MML has received numerous questions regarding the reasonable conduct of public meetings during a health crisis and/or declared State of Emergency. MMAA officers have also received questions, from time to time, as to whether conference calls can be an acceptable practice which complies with the Open Meetings Act. The leadership of the Maryland Municipal Attorneys Association has researched Maryland's Open Meetings Act and is providing a summary as general guidance to municipal officials regarding Maryland law. Please note that this summary is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek advice from their town or city attorney on any specific question regarding their municipality. Click here for this summary.
TIME, PLACE AND MANNER REGULATION OF PUBLIC SPEECH
The Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, part of Georgetown Law, has issued “Protests and Public Safety," a guide for municipalities in protecting free speech and safety in the midst of protests and public rallies. The Guide is a recent, comprehensive review of federal court decisions on the First and Second Amendments as related to public demonstrations in public areas, where the right to free speech is most highly protected. It starts by laying out the basic government right to impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions which are content-neutral, and provides substantial background on the current state of the law on an issue that can pose special challenges for municipalities. Click here for this Guide.