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Formal Complaints


H.D. Meinecke Jr./City of Jamaica - Dismissal Order


The Iowa Public Information Board

In re the Matter of:

H.D. Meinecke Jr., Complainant

And Concerning:

City of Jamaica,  Respondent


                     Case Number: 18FC:0002                                 

                         DISMISSAL ORDER


COMES NOW, Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and enters this Dismissal Order:

On January 2, 2018, H.D. Meinecke, Jr., filed formal complaint 18FC:0002 against the City of Jamaica (City).  He alleged that the City violated Iowa Code chapters 21 and 22 by holding a closed session at the December 11, 2017, city council meeting.

The initial complaint did not provide any information in support of the alleged violation, but instead indicated that the Mayor, the city attorney,  and another attorney “withheld information from the City Council and public violated open meetings law, public records law, closed meeting law...going on for years.”

Requests were made to the complainant for additional information.  On February 2, 2018, Mr. Meineke provided additional information, including copies of emails between attorneys concerning building permits.  There was no evidence that the City engaged in a meeting through these emails.

Mr. Meineke also expressed concern that one of the attorneys told his attorney that “We spoke with the City regarding your proposal….”  This discussion was between the attorneys involved in litigation between Mr. Meineke and the City. There is no information that a meeting was held improperly.

IPIB staff also reviewed copies of agendas and minutes within the sixty days preceding the filing of the complaint, including the December 11, 2017, meeting.  There was no evidence of a Chapter 21 violation.

Iowa Code section 21.2 provides the definitions for ‘governmental body’ and ‘meeting.’  The Mayor and city attorneys are not a governmental body. Discussions by the Mayor with attorneys does not meet the definition of a meeting.  Therefore, there is insufficient evidence that a violation occurred. In addition, there is insufficient evidence that any violation might have occurred within the sixty days prior to January 2, 2018, as required by Iowa Code section 23.7(1).

Although a violation of Chapter 22 is claimed, there is no information supporting this allegation.

There are not sufficient facts to believe that a violation of Chapters 21 and 22 has occurred.

Iowa Code section 23.8 requires that a complaint be within the IPIB’s jurisdiction, appear legally sufficient, and have merit before the IPIB accepts a complaint.  This complaint does not fulfill those requirements.


IT IS SO ORDERED:  Formal complaint 18FC:0002 is dismissed as legally insufficient  pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.8(2) and Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(2)(b).


Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(3), the IPIB may “delegate acceptance or dismissal of a complaint to the executive director, subject to review by the board.”  The IPIB will review this Order on March 15, 2018. Pursuant to IPIB rule 497-2.1(4), the parties will be notified in writing of its decision.


By the IPIB Executive Director


Margaret E. Johnson, J.D.


Dated this _____ day of _______, 2018.


Cc:  H.D. Meinecke, Jr.

       Bill Mallory and Michael Heilman, city attorneys