Public Records Requests
Town of Norfolk
Public Records Policy & Guidelines
Effective January 1, 2017, the Massachusetts Public Records Law, G.L. c.66 and c.4, §7(26) provides that a municipality must, within 10 business days (Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays), respond to a request for records by providing access to or a copy of such records, or explaining any delay or denial. The information provided below is intended to assist members of the public seeking access to public records in the custody of the Town of Norfolk.
General information about the public records law and public records requests is found in the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s, “A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law,” December 2022 edition, found online at: https://www.shutesbury.org/sites/default/files/Guide%20to%20MA%20Public%20Records%20Law%20Dec%202022%20Update.pdf
Records Access Officers
The Select Board of the Town of Norfolk has designated several individuals as Records Access Officers (RAO). These individuals are responsible for ensuring compliance with Massachusetts General Laws, Regulations and Guidelines regarding public records and records retention. The RAO is also responsible for helping coordinate responses to records request and assisting individuals in identifying and requesting desired records.
In some cases the RAO may designate another person to be the point of contact for requesting records. All public records requests should be directed to the appropriate point of contact for the desired records.
General Municipal Records
Police/Public Safety Records
RAO: Police Chief Timothy Heinz
Point of contact: Pamela Cartin-Mayhew - Records Clerk
Phone: Non-emergency number - 508-590-9030
Norfolk Police Station
14 Sharon Ave
Norfolk, MA 02056
Norfolk Public Schools
appointed by the Norfolk School Committee
King Philip Regional School District
appointed by the King Philip School Committee
Making a Public Records Request
Any person may make a public records request, whether or not they are a resident of the Town of Norfolk.
The Town will follow all laws, rules, and guidelines published by the State Legislature, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth relating to public records and records retention.
The Town of Norfolk will attempt to provide as many records and resources available online and free of charge. Before making a public records request, please check the Town’s website and review the listing of Town departments and the records they have available online. If you are unable to locate the documents online, please call the relevant department to request assistance. If you do not know which department to contact, please call the Town Clerk's Office at 508-641-0929. They should be able to direct your request to the relevant department.
If the information you are looking for is not available online or directly through the department, or if you are requesting a large amount of documents or information, please contact the appropriate RAO to begin your official public records request.
By statute, the Town is not allowed to require any specific method for making a public records request. However, it is strongly encouraged that all public records requests be made in writing to the RAO listed above by first class mail or email. When making a public records request, please include your name and contact information.
In order to best respond to a records request in a timely manner, please make your request as specific as possible including any relevant department(s), dates or date ranges, search terms, addresses, etc. The broader the request the more time and resources will be required to respond which can result in delays, fees, or other issues. The RAO may contact a requester for more information or better guidance on the request, so please include contact information.
Responses to Public Records Requests
Generally, the Town has 10 business days to provide a response to a public records request, and we will make every effort to work within that timeline. If the Town cannot provide a full response to the request within the statutory time, the RAO will provide a written response providing an anticipated timeframe for responding, a good faith estimate of any fees, a list of records that are not in the control of the Town, identification of any records that may be redacted or not provided along with an explanation of the relevant exemption and its application. The time required by the Town to provide a full response cannot exceed 25 days from the receipt of the request without an extension from the Supervisor of Records.
If a requester wishes to assert a claim that they have been denied access to public records, they may appeal the RAO’s determination to the Supervisor of Records pursuant to 950 CMR 32.08(1). The Supervisor shall make a final determination on the appeal within ten (10) business days of receipt.
If the requester is dissatisfied with the determination of the Supervisor of Records, the requester may appeal to Superior Court. Alternatively, a requester may bypass the Supervisor and go directly to Superior Court.
For further information on appeals, see the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s “A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law,” December 2022 edition, available at https://www.shutesbury.org/sites/default/files/Guide%20to%20MA%20Public%20Records%20Law%20Dec%202022%20Update.pdf
- Town of Norfolk Official Website
- Norfolk Town Calendar - Go here for a list of upcoming public meetings. This is the official
posting place of public meetings
- Meeting Minutes on File with the Town Clerk
- Annual Town Reports
- Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law"
- Secretary of the Commonwealth, Public Records Access Regulations
www.mass.gov/courts/docs/lawlib/900 - 999cmr/950cmr32.pdf
- Massachusetts General Law Chapter 66, “Public Records”