Supreme Court to Review CAPR “Open Public Meetings Act” Challenge

Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights You Can Help CAPR With Supreme Court Challenge! Supreme Court to Review CAPR “Open Public Meetings Act” Challenge The Washington Supreme Court has announced that it will review the lower court rulings regarding the challenge brought by Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights Legal Fund against the San Juan County Commission for violations of Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA). The suit brought by the San Juan chapter of CAPR alleges that the County developed its current Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) with little public input in sessions behind closed doors. Surprisingly, the County generally agrees calling the closed door sessions “committee work”! The OPMA is written to bring government into the open light to promote transparency and to give all interested parties a say in developing public policy. Even with the OPMA, too often public policies are a “done deal” before the public sees anything substantive and the required public hearings are little more than dog and pony shows to meet the requirements of the process. The development and passage of the San Juan Co. Critical Areas Ordinance appears to be a classic example. A ruling in favor of CAPR here would have a two-fold benefit. Of immediate interest to local property owners would be the requirement that the CAO process be reopened and conducted lawfully with an eye towards protecting both property rights and the environment. However this could also have broad implications statewide. A strong ruling could force government at all levels to be more transparent in how it serves its citizens. This could be very significant! CAPR will be supported by “friend of the court” briefs from Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, Washington Coalition for Open Government, the Island Guardian newspaper, Building Industry Association of Washington and Pacific Legal Foundation. The San Juan chapter of CAPR and its attorney Dennis Reynolds are to be congratulated for their tenacity in this fight! A protracted legal action takes stamina and a significant financial commitment. It is anticipated that the Court will hear oral arguments in January or February of 2015 with a ruling possible by late Spring. Your help in helping CAPR move forward in protecting your Property Rights is pivotal in these successful actions! Please remember CAPR Legal Fund in your tax-deductable year end giving! Shopping at Amazon? With Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate to CAPR! This does not cost you extra, amazon will donate to CAPR! Keep up on Property Rights News on the CAPR blog Keep in contact with CAPR by visiting our website. or visit our Facebook Page. Thank you for your continuing support of CAPR!

December 13, 2014