Recently I did a Massachusetts Public Records request on a public school district for an employees email to and from a domain (ex: all emails from example.com and to example.com). For convenience, I even provided a gmail filter to find the emails "from:example.com OR to:example.com". I was personally included in some of the emails, and I did test my own filter where I was simply CC'd, they all showed up. The district replied to my public records request, and it was lengthy, but there were definitely emails missing. All (pretty sure) emails between example.com and the employee in question where I was included was not included even though my records request restricted only a date range and a domain (from and to). I thought maybe emails that had a CC weren't included (because maybe some exception?), however, I found several emails included that had different CC'd persons. I'm not sure how to reply, and my biggest concern is that the district will brush it off as a "mistake" like "oops my bad my mistake!" and send ONLY the emails that weren't included back to me.

What do you think?

1 Answer 1


It's possible that the emails in question fall under an exemption. There is, for example, an exemption for materials "relating to a specifically named individual, the disclosure of which may constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" and one for "inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters relating to policy positions being developed by the agency".

It's also possible they made a mistake. You could perhaps respond by presenting one of the emails you think they missed, and ask why it wasn't included.

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