Public Records Requests
Making a request for Public Records
On June 3, 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act to Improve Public Records into law. Provisions in the new law will take effect on January 1, 2017.
- Coordinate the agency's or municipality's response to requests for access to public records;
- Assist individuals seeking public records in identifying the records requested;
- Assist the custodian of records in preserving public records; and
- Prepare guidelines that enable requestors to make informed requests.
Selectboard, Laura Krutzler
Payroll, Jackie Iskander
Board of Health, Sharon Hart
Planning, Richard Harris
Assessors, Melissa Couture
Recreation Department and Municipal Golf, Andy Rogers
Council on Aging, Leslie Hennessey
Police, Steve Parentela
Library, Joseph Rodio
DPW, Jim Reidy
School, Sue Clark
Building, Gail Chadwick
Michael Sullivan, Town Administrator
Carlene Hamlin, Town Clerk
As of January 1, 2017, the Records Access Officer (RAO) must provide public records to a requestor in an electronic format unless the record is not available in an electronic format or the requestor does not have the ability to receive or access the records in a useable electronic format.
Additionally, as of January 1, 2017, agency RAOs will be required to provide on a searchable website electronic copies of commonly requested records, including: final opinions, annual reports, minutes of open meetings and agency budgets. Municipal RAOs will also be required to post commonly requested records on their municipal websites, to the extent feasible.
Beginning January 1, 2017, a RAO must permit inspection or furnish a copy of a requested public record within 10 business days following receipt of the request. RAOs may petition the Supervisor of Records for an extension if they are unable to grant access to the requested public records in this time period.
While requests for records may be made verbally, in person, it is preferable to make the request in writing to reduce confusion. A copy of the written request is required to file an appeal with the Supervisor of Records.
The Supervisor of Records' Public Access Regulations allowing records custodians to charge 5 cents for black and white paper copies or computer printouts of public records for both single and double-sided sheets was codified and will remain effective with the new law.
As of January 1, 2017, if an agency or municipality fails to comply with a requirement of the new law, the requestor may file an appeal with the Supervisor of Records who will then issue a determination on the public status of the records within 10 business days of receipt of the request for an appeal.
Under the new Public Records Law, if a requestor prevails in a court action against an agency or municipal RAO, the court may award the requestor attorney fees or costs.
Making a Public Records Request
Anyone may request records directly to the RAO. The Law does not require any specific format for making a request, but using the form below will ensure that all information needed is submitted. You may print and mail the completed form to:
South Hadley Town Clerk
116 Main St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Public Records Request Mail-In Form
You may submit an online public records request by clicking on the icon below:
If you do not receive a satisfactory response you may appeal to the Supervisor of Records. See Appealing a Denial of Access to Public Records in Massachusetts click on the link below for more information:
For additional information about making a request or filing an appeal, see 950 CMR 32.08 (2) by clicking on the link below: