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CITY DEPARTMENTS

LHAND


Last Website Update:
May 7, 2019 4:52 PM

Welcome to the Law Department

The Law Department assists the Mayor, the City Council, and all City Departments with matters of municipal law and seeks creative solutions to issues within the confines of the law.

List Law Department - City of Lynn
  Address


Office Phone
Office Fax
Office Email

3 City Hall Square
Room 406
Lynn, Massachusetts 01901
(781) 586-6840
(781) 477-7043
law@lynnma.gov

List City Solicitor
  Contact
Phone
Email

George S. Markopoulos
(781) 586-6848
gmarkopoulos@lynnma.gov

List Executive Paralegal
  Contact
Phone
Email

Kathleen A. Belliveau
(781) 586-6843
kbelliveau@lynnma.gov

List Assistant City Solicitor
  Contact
Phone
Email

Richard L. Vitali
(781) 586-6845
rvitali@lynnma.gov

List Assistant City Solicitor
  Contact
Phone
Email

James P. Lamanna
(781) 586-6842
jlamanna@lynnma.gov

List Assistant City Solicitor
  Contact
Phone
Email

James F. Wellock
(781) 586-6847
jwellock@lynnma.gov

About The Law Department

The City Solicitor is responsible for the examination of all titles to property, all deeds, obligations, contracts, bonds, leases, conveyances, agreements and other legal instruments, of whatever nature, which may be required by ordinance or order of the city council, or by any board or officer to which the city or it's agents may be a party, and the drawing of which by law, usage or agreement is to be at the expense of the city. All orders for the laying out, discontinuance, change or improvement of streets, for the taking of lands for any municipal purpose whatsoever, for the assessment of betterments, and all other forms of assessment, shall be drawn by the city solicitor or under the city solicitor's direction or approval.

It is the duty of the city solicitor to commence and prosecute all actions and other legal proceedings and suits begun by the city, and to defend all actions and suits brought against the city in any court or tribunal of the Commonwealth, or of the United States: also to appear as council in any other action, suit or prosecution against them for any official action, or the performance of any official duty, when any right, privilege, ordinance, act or direction of the city council may be brought in question.

The city solicitor investigates all claims made against the city and administers the same in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 258, or other applicable provisions of law. The nature of the work of the City Solicitor/Law Department may require that no current departmental records be available for public access. The files are replete with confidential and privileged information, which must be protected in accordance with the Law Department's ethical obligations to its clients.

Public Records Request - City of Lynn, Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Public Records Law provides a means for access to public documents and other information. This right of access requires that the City produce copies of records, allow for inspection of the records, or notification of a denial within ten (10) business days of the request in the absence of an extension.

You may request the documents that you are looking for directly from the Department that holds them, or contact Assistant City Solicitor James Lamanna, Lynn’s Records Access Officer, to assist in obtaining the documents. You can submit your request via e-mail or mail.

Email - Submit your request via e-mail to jlamanna@lynnma.gov
Mail - To submit your request via mail please send the completed form to:

James P. Lamanna, Esq.
City Solicitor’s Office
Lynn City Hall
Lynn, MA 01901

When making your request, please remember:
· Be as specific as possible about the documents you are seeking
· Give a start date and end date for your search
· All responses will be electronic unless other arrangements are made
· The City may charge a reasonable fee in some cases

Fees - The City may charge fees as follows:

· If a request will take more than two (2) hours, the City may charge a reasonable fee, up to $25 per hour to collect, segregate and redact the documents if necessary.

· The City is permitted to charge $.05 per copy, or for the cost of a portable storage device.

· The City will require payment before fulfilling a request

Records Exempt From Disclosure - Some records maintained by the City are exempt from disclosure. If such records are requested, the City will be required to deny the request and will notify you of the reasons for the denial:

· Student records, certain vital records, criminal record information, personnel or medical files, records that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, certain investigatory law enforcement materials, proposals and bids prior to the award of a contract, for example.

Vital Records - If you are looking for copies of birth, death or marriage certificates, please see the City Clerk's Office webpage and select the type of vital record you are looking for from the left hand column.

Police Records - If you are looking for copies of accident reports or incident reports please visit the Lynn Police Department Records webpage.

Lynn Public Schools - If you are looking for Lynn School department records and information please visit the LPS Records Request webpage.

To view the Complete Public Records Access Guidelines for the City of Lynn, please see the next Tab on this page.

Guidelines For Making A Public Records Request

These guidelines are intended to assist members of the public seeking access to public records in the custody of the City of Lynn.

Effective January 1, 2017, the Massachusetts Public Records Law, G.L. c. 66 and c. 4, §7(26) provides that a municipality must, within ten (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.

Business Hours - The regular business hours of Lynn City Hall are: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:30 AM until 4 PM, Friday 8:30 AM until 12:30 PM and Tuesday nights until 8 PM.

Records Access Officers - The following Records Access Officers ("RAO") have been designated:
City of Lynn
James P. Lamanna, Esq.
Records Request Officer
City Solicitor’s Office
Lynn City Hall
Lynn, MA 01901
(781) 586 - 6842
jlamanna@lynnma.gov
Lynn Police Department
Records Office
300 Washington Street
Lynn, MA 01902
(781) 595-2000
records@lynnpolice.org
Lynn Public Schools
Maureen Horgan
Records Request Officer
Lynn Public Schools Administration Building
100 Bennett Street
Lynn, MA 01905
(781) 477-7220 ext. 3177
horganm@lynnschools.org

Public Records Law Information - General information about the public records law and public records requests is found in the January 2017 edition of the Secretary of the Commonwealth's, "A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law".

Making Public Records Requests - Any person may make a public records request by one of the following means:

a. In person at Lynn City Hall, 3 City Hall Square, Lynn, MA 01901;
b. By first class mail addressed to the RAO at the RAO's address set forth above;
c. By e-mail addressed to the RAO at the e-mail address set forth above.

Requests Are Encouraged To Be In Writing - Although not required, it is strongly encouraged that public records requests be in writing to ensure the most efficient and accurate response. All written public records requests shall be addressed/directed to an RAO, and contain the requester's name and contact information, so that the RAO is able to provide the required response.

Contact Information -
Individuals making requests in-person are not required to give their names or contact information. For in-person requests that require additional time for a comprehensive response, requesters will be advised to check in periodically with the RAO or department from which records are sought, or requesters may voluntarily provide contact information.

Specificity of Requests - To facilitate timely responses to public records requests, requests should be as specific as possible, detailing, if known, records custodian(s), and date and subject matter parameters. The more specific the request, the better able the City of Lynn will be to respond, as broad requests often require more extensive staff efforts to locate, review and copy all possibly responsive records.

Receipt of Requests - Written requests received during normal business hours, as defined in paragraph 1, above, will be considered received on that date. Written requests sent via email or facsimile after normal business hours shall not be considered received until the following business day. Business days shall not include Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

Purpose of Request - The RAO may ask for more information to assist the requester to make an appropriate request and/or to enable the RAO to respond more efficiently.

Responses to Public Records Requests

1. Fees - If fees will be assessed, a written estimate of the same will be provided to the Requester.

2. Response If Longer Than Ten (10) Days or Denial in Whole or in Part - If a full response, including provision of records, cannot be made within 10 business days of receipt of the request, the RAO or designee will respond to the requester in writing: explaining the anticipated time frame for complete response; identifying any records that the City of Lynn does not have in its custody; identifying records which the City of Lynn does not expect will be provided, or that will be redacted, specifying the relevant exemption and its application to the requested record or portion thereof; providing a good faith fee estimate; and including a statement of appeal rights.

3. Clarification of Request - Depending upon the scope of the request, the requester may be asked to clarify the request, provide more specific detail, and/or agree to a voluntary extension of time for the City of Lynn to respond fully to the request.

4. Time for Response - Typically, a complete response will be provided within 10 business days of receipt of the requests. If, due to the scope of the request, the need for redactions, or other complications, the City of Lynn is concerned that it will not be able to provide a complete response within that time frame, the City of Lynn may ask the requester for an extension of time to comply or petition the Supervisor of Public Records for additional time.

5. Electronic Records Delivery Preference - To the extent feasible, the RAO or designee will provide public records in response to a request by electronic means unless the record is not available electronically or the requester does not have the ability to receive or access the records electronically. To the extent available and feasible, the RAO will provide an electronic record in the requester's preferred format.

6. Request for Records to be Mailed - Should a requester seek to have responsive records provided by mail, the requester will be charged the actual cost of postage, using the least expensive form of mailing possible, unless the requester requests, and agrees to pay for, an expedited form of mailing and such fees are paid in advance.

7. Creation of Records - The City of Lynn is only required to provide records that are in existence at the time of a request and is not required to create a new record to accommodate a specific request.

8. Answering Questions - The City of Lynn is not required to answer questions in response to a public records request.

9. Supplementing Responses - The City of Lynn is not required to supplement its response to a previous public records request in the event that responsive records are created in the future.

10. Unique Right of Access - Pursuant to the provisions of 950 CMR 32.06(1)(g) , if a requester or requester's representative (such as an attorney), has "a unique right of access by statutory, regulatory, judicial or other applicable means", a request for records will not be considered a G.L. c. 66, §10 public records request.

Categories of Records - You may refer to the Municipal Records Retention Schedule, issued by the Supervisor of Public Records which identifies various categories of records maintained by municipal departments and so-called "records in common".

Exemptions - Exemptions/Redaction/Withholding. Some public records, or portions of records, may not be provided in response to a public records request because the City of Lynn has determined such records to be exempt from disclosure pursuant to the provisions of G.L. c. 4, §7(26), the attorney-client privilege, or other applicable exemptions or common law privileges.

For more information about exemptions to the Public Records Law, see the Secretary of the Commonwealth's, "A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law" January 2017 edition.

Fees - In some circumstances, the City of Lynn may assess a reasonable fee for the production of public records. Categories of Permissible Charges. Permissible charges include, but are not limited to:

a. Five cents ($0.05) per page of black and white printouts or copies;
b. Actual cost for storage devices or materials such as CDs or thumb/flash drives;
c. Actual cost for duplication of records not susceptible to ordinary means of reproduction, such as color copies and large format plans;
d. Postage fees; and
e. Fees for employee time required to satisfy a public records request.

No copying fee will be charged for records provided in electronic form.

Employee Time for Locating and Segregating Records - A fee may be charged for employee time necessary to identify, locate, and compile the records requested. A fee may also be charged for employee time necessary to review, and, as applicable, segregate and/or redact information exempt from public disclosure.

The hourly rate for such fees shall be the hourly rate of the lowest paid employee capable of performing the task, provided, however, that this hourly rate shall not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25) per hour, unless the City of Lynn has obtained the approval of the State Supervisor of Public Records to charge a higher hourly rate.

Depending upon the nature of the request, different rates may be charged for different types of work (i.e., a different hourly rate for search time and a different hourly rate for segregation/redaction time).

Requests for Commercial Purposes - Said fee limitations may not apply when a request for records is for a commercial purpose as determined by the Commonwealth's Supervisor of Records.

Petition for Higher Fee - In certain circumstances, the City of Lynn may petition the Supervisor of Public Records for permission to assess fees for employee time at a rate in excess of $25.

Appeals (Denied Access) - 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.

Appeals (Dissatisfied) 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" January 2017 edition.

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