Why can’t I talk to a decision maker about an upcoming quasi-judicial matter?

You can - but you must comment either in writing to the decision making board (not the individual member) or during the comment period within the public hearing. The Open Meetings Law of the State of Idaho prohibits ex parte contacts with decision makers. The law is meant to prevent undue influence being applied to decision makers. The public hearing process is meant to insure that everyone who reviews the public hearing can determine the basis of the decision because all comments made during that process become part of the record.

In fact, if a decision maker is basing any part of his or her decision on something not “in the record,” the decision may be overturned. If the decision maker believes that he or she cannot make an unbiased decision, the individual decision maker must withdraw from the decision making process on that matter. See the Public Service Handbook for more on conflicts of interest (page 4) (PDF).

Show All Answers

1. Why can I talk privately to a decision maker on a legislative matter but not on a quasi-judicial matter?
2. Why can’t I talk to a decision maker about an upcoming quasi-judicial matter?
3. Why does the applicant get more time than others?
4. Why do staff members sometimes interrupt the process?
5. When is it possible to talk to a City Councilmember or member of a Board or Commission regarding something I feel strongly about?
6. How do I find out about an upcoming meeting or issue?
7. What if I have a suggestion to make to the City that is not scheduled to be discussed at a meeting?
8. If I have a question about process, who can I talk to?
9. Does the City follow Robert’s Rules of Order?
10. If I think that the State law or the City Code is being violated, who can I talk to?
11. How do I get something on the agenda?
12. How do I know if a subject, project or agenda item is legislative versus quasi-judicial?