Find Answers - Answer Detail Page

FAQ Details

Question:

How much detail do I have to provide?
Answer:

There is no specific requirement for the wording of your request, but keep in mind that our records can involve several different departments and may be in multiple locations throughout the Commonwealth. The more detail that you can provide (date/time, location, Contract/Project numbers, etc.) the more efficient and relevant the records we retrieve will be. By law, you must include a “reasonable description of the requested record” so that we can identify and locate it promptly. If we believe that your request is likely to return an inordinately large number of records, we will notify you that there is a need to be more exact.

NOTE: First consider how you can narrow and/or modify the scope of your request, both to avoid the need to clarify, and to expedite the production process.

NOTE: If you are an attorney seeking records through the public records process, please keep in mind that a public records request is not a substitute for the discovery process. See The David Project, Inc. v. Boston Redevelopment Authority, 22 Mass.L.Rep. 361 (2007) and Commonwealth v. Wanis, 426 Mass 639, 642 (1998).