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Home Page Massachusetts General Laws- Chapters 39, 40A, 44, 66 and 140 [excerpts]
Updated Date: June 1998
Location: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 


Massachusetts General Laws, Chapters 39, 40A, 44, 66 and 140 [excerpts]

MGL Chapter 39 - MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT.

  • Section 23B. Open meetings of governmental bodies.
  • MGL Chapter 40A - TITLE VII.; CITIES, TOWNS AND DISTRICTS.; Zoning

  • Section 1. Title of chapter.
  • Section 1A. Definitions.
  • Section 2. Repealed, 1987, 685, Sec. 2.
  • Section 3. Subjects which zoning may not regulate; exemptions; public hearings; temporary manufactured home residences.
  • Section 4. Uniform districts.
  • Section 5. Adoption or change of zoning ordinances or by-laws; procedure.
  • Section 6. Existing structures, uses, or permits; certain subdivision plans; application of chapter.
  • Section 7. Enforcement of zoning regulations; violations; penalties; jurisdiction of superior court.
  • Section 8. Appeals to permit granting Authority.
  • Section 9. Special Permits.
  • Section 9A. Special permits for adult bookstores or adult motion picture theatres.
  • Section 9B. Solar access.
  • Section 9C. Child care facilities; increase in allowable floor area; charges by building owner.
  • Section 10. Variances.
  • Section 11. Notice requirements; parties in interest; special permits; recording decisions.
  • Section 12. Boards of appeal; membership; rules.
  • Section 13. Zoning administrators; appointment; powers and duties.
  • Section 14. Boards of appeal; powers.
  • Section 15. Appeals to permit granting authority; notice; time; boards of appeal hearings; procedure.
  • Section 16. Final unfavorable decisions by permit granting authorities; reconsideration; withdrawal of petitions for variance or applications for special permit.
  • Section 17. Judicial review.
  • MGL Chapter 44 - MUNICIPAL FINANCE.

  • Section 46A. Powers of director; investigation of municipal affairs.
  • Section 59. Enforcement of chapter.
  • Section 62. Penalty for violation of provisions of chapter by officials.
  • MGL Chapter 66 - TITLE X.; PUBLIC RECORDS.

  • Section 1. Supervision of public records; powers and duties.
  • Section 2. Repealed, 1977, 80, Sec. 1.
  • Section 3. "Record", defined; quality of paper and film; microfilm records.
  • Section 4. Regulation of recording materials and devices; mandamus.
  • Section 5. Municipal records; copies.
  • Section 5A. Records of meetings of boards and commissions; contents.
  • Section 6. Records of public proceedings; preparation; custody.
  • Section 7. Custody of old and other records.
  • Section 8. Preservation and destruction of records, books and papers.
  • Section 8A. Destruction of certain records by city and town clerks if micro-photographed.
  • Section 9. Preservation and copying of worn, etc., records.
  • Section 10. Public inspection and copies of records; presumption; exceptions.
  • Section 11. Fireproof vaults and safes.
  • Section 12. Arrangement of records.
  • Section 13. Custodian to demand records; compelling compliance.
  • Section 14. Surrender of records by retiring officer.
  • Section 15. Penalties.
  • Section 16. Surrender of church records; jurisdiction of superior court.
  • Section 17. Municipality in which records to be kept; penalty.
  • Section 17A. Public assistance records; public inspection; destruction.
  • Section 17B. Repealed, 1973, 1050, Sec. 4.
  • Section 17C. Failure to maintain public records of meetings; orders to maintain.
  • Section 17D.Massachusetts natural heritage program data base; division records; site-specific rare species information.
  • Section 18. Application of chapter.
  • MGL Chapter 140 - TITLE XX.; PUBLIC SAFETY AND GOOD ORDER.; Licenses, Sale of Second Hand Motor Vehicles.

  • Section 57. Used car sales; necessity; exceptions; auctions; reports.
  • Section 58. Classes
  • Section 59. Licensing authorities; expiration; fees; application; prerequisites; premises; ordinance regulations; revocation; notice.
  • Section 60. Registrar's rules and regulations
  • Section 59A. Motor vehicle junkyards; requirements.
  • Section 60. Registrar's rules and regulations.
  • Section 61. Repealed, 1996, 429.
  • Section 62. Record book; contents.
  • Section 63. Repealed, 1977, 553.
  • Section 64. Repealed, 1996, 429.
  • Section 65. Repealed, 1961, 45, Sec. 2.
  • Section 66. Entering premises; investigation; examination of vehicles; parts, books, papers and inventories.
  • Section 67. Obstruction of entrance or examination by officers; refusal to exhibit items demanded.
  • Section 67A. Junked motor vehicles, registration and identification plates; removal and forwarding to registrar; penalty.
  • Section 68. Unlicensed business.
  • Section 69. Violation of statutes, rules or regulations.



  • MGL Chapter 39 - Municipal Government [June 1998]

    Section 23B. Open meetings of governmental bodies.

    All meetings of a governmental body shall be open to the public and any person shall be permitted to attend any meeting except as otherwise provided by this section.

    No quorum of a governmental body shall meet in private for the purpose of deciding on or deliberating toward a decision on any matter except as provided by this section.

    No executive session shall be held until the governmental body has first convened in an open session for which notice has been given, a majority of the members have voted to go into executive session and the vote of each member is recorded on a roll call vote and entered into the minutes, the presiding officer has cited the purpose for an executive session, and the presiding officer has stated before the executive session if the governmental body will reconvene after the executive session.

    Nothing except the limitation contained in this section shall be construed to prevent the governmental body from holding an executive session after an open meeting has been convened and a recorded vote has been taken to hold an executive session. Executive sessions may be held only for the following purposes:

    (1) To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health rather than the professional competence of an individual, provided that the individual involved in such executive session has been notified in writing by the governmental body, at least forty-eight hours prior to the proposed executive session. Notification may be waived upon agreement of the parties. A governmental body shall hold an open meeting if the individual involved requests that the meeting be open. If an executive session is held, such individual shall have the following rights:

    (a) to be present at such executive session during discussions or considerations which involve that individual.

    (b) to have counsel or a representative of his own choosing present and attending for the purpose of advising said individual and not for the purpose of active participation in said executive session.

    (c) to speak in his own behalf.

    (2) To consider the discipline or dismissal of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member, or individual, provided that the individual involved in such executive session pursuant to this clause has been notified in writing by the governmental body at least forty-eight hours prior to the proposed executive session. Notification may be waived upon agreement of the parties. A governmental body shall hold an open meeting if the individual involved requests that the meeting be open. If an executive session is held, such individual shall have the following rights:

    (a) to be present at such executive session during discussions or considerations which involve that individual.

    (b) to have counsel or a representative of his own choosing present and attending for the purpose of advising said individual and not for the purpose of active participation.

    (c) to speak in his own behalf.

    (3) To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the governmental body, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with nonunion personnel, to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with nonunion personnel.

    (4) To discuss the deployment of security personnel or devices.

    (5) To investigate charges of criminal misconduct or to discuss the filing of criminal complaints.

    (6) To consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property, if such discussions may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the governmental body and a person, firm or corporation.

    (7) To comply with the provisions of any general or special law or federal grant-in-aid requirements.

    (8) To consider and interview applicants for employment by a preliminary screening committee or a subcommittee appointed by a governmental body if an open meeting will have a detrimental effect in obtaining qualified applicants; provided, however, that this clause shall not apply to any meeting, including meetings of a preliminary screening committee or a subcommittee appointed by a governmental body, to consider and interview applicants who have passed a prior preliminary screening.

    (9) To meet or confer with a mediator, as defined in section twenty-three C of chapter two hundred and thirty-three, with respect to any litigation or decision on any public business within its jurisdiction involving another party, group or body, provided that: (a) any decision to participate in mediation shall be made in open meeting session and the parties, issues involved and purpose of the mediation shall be disclosed; and (b) no action shall be taken by any governmental body with respect to those issues which are the subject of the mediation without deliberation and approval for such action at an open meeting after such notice as may be required in this section.

    This section shall not apply to any chance meeting, or a social meeting at which matters relating to official business are discussed so long as no final agreement is reached. No chance meeting or social meeting shall be used in circumvention of the spirit or requirements of this section to discuss or act upon a matter over which the governmental body has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power.

    Except in an emergency, a notice of every meeting of any governmental body shall be filed with the clerk of the city or town in which the body acts, and the notice or a copy thereof shall, at least forty-eight hours, including Saturdays but not Sundays and legal holidays, prior to such meeting, be publicly posted in the office of such clerk or on the principal official bulletin board of such city or town. The secretary of a regional school district committee shall be considered to be its clerk and he shall file the notice of meetings of the committee with the clerk of each city or town within such district and each such clerk shall post the notice in his office or on the principal official bulletin board of the city or town and such secretary shall post such notice in his office or on the principal official bulletin board of the district. If the meeting shall be of a regional or district governmental body, the officer calling the meeting shall file the notice thereof with the clerk of each city and town within such region or district, and each such clerk shall post the notice in his office or on the principal official bulletin board of the city or town. The notice shall be printed in easily readable type and shall contain the date, time and place of such meeting. Such filing and posting shall be the responsibility of the officer calling such meeting.

    A governmental body shall maintain accurate records of its meetings, setting forth the date, time, place, members present or absent and action taken at each meeting, including executive sessions. The records of each meeting shall become a public record and be available to the public; provided, however, that the records of any executive session may remain secret as long as publication may defeat the lawful purposes of the executive session, but no longer. All votes taken in executive sessions shall be recorded roll call votes and shall become a part of the record of said executive sessions. No votes taken in open session shall be by secret ballot.

    A meeting of a governmental body may be recorded by any person in attendance by means of a tape recorder or any other means of sonic reproduction or by means of videotape equipment fixed in one or more designated locations determined by the governmental body except when a meeting is held in executive session; provided, that in such recording there is no active interference with the conduct of the meeting.

    Upon qualification for office following an appointment or election to a governmental body, as defined in this section, the member shall be furnished by the city or town clerk with a copy of this section. Each such member shall sign a written acknowledgement that he has been provided with such a copy.

    The district attorney of the county in which the violation occurred shall enforce the provisions of this section.

    Upon proof of failure by any governmental body or by any member or officer thereof to carry out any of the provisions for public notice or meetings, for holding open meetings, or for maintaining public records thereof, any justice of the supreme judicial court or the superior court sitting within and for the county in which such governmental body acts shall issue an appropriate order requiring such governmental body or member or officer thereof to carry out such provisions at future meetings. Such order may be sought by complaint of three or more registered voters, by the attorney general, or by the district attorney of the county in which the city or town is located. The order of notice on the complaint shall be returnable no later than ten days after the filing thereof and the complaint shall be heard and determined on the return day or on such day thereafter as the court shall fix, having regard to the speediest possible determination of the cause consistent with the rights of the parties; provided, however, that orders with respect to any of the matters referred to in this section may be issued at any time on or after the filing of the complaint without notice when such order is necessary to fulfill the purposes of this section. In the hearing of such complaints the burden shall be on the respondent to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the action complained of in such complaint was in accordance with and authorized by section eleven AŻ of chapter thirty A, by section nine G of chapter thirty-four or by this section. All processes may be issued from the clerk's office in the county in which the action is brought and, except as aforesaid, shall be returnable as the court orders.

    Such order may invalidate any action taken at any meeting at which any provision of this section has been violated, provided that such complaint is filed within twenty-one days of the date when such action is made public.

    Any such order may also, when appropriate, require the records of any such meeting to be made public, unless it shall have been determined by such justice that the maintenance of secrecy with respect to such records is authorized. The remedy created hereby is not exclusive, but shall be in addition to every other available remedy. Such order may also include reinstatement without loss of compensation, seniority, tenure or other benefits for any employee discharged at a meeting or hearing held in violation of the provisions of this section.

    Such order may also include a civil fine against the governmental body in an amount no greater than one thousand dollars for each meeting held in violation of this section.

    The rights of an individual set forth in this section relative to his appearance before a meeting in an executive or open session, are in addition to the rights that an individual may have from any other source, including, but not limited to, rights under any laws or collective bargaining agreements, and the exercise or nonexercise of the individual rights under this section shall not be construed as a waiver of any rights of the individual.

    MGL Chapter 40A - Zoning [December, 1997]

    Section 1. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as "The Zoning Act".

    Section 1A. Definitions.

    used in this chapter the following words shall have the following meanings:

    "Permit granting authority", the board of appeals or zoning administrator.

    "Solar access", the access of a solar energy system to direct sunlight.

    "Solar energy system", a device or structural design feature, a substantial purpose of which is to provide daylight for interior lighting or provide for the collection, storage and distribution of solar energy for space heating or cooling, electricity generating, or water heating.

    "Special permit granting authority", shall include the board of selectmen, city council, board of appeals, planning board, or zoning administrators as designated by zoning ordinance or by-law for the issuance of special permits.

    "Zoning", ordinances and by-laws, adopted by cities and towns to regulate the use of land, buildings and structures to the full extent of the independent constitutional powers of cities and towns to protect the health, safety and general welfare of their present and future inhabitants.

    "Zoning administrator", a person designated by the board of appeals pursuant to section thirteen to assume certain duties of said board. (Amended by 1987, 685, Sec. 1.)

    Section 2. Repealed, 1987, 685, Sec. 2.

    Section 3. Subjects which zoning may not regulate; exemptions; public hearings; temporary manufactured home residences.

    No zoning ordinance or by-law shall regulate or restrict the use of materials, or methods of construction of structures regulated by the state building code, nor shall any such ordinance or by-law prohibit, unreasonably regulate or require a special permit for the use of land for the primary purpose of agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, or viticulture; nor prohibit, or unreasonably regulate, or require a special permit for the use, expansion, or reconstruction of existing structures thereon for the primary purpose of agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, or viticulture, including those facilities for the sale of produce, and wine and dairy products, provided that during the months of June, July, August, and September of every year or during the harvest season of the primary crop raised on land of the owner or lessee, the majority of such products for sale, based on either gross sales dollars or volume, have been produced by the owner or lessee of the land on which the facility is located, except that all such activities may be limited to parcels of more than five acres in area not zoned for agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, or viticulture. For such purposes, land divided by a public or private way or a waterway shall be construed as one parcel. No zoning ordinance or by-law shall exempt land or structures from flood plain or wetlands regulations established pursuant to general law. For the purpose of this section, the term horticulture shall include the growing and keeping of nursery stock and the sale thereof. Said nursery stock shall be considered to be produced by the owner or lessee of the land if it is nourished, maintained and managed while on the premises.

    No zoning ordinance or by-law shall regulate or restrict the interior area of a single family residential building nor shall any such ordinance or by-law prohibit, regulate or restrict the use of land or structures for religious purposes or for educational purposes on land owned or leased by the commonwealth or any of its agencies, subdivisions or bodies politic or by a religious sect or denomination, or by a nonprofit educational corporation; provided, however, that such land or structures may be subject to reasonable regulations concerning the bulk and height of structures and determining yard sizes, lot area, setbacks, open space, parking and building coverage requirements. Lands or structures used, or to be used by a public service corporation may be exempted in particular respects from the operation of a zoning ordinance or by-law if, upon petition of the corporation, the department of telecommunications and energy shall, after notice given pursuant to section eleven and public hearing in the town or city, determine the exemptions required and find that the present or proposed use of the land or structure is reasonably necessary for the convenience or welfare of the public; provided however, that if lands or structures used or to be used by a public service corporation are located in more than one municipality such lands or structures may be exempted in particular respects from the operation of any zoning ordinance or by-law if, upon petition of the corporation, the department of telecommunications and energy shall after notice to all affected communities and public hearing in one of said municipalities, determine the exemptions required and find that the present or proposed use of the land or structure is reasonably necessary for the convenience or welfare of the public.

    No zoning ordinance or bylaw in any city or town shall prohibit, or require a special permit for, the use of land or structures, or the expansion of existing structures, for the primary, accessory or incidental purpose of operating a child care facility; provided, however, that such land or structures may be subject to reasonable regulations concerning the bulk and height of structures and determining yard sizes, lot area, setbacks, open space, parking and building coverage requirements. As used in this paragraph, the term "child care facility" shall mean a day care center or a school age child care program, as those terms are defined in section nine of chapter twenty-eight A.

    Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, local land use and health and safety laws, regulations, practices, ordinances, by-laws and decisions of a city or town shall not discriminate against a disabled person. Imposition of health and safety laws or land-use requirements on congregate living arrangements among non-related persons with disabilities that are not imposed on families and groups of similar size or other unrelated persons shall constitute discrimination. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to every city or town, including, but not limited to the city of Boston and the city of Cambridge.

    Family day care home, as defined in section nine of chapter twenty-eight A, shall be an allowable use unless a city or town prohibits or specifically regulates such use in its zoning ordinances or by-laws.

    No provision of a zoning ordinance or by-law shall be valid which sets apart districts by any boundary line which may be changed without adoption of an amendment to the zoning ordinance or by-law.

    No zoning ordinance or by-law shall prohibit the owner and occupier of a residence which has been destroyed by fire or other natural holocaust from placing a manufactured home on the site of such residence and residing in such home for a period not to exceed twelve months while the residence is being rebuilt. Any such manufactured home shall be subject to the provisions of the state sanitary code.

    No dimensional lot requirement of a zoning ordinance or by-law, including but not limited to, set back, front yard, side yard, rear yard and open space shall apply to handicapped access ramps on private property used solely for the purpose of facilitating ingress or egress of a physically handicapped person, as defined in section thirteen A of chapter twenty-two.

    No zoning ordinance or by-law shall prohibit or unreasonably regulate the installation of solar energy systems or the building of structures that facilitate the collection of solar energy, except where necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare.

    No zoning ordinance or by-law shall prohibit the construction or use of an antenna structure by a federally licensed amateur radio operator. Zoning ordinances and by-laws may reasonably regulate the location and height of such antenna structures for the purposes of health, safety, or aesthetics; provided, however, that such ordinances and by-laws reasonably allow for sufficient height of such antenna structures so as to effectively accommodate amateur radio communications by federally licensed amateur radio operators and constitute the minimum practicable regulation necessary to accomplish the legitimate purposes of the city or town enacting such ordinance or by-law.

    Section 4. Uniform districts.

    Any zoning ordinance or by-law which divides cities and towns into districts shall be uniform within the district for each class or kind of structures or uses permitted.

    Districts shall be shown on a zoning map in a manner sufficient for identification. Such maps shall be part of zoning ordinances or by-laws. Assessors' or property plans may be used as the basis for zoning maps. If more than four sheets or plates are used for a zoning map, an index map showing districts in outline shall be part of the zoning map and of the zoning ordinance or by-law.

    Section 5. Adoption or change of zoning ordinances or by-laws; procedure.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws may be adopted and from time to time changed by amendment, addition or repeal, but only in the manner hereinafter provided. Adoption or change of zoning ordinances or by-laws may be initiated by the submission to the city council or board of selectmen of a proposed zoning ordinance or by-law by a city council, a board of selectmen, a board of appeals, by an individual owning land to be affected by change or adoption, by request of registered voters of a town pursuant to section ten of chapter thirty-nine, by ten registered voters in a city, by a planning board, by a regional planning agency or by other methods provided by municipal charter. The board of selectmen or city council shall within fourteen days of receipt of such zoning ordinance or by-law submit it to the planning board for review.

    No zoning ordinance or by-law or amendment thereto shall be adopted until after the planning board in a city or town, and the city council or a committee designated or appointed for the purpose by said council has each held a public hearing thereon, together or separately, at which interested persons shall be given an opportunity to be heard. Said public hearing shall be held within sixty-five days after the proposed zoning ordinance or by-law is submitted to the planning board by the city council or selectmen or if there is none, within sixty-five days after the proposed zoning ordinance or by-law is submitted to the city council or selectmen. Notice of the time and place of such public hearing, of the subject matter, sufficient for identification, and of the place where texts and maps thereof may be inspected shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town once in each of two successive weeks, the first publication to be not less than fourteen days before the day of said hearing, and by posting such notice in a conspicuous place in the city or town hall for a period of not less than fourteen days before the day of said hearing. Notice of said hearing shall also be sent by mail, postage prepaid to the department of community affairs, the regional planning agency, if any, and to the planning board of each abutting cities and towns. The department of community affairs, the regional planning agency, the planning boards of all abutting cities and towns and nonresident property owners who may not have received notice by mail as specified in this section may grant a waiver of notice or submit an affidavit of actual notice to the city or town clerk prior to town meeting or city council action on a proposed zoning ordinance, by-law or change thereto. Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide that a separate, conspicuous statement shall be included with property tax bills sent to nonresident property owners, stating that notice of such hearings under this chapter shall be sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any such owner who files an annual request for such notice with the city or town clerk no later than January first, and pays a reasonable fee established by such ordinance or by-law. In cases involving boundary, density or use changes within a district, notice shall be sent to any such nonresident property owner who has filed such a request with the city or town clerk and whose property lies in the district where the change is sought. No defect in the form of any notice under this chapter shall invalidate any zoning ordinances or by-laws unless such defect is found to be misleading. receipt of such zoning ordinance or by-law submit it to the planning board for review.

    Prior to the adoption of any zoning ordinance or by-law or amendment thereto which seeks to further regulate matters established by section forty of chapter one hundred and thirty-one or regulations authorized thereunder relative to agricultural and aquacultural practices, the city or town clerk shall, no later than seven days prior to the city council's or town meeting's public hearing relative to the adoption of said new or amended zoning ordinances or by-laws, give notice of the said proposed zoning ordinances or by-laws to the farmland advisory board established pursuant to section forty of chapter one hundred and thirty-one.

    No vote to adopt any such proposed ordinance or by-law or amendment thereto shall be taken until a report with recommendations by a planning board has been submitted to the town meeting or city council, or twenty-one days after said hearing has elapsed without submission of such report. After such notice, hearing and report, or after twenty-one days shall have elapsed after such hearing without submission of such report, a city council or town meeting may adopt, reject, or amend and adopt any such proposed ordinance or by-law. If a city council fails to vote to adopt any proposed ordinance within ninety days after the city council hearing or if a town meeting fails to vote to adopt any proposed by-law within six months after the planning board hearing, no action shall be taken thereon until after a subsequent public hearing is held with notice and report as provided.

    No zoning ordinance or by-law or amendment thereto shall be adopted or changed except by a two-thirds vote of all the members of the town council, or of the city council where there is a commission form of government or a single branch, or of each branch where there are two branches, or by a two-thirds vote of a town meeting; provided, however, that if in a city or town with a council of fewer than twenty-five members there is filed with the clerk prior to final action by the council a written protest against such change, stating the reasons duly signed by owners of twenty per cent or more of the area of the land proposed to be included in such change or of the area of the land immediately adjacent extending three hundred feet therefrom, no such change of any such ordinance shall be adopted except by a three-fourths vote of all members.

    No proposed zoning ordinance or by-law which has been unfavorably acted upon by a city council or town meeting shall be considered by the city council or town meeting within two years after the date of such unfavorable action unless the adoption of such proposed ordinance or by-law is recommended in the final report of the planning board.

    When zoning by-laws or amendments thereto are submitted to the attorney general for approval as required by section thirty-two of chapter forty, he shall also be furnished with a statement which may be prepared by the planning board explaining the by-laws or amendments proposed, which statement may be accompanied by explanatory maps or plans.

    The effective date of the adoption or amendment of any zoning ordinance or by-law shall be the date on which such adoption or amendment was voted upon by a city council or town meeting; if in towns, publication in a town bulletin or pamphlet and posting is subsequently made or publication in a newspaper pursuant to section thirty-two of chapter forty. If, in a town, said by-law is subsequently disapproved, in whole or in part, by the attorney general, the previous zoning by-law, to the extent that such previous zoning by-law was changed by the disapproved by-law or portion thereof, shall be deemed to have been in effect from the date of such vote. In a municipality which is not required to submit zoning ordinances to the attorney general for approval pursuant to section thirty-two of chapter forty, the effective date of such ordinance or amendment shall be the date passed by the city council and signed by the mayor or, as otherwise provided by ordinance or charter; provided, however, that such ordinance or amendment shall subsequently be forwarded by the city clerk to the office of the attorney general.

    A true copy of the zoning ordinance or by-law with any amendments thereto shall be kept on file available for inspection in the office of the clerk of such city or town.

    No claim of invalidity of any zoning ordinance or by-law arising out of any possible defect in the procedure of adoption or amendment shall be made in any legal proceedings and no state, regional, county or municipal officer shall refuse, deny or revoke any permit, approval or certificate because of any such claim of invalidity unless legal action is commenced within the time period specified in sections thirty-two and thirty-two A of chapter forty and notice specifying the court, parties, invalidity claimed, and date of filing is filed together with a copy of the petition with the town or city clerk within seven days after commencement of the action.

    Section 6. Existing structures, uses, or permits; certain subdivision plans; application of chapter.

    Except as hereinafter provided, a zoning ordinance or by-law shall not apply to structures or uses lawfully in existence or lawfully begun, or to a building or special permit issued before the first publication of notice of the public hearing on such ordinance or by-law required by section five, but shall apply to any change or substantial extension of such use, to a building or special permit issued after the first notice of said public hearing, to any reconstruction, extension or structural change of such structure and to any alteration of a structure begun after the first notice of said public hearing to provide for its use for a substantially different purpose or for the same purpose in a substantially different manner or to a substantially greater extent except where alteration, reconstruction, extension or structural change to a single or two-family residential structure does not increase the nonconforming nature of said structure. Pre-existing nonconforming structures or uses may be extended or altered, provided, that no such extension or alteration shall be permitted unless there is a finding by the permit granting authority or by the special permit granting authority designated by ordinance or by-law that such change, extension or alteration shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming use to the neighborhood. This section shall not apply to billboards, signs and other advertising devices subject to the provisions of sections twenty-nine through thirty-three, inclusive, of chapter ninety-three, and to chapter ninety-three D or to establishments which display live nudity for their patrons, as defined in section nine A, adult bookstores, adult motion picture theaters, adult paraphernalia shops, or adult video stores subject to the provisions of section nine A.

    A zoning ordinance or by-law shall provide that construction or operations under a building or special permit shall conform to any subsequent amendment of the ordinance or by-law unless the use or construction is commenced within a period of not more than six months after the issuance of the permit and in cases involving construction, unless such construction is continued through to completion as continuously and expeditiously as is reasonable.

    A zoning ordinance or by-law may define and regulate nonconforming uses and structures abandoned or not used for a period of two years or more.

    Any increase in area, frontage, width, yard, or depth requirements of a zoning ordinance or by-law shall not apply to a lot for single and two-family residential use which at the time of recording or endorsement, whichever occurs sooner was not held in common ownership with any adjoining land, conformed to then existing requirements and had less than the proposed requirement but at least five thousand square feet of area and fifty feet of frontage. Any increase in area, frontage, width, yard or depth requirement of a zoning ordinance or by-law shall not apply for a period of five years from its effective date or for five years after January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six, whichever is later, to a lot for single and two family residential use, provided the plan for such lot was recorded or endorsed and such lot was held in common ownership with any adjoining land and conformed to the existing zoning requirements as of January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six, and had less area, frontage, width, yard or depth requirements than the newly effective zoning requirements but contained at least seven thousand five hundred square feet of area and seventy-five feet of frontage, and provided that said five year period does not commence prior to January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six, and provided further that the provisions of this sentence shall not apply to more than three of such adjoining lots held in common ownership. The provisions of this paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit a lot being built upon, if at the time of the building, building upon such lot is not prohibited by the zoning ordinances or by-laws in effect in a city or town.

    If a definitive plan, or a preliminary plan followed within seven months by a definitive plan, is submitted to a planning board for approval under the subdivision control law, and written notice of such submission has been given to the city or town clerk before the effective date of ordinance or by-law, the land shown on such plan shall be governed by the applicable provisions of the zoning ordinance or by-law, if any, in effect at the time of the first such submission while such plan or plans are being processed under the subdivision control law, and, if such definitive plan or an amendment thereof is finally approved, for eight years from the date of the endorsement of such approval, except in the case where such plan was submitted or submitted and approved before January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six, for seven years from the date of the endorsement of such approval. Whether such period is eight years or seven years, it shall be extended by a period equal to the time which a city or town imposes or has imposed upon it by a state, a federal agency or a court, a moratorium on construction, the issuance of permits or utility connections.

    When a plan referred to in section eighty-one P of chapter forty-one has been submitted to a planning board and written notice of such submission has been given to the city or town clerk, the use of the land shown on such plan shall be governed by applicable provisions of the zoning ordinance or by-law in effect at the time of the submission of such plan while such plan is being processed under the subdivision control law including the time required to pursue or await the determination of an appeal referred to in said section, and for a period of three years from the date of endorsement by the planning board that approval under the subdivision control law is not required, or words of similar import.

    Disapproval of a plan shall not serve to terminate any rights which shall have accrued under the provisions of this section, provided an appeal from the decision disapproving said plan is made under applicable provisions of the subdivision control law. Such appeal shall stay, pending an order or decree of a court of final jurisdiction, the applicability to land shown on said plan of the provisions of any zoning ordinance or by-law which became effective after the date of submission of the plan first submitted.

    In the event that any lot shown on a plan endorsed by the planning board is the subject matter of any appeal or any litigation, the exemptive provisions of this section shall be extended for a period equal to that from the date of filing of said appeal or the commencement of litigation, whichever is earlier, to the date of final disposition thereof, provided final adjudication is in favor of the owner of said lot.

    The record owner of the land shall have the right, at any time, by an instrument duly recorded in the registry of deeds for the district in which the land lies, to waive the provisions of this section, in which case the ordinance or by-law then or thereafter in effect shall apply. The submission of an amended plan or of a further subdivision of all or part of the land shall not constitute such a waiver, nor shall it have the effect of further extending the applicability of the ordinance or by-law that was extended by the original submission, but, if accompanied by the waiver described above, shall have the effect of extending, but only to extent aforesaid, the ordinance or by-law made then applicable by such waiver.

    Section 7. Enforcement of zoning regulations; violations; penalties; jurisdiction of superior court.

    The inspector of buildings, building commissioner or local inspector, or if there are none, in a town, the board of selectmen, or person or board designated by local ordinance or by-law, shall be charged with the enforcement of the zoning ordinance or by-law and shall withhold a permit for the construction, alteration or moving of any building or structure if the building or structure as constructed, altered or moved would be in violation of any zoning ordinance or by-law; and no permit or license shall be granted for a new use of a building, structure or land which use would be in violation of any zoning ordinance or by-law. If the officer or board charged with enforcement of zoning ordinances or by-laws is requested in writing to enforce such ordinances or by-laws against any person allegedly in violation of the same and such officer or board declines to act, he shall notify, in writing, the party requesting such enforcement of any action or refusal to act, and the reasons therefor, within fourteen days of receipt of such request.

    No local zoning law shall provide penalty of more than three hundred dollars per violation; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit such laws from providing that each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. No action, suit or proceeding shall be maintained in any court, nor any administrative or other action taken to recover a fine or damages or to compel the removal, alteration, or relocation of any structure or part of a structure or alteration of a structure by reason of any violation of any zoning by-law or ordinance except in accordance with the provisions of this section, section eight and section seventeen; provided, further, that if real property has been improved and used in accordance with the terms of the original building permit issued by a person duly authorized to issue such permits, no action, criminal or civil, the effect or purpose of which is to compel the abandonment, limitation or modification of the use allowed by said permit or the removal, alteration or relocation of any structure erected in reliance upon said permit by reason of any alleged violation of the provisions of this chapter, or of any ordinance or by-law adopted thereunder, shall be maintained, unless such action, suit or proceeding is commenced and notice thereof recorded in the registry of deeds for each county or district in which the land lies within six years next after the commencement of the alleged violation of law; and provided, further that no action, criminal or civil, the effect or purpose of which is to compel the removal, alteration, or relocation of any structure by reason of any alleged violation of the provisions of this chapter, or any ordinance or by-law adopted thereunder, or the conditions of any variance or special permit, shall be maintained, unless such action, suit or proceeding is commenced and notice thereof recorded in the registry of deeds for each county or district in which the land lies within ten years next after the commencement of the alleged violation. Such notice shall include names of one or more of the owners of record, the name of the person initiating the action, and adequate identification of the structure and the alleged violation.

    The superior court shall have the jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this chapter, and any ordinances or by-laws adopted thereunder, and may restrain by injunction violations thereof.

    Section 8. Appeals to permit granting Authority

    An appeal to the permit granting authority as the zoning ordinance or by-law may provide, may be taken by any person aggrieved by reason of his inability to obtain a permit or enforcement action from any administrative officer under the provisions of this chapter, by the regional planning agency in whose area the city or town is situated, or by any person including an officer or board of the city or town, or of an abutting city or town aggrieved by an order or decision of the inspector of buildings, or other administrative official, in violation of any provision of this chapter or any ordinance or by-law adopted thereunder.

    Section 9. Special Permits

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws shall provide for specific types of uses which shall only be permitted in specified districts upon the issuance of a special permit. Special permits may be issued only for uses which are in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the ordinance or by-law, and shall be subject to general or specific provisions set forth therein; and such permits may also impose conditions, safeguards and limitations on time or use.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws may also provide for special permits authorizing increases in the permissible density of population or intensity of a particular use in a proposed development; provided that the petitioner or applicant shall, as a condition for the grant of said permit, provide certain open space, housing for persons of low or moderate income, traffic or pedestrian improvements, installation of solar energy systems, protection for solar access, or other amenities. Such zoning ordinances or by-laws shall state the specific improvements or amenities or locations of proposed uses for which the special permits shall be granted, and the maximum increases in density of population or intensity of use which may be authorized by such special permits.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide that special permits may be granted for multi-family residential use in nonresidentially zoned areas where the public good would be served and after a finding by the special permit granting authority, that such nonresidentially zoned area would not be adversely affected by such a residential use, and that permitted uses in such a zone are not noxious to a multi-family use.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws may also provide that cluster developments or planned unit developments shall be permitted upon the issuance of a special permit.

    "Cluster development" means a residential development in which the buildings and accessory uses are clustered together into one or more groups separated from adjacent property and other groups within the development by intervening open land. A cluster development shall be permitted only on a plot of land of such minimum size as a zoning ordinance or by-law may specify which is divided into building lots with dimensional control, density and use restrictions of such building lots varying from those otherwise permitted by the ordinance or by-law and open land. Such open land when added to the building lots shall be at least equal in area to the land area required by the ordinance or by-law for the total number of units or buildings contemplated in the development. Such open land may be situated to promote and protect maximum solar access within the development. Such open land shall either be conveyed to the city or town and accepted by it for park or open space use, or be conveyed to a non-profit organization the principal purpose of which is the conservation of open space, or to be conveyed to a corporation or trust owned or to be owned by the owners of lots or residential units within the plot. If such a corporation or trust is utilized, ownership thereof shall pass with conveyances of the lots or residential units. In any case where such land is not conveyed to the city or town, a restriction enforceable by the city or town shall be recorded providing that such land shall be kept in an open or natural state and not be built for residential use or developed for accessory uses such as parking or roadway.

    "Planned unit development" means a mixed use development on a plot of land containing a minimum of the lesser of sixty thousand square feet or five times the minimum lot size of the zoning district, but of such larger size as an ordinance or by-law may specify, in which a mixture of residential, open space, commercial, industrial or other uses and a variety of building types are determined to be sufficiently advantageous to render it appropriate to grant special permission to depart from the normal requirements of the district to the extent authorized by the ordinance or by-law. Such open space, if any, may be situated to promote and protect maximum solar access within the development.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws may also provide for the use of structures as shared elderly housing upon the issuance of a special permit. Such zoning ordinances or by-laws shall specify the maximum number of elderly occupants allowed, not to exceed a total number of six, any age requirements and any other conditions deemed necessary for the special permits to be granted.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide that certain classes of special permits shall be issued by one special permit granting authority and others by another special permit granting authority as provided in the ordinance or by-law. Such special permit granting authority shall adopt and from time to time amend rules relative to the issuance of such permits, and shall file a copy of said rules in the office of the city or town clerk. Such rules shall prescribe a size, form, contents, style and number of copies of plans and specifications and the procedure for a submission and approval of such permits.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide for associate members of a planning board when a planning board has been designated as a special permit granting authority. One associate member may be authorized when the planning board consists of five members, and two associate members may be authorized when the planning board consists of more than five members. A city or town which establishes the position of associate member shall determine the procedure for filling such position. If provision for filling the position of associate member has been made, the chairman of the planning board may designate an associate member to sit on the board for the purposes of acting on a special permit application, in the case of absence, inability to act, or conflict of interest, on the part of any member of the planning board or in the event of a vacancy on the board.

    Each application for a special permit shall be filed by the petitioner with the city or town clerk and a copy of said application, including the date and time of filing certified by the city or town clerk, shall be filed forthwith by the petitioner with the special permit granting authority. The special permit granting authority shall hold a public hearing, for which notice has been given as provided in section eleven, on any application for a special permit within sixty-five days from the date of filing of such application; provided, however, that a city council having more than five members designated to act upon such application may appoint a committee of such council to hold the public hearing. The decision of the special permit granting authority shall be made within ninety days following the date of such public hearing. The required time limits for a public hearing and said action, may be extended by written agreement between the petitioner and the special permit granting authority. A copy of such agreement shall be filed in the office of the city or town clerk. A special permit issued by a special permit granting authority shall require a two-thirds vote of boards with more than five members, a vote of at least four members of a five member board, and a unanimous vote of a three member board.

    Failure by the special permit granting authority to take final action within said ninety days or extended time, if applicable, shall be deemed to be a grant of the special permit. The petitioner who seeks such approval by reason of the failure of the special permit granting authority to act within such time prescribed, shall notify the city or town clerk, in writing within fourteen days from the expiration of said ninety days or extended time, if applicable, of such approval and that notice has been sent by the petitioner to parties in interest. The petitioner shall send such notice to parties in interest by mail and each such notice shall specify that appeals, if any, shall be made pursuant to section seventeen and shall be filed within twenty days after the date the city or town clerk received such written notice from the petitioner that the special permit granting authority failed to act within the time prescribed. After the expiration of twenty days without notice of appeal pursuant to section seventeen, or, if appeal has been taken, after receipt of certified records of the court in which such appeal is adjudicated, indicating that such approval has become final, the city or town clerk shall issue a certificate stating the date of approval, the fact that the special permit granting authority failed to take final action and that the approval resulting from such failure has become final, and such certificate shall be forwarded to the petitioner. The special permit granting authority shall cause to be made a detailed record of its proceedings, indicating the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and setting forth clearly the reason for its decision and of its official actions, copies of all of which shall be filed within fourteen days in the office of the city or town clerk and shall be deemed a public record, and notice of the decision shall be mailed forthwith to the petitioner, applicant or appellant, to the parties in interest designated in section eleven, and to every person present at the hearing who requested that notice be sent to him and stated the address to which such notice was to be sent. Each such notice shall specify that appeals, if any, shall be made pursuant to section seventeen and shall be filed within twenty days after the date of filing of such notice in the office of the city or town clerk.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws shall provide that a special permit granted under this section shall lapse within a specified period of time, not more than two years, which shall not include such time required to pursue or await the determination of an appeal referred to in section seventeen, from the grant thereof, if a substantial use thereof has not sooner commenced except for good cause or, in the case of permit for construction, if construction has not begun by such date except for good cause.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws shall also provide that uses, whether or not on the same parcel as activities permitted as a matter of right, accessory to activities permitted as a matter of right, which activities are necessary in connection with scientific research or scientific development or related production, may be permitted upon the issuance of a special permit provided the granting authority finds that the proposed accessory use does not substantially derogate from the public good.

    A hazardous waste facility as defined in section two of chapter twenty-one D shall be permitted to be constructed as of right on any locus presently zoned for industrial use pursuant to the ordinances and by-laws of any city or town provided that all permits and licenses required by law have been issued to the developer and a siting agreement has been established pursuant to sections twelve and thirteen of chapter twenty-one D, provided however, that following the submission of a notice of intent, pursuant to section seven of chapter twenty-one D, a city or town may not adopt any zoning change which would exclude the facility from the locus specified in said notice of intent. This section shall not prevent any city or town from adopting a zoning change relative to the proposed locus for the facility following the final disapproval and exhaustion of appeals for permits and licenses required by law and by chapter twenty-one D.

    A facility, as defined in section one hundred and fifty A of chapter one hundred and eleven, which has received a site assignment pursuant to said section one hundred and fifty A, shall be permitted to be constructed or expanded on any locus zoned for industrial use unless specifically prohibited by the ordinances and by-laws of the city or town in which such facility is proposed to be constructed or expanded, in effect as of July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven; provided, however, that all permits and licenses required by law have been issued to the proposed operator. A city or town shall not adopt an ordinance or by-law prohibiting the siting of such a facility or the expansion of an existing facility on any locus zoned for industrial use, or require a license or permit granted by said city or town, except a special permit imposing reasonable conditions on the construction or operation of the facility, unless such prohibition, license or permit was in effect on or before July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven; provided, however, that a city or town may adopt and enforce a zoning or non-zoning ordinance or by-law of general application that has the effect of prohibiting the siting or expansion of a facility in the following areas: recharge areas of surface drinking water supplies as shall be reasonably defined by rules and regulations of the department of environmental protection, areas subject to section forty of chapter one hundred and thirty-one, and the regulations promulgated thereunder; and areas within the zone of contribution of existing or potential public supply wells as defined by said department. No special permit authorized by this section may be denied for any such facility by any city or town; provided, however, that a special permit granting authority may impose reasonable conditions on the construction or operation of the facility, which shall be enforceable pursuant to the provisions of section seven. (Amended by 1990, 177, Sec. 109 eff. 8-7-90.)

    Section 9A. Special permits for adult bookstores or adult motion picture theatres.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide for special permits authorizing the establishment of adult bookstores, adult motion picture theaters, adult paraphernalia stores, adult video stores or establishments which display live nudity for their patrons as hereinafter defined. Such zoning ordinance or by-law may state the specific improvements, amenities or locations of proposed uses for which such permit may be granted and may provide that the proposed use be a specific distance from any district designated by zoning ordinance or by-law for any residential use or from any other adult bookstore or adult motion picture theatre or from any establishment licensed under the provisions of section twelve of chapter one hundred and thirty-eight. Such zoning ordinance or by-law shall prohibit the issuance of such special permits to any person convicted of violating the provisions of section sixty-three of chapter one hundred and nineteen or section twenty-eight of chapter two hundred and seventy-two.

    As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:--

    "Adult bookstore", an establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade, books, magazines, and other matter which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in section thirty-one of chapter two hundred and seventy-two.

    "Adult motion picture theatre", an enclosed building used for presenting material distinguished by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in section thirty-one of chapter two hundred and seventy-two.

    "Adult paraphernalia store," an establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock devices, objects, tools, or toys which are distinguished or characterized by their association with sexual activity, including sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in section thirty-one of chapter two hundred and seventy-two.

    "Adult video store," an establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade, videos, movies, or other film material which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in said section thirty-one of said chapter two hundred and seventy-two.

    "Establishment which displays live nudity for its patrons", any establishment which provides live entertainment for its patrons, which includes the display of nudity, as that term is defined in section thirty-one of chapter two hundred and seventy-two.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws shall provide that special permits shall only be issued following public hearings held within sixty-five days after filing of an application with the special permit granting authority, a copy of which shall forthwith be given to the city or town clerk by the applicant, and may provide that certain classes of special permits shall be issued by one special permit granting authority and others by another special permit granting authority as provided in the ordinance or by-law. Such special permit granting authority shall adopt and from time to time amend rules relative to the issuance of such permits, and shall file a copy of said rules in the office of the city or town clerk. Such rules shall prescribe a size, form, contents, style and number of copies of plans and specifications and the procedure for a submission and approval of such permits.

    Special permit granting authorities shall act within ninety days following a public hearing for which notice has been given by publication or posting as provided in section eleven, and by mailing to all parties in interest; provided, however, that a city council having more than five members designated to act upon such a permit may appoint a committee of such council to hold the public hearing. Failure by a special permit granting authority to take final action upon an application for a special permit within said ninety days following the date of public hearing shall be deemed to be a grant of the permit applied for. Special permits issued by a special permit granting authority shall require a two-thirds vote of boards with more than five members, a vote of at least four members of a five member board and a unanimous vote of a three member board. Zoning ordinances or by-laws shall provide that a special permit granted under this section shall lapse within a specified period of time, not more than two years, and including such time required to pursue or await the determination of an appeal referred to in section seventeen, from the grant thereof, if a substantial use thereof has not sooner commenced except for good cause or, in the case of permit for construction, if construction has not begun by such date except for good cause.

    Any existing adult bookstore, adult motion picture theater, adult paraphernalia store or establishment which displays live nudity for its patrons, or adult video store shall apply for such permit within ninety days following the adoption of said zoning ordinance or by-law by a municipality.

    Nothing contained herein shall be construed as limiting the power and authority of cities and towns to regulate the use of land, structures or buildings through by-law or zoning ordinance.

    Section 9B. Solar access.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws adopted or amended pursuant to section five of this chapter may encourage the use of solar energy systems and protect solar access by regulation of the orientation of streets, lots and buildings, maximum building height limits, minimum building set back requirements, limitations on the type, height and placement of vegetation and other provisions. Zoning ordinances or by-laws may also establish buffer zones and additional districts that protect solar access which overlap existing zoning districts. Zoning ordinances or by-laws may further regulate the planting and trimming of vegetation on public property to protect the solar access of private and public solar energy systems and buildings. Solar energy systems may be exempted from set back, building height, and roof and lot coverage restrictions.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws may also provide for special permits to protect access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems. Such ordinances or by-laws may provide that such solar access permits would create an easement to sunlight over neighboring property. Such ordinances or by-laws may also specify what constitutes an impermissible interference with the right to direct sunlight granted by a solar access permit and how to regulate growing vegetation that may interfere with such right. Such ordinances or by-laws may further provide standards for the issuance of solar access permits balancing the need of solar energy systems for direct sunlight with the right of neighboring property owners to the reasonable use of their property within other zoning restrictions. Such ordinances or by-laws may also provide a process for issuance of solar access permits including, but not limited to, notification of affected neighboring property owners, opportunity for a hearing, appeal process and recordation of such permits on burdened and benefited property deeds. Such ordinances or by-laws may further provide for establishment of a solar map identifying all local properties burdened or benefited by solar access permits. Such ordinances or by-laws may also require the examination of such solar maps by the appropriate official prior to the issuance of a building permit.

    Section 9C. Child care facilities; increase in allowable floor area; charges by building owner.

    As used in this section, the term "child care facility" shall mean a day care center or a school age child care program, as those terms are defined in section nine of chapter twenty-eight A.

    When any zoning ordinance or bylaw in any city or town limits the floor area of any structure, such floor area shall be measured exclusive of any portion of such structure in which a child care facility is to be operated as an accessory or incidental use, and the otherwise allowable floor area of such structure shall be increased by an amount equal to the floor area of such child care facility up to a maximum increase of ten per cent. In any case where the otherwise allowable floor area of a structure has been increased pursuant to the provisions of this section, the portion of such structure in which a child care facility is to be operated as an accessory or incidental use shall not be used for any other purpose unless, following the completion of such structure, the board authorized to grant variances under such zoning ordinance or bylaw shall have determined, with the written concurrence of the office for children, that the public interest and convenience do not require the operation of such facility. The procedures governing the granting of variances, including all rights of appeal, shall apply to any such determination.

    The owner of a building as to which the allowable floor area has been increased pursuant to this section shall be allowed to charge the operator of the child care facility for the following: the cost of utilities used by the child care facility, a reasonable building operating fee for the costs of maintenance, cleaning and security, and real estate taxes for the portion of the building which is the child care facility, if such facility is operated by a for-profit provider. The owner shall not impose a charge for the cost of alterations necessary to meet the requirements of the office for children regarding the physical facility of a day care center. Any person operating a child care facility in a portion of a structure which is to be used only for such purpose pursuant to the provisions of this section shall use best efforts to assure that at least fifty per cent of the children utilizing such facility are from families whose income is not more than one hundred and ten per cent of the median family income of the commonwealth.

    Section 10. Variances

    The permit granting authority shall have the power after public hearing for which notice has been given by publication and posting as provided in section eleven and by mailing to all parties in interest to grant upon appeal or upon petition with respect to particular land or structures a variance from the terms of the applicable zoning ordinance or by-law where such permit granting authority specifically finds that owing to circumstances relating to the soil conditions, shape, or topography of such land or structures and especially affecting such land or structures but not affecting generally the zoning district in which it is located, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance or by-law would involve substantial hardship, financial or otherwise, to the petitioner or appellant, and that desirable relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of such ordinance or by-law. Except where local ordinances or by-laws shall expressly permit variances for use, no variance may authorize a use or activity not otherwise permitted in the district in which the land or structure is located; provided however, that such variances properly granted prior to January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six but limited in time, may be extended on the same terms and conditions that were in effect for such variance upon said effective date.

    The permit granting authority may impose conditions, safeguards and limitations both of time and of use, including the continued existence of any particular structures but excluding any condition, safeguards or limitation based upon the continued ownership of the land or structures to which the variance pertains by the applicant, petitioner or any owner.

    If the rights authorized by a variance are not exercised within one year of the date of grant of such variance such rights shall lapse; provided, however, that the permit granting authority in its discretion and upon written application by the grantee of such rights may extend the time for exercise of such rights for a period not to exceed six months; and provided, further, that the application for such extension is filed with such permit granting authority prior to the expiration of such one year period. If the permit granting authority does not grant such extension within thirty days of the date of application therefor, and upon the expiration of the original one year period, such rights may be reestablished only after notice and a new hearing pursuant to the provisions of this section.

    Section 11. Notice requirements for public hearings; parties in interest defined; review of special permit petitions; recording copies of special permit and variance decisions.

    In all cases where notice of a public hearing is required notice shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town once in each of two successive weeks, the first publication to be not less than fourteen days before the day of the hearing and by posting such notice in a conspicuous place in the city or town hall for a period of not less than fourteen days before the day of such hearing. In all cases where notice to individuals or specific boards or other agencies is required, notice shall be sent by mail, postage prepaid. "Parties in interest" as used in this chapter shall mean the petitioner, abutters, owners of land directly opposite on any public or private street or way, and abutters to the abutters within three hundred feet of the property line of the petitioner as they appear on the most recent applicable tax list, notwithstanding that the land of any such owner is located in another city or town, the planning board of the city or town, and the planning board of every abutting city or town. The assessors maintaining any applicable tax list shall certify to the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority the names and addresses of parties in interest and such certification shall be conclusive for all purposes. The permit granting authority or special permit granting authority may accept a waiver of notice from, or an affidavit of actual notice to any party in interest or, in his stead, any successor owner of record who may not have received a notice by mail, and may order special notice to any such person, giving not less than five nor more than ten additional days to reply.

    Publications and notices required by this section shall contain the name of the petitioner, a description of the area or premises, street address, if any, or other adequate identification of the location, of the area or premises which is the subject of the petition, the date, time and place of the public hearing, the subject matter of the hearing, and the nature of action or relief requested if any. No such hearing shall be held on any day on which a state or municipal election, caucus or primary is held in such city or town.

    Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide that petitions for special permits shall be submitted to and reviewed by one or more of the following and may further provide that such reviews may be held jointly:-- the board of health, the planning board or department, the city or town engineer, the conservation commission or any other town agency or board. Any such board or agency to which petitions are referred for review shall make such recommendations as they deem appropriate and shall send copies thereof to the special permit granting authority and to the applicant; provided, however, that failure of any such board or agency to make recommendations within thirty-five days of receipt by such board or agency of the petition shall be deemed lack of opposition thereto.

    Upon the granting of a variance or special permit, or any extension, modification or renewal thereof, the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority shall issue to the owner and to the applicant if other than the owner a copy of its decision, certified by the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority, containing the name and address of the owner, identifying the land ffected, setting forth compliance with the statutory requirements for the issuance of such variance or ermit and certifying that copies of the decision and all plans referred to in the decision have been filed with the planning board and city or town clerk. No variance or special permit, or any extension, modification or renewal thereof, shall take effect until a copy of the decision bearing the certification of the city or town clerk that twenty days have elapsed after the decision has been filed in the office of the city or town clerk and no appeal has been filed or that if such appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, and if it is a variance or special permit which has been approved by reason of the failure of the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority to act thereon within the time prescribed, a copy of the application for the special permit or petition for the variance accompanied by the certification of the city or town clerk stating the fact that the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority failed to act within the time prescribed and no appeal has been filed and that the grant of the application or petition resulting from such failure to act has become final or that if an appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, is recorded in the registry of deeds for the county and district in which the land is located and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the owner of record or is recorded and noted on the owner's certificate of title. The fee for recording or registering shall be paid by the owner or applicant. (Amended by 1987, 498, Sec. 2.)

    Section 12. Boards of appeal; membership; rules.

    Zonin ordinances or by-laws shall provide for a zoning board of appeals, according to the provisions of this section, unless otherwise provided by charter. The mayor subject to confirmation of the city council, or board of selectmen shall appoint members of the board of appeals within three months of the adoption of the ordinance or by-law. Pending appointment of the members of the board of appeals, the city council or board of selectmen shall act as the board of appeals. Any board of appeals established hereunder shall consist of three or five members who, unless otherwise provided by charter, shall be appointed by the mayor, subject to the confirmation by the city council, or by the selectmen, for terms of such length and so arranged that the term of one member shall expire each year. Each zoning board of appeals shall elect annually a chairman from its own number and a clerk, and may, subject to appropriation, employ experts and clerical and other assistants. Any member may be removed for cause by the appointing authority upon written charges and after a public hearing. Vacancies shall be filled for unexpired terms in the same manner as in the case of original appointments. Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide for the appointments in like manner of associate members of the board of appeals; and if provision for associate members has been made the chairman of the board may designate any such associate member to sit on the board in case of absence, inability to act or conflict of interest on the part of any member thereof, or in the event of a vacancy on the board until said vacancy is filled in the manner provided in this section.

    The board of appeals shall adopt rules, not inconsistent with the provisions of the zoning ordinance or by-law for the conduct of its business and for purposes of this chapter and shall file a copy of said rules with the city or town clerk. In the event that a board of appeals has appointed a zoning administrator in accordance with section thirteen said rules shall set forth the fact of such appointment, the identity of the persons from time to time appointed to such position, the powers and duties delegated to such individual and any limitations thereon.

    Section 13. Zoning administrators; appointment; powers and duties.

    A zoning ordinance or by-law may authorize the appointment of a zoning administrator, who, unless otherwise provided by charter, shall be appointed by the board of appeals, subject to confirmation by the city council or board of selectmen, to serve at the pleasure of the board of appeals pursuant to such qualifications as may be established by the city council or board of selectmen. The board of appeals may delegate to said zoning administrator some of its powers and duties by a concurring vote of all members of the board of appeals consisting of three members, and a concurring vote of all except one member of a board consisting of five members. Any person aggrieved by a decision or order of the zoning administrator, whether or not previously a party to the proceeding, or any municipal office or board, may appeal to the board of appeals, as provided in section fourteen, within thirty days after the decision of the zoning administrator has been filed in the office of the city or town clerk. Any appeal, application or petition filed with said zoning administrator as to which no decision has issued within thirty-five days from the date of filing shall be deemed denied and shall be subject to appeal to the board of appeals as provided in section eight.

    Section 14. Boards of appeal; powers.

    A board of appeals shall have the following powers:--

    (1) To hear and decide appeals in accordance with section eight.

    (2) To hear and decide applications for special permits upon which the board is empowered to act under said ordinance or by-laws.

    (3) To hear and decide petitions for variances as set forth in section ten.

    (4) To hear and decide appeals from decisions of a zoning administrator, if any, in accordance with section thirteen and this section.

    In exercising the powers granted by this section, a board of appeals may, in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, make orders or decisions, reverse or affirm in whole or in part, or modify any order or decision, and to that end shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken and may issue or direct the issuance of a permit.

    Section 15. Appeals to permit granting authority; notice; time; boards of appeal hearings; procedure.

    Any appeal under section eight to a permit granting authority shall be taken within thirty days from the date of the order or decision which is being appealed. The petitioner shall file a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof, with the city or town clerk, and a copy of said notice, including the date and time of filing certified by the town clerk, shall be filed forthwith by the petitioner with the officer or board whose order or decision is being appealed, and to the permit granting authority, specifying in the notice grounds for such appeal. Such officer or board shall forthwith transmit to the board of appeals or zoning administrator all documents and papers constituting the record of the case in which the appeal is taken.

    Any appeal to a board of appeals from the order or decision of a zoning administrator, if any, appointed in accordance with section thirteen shall be taken within thirty days of the date of such order or decision or within thirty days from the date on which the appeal, application or petition in question shall have been deemed denied in accordance with said section thirteen, as the case may be, by having the petitioner file a notice of appeal, specifying the grounds thereof with the city or town clerk and a copy of said notice including the date and time of filing certified by the city or town clerk shall be filed forthwith in the office of the zoning administrator and in the case of an appeal under section eight with the officer whose decision was the subject of the initial appeal to said zoning administrator. The zoning administrator shall forthwith transmit to the board of appeals all documents and papers constituting the record of the case in which the appeal is taken. An application for a special permit or petition for variance over which the board of appeals or the zoning administrator as the case may be, exercise original jurisdiction shall be filed by the petitioner with the city or town clerk, and a copy of said appeal, application or petition, including the date and time of filing, certified by the city or town clerk, shall be transmitted forthwith by the petitioner to the board of appeals or to said zoning administrator.

    Meetings of the board shall be held at the call of the chairman or when called in such other manner as the board shall determine in its rules. The board of appeals shall hold a hearing on any appeal, application or petition within sixty-five days from the receipt of notice by the board of such appeal, application or petition. The board shall cause notice of such hearing to be published and sent to parties in interest as provided in section eleven. The chairman, or in his absence the acting chairman, may administer oaths, summon witnesses, and call for the production of papers.

    The concurring vote of all members of the board of appeals consisting of three members, and a concurring vote of four members of a board consisting of five members, shall be necessary to reverse any order or decision of any administrative official under this chapter or to effect any variance in the application of any ordinance or by-law.

    All hearings of the board of appeals shall be open to the public. The decision of the board shall be made within one hundred days after the date of the filing of an appeal, application or petition, except in regard to special permits, as provided for in section nine. The required time limits for a public hearing and said action, may be extended by written agreement between the applicant and the board of appeals. A copy of such agreement shall be filed in the office of the city or town clerk. Failure by the board to act within said one hundred days or extended time, if applicable, shall be deemed to be the grant of the appeal, application or petition. The petitioner who seeks such approval by reason of the failure of the board to act within the time prescribed shall notify the city or town clerk, in writing, within fourteen days from the expiration of said one hundred days or extended time, if applicable, of such approval and that notice has been sent by the petitioner to parties in interest. The petitioner shall send such notice to parties in interest, by mail and each notice shall specify that appeals, if any, shall be made pursuant to section seventeen and shall be filed within twenty days after the date the city or town clerk received such written notice from the petitioner that the board failed to act within the time prescribed. After the expiration of twenty days without notice of appeal pursuant to section seventeen, or, if appeal has been taken, after receipt of certified records of the court in which such appeal is adjudicated, indicating that such approval has become final, the city or town clerk shall issue a certificate stating the date of approval, the fact that the board failed to take final action and that the approval resulting from such failure has become final, and such certificate shall be forwarded to the petitioner. The board shall cause to be made a detailed record of its proceedings, indicating the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and setting forth clearly the reason for its decision and of its official actions, copies of all of which shall be filed within fourteen days in the office of the city or town clerk and shall be a public record, and notice of the decision shall be mailed forthwith to the petitioner, applicant or appellant, to the parties in interest designated in section eleven, and to every person present at the hearing who requested that notice be sent to him and stated the address to which such notice was to be sent. Each notice shall specify that appeals, if any, shall be made pursuant to section seventeen and shall be filed within twenty days after the date of filing of such notice in the office of the city or town clerk.

    Section 16 Final unfavorable decisions by permit granting authorities; reconsideration; withdrawal of petitions for variance or applications for special permit.

    No appeal, application or petition which has been unfavorably and finally acted upon by the special permit granting or permit granting authority shall be acted favorably upon within two years after the date of final unfavorable action unless said special permit granting authority or permit granting authority finds, by a unanimous vote of a board of three members or by a vote of four members of a board of five members or two-thirds vote of a board of more than five members, specific and material changes in the conditions upon which the previous unfavorable action was based, and describes such changes in the record of its proceedings, and unless all but one of the members of the planning board consents thereto and after notice is given to parties in interest of the time and place of the proceedings when the question of such consent will be considered.

    Any petition for a variance or application for a special permit which has been transmitted to the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority may be withdrawn, without prejudice by the petitioner prior to the publication of the notice of a public hearing thereon, but thereafter be withdrawn without prejudice only with the approval of the special permit granting authority or permit granting authority.

    Section 17 Judicial review.

    Any person aggrieved by a decision of the board of appeals or any special permit granting authority or by the failure of the board of appeals to take final action concerning any appeal, application or petition within the required time or by the failure of any special permit granting authority to take final action concerning any application for a special permit within the required time, whether or not previously a party to the proceeding, or any municipal officer or board may appeal to the land court department, the superior court department in which the land concerned is situated or, if the land is situated in Hampden county, either to said superior court department or to the division of the housing court department for said county, or if the land is situated in a county, region or area served by a division of the housing court department either to said superior court department or to the division of said housing court department for said county, region or area, or to the division of the district court department within whose jurisdiction the land is situated except in Hampden county, by bringing an action within twenty days after the decision has been filed in the office of the city or town clerk. If said appeal is made to said division of the district court department, any party shall have the right to file a claim for trial of said appeal in the superior court department within twenty-five days after service on the appeal is completed, subject to such rules as the supreme judicial court may prescribe. Notice of the action with a copy of the complaint shall be given to such city or town clerk so as to be received within such twenty days. The complaint shall allege that the decision exceeds the authority of the board or authority, and any facts pertinent to the issue, and shall contain a prayer that the decision be annulled. There shall be attached to the complaint a copy of the decision appealed from, bearing the date of filing thereof, certified by the city or town clerk with whom the decision was filed. (Amended by 1989, 649, Sec. 2 eff. 2-2-90.)

    If the complaint is filed by someone other than the original applicant, appellant or petitioner, such original applicant, appellant, or petitioner and all members of the board of appeals or special permit granting authority shall be named as parties defendant with their addresses. To avoid delay in the proceedings, instead of the usual service of process, the plaintiff shall within fourteen days after the filing of the complaint, send written notice thereof, with a copy of the complaint, by delivery or certified mail to all defendants, including the members of the board of appeals or special permit granting authority and shall within twenty-one days after the entry of the complaint file with the clerk of the court an affidavit that such notice has been given. If no such affidavit is filed within such time the complaint shall be dismissed. No answer shall be required but an answer may be filed and notice of such filing with a copy of the answer and an affidavit of such notice given to all parties as provided above within seven days after the filing of the answer. Other persons may be permitted to intervene, upon motion. The clerk of the court shall give notice of the hearing as in other cases without jury, to all parties whether or not they have appeared. The court shall hear all evidence pertinent to the authority of the board or special permit granting authority and determine the facts, and, upon the facts as so determined, annul such decision if found to exceed the authority of such board or special permit granting authority or make such other decree as justice and equity may require. The foregoing remedy shall be exclusive, notwithstanding any defect of procedure or of notice other than notice by publication, mailing or posting as required by this chapter, and the validity of any action shall not be questioned for matters relating to defects in procedure or of notice in any other proceedings except with respect to such publication, mailing or posting and then only by a proceeding commenced within ninety days after the decision has been filed in the office of the city or town clerk, but the parties shall have all rights of appeal and exception as in other equity cases.

    A city or town may provide any officer or board of such city or town with independent legal counsel for appealing, as provided in this section, a decision of a board of appeals or special permit granting authority and for taking such other subsequent action as parties are authorized to take.

    Costs shall not be allowed against the board or special permit granting authority unless it shall appear to the court that the board or special permit granting authority in making the decision appealed from acted with gross negligence, in bad faith or with malice.

    Costs shall not be allowed against the party appealing from the decision of the board or special permit granting authority unless it shall appear to the court that said appellant or appellants acted in bad faith or with malice in making the appeal to the court.

    The court shall require nonmunicipal plaintiffs to post a surety or cash bond in a sum of not less than two thousand nor more than fifteen thousand dollars to secure the payment of such costs in appeals of decisions approving subdivision plans.

    All issues in any proceeding under this section shall have precedence over all other civil actions and proceedings.

    MGL Chapter 44 - Municipal Finance [June 1998]

    Section 46A. Powers of director; investigation of municipal affairs.

    The director may upon his own initiative, in the case of any city, except Boston, or any town, and shall, when requested by the mayor or city council of any such city or the selectmen of any town, if conditions appear to the director to warrant it, investigate the accounts and financial transactions and affairs of such city or town, or of any department, board, commission or officer thereof. For the purpose of conducting such investigations, the director may employ such temporary investigators as may be necessary, who shall receive such compensation as the commissioner of revenue may fix and shall not be subject to chapter thirty-one. For the aforesaid purposes the director and his duly accredited investigators or agents shall have access to all necessary papers, vouchers, books and records. Upon the completion of such an investigation, a report thereon shall be made to the mayor and city council or to the selectmen, as the case may be, and a copy of the same shall be furnished to the attorney general, and to the city or town clerk who shall cause it or a summary of its essential features to be published at the expense of the city or town. A municipal officer or employee or a member of a municipal department, board or commission whose accounts or transactions are being investigated under this section shall afford to the director, his investigators and agents such assistance as they may require. Refusal or neglect by such an officer, employee or member to afford such assistance shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. The expenses incurred hereunder shall be paid primarily by the commonwealth; and the state treasurer shall issue a warrant requiring the assessors of the city or town concerned to assess a tax to the amount of said expenses, and such amounts shall be collected and paid to the state treasurer in the same manner and subject to the same penalties as state taxes. Any balance due shall be assessed in the succeeding years in the same manner as other state taxes.

    Section 59. Enforcement of chapter.

    The supreme judicial or superior court, by mandamus or other appropriate remedy, at law or in equity, upon the suit or petition of the attorney general or of the mayor, or of one or more taxable inhabitants of a city, town or district authorized by law to incur debt, or of any creditor to whom it is indebted to an amount not less than one thousand dollars, may compel such city, town or district, and its assessors, collectors, treasurers, commissioners of sinking funds and other proper officers, to conform to this chapter.

    Section 62. Penalty for violation of provisions of chapter by officials.

    Any city, town or district officer who knowingly violates, or authorizes or directs any official or employee to violate, any provision of this chapter, or any other provision of general law relating to the incurring of liability or expenditure of public funds on account of any city, town or district, or any provision of special law relating to the incurring of liability or expenditure of public funds as aforesaid, shall, except as otherwise provided, be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both; and the mayor, selectmen, prudential committee, or commissioners, shall, and five taxpayers may, report such violation to the district attorney who shall investigate and prosecute the same.

    MGL Chapter 66 - Public Records [December, 1997]

    Section 1. Supervision of public records; powers and duties.

    The supervisor of public records, in this chapter called the supervisor of records, shall take necessary measures to put the records of the commonwealth, counties, cities or towns in the custody and condition required by law and to secure their preservation. He shall see that the records of churches, parishes or religious societies are kept in the custody and condition contemplated by the various laws relating to churches, parishes or religious societies, and for these purposes he may expend from the amount appropriated for expenses such amount as he considers necessary. The supervisor of records shall adopt regulations pursuant to the provisions of chapter thirty A to implement the provisions of this chapter.

    Section 2. Repealed, 1977, 80, Sec. 1.

    Section 3. "Record", defined; quality of paper and film; microfilm records.

    The word "record" in this chapter shall mean any written or printed book or paper, or any photograph, microphotograph, map or plan. All written or printed public records shall be entered or recorded on paper made of linen rags and new cotton clippings, well sized with animal sizing and well finished, or on one hundred per cent bond paper sized with animal glue or gelatin and preference shall be given to paper of American manufacture marked in water line with the name of the manufacturer. All photographs, microphotographs, maps and plans which are public records shall be made of materials approved by the supervisor of records. Public records may be made by handwriting, or by typewriting, or in print, or by the photographic process, or by the microphotographic process, or by any combination of the same. When the photographic or microphotographic process is used, the recording officer, in all instances where the photographic print or microphotographic film is illegible or indistinct, may make, in addition to said photographic or microphotographic record, a typewritten copy of the instrument, which copy shall be filed in a book kept for the purpose. In every such instance the recording officer shall cause cross references to be made between said photographic or microphotographic record and said typewritten record. If in the judgment of the recording officer an instrument offered for record is so illegible that a photographic or microphotographic record thereof would not be sufficiently legible, he may, in addition to the making of such record, retain the original in his custody, in which case a photographic or other attested copy thereof shall be given to the person offering the same for record, or to such person as he may designate.

    Subject to the provisions of sections one and nine, a recording officer adopting a system which includes the photographic process or the microphotographic process shall thereafter cause all records made by either of said processes to be inspected at least once in every three years, correct any fading or otherwise faulty records and make report of such inspection and correction to the supervisor of records.

    Section 4. Regulation of recording materials and devices; mandamus.

    No ink shall be used upon any permanent public record except ink of such a standard as established and approved by the supervisor of records, and no ribbon, pad or other device used for printing by typewriting machines, or stamping pad, or any ink contained in such ribbon, pad, device, stamping pad or carbon paper, shall be used upon any permanent public record, nor shall any photographic machine or device or chemical used in connection therewith be used in making any permanent public record, except such as has been approved by the supervisor of records, who may cancel his approval if he finds that any article so approved is inferior to the standard established by him. The supreme judicial or superior court shall have jurisdiction in mandamus, on petition of the supervisor of records and pursuant to section five of chapter two hundred and forty-nine, to order compliance with the provisions of this section.

    Section 5. Municipal records; copies.

    County commissioners, city councils and selectmen may cause copies of records of counties, cities or towns, of town proprietaries, or proprietors of plantations, townships or common lands, relative to land situated in their county, city or town or of easements relating thereto, to be made for their county, city or town, whether such records are within or without the commonwealth, and such records within the commonwealth may be delivered by their custodians to any county, city or town for such copying. City councils and selectmen may also cause copies to be made of the records of births, baptisms, marriages and deaths kept by a church or parish in their city or town.

    Section 5A. Records of meetings of boards and commissions; contents.

    The records, required to be kept by sections eleven A of chapter thirty A, nine F of chapter thirty-four and twenty-three B of chapter thirty-nine, shall report the names of all members of such boards and commissions present, the subjects acted upon, and shall record exactly the votes and other official actions taken by such boards and commissions; but unless otherwise required by the governor in the case of state boards, commissions and districts, or by the county commissioners in the case of county boards and commissions, or the governing body thereof in the case of a district, or by ordinance or by-law of the city or town, in the case of municipal boards, such records need not include a verbatim record of discussions at such meetings.

    Section 6. Records of public proceedings; preparation; custody.

    Every department, board, commission or office of the commonwealth or of a county, city or town, for which no clerk is otherwise provided by law, shall designate some person as clerk, who shall enter all its votes, orders and proceedings in books and shall have the custody of such books, and the department, board, commission or office shall designate an employee or employees to have the custody of its other public records. Every sole officer in charge of a department or office of the commonwealth or of a county, city or town having public records in such department or office shall have the custody thereof.

    Section 7. Custody of old and other records.

    Every town clerk shall have the custody of all records of proprietors of towns, townships, plantations or common lands, if the towns, townships, plantations or common lands to which such records relate, or the larger part thereof, are within his town and the proprietors have ceased to be a body politic. The state secretary, clerks of the county commissioners and city or town clerks shall respectively have the custody of all other public records of the commonwealth or of their respective counties, cities or towns, if no other disposition of such records is made by law or ordinance, and shall certify copies thereof.

    Section 8. Preservation and destruction of records, books and papers.

    Every original paper belonging to the files of the commonwealth or of any county, city or town, bearing date earlier than the year eighteen hundred and seventy, every book of registry or record, except books which the supervisor of public records determines may be destroyed, every town warrant, every deed to the commonwealth or to any county, city or town, every report of an agent, officer or committee relative to bridges, public ways, sewers or other state, county or municipal interests not required to be recorded in a book and not so recorded, shall be preserved and safely kept; and every other paper belonging to such files shall be kept for seven years after the latest original entry therein or thereon, unless otherwise provided by law or unless such records are included in disposal schedules approved by the records conservation board for state records or by the supervisor of public records for county, city, or town records; and no such paper shall be destroyed without the written approval of the supervisor of records. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the register of deeds in any county may, without such written approval, destroy any papers pertaining to attachments or to the dissolution or discharge thereof in the files of his office following the expiration of twenty years after the latest original entry therein or thereon, unless otherwise specifically provided by law, and he may destroy all original instruments left for record and not called for within five years after the recording thereof.

    Section 8A. Destruction of certain records by city and town clerks if micro-photographed.

    Any provision of general or special law to the contrary notwithstanding, the clerk of any city or town, with the written approval of the supervisor of records, may destroy any index of instruments made by any clerk of such city or town under the provision of law now embodied in section fifteen of chapter forty-one or any original record made by any such clerk under any of the provisions of law now embodied in section eleven of chapter two hundred and nine, section three of chapter two hundred and fifty-five, or any similar statute; provided, that such index or record, as the case may be, has been, or shall have been, micro-photographed, and that twenty years has, or shall have expired after the making of such index or record. The micro-photograph of any index or record so destroyed shall have the same force and effect as the original index or record from which such micro-photograph was made.

    Section 9. Preservation and copying of worn, etc., records.

    Every person having custody of any public record books of the commonwealth, or of a county, city or town shall, at its expense, cause them to be properly and substantially bound. He shall have any such books, which may have been left incomplete, made up and completed from the files and usual memoranda, so far as practicable. He shall cause fair and legible copies to be seasonably made of any books which are worn, mutilated or are becoming illegible, and cause them to be repaired, rebound or renovated. He may cause any such books to be placed in the custody of the supervisor of records, who may have them repaired, renovated or rebound at the expense of the commonwealth, county, city or town to which they belong. Whoever causes such books to be so completed or copied shall attest them, and shall certify, on oath, that they have been made from such files and memoranda or are copies of the original books. Such books shall then have the force of the original records.

    Section 10. Public inspection and copies of records; presumption; exceptions.

    (a) Every person having custody of any public record, as defined in clause Twenty-sixth of section seven of chapter four, shall, at reasonable times and without unreasonable delay, permit it, or any segregable portion of a record which is an independent public record, to be inspected and examined by any person, under his supervision, and shall furnish one copy thereof upon payment of a reasonable fee. Every person for whom a search of public records is made shall, at the direction of the person having custody of such records, pay the actual expense of such search. The following fees shall apply to any public record in the custody of the state police, the Massachusetts bay transportation authority police or any municipal police department or fire department: for preparing and mailing a motor vehicle accident report, five dollars for not more than six pages and fifty cents for each additional page; for preparing and mailing a fire insurance report, five dollars for not more than six pages plus fifty cents for each additional page; for preparing and mailing crime, incident or miscellaneous reports, one dollar per page; for furnishing any public record, in hand, to a person requesting such records, fifty cents per page. A page shall be defined as one side of an eight and one-half inch by eleven inch sheet of paper.

    (b) A custodian of a public record shall, within ten days following receipt of a request for inspection or copy of a public record, comply with such request. Such request may be delivered in hand to the office of the custodian or mailed via first class mail. If the custodian refuses or fails to comply with such a request, the person making the request may petition the supervisor of records for a determination whether the record requested is public. Upon the determination by the supervisor of records that the record is public, he shall order the custodian of the public record to comply with the person's request. If the custodian refuses or fails to comply with any such order, the supervisor of records may notify the attorney general or the appropriate district attorney thereof who may take whatever measures he deems necessary to insure compliance with the provisions of this section. The administrative remedy provided by this section shall in no way limit the availability of the administrative remedies provided by the commissioner of administration and finance with respect to any officer or employee of any agency, executive office, department or board; nor shall the administrative remedy provided by this section in any way limit the availability of judicial remedies otherwise available to any person requesting a public record. If a custodian of a public record refuses or fails to comply with the request of any person for inspection or copy of a public record or with an administrative order under this section, the supreme judicial or superior court shall have jurisdiction to order compliance.

    (c) In any court proceeding pursuant to paragraph (b) there shall be a presumption that the record sought is public, and the burden shall be upon the custodian to prove with specificity the exemption which applies.

    (d) The clerk of every city or town shall post, in a conspicuous place in the city or town hall in the vicinity of the clerk's office, a brief printed statement that any citizen may, at his discretion, obtain copies of certain public records from local officials for a fee as provided for in this chapter.

    The executive director of the criminal history systems board, the criminal history systems board and its agents, servants, and attorneys including the keeper of the records of the firearms records bureau of said department, or any licensing authority, as defined by chapter one hundred and forty shall not disclose any records divulging or tending to divulge the names and addresses of persons who own or possess firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns and ammunition therefor, as defined in said chapter one hundred and forty and names and addresses of persons licensed to carry and/or possess the same to any person, firm, corporation, entity or agency except criminal justice agencies as defined in chapter six and except to the extent such information relates solely to the person making the request and is necessary to the official interests of the entity making the request.

    The home address and home telephone number of law enforcement, judicial, prosecutorial, department of youth services, correctional and any other public safety and criminal justice system personnel shall not be public records in the custody of the employers of such personnel and shall not be disclosed; provided, however, that such information may be disclosed to an employee organization under chapter one hundred and fifty E or to a criminal justice agency as defined in section one hundred and sixty-seven of chapter six. The name and home address and telephone number of a family member of any such personnel shall not be public records in the custody of the employers of the foregoing persons and shall not be disclosed. The home address and telephone number, or place of employment or education of victims of adjudicated crimes and of persons providing or training in family planning services and the name and home address and telephone number, or place of employment or education of a family member of any of the foregoing shall not be public records in the custody of a government agency which maintains records identifying such persons as falling within such categories and shall not be disclosed.

    Section 11. Fireproof vaults and safes.

    Officers in charge of a state department, county commissioners, city councils and selectmen shall, at the expense of the commonwealth, county, city or town, respectively, provide and maintain fireproof rooms, safes or vaults for the safe keeping of the public records of their department, county, city or town, other than the records in the custody of teachers of the public schools, and shall furnish such rooms with fittings of non-combustible materials only.

    Section 12. Arrangement of records.

    All such records shall be kept in the rooms where they are ordinarily used, and so arranged that they may be conveniently examined and referred to. When not in use, they shall be kept in the fireproof rooms, vaults or safes provided for them.

    Section 13. Custodian to demand records; compelling compliance.

    Whoever is entitled to the custody of public records shall demand the same from any person having possession of them, who shall forthwith deliver the same to him. Upon complaint of any public officer entitled to the custody of a public record, the superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity to compel any person unlawfully having such record in his possession to deliver the same to the complainant.

    Section 14. Surrender of records by retiring officer.

    Whoever has custody of any public records shall, upon the expiration of his term of office, employment or authority, deliver over to his successor all such records which he is not authorized by law to retain, and shall make oath that he has so delivered them, accordingly as they are the records of the commonwealth or of a county, city or town, before the state secretary, the clerk of the county commissioners or the city or town clerk, who shall, respectively, make a record of such oath.

    Section 15. Penalties.

    Whoever unlawfully keeps in his possession any public record or removes it from the room where it is usually kept, or alters, defaces, mutilates or destroys any public record or violates any provision of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Any public officer who refuses or neglects to perform any duty required of him by this chapter shall for each month of such neglect or refusal be punished by a fine of not more than twenty dollars.

    Section 16. Surrender of church records; jurisdiction of superior court.

    If a church, parish, religious society, monthly meeting of the people called Friends or Quakers, or any similar body of persons who have associated themselves together for holding religious meetings, shall cease for the term of two years to hold such meetings, the persons having the care of any records or registries of such body, or of any officers thereof, shall deliver all such records, except records essential to the control of any property or trust funds belonging to such body, to the custodian of a depository provided by the state organization of the particular denomination or to the clerk of the city or town where such body is situated and such clerk may certify copies thereof upon the payment of the fee as provided by clause (25) of section thirty-four of chapter two hundred and sixty-two. If any such body, the records or registries of which, or of any officers of which, have been so delivered, shall resume meetings under its former name or shall be legally incorporated, either alone or with a similar body, the clerk of such city or town or the custodian of said depository shall, upon written demand by a person duly authorized, deliver such records or registries to him if he shall in writing certify that to the best of his knowledge and belief said meetings are to be continued or such incorporation has been legally completed. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity to enforce this section.

    Section 17. Municipality in which records to be kept; penalty.

    Except as otherwise provided by law, all public records shall be kept in the custody of the person having the custody of similar records in the county, city or town to which they originally belonged, and if not in his custody shall be demanded by him of the person having possession thereof, and shall forthwith be delivered by such person to him. Whoever refuses or neglects to perform any duty required of him by this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty dollars.

    Section 17A. Public assistance records; public inspection; destruction.

    The records of the department of transitional assistance, relative to all public assistance, and the records of the commission for the blind relative to aid to the blind, shall be public records; provided that they shall be open to inspection only by public officials of the commonwealth, which term shall include members of the general court, representatives of the federal government and those responsible for the preparation of annual budgets for such public assistance, the making of recommendations relative to such budgets, or the approval or authorization of payments for such assistance, or for any purposes directly connected with the administration of such public assistance or with the administration of chapter one hundred and eighteen F or with the administration of child support enforcement under chapter one hundred and nineteen A, including the use of said records in set-off debt collections under chapter sixty-two D, and including the use of said records by the department of transitional assistance, in concert with related wage reports to ascertain or confirm any fraud, abuse or improper payments to an applicant for or recipient of public assistance; and provided, further, that data from said records may be made available to representatives of the department of education and local school committees solely for the purpose of targeting school attendance areas with the largest concentrations of low income children pursuant to 20 USC 2701 et seq. and that such access shall be supervised by the department of transitional assistance and the department of education in accordance with an interagency agreement between said departments that safeguards confidentiality; and provided, further, that information relative to the record of an applicant for public assistance or a recipient thereof may be disclosed to him or his duly authorized agent; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit disclosure to or access by the bureau of special investigations to the department's records or files for the purposes of fraud detection and control. The commonwealth shall destroy public assistance records ten years after the discontinuance of aid granted under the provisions of chapter sixty-nine, one hundred and seventeen, one hundred and eighteen, one hundred and eighteen A, one hundred and eighteen D and one hundred and nineteen, in such manner as the commissioner or director may prescribe. (Amended by 1995, 5, Secs. 32 and 33 eff. 2-10-95.)

    Section 17B. Repealed, 1973, 1050, Sec. 4.

    Section 17C. Failure to maintain public records of meetings; orders to maintain.

    Upon proof of failure of a governmental body as defined in section eleven A of chapter thirty A, section nine F of chapter thirty-four and section twenty-three A of chapter thirty-nine, or by any member or officer thereof to carry out any of the provisions prescribed by this chapter for maintaining public records, a justice of the supreme judicial or the superior court sitting within and for the county in which such governmental body acts or, in the case of a governmental body of the commonwealth, sitting within and for any county, shall issue an appropriate order requiring such governmental body or member or officer thereof to carry out the provisions of this chapter. Such order may be sought by complaint of three or more registered voters, by the attorney general, or by the district attorney for the county in which the governmental body acts. The order of notice on the complaint shall be returnable no later than ten days after the filing thereof and the complaint shall be heard and determined on the return day or on such day thereafter as the court shall fix, having regard to the speediest possible determination of the cause consistent with the rights of the parties; provided, however, that orders with respect to any of the matters referred to in this section may be issued at any time on or after the filing of the complaint without notice when such order is necessary to fulfill the purposes of this section. In the hearing of any such complaint the burden shall be on the respondent to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the actions complained of in such complaint were in accordance with and authorized by section eleven B of chapter thirty A, by section nine G of chapter thirty-four or by section twenty-three B of chapter thirty-nine. All processes may be issued from the clerk's office in the county in which the action is brought and, except as aforesaid, shall be returnable as the court orders.

    Any such order may also, when appropriate, require the records of any such meeting of a governmental body to be made a public record unless it shall have been determined by such justice that the maintenance of secrecy with respect to such records is authorized by section eleven B of chapter thirty A, by section nine G of chapter thirty-four or by section twenty-three B of chapter thirty-nine. The remedy created hereby is not exclusive, but shall be in addition to every other available remedy.

    Section 17D. Massachusetts natural heritage program data base; division records; site-specific rare species information.

    Records of the division of fisheries and wildlife in the department of fisheries, wildlife and recreational vehicles known as the Massachusetts natural heritage program data base shall not be public records; provided, however, that they shall be open for inspection by agents of the commonwealth and the federal government for the purposes of protecting and preserving species and subspecies of nongame wildlife and indigenous plants. Except as otherwise determined by the administrator of the said data base, site-specific rare species information shall be released only upon the receipt of a statement, in writing, by the recipient that he shall keep such information confidential.

    Section 18. Application of chapter.

    This chapter shall not apply to the records of the general court, nor shall declarations, affidavits and other papers filed by claimants in the office of the commissioner of veterans' services, or records kept by him for reference by the officials of his office, be public records.

    MGL Chapter 140 - Licenses [December, 1997]

    Section 57. Used car sales; necessity; exceptions; auctions; reports.

    No person, except one whose principal business is the manufacture and sale of new motor vehicles but who incidentally acquires and sells second hand vehicles, or a person whose principal business is financing the purchase of or insuring motor vehicles but who incidentally acquires and sells second hand vehicles, shall engage in the business of buying, selling, exchanging or assembling second hand motor vehicles or parts thereof or allow any property under his control to be used as a place of sale or display of motor vehicles without securing a license as provided in section fifty-nine. This section shall apply to any person engaged in the business of conducting auctions for the sale of motor vehicles, and to any person engaged in the business of leasing or renting motor vehicles and who, as an incident to such business, sells or offers to sell any such lease or rental vehicle to the public. All sales of second-hand motor vehicles or parts thereof made by any person referred to in this section shall be reported weekly to the registrar of motor vehicles on such forms as may be prescribed by him.

    Section 58. Classes

    Licenses granted under the following section shall be classified as follows:

    Class 1. Any person who is a recognized agent of a motor vehicle manufacturer or a seller of motor vehicles made by such manufacturer whose authority to sell the same is created by a written contract with such manufacturer or with some person authorized in writing by such manufacturer to enter into such contract, and whose principal business is the sale of new motor vehicles, the purchase and sale of second hand motor vehicles being incidental or secondary thereto, may be granted an agent's or a seller's license; provided, that with respect to second hand motor vehicles purchased for the purpose of sale or exchange and not taken in trade for new motor vehicles, such dealer shall be subject to all provisions of this chapter and of rules and regulations made in accordance therewith applicable to holders of licenses of class 2.

    Class 2. Any person whose principal business is the buying or selling of second hand motor vehicles may be granted a used car dealer's license; provided, however, that such person maintains or demonstrates access to repair facilities sufficient to enable him to satisfy the warranty repair obligations imposed by section seven N 1/4 of chapter ninety. A used car dealer shall remain liable for all warranty repairs made and other obligations imposed by said section seven N 1/4 of said chapter ninety.

    The registrar of motor vehicles shall promulgate rules and regulations defining sufficient repair facilities for the holder of a used car dealer's license.

    Class 3. Any person whose principal business is the buying of second hand motor vehicles for the purpose of remodeling, taking apart or rebuilding and selling the same, or the buying or selling of parts of second hand motor vehicles or tires, or the assembling of second hand motor vehicle parts may be granted a motor vehicle junk license.

    Section 59. Licensing authorities; expiration; fees; application; prerequisites; premises; ordinance regulations; revocation; notice.

    The police commissioner in Boston and the licensing authorities in other cities and towns may grant licenses under this section which shall expire on January first following the date of issue unless sooner revoked. The fees for the licenses shall be fixed by the licensing board or officer, but in no event shall any such fee be greater than one hundred dollars. Application for license shall be made in such form as shall be approved by the registrar of motor vehicles, in sections fifty-nine to sixty-six, inclusive, called the registrar, and if the applicant has not held a license in the year prior to such application, such application shall be made in duplicate, which duplicate shall be filed with the registrar. No such license shall be granted unless the licensing board or officer is satisfied from an investigation of the facts stated in the application and any other information which they may require of the applicant, that he is a proper person to engage in the business specified in section fifty-eight in the classifications for which he has applied, that said business is or will be his principal business, and that he has available a place of business suitable for the purpose. The license shall specify all the premises to be occupied by the licensee for the purpose of carrying on the licensed business. Permits for a change of situation of the licensed premises or for additions thereto may be granted at any time by the licensing board or officer in writing, a copy of which shall be attached to the license. Cities and towns by ordinance or by-law may regulate the situation of the premises of licensees within class 3 as defined in section fifty-eight, and all licenses and permits issued hereunder to persons within said class 3 shall be subject to the provisions of ordinances and by-laws which are hereby authorized to be made. No original license or permit shall be issued hereunder to a person within said class 3 until after a hearing, of which seven days' notice shall have been given to the owners of the property abutting on the premises where such license or permit is proposed to be exercised. Except in the city of Boston, the licensing board or officer may, in its discretion, waive the annual hearing for renewal of a class 3 license. All licenses granted under this section shall be revoked by the licensing board or officer if it appears, after hearing, that the licensee is not complying with sections fifty-seven to sixty-nine, inclusive, or the rules and regulations made thereunder; and no new license shall be granted to such person thereafter, nor to any person for use on the same premises, without the approval of the registrar. The hearing may be dispensed with if the registrar notifies the licensing board or officer that a licensee is not so complying. In each case where such license is revoked, the licensing board or officer shall forthwith notify the registrar of such revocation. Any person aggrieved by any action of the licensing board or officer refusing to grant, or revoking a license for any cause may, within ten days after such action, appeal therefrom to any justice of the superior court in the county in which the premises sought to be occupied under the license or permit applied for are located. The justice shall, after such notice to the parties as he deems reasonable, give a summary hearing on such appeal, and shall have jurisdiction in equity to review all questions of fact or law and may affirm or reverse the decision of the board or officer and may make any appropriate decree. The parties shall have all rights of appeal as in other cases. (Amended by 1989, 243 eff. 10-16-89.)

    Section 59A. Motor vehicle junkyards; requirements.

    No license shall be granted under section fifty-nine to a person within Class 3 as defined in section fifty-eight, for a motor vehicle junkyard, unless such junkyard:

    (a) is to be operated and maintained entirely with a building; or

    (b) is to be operated and maintained exclusively for the purpose of salvaging the value as scrap of the material collected, as opposed to reselling parts to be used for the purpose for which they were originally manufactured, and is to be located in a built-up industrial or commercial area, or contiguous to a railroad siding, or on or contiguous to docking facilities; or

    (c) is:

    (1) more than one thousand feet from the nearest edge of any highway on the interstate or primary system, and

    (2) more than six hundred feet from any other state highway, and

    (3) more than three hundred feet from any park, bathing beach, playground, school, church or cemetery and is not within ordinary view therefrom; or unless it is

    (4) screened from view by natural objects or well-constructed and properly maintained fences at least six feet high acceptable to said city or town and in accordance with regulations as promulgated by the department of highways and as specified on said license.

    No license shall be granted under the provisions of clause (4) of subsection (c) unless a copy of the application for such license has been forwarded by the applicant to the department of highways within three working days of the filing of said application.

    Section 60. Registrar's rules and regulations.

    The registrar may from time to time make rules and regulations consistent with sections fifty-seven to sixty-nine, inclusive, relative to the purchase, sale or exchange of second hand motor vehicles or parts thereof.

    Section 61. Repealed, 1996, 429.

    Section 62. Record book; contents

    Every licensee shall keep a book on the licensed premises, in such form as shall be approved by the registrar, in which, at the time of the purchase, sale, exchange, or receipt for the purpose of sale, of any second hand motor vehicle or parts thereof, shall be legibly written in the English language an account and description of such motor vehicle or parts, with the name and address of the seller, of the purchaser, and of the alleged owner or other person from whom such motor vehicle or parts were purchased or received or to whom they were delivered, as the case may be. Such description, in the case of motor vehicles, shall also include the identifying number or numbers required by the registrar, and shall also include a statement that the identifying number or numbers have been removed, defaced, altered, changed, destroyed, obliterated or mutilated if such is the fact.

    Section 63. Repealed, 1977, 553.

    Section 64. Repealed, 1996, 429.

    Section 65. Repealed, 1961, 45, Sec. 2.

    Section 66. Entering premises; investigation; examination of vehicles; parts, books, papers and inventories.

    The colonel of state police, the attorney general or such persons as he may designate, the police commissioner in Boston, the chief of police of any other city, the selectmen of a town or any police officer authorized by any of said officials may at any time enter upon any premises used by any person licensed under section fifty-nine for the purpose of carrying on his licensed business, ascertain how he conducts the same, and examine all second hand motor vehicles or parts thereof kept or stored in or upon the premises, and all books, papers and inventories relating thereto.

    Section 67. Obstruction of entrance or examination by officers; refusal to exhibit items demanded.

    A licensee under section fifty-nine, or a clerk, agent or other person in charge of the licensed premises, who refuses to admit thereto an officer authorized to enter the same, or who fails to exhibit to him on demand all such motor vehicles, parts thereof, and books, papers and inventories relating thereto, and any person who wilfully hinders, obstructs or prevents such officer from entering the premises or from making the examination authorized in the preceding section, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

    A licensee under section fifty-nine (59), or a clerk, agent or other person in charge of the licensed premises, who refuses to admit thereto an officer authorized to enter the same, or who fails to exhibit to him on demand all such motor vehicles, parts thereof, and books, papers and inventories relating thereto, and any person who willfully hinders, obstructs or prevents such officer from entering the premises or from making the examination authorized in the preceding section, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred ($200.00) dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or both.

    Section 67A. Junked motor vehicles, registration and identification plates; removal and forwarding to registrar; penalty.

    Any person licensed under section fifty-four or fifty-nine shall, before junking or authorizing the junking of any motor vehicle, remove therefrom the registration number plates and the vehicle identification plates, and forward them forthwith to the registrar of motor vehicles. The registrar may notify the licensing authority which issued the license to any person who has failed to comply with the provisions of this section of such failure and said authority shall suspend or revoke such license and shall not thereafter reinstate, renew or issue any such license to such person without the written consent of the registrar.

    Section 68. Unlicensed business.

    Whoever, not being licensed, carries on the business for which a license is required by section fifty-seven, or is concerned therein, or, being licensed, carries on such business or is concerned therein in any other place or manner than that designated in his license, or after notice to him that his license has been revoked or suspended, shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred and not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

    In cases of two or more convictions, under the provisions of this section, the attorney general shall be notified for action under section six of chapter ninety-three A.

    Section 69. Violation of statutes, rules or regulations.

    Whoever violates any provision of sections fifty-seven to sixty-eight, inclusive, or any rule or regulation made by the registrar under section sixty, unless a penalty other than the revocation of a license is prescribed therefor elsewhere in said sections, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. A conviction of a violation of any of said sections, rules or regulations shall be reported forthwith by the court or magistrate to the registrar of motor vehicles who may, after a hearing, suspend or revoke any certificate of registration issued under section five of chapter ninety.

     

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