Public Records Requests
The City of Springfield, as a municipal corporation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, seeks to provide governmental transparency to the fullest extent of the Public Records Law. The City Solicitor’s Office will coordinate with all City Departments to procure requested documents, and if applicable, shall advise the requester of any fees required to reproduce the records requested. The City shall charge the appropriate fees allowed by the Public Records Law, which may include search and/or segregation fees that are set based on the hourly rate of the lowest paid employee capable of providing the service, which varies by department. The City shall endeavor to provide good faith estimates in accordance with the law prior to the production of the documents. Please see the City’s fee schedule that will be charged for each request.
The Commonwealth’s Public Records Law requires that the City respond to all requests for information in a timely fashion, and as such, the City has made many records subject to public disclosure available online which are available for download or printing, free of charge.* While not all records have been made available online at this time, the City is continually working to provide as many records as possible through the City’s website. Please see the links section for a list of links to frequently requested documents and available records.
Written requests may be submitted via US Mail, hand delivery, facsimile or email to email@example.com. If the records are available in an electronic format, records can be sent via email, which is both cheaper and faster than using the postal service.
For written requests, please mail your request to the following address, making sure to include your name and contact information, such as mailing address, phone number and/or email address, in case the Public Record Custodian needs to contact you:
City of Springfield City Hall
If you have questions and would like to speak to the Public Records Custodian, please call the City Solicitor’s Office at (413) 787-6085 during the hours of 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday, excluding City/State holidays. If you would like to fax your request, please send your documents to (413)787-6173 to the attention of the Public Records Custodian.
If you have questions about the Public Records Law, details may be found on the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website. The Secretary of the Commonwealth and their appointed Supervisor of Public Records oversees the Public Records Law for the Commonwealth as well as the appeals process should you be aggrieved by the City’s responses to your requests.
*The City only provides the records free of charge. Any applicable printing costs incurred are the sole responsibility of the person printing the records.
City of Springfield Public Records Fee Schedule
The Regulations (950 CMR 32.06) provide that a records custodian may charge a pro-rated fee for search and segregation of records based on the hourly rate of the lowest paid employee capable of performing the task. Search time means the time used to locate a requested record, pull it from the files, copy it, and return it to the files. Segregation time means the time used to delete or redact exempt data from the requested public record. All fees collected pursuant to Public Records requests are applied to the General Fund for the City of Springfield.
Search and Segregation
Search and segregation fees will vary by department and on the type of information sought. The City shall strive to utilize the lowest hourly rate possible for each department whenever possible, in accordance with Public Records Law. Search fees are based on the department that searches for the requested documents and does not included segregation fees. Most files, whenever possible, shall be segregated by the City Solicitor’s Office at a rate of $12.00 per hour. Any files that require an attorney's time to redact shall be charged at a rate of $22.50 per hour.
Copies of Files
Paper copies of files are the default format which records may be produced for each request, unless electronic copies are available and requested. While electronic copies are free (not including applicable search and segregation fees that may apply), paper copies will incur both a per sheet charge as well as postage fees to cover the cost to produce the records.
The below fees are subject to change pursuant to the Public Records Law, as amended:
Photocopies: $0.20 per page
Computer printouts: $0.50 per page
Other reproduction methods1: Actual cost to reproduce records
Postage will be charged in accordance with 950 CMR 32.06(3) with the actual cost to mail the requested documents. Any correspondence between the Public Records Custodian and the Requester that does not include the provision of requested documents shall not incur this cost. Postage fees can be avoided by any requestor who requests to pick-up the requested documents from the City Solicitor's Office or receive the requested documents via email.
1 When ordinary reproduction is not possible, i.e. photographs or computer tapes/diskettes/CDs/DVDs