What is “Open Forum” “Public Comment”? 

Members Right to attend & be Heard at Board Meetings

Generally, open-meetings laws require

4925   (a) Any member may attend board meetings, except when the board adjourns to, or meets solely in, executive session. As specified in subdivision (b) of Section 4090, a member of the association shall be entitled to attend a teleconference meeting or the portion of a teleconference meeting that is open to members, and that meeting or portion of the meeting shall be audible to the members in a location specified in the notice of the meeting.

(b) The board shall permit any member to speak at any meeting of the association or the board, except for meetings of the board held in executive session. A reasonable time limit for all members of the association to speak to the board or before a meeting of the association shall be established by the board.

More on “Open Forum”

public bodies to deliberate and act in public view. “Public body” usually is defined to include most legislative, executive and administrative bodies of the government and its political subdivisions. A ?meeting? covered by the act often is any gathering of a majority of a quorum of the members of the public body at which public business is discussed. As so defined, an act can apply to an informal discussion among (or, increasingly, a sharing of e-mails by) a relatively small number of board or commission members.

Open-meetings acts typically require public bodies to provide the public and the media with schedules of regular meetings and prior notice of any special meetings. The public bodies also must keep written minutes of all meetings.

 Members’ Right to Speak at Board Meetings

At Board meetings, the Board shall permit Members or their designated representatives to speak before the Board takes formal action on an item under discussion, in addition to any other opportunities to speak, and the Board shall provide for a reasonable number of persons to speak on each side of an issue. However, the Board may place reasonable time restrictions on those persons speaking during any meeting. knolls village.com

When they took the fourth amendment, I was quiet because I didn’t deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment, I was quiet because I was innocent.
When they took the second amendment, I was quiet because I didn’t own a gun.
Now they’ve taken the first amendment, and I can say nothing about it. geocities

OLD  –   California Civil Code §1363.05

(h) The board of directors of the association shall permit any member of the association to speak at any meeting of the association or the board of directors…

(j) As used in this section, “meeting” includes any congregation of a majority of the members of the board at the same time and place to hear, discuss, or deliberate upon any item of business scheduled to be heard by the board,…

4 part test for reasonableness of time limits for Open Forum

  1. Does the regulation serve an important  interest?
  2. Is the interest served by the regulation unrelated to the suppression of a particular message?
  3. Is the regulation narrowly tailored to serve the interest?
  4. Does the regulation leave open ample alternative means for communicating messages? law.umkc.edu

Members – public should be able to talk as long as they need to Kernel

Civil Code §4925 (b) The board shall permit any member to speak at any meeting of the association or the board, except for meetings of the board held in executive session. A reasonable time limit for all members of the association to speak to the board or before a meeting of the association shall be established by the board.

GUEST SPEAKERS or Visitors Allowed at Meetings?




When a non-member is invited to talk to the community about projects or other items of interest, should he/she speak before the meeting is called to order? Since HOA meetings are for members only, shouldn’t the board ask any person who is not a member to leave?


You’re misreading the statute. It does not prohibit non-members from attending meetings. Rather, it confers rights on members to attend. (Civ. Code §4925(a).) Others can attend at the pleasure of the board.

Spouses, Staff & Others. Although boards can prohibit non-members, that is not the industry standard. It would be unusual to prohibit managers, support staff, and legal counsel since they assist boards in carrying out their duties. In addition to managers and staff, most boards allow spouses and renters to attend meetings and speak during open forum.

Agenda. There is nothing wrong with putting guest speakers on the agenda, calling the meeting to order and recording in the minutes that the person spoke on a particular issue. It may be important to show the board’s due diligence. It also helps keep the membership informed. The Secretary should not transcribe the speech in the minutes–only record who spoke and the topic.

RECOMMENDATION: Don’t tie your hands with a strict prohibition on non-members. First, boards need the assistance of staff and others for their meetings. Second, spouses and renters aren’t all bad. Some of them are actually interested in the well-being of the community and can be helpful.  Davis-Stirling.com 11.15.2015 Newsletter

Caretakers coming to meetings – ADA  Learn More ⇒ LA Times 12.20.2015

Unhappy Situation for Public Comment

[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/m8yrKA-7mBI” width=”360″ height=”280″ responsive=”no”]

HOA Attorney

Kelly Richardson Esq

kelly richardson

Kelly Richardson Esq.   circa 11.2005  said :

Friends, Romans, Homeowners, lend them your ear. Some situations can be defused simply by letting a person complete their statement without interruption.  Allow your neighbors their time to speak, which is the board’s time to listen. The fact that members know that they can bring up anything in a [monthly] board meeting, inspires confidence and support.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.