About Public Record Requests

What kind of information can I get with a Public Records Request?
What kind of information will not be released?

The law governing public records is Chapter 4, Section 6. It sets forth several categories of information that is not public. Information that does not fall into one of these categories is likely public, and we will release it.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 4, Section 6, Clause 26 – Exemptions from the Public Records Act

Data exempted from disclosure by statute. Specific statutes are:

Abatement applications, C.59 S. 60
Absentee ballots, C. 54 S. 108
Air Pollution Control, C. 111 S. 142B
Alcohol treatment records, C. 111B S. 11
Bank examination records, C. 167 S. 2
Blind persons records, C. 6 S. 149
Business school license applications, C. 75D S. 3
Capital facility construction project records, C. 30 S. 39R
Conflict of interest requests for opinion, C 268A S. 22
Consumer protection investigation, C. 93A S. 6(6)
Criminal Offender Record Information, C. 6 S. 167
Sealed delinquency probation records, C. 276 S. 100B
DSS Central Registry, C. 119 S. 51F
DYS Records, C. 120 S. 21
DPH Inventory of services, C. 111 S. 25A
Drug addiction treatment records, C. 111E S. 18
Employment agencies data, C. 140 S. 46R
Employment Security data, C. 151A S. 46
Exemption of Legislature, C. 66 S. 18
Evaluation of Special Needs children, C. 71B S. 3
Executive sessions, C. 30A S. 11A; C. 34 S. 9F; C. 39 S. 23B
Fetal death reports, C. 111 S. 202
Firearms Bureau records, C. 66 S. 10D
Genetically linked diseases testing records, C. 76 S. 15B
Financial assistance to handicapped or aged, C. 66 S. 17A
Handicapped Persons Rehabilitation Commission, C. 6 S.84
Hazardous substances reports, C. 111F S. 21
Hazardous waste disposal site records, C. 21D S. 6
Hazardous waste facilities, C. 21C S. 12
Historical/archeological sites/specimen inventory, C. 9 S. 26A
Home addresses/phone numbers of Public Safety personnel, victims of adjudicated crimes and family planning service providers, C. 66 S. 10
Hospital records, C. 111 S. 70
Reports of hospital staff privilege revocation, C. 111 S. 53B
Impounded birth records, C. 46 S. 2A
Industrial Finance Agency commercial or financial data, C 23A S. 31
Inspector General investigations, C. 12A S. 13
Insurance records, C. 164 S. 85
Juvenile records, C. 119 S. 60
Malignant disease reports, C. 111 S. 111B
MCAD Investigations, C. 151B S. 5
MTDC Corporate records, C. 40G S. 10
Mental health facilities records, C. 123 S. 36
Motor vehicle insurance merit ratings, C. 6 S. 183
National Heritage Programs data, C. 66 S. 17D
Patient abuse information, C. 111 S. 72I
Patient’s rights records, C. 111 S. 70E
Personal data, C. 66A S. 1
Aged Persons Protective Services records, C. 19A S. 23
Public Assistance records, C. 66 S. 17A
Public Assistance wage reporting, C. 62E, S. 8
Public officers/employees financial interest disclosures, C. 268B S. 3
Rape reports, C. 41 S. 97D
Reyes Syndrome reports, C. 111 S. 110B
Location, amount or nature of explosive materials, C. 148 S. 12
Street lists, court order granting protection, C. 51 S. 4
Student records, C. 71 S. 34D
Venereal disease records, C. 111 S. 119
Vocational rehabilitation records, C. 6 S. 84
Persons requesting Sex Offender Registration information, C. 6 S. 178I

Internal rules and practices.
Identities of victims, witnesses, reporting parties or informants. Also medical information or anything of a personal nature.
Department memos.
Personal notes of any employee.
Investigative materials, including reports where court action is not yet completed. This includes motor vehicle citations where criminal charges are pending.
Trade secrets.
Contract proposals and bids.
Appraisals of real property.
Questions, answers and test materials if to be used for another test.
Contracts for hospitals or related health care services.
Records relating to security or safety of persons, buildings or infrastructure.
Identities of persons requesting or granted firearms licenses.

What if I am denied information I think I am entitled to?
First, please call the Records Division Supervisor at 508-830-4218, ext. 216. If after doing so you still believe you have been denied information you are entitled to, you may call the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Public Records Division at 617-727-2832.

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