The Massachusetts Public Records Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels. Public records are defined as all books, papers, maps, photographs, recorded tapes, financial statements, statistical tabulations, or other documentary materials or data, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by any officer or employee of any agency.
Anyone can request public records and no statement of purpose is required. Also, the Massachusetts Public Records Act places no restrictions on the use of records. Massachusetts’ law allows 10 days for record responses.
We the People have a Right to Know according to the Supreme Court of the United States [SCOTUS], past Presidents (of both major political parties), Congress, and the United States Department of Justice. As an expression of that Right to Know, we have coordinated valuable information from a number of resources into a single, public-facing, searchable database.
Society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair; our system of the administration of justice suffers when any accused is treated unfairly.- William O. Douglas, Associate JusticeSupreme Court of the United States