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Public Records Requests


The Cambridge Public Health Department is subject to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. Ch. 66, §10. 

You may make a public records request in person at the health department office, 119 Windsor Street, or in writing to the department's Records Access Officer.  Claude Jacob, Chief Public Health Officer, is the department's designated Records Access Officer.    
 
Although written requests are not required, they are encouraged so that staff may respond completely and more promptly. You may submit written public records requests by email, fax, or mail using the contact information below:  
 
Claude-Alix Jacob
Chief Public Health Officer/ Records Access Officer
Cambridge Public Health Department
119 Windsor Street, Ground Level
Cambridge, MA 02139
 
Fax: 617-665-3888

Guidance

Sample public requests letter: MS Word | PDF | Rich Text Format
Please be as specific as possible when describing the records being requested.  If applicable, please include relevant date ranges and any other information that may help the health department identity the records you are seeking.
 
Not all CPHD records are disclosable as “public records.” The Public Records Law exempts certain categories of documents from disclosure. In addition, whether a CPHD record is a “public record” depends on a variety of circumstances, some of which may vary by context.
  
In most cases, the department will provide the first four hours of labor required to respond to your request at no charge. Fees may be assessed for additional labor or for providing hard copies of records. 
 
The department can only respond to requests seeking Cambridge Public Health Department records and cannot respond to requests for records held by other entities. Each state agency and municipality has a Records Access Officer who can assist with submitting public records requests.
 
Asking a question does not qualify as a public records request.  A public records request seeks “records” that already exist, usually in writing, and/or in one of the formats defined in M.G.L. Ch. 4, § 7, cl. 26.  CPHD is not required to create a record in response to a public records request.
 
The department's Records Access Officer and his staff are able to assist you in crafting your public records request, and can provide suggestions about how to minimize the cost of responding.  If you would like assistance, the best way to reach the Records Access Officer is by email. 
 
If the department withholds records or portions of records that are responsive to your request, you may either appeal to the Supervisor of Records following the procedure set forth in 950 CMR 32.08 or seek relief in Superior Court.

Created December 22, 2017
 

CONTACT US

For more information:

Claude Jacob
Chief Public Health Officer
CPHDPublicRecords@challiance.org
617-665-3795