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. A list of exemptions may be found at Chapter 4, Section 7(26) of the Massachusetts General Laws. For more information, follow this link: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/pre/preinformation.htm
What is a Public Records Request?
A public records request is a request to either inspect, copy or both, public records. There is no requirement that the request be made in person or in writing, or be in any particular form. The person making the request is not required to identify himself/herself, or to provide information about the reason for the request or how the records will be used. The request must be clear enough to enable the Town to conduct a meaningful search. The Town may ask questions about the request in order to respond to the request fully and in a timely manner. The State acknowledges that access to information is a fundamental and necessary right of every citizen.
Requesting a birth, death or marriage certificate?
Requests for birth, death or marriage certificates are not part of the FOIA process. You must request this in writing by mail and include a $10.00 check and a self-addressed, prepaid postage envelope. You may also request this in person at the Office of the City Clerk, 110 Pleasant Street, 1st Floor, Malden, MA 02148. These documents are certified.