The Massachusetts Public Records Law can be found at Chapter 66, S. 10 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The Public Records Law applies to records created by, or in the custody of, a state or local agency, board or other government entity. Anyone may ask to view or copy documents held by these state and local records custodians. Unless the requested records fall under an exemption to the Public Records Law, the responsive documents must be made available to the requester. For a list of exemptions, please refer to Chapter 4, Section 7(26) of the Massachusetts General Laws.
While a public records request may be made verbally, in person, it is preferable to make the request in writing. A written request reduces confusion about what information is being sought. Additionally, if you do not receive an adequate response from the records custodian, a copy of the written request is required in order to file an appeal. The Public Records Law does not require any specific format for making a request, but the sample below will effectively communicate your request and help ensure a timely response.
Using the format below, please either:
- e-mail your request to email@example.com, or
- mail your request to our Cambridge office.
Massachusetts Teachers' Retirement System
Re: Massachusetts Public Records Request
To whom it may concern:
This is a request under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (M.G.L. Chapter 66, S. 10).
I am requesting that I be provided a copy of the following records:
[Please include a detailed description of the information you are seeking.]
[Optional: I recognize that you may charge reasonable costs for copies, as well as for personnel time needed to comply with this request. If you expect costs to exceed $10.00, please provide a detailed fee estimate.]
As you may be aware, the Public Records Law requires you to provide me with a written response within 10 calendar days. If you cannot comply with my request, you are statutorily required to provide an explanation in writing.
Please note: if you do not receive a satisfactory response within a reasonable time period, or if you are denied access to public records, you have the right to appeal to the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Supervisor of Records. For more information, please see Appealing a Denial of Access to Public Records in Massachusetts on the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website.