Post Content

National Freedom of Information Day is observed on March 16, 2018 to recognize the public’s right to information held by government agencies. Freedom of Information Day is an annual event held on the birthday of James Madison, one of our founding fathers.

The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S. Code sec. 552 et seq.) was passed in 1966, and it was followed by regulations issued by federal agencies to implement the law.  The regulations indicate what type of information is kept, how to make requests, and the appeal process in the event a request is denied.  Under certain exemptions agencies are allowed to withhold records such as classified materials and personnel files.  In some instances, agencies may make a partial disclosure.  For more information about the federal laws, go to the Department of Justice .

For Massachusetts state specific information, see the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries’ webpage, Massachusetts law about freedom of information and public records. This includes the newest changes to public records law in Massachusetts, regulations and guidelines, selected case law, forms for a freedom of information request letter, and other useful resources online and in print.

“A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; And a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”    – James Madison, 1822

foia-image

 

Written By:

Recent Posts

Word(s) of the Month – search warrant posted on Apr 10

Word(s) of the Month - search warrant

  Words of law is a regular feature of Massachusetts Law Updates, highlighting a particular word or phrase and its meaning in law. Today’s phrase is search warrant. search warrant, n. (18c) Criminal law. A judge’s written order authorizing a law-enforcement officer to conduct a search of a   …Continue Reading Word(s) of the Month – search warrant

Portraits in Massachusetts Law: Lemuel Shaw posted on Apr 4

Portraits in Massachusetts Law: Lemuel Shaw

Portraits in Massachusetts Law is a regular feature of Massachusetts Law Updates. These pages provide links to biographical information abut people who have been particularly important in legal history in Massachusetts, as our government took shape in the cauldron of the American Revolution and grew and   …Continue Reading Portraits in Massachusetts Law: Lemuel Shaw

Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on grand jury practice posted on Mar 6

The Supreme Judicial Court Committee on Grand Jury Proceedings solicits comments on a set of recommended best practices by prosecutors in making presentments to the grand jury.  The committee invites all comments on or before Monday, April 2, 2018. As stated in Commonwealth v. Grassie, 476   …Continue Reading Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on grand jury practice