Massachusetts sunshine lawsuits
Here is a list of major FOIA court decisions and their effect on the Massachusetts Public Records Act.
(The cases are listed alphabetically. To order them by year please click the icon to the right of the Year heading)
|Attorney General v. School Committee of Northampton||1978||This case established that personal privacy exemptions should be considered on a case by case basis and not through the exemption of whole classes of files and documents.|
|Bello v. South Shore Hospital||1981||This case established that the mere presence of funding did not result in a private corporation being subject to judicial review. It however did allude that if a private body functioned in a public capacity, and was funded, owned and controlled by the state, it could be considered a public body.|
|Bougas v. Chief of Police of Lexington||1976||This case established that public records custodians were at liberty to release portions or entire exempted documents to select individuals and the press without releasing them to the entire public or negating their exemption.|
|Connelly v. School Committee of Hanover||1991||This case established that committees and boards established individuals who serve governing bodies are not subject to the Massachusetts Open Meetings Act.|
|District Attorney for the Plymouth District v. Board of Selectmen of Middleborough||1985||This case established that the right of attorney-client privilege for the state was waived by the Massachusetts Open Meetings Act, and that there was no exception to permit closed executive sessions to preserve confidentiality for the state when addressing their attorney.|
|Gerstein v. Superintendent Search Screening Committee||1989||This case established that the loss of even one candidate due to open meeting interviews qualified as a significant detriment to the search process, enabling the use of closed executive session meetings for interviews.|
|Ghiglione v. School Committee of Southbridge||1978||This case established that the collective bargaining exemption found within the Massachusetts Open Meetings Act applied to not only bargaining sessions but grievance claims concerning contractual obligations.|
|Globe Newspaper Co. v. Boston Retirement Board||1983||This case established that medical records of state employees are exempt from public records requests.|
|Hastings & Sons Publishing Co. v. City Treasurer of Lynn||1978||1.) That salary cards are subject to public records requests.|
2.) That home addresses of city employees do not qualify for privacy protection exemptions.
|Pearson v. Board of Health of Chicopee||1988||This case established that attorney fees could not be awarded in open meetings law cases.|
|Pottle v. School Committee of Braintree||1985||This case affirmed that the home addresses of public employees are not exempt under the Massachusetts Public Records Act.|
|Yaro v. Board of Appeals of Newburyport||1980||This case established that the Massachusetts Open Meetings Act applied to city zoning commissions.|