Public Records Request
The Massachusetts Public Records Law provides that every person has a right of access to public information. This right of access includes the right to inspect, copy or have copies of records provided.
The Secretary of State has published a guide that outlines the law and provides an FAQ and allowable exemptions.
Making a Request
The RAO has up to 10 days to provide a response to the request and is only required to provide records that are in existence. Under the updated Public Records Law, RAOs are required to provide public records in an electronic format, unless the record is not available electronically or the requester does not have the ability to receive or access electronic formats.
Requests can be written and sent by electronic mail (email), postal mail, fax, or may be made in person. A reasonable description of the document(s) requested should be provided, to assist the RAO in identifying the requested documents. Requestors seeking Motor Vehicle Accident reports can find this information on crashdocs.org, which are available five to seven business days after the incident.
Alternatively, a request may be made by submitting an online form that is available through the following link:
Motor Vehicle Accident reports are available five to seven business days after the incident on crashdocs.org.
Black and white copies/print-outs are $.05 per page for single and double-sided when electronic records are not available. Materials that are not susceptible to ordinary means of reproduction may be assessed the actual cost of reproduction.
Time to prepare and compile documents: $25 per hour of staff time for searching, compiling, segregating, redacting and reproducing may be assessed. The RAO will provide a good-faith estimate for the cost of complying with a request in advance.
What is a Public Record
Every record that is made or received by a government entity or employee is presumed to be a public record unless a specific statutory exemption permits or requires it to be withheld in whole or in part. The Records Access Officer (RAO) must prove with specificity why certain records should be allowed to be withheld.
Many public records held and maintained by the Town are as follows: minutes from meetings, applications, submissions to boards and committees, town financial information, annual reports, town correspondence, bylaws, policies/regulations, business certificates, permits, licenses, and contracts. Much of this information resides on this website and can be found by utilizing the search bar above.