Agency Settlements (City of Boston, Law Department)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the City of Boston, Law Department of Boston, MA.
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

Absolutely any and all logs, reports, spreadsheets, databases, or other materials detailing all settlements or similar dispute resolutions to which this agency, or any division thereof, was a party, including, but not limited to, all conciliatory agreements related to complaints or court or legal proceedings against any representative of or office of this agency. Please include all available segregable data, including the entities involved, the date on which the initial complaint or court action was brought, the nature of the charge or complaint, the nature of the dispute resolution (i.e. in-court, out-of-court, in-agency mediation, third-party, etc.), any financial agreements associated with the settlement, and the date on which the case was closed.

Please provide all available materials from January 1, 2010 through October 31, 2017.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Beryl Lipton

From: City of Boston, Law Department

Good Morning Ms. Lipton:

The City of Boston has received your request for records. Please be
advised that for a prompt response I recommend you send any requests for
records to me at shawn.williams@boston.gov, as I am the Records Access
Officer for the entire City of Boston. See
https://www.boston.gov/departments/public-records.

I have reviewed your request with City of Boston Law Department; we have a
few questions the answers to which will aid us in providing the records
responsive to your request. The Law Department has broken down your
request and the questions related to each portion follows the text from
your original request. You seek:

*1. Absolutely any and all logs, reports, spreadsheets, databases, or other
materials detailing all settlements or similar dispute resolutions to which
this agency, or any division thereof, was a party.*

The City can provide a spreadsheet listing all the settlements the Law
Department has handled, including the plaintiff/claimant's name and the
settlement amount. This will include *all claims* and lawsuits
(litigation) and they will be labeled as a claim or litigation.

*Please confirm that you seek all claims (see below)**

*2. including, but not limited to, all conciliatory agreements related to
complaints or court or legal proceedings against any representative of or
office of this agency.*

​It is not clear what you mean by
all "complaints or legal proceedings" which
​we infer
to mean lawsuits/litigation
​;​
​the City
can provide the Releases each party
​must
sign before a settlement check
​is issued (information regarding minors will be redacted)
.

​To do this will take a great deal of time as each
individual paper file
​will need to be reviewed. Please
confirm
​if this is meant to be part of your request; otherwise we suggest you
review the list we provide and make any subsequent requests you wish
.

*3. Please include all available segregable data, including the entities
involved, the date on which the initial complaint or court action was
brought.*

Again, the City infers this to mean lawsuits/litigation. We can provide
the date the complaint was filed and entities involved in the spreadsheet.

*4. the nature of the charge or complaint.*

Again, the City infers this to mean lawsuits/litigation. We can provide
our case reference (i.e., civil rights, c. 258-property damage, etc.) in
the spreadsheet.

*5. the nature of the dispute resolution (i.e. in-court, out-of-court,
in-agency mediation, third-party, etc.), any financial agreements
associated with the settlement, and the date on which the case was closed.*

The City does not track the nature of the resolution other than to state it
is settled. Settlements can be before a trial, as a result of a jury
verdict, as a result of a mediation before a trial, etc. Any "financial
agreements" would be the same as those provided in response to "2" above.

**​please note:*

- ​The City
will
​provide information on
claims for 7 years
​;​

​including
successful parking ticket appeals, pothole claims
​,​
claims for people slipping on sidewalks and minor motor vehicle
accidents.
​There are many claims in this group and most have
small or very small settlement amounts. Please confirm
​whether you seek this information as part of your clarification of "1"
above
.
- ​The City of Boston
Law
​Department
does do not handle
​labor
matters,
​workers' compensation
or other matters
​that
may result in "settlements."
- ​The City of Boston does not track
non
​-​
monetary "settlements
​.​
"

Once we receive your clarification of the above the City will begin work to
provide the responsive records. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,

Shawn A. Williams, Esq.

Director of Public Records

Records Access Officer

City of Boston

1 City Hall Plaza, Room 615

Boston, MA 02201

Files

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