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Name: Times-News v. Alamance-Burlington Board of Education

Court assigned case number: No. 14 CVS 2033

General description/Latest action

In this case, the Times-News sought closed session minutes from the Alamance Burlington Board of Education regarding the unexpected departure of the superintendent in 2014. The Board denied access to the minutes because it was a personnel matter. The Board further argued that the minutes were part of the personnel file of the employee and, as such, were exempt from the public records law. The Court of Appeals held that closed meeting minutes on personnel matters are not categorically exempt from public disclosure. Instead, the Court of Appeals distinguished between “core personnel information,” such as work performance and reasons for an employee’s departure, and a board’s “political and policy considerations.”  Core personnel information is not subject to disclosure, but the board’s political and policy considerations are. It further held that it is up to the trial court  – not the board of education – to decide what is subject to disclosure under this test. This case was remanded to the trial court for making this determination. 

Court documents

Opinion