background check of a person for the sole reason of that person speaking at an open meeting of a public body, including police disciplinary boards. Provides exemptions whenever an agency or officer develops a reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct or a reasonable suspicion of a threat to security for the premises in which the meeting is to occur or for the protection of public officials and other persons attending the meeting. Provides that a violation of the prohibition is a Class C misdemeanor.

NOTE: Does not apply whenever the person speaking at an open meeting of the public body is also under consideration for appointment to a government position by that public body. The Act creates no claims for damages or other relief for violations of the Act.