January 13, 2006


There was no Crimson Triumph today when the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts affirmed the trial court's dismissal of the Harvard Crimson's suit seeking certain records from the Harvard University Police Department.

The Court concluded that the records at issue were not--as the Crimson argued--"public records" subject to disclosure under the state's public records law. The Court rejected the Crimson's argument that the appointment of some of Harvard's police officers as special state police or deputy sheriffs--vesting them with powers unique to public law enforcement agencies--renders Harvard, a private entity, subject to the public records law.

Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, former General Counsel at Harvard, did not participate in the hearing or the decision.

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