Town Clerk

Please contact the Town Clerk through phone, fax, email, mail or in person for any and all public records requests.

The Town Clerk’s Office is the official keeper of town records. This includes the vital records of births, deaths, and marriages of the town’s residents. All town meeting minutes are recorded and on file with this office, as well production of the annual town report. All town, state, and federal elections are conducted and recorded with this office.

The Town Clerk’s Office is responsible for administrating the oath of office for all elected and appointed town officials, and keeping records of same. All town boards must post their scheduled meetings at least 48 hours prior to the meeting with the Town Clerk’s Office. This is a requirement of the State’s open meeting law. The “Official” posting board is located at the Town Hall outside of the Town Clerk’s Office.

Town Clerk Documents

Town Meeting Information

History of Town Meeting in the Town of Groveland

On March 8, 1850 the town was incorporated as the Town of Groveland, part of Rowley from 1630 to 1675 and part of Bradford from 1675 to 1850.

The Town of Groveland is governed by an open town meeting, an open Town Meeting means that all of the town’s voters may vote on all matters; and a select board, the Selectmen are a town’s executive officers.

The town elects a five member Select Board by general election, which serve for overlapping three-year terms. The Select Board is responsible for calling town meetings. They initiate legislative policy by proposing legislative changes at the town meeting, and then implement the votes subsequently adopted. They also review fiscal guidelines for the annual operating budget and capital improvements program and make recommendations on these to the town meeting. The Board of Selectmen runs the town and supervises town workers.

Town Meeting Warrants

Vital Records Request

Birth, Death, and Marriage Certificates

The Town Clerk serves as the Town Registrar of Vital Records and Statistics. The Clerk accepts filing and maintains the records of all births, marriages and deaths that occur in Groveland and death certificates of those residents of Groveland whose death occurred elsewhere in Massachusetts.

The Clerk is authorized to issue certified copies of all vital records in custody, as well as to execute adoption and amendment depositions regarding records originating in the Town, in accordance with State Law and compliance with the Department of Vital Records and Statistics procedures.

Births

Birth records of those children whose parents resided in Groveland at the time of the child’s birth, as well as those children who were physically born in the Town, will be on file with this office.

Marriages 

Marriage records of couples who filed their marriage intentions in Groveland will be on file in this office. It has been the experience of this office that many couples wish to have a certified copy of their marriage certificate to keep with their other important personal documents, as well as to have on hand to show as proof of the marriage when needed. Many couples require one or more certified copies for insurance purposes, health insurance policies, Social Security benefits, pension benefits, Veteran’s benefits, as well as for documentation for a name change with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Social Security, credit accounts, bank accounts, etc.

Deaths

Death certificates are maintained in this office for those persons who physically died in Groveland, or for those persons who died elsewhere in Massachusetts and whose legal residence at the time of their death is listed on their death certificate as Groveland. 

Certified Copies 

Certified copies of all the above vital records can be obtained from this office. There is a minimal turn-around time once the request and payment have been received.  

Record Research 

Certified copies of all the above vital records can be obtained from this office. There is a minimal turn-around time once the request and payment have been received. Telephone and e-mail requests will not be accepted as payment is required in advance.

Business Information

MGL Chapter 110 Sections 5 and 6 as well as MGL Chapter 227 Section 5A The primary purpose of filing a business certificate is to protect consumers or creditors by identifying the names and addresses of the owners of the business. The filing of a business certificate does not protect a business name as does a corporate filing or a trademark registration.

A business certificate filing is commonly called a “dba” or doing business as. The filing of a business certificate may be used in connection with a court case to show when a business name was first used in a community and to enjoin another business from using an identical or similar name. If you need information on legal protection of a business name you should contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office, Corporations Division or your own lawyer.

Any person conducting a business, individually or as a partnership, in the commonwealth under any title or name other than his real name, must file a business certificate with the clerk of the city or town in which the business has an office. The term “person” includes a corporation.

The certificate must include the full name and residence of each person conducting the business; the place, including street and number, where the business is conducted; and the title under which the business is conducted. The certificate must be signed under oath by each person conducting the business, certifying that the statements contained in the certificate are true. The certificate may be signed in the presence of any of the following: the town clerk, the assistant town clerk, a person designated by the town clerk, or a person authorized to take oaths, such as a notary public. Each person wishing to file a business must produce evidence of his identity.

All parties whose name will appear on the Business Certificate will need to appear together. Please stop by Town Clerk’s Office for Business Certificates. Fee for filing a business certificate is $15.00 – expires in 4 years.

The following are exempted from filing a business certificate with the Town Clerk:

  • Corporations doing business under its true corporate name which is required to file records and reports with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Corporations Division.
  • Partnership doing business under a title which includes the true surname of any partner.
  • Association which has complied with MGL Chapter 159 Sections 5 and 6 related to common carriers whose agents must file information with the State Treasurer.
  • Partnership, joint stock company or association conducted under a written instrument or declaration of trust, provided that the names of the trustees, with a reference to the instrument or declaration of trust, have been filed on a business certificate

Marriage License Information

General:

  • Both parties must be present when filling out the marriage intentions at the Town Clerk’s Office.
  • Come prepared – make sure you know the correct spelling of parents names in full including their middle names.
  • Intentions may be filed in any Clerk’s Office in Massachusetts for weddings occurring anywhere within Massachusetts.
  • Permanent Record of Marriage is maintained by community where intentions were filed as well as Vital Records in Boston
  • Licenses are not filed in the community where marriage occurs unless intentions were filed there.
  • Cost to file Intentions – $15.00
  • Certified Marriage License copies after marriage are $10.00 each

Surname:

Applicants must provide the chosen surname to be used after marriage. Either party may continue to use his or her current surname, take the surname of the other party, hyphenate a combination of surnames, or use any other surname of their choice as long as there is no intent to defraud.

Prerequisite for Applicants Intending to Marry in Massachusetts:

Before an Intention is signed under oath it is important that certain criteria are met.

Criteria Includes:

  • Meet the waiting period of divorce
  • Meeting the Legal Impediments to Marriage
  • Proof of where parties reside
  • Requirements to appear, to swear and sign to under oath

Waiting Period

The mandatory waiting period between the date Intentions are filed and the date the license can be issued is three (3) days.

Exception: Court Waiver – Parties after filing Intentions may petition a judge of a probate or district court for a waiver to the three-day waiting period. Upon such order, the license may be issued without delay. Certified copy of Court Order must be provided to receive License.

Medical Certificates

Medical Certificate are no longer required in Massachusetts 

Divorce

By statute neither party may marry if either party is currently married to someone else.

If divorced you must provide proof that divorce is final – show copy of divorce nisi – party is still married for 90 days after divorce nisi. Cannot file intentions until divorce is final.

If divorced within last two years you must bring in your divorce decree.

Legal Impediments 

Must be 18 years of age and not blood related. Statutes also require that proof of age is presented.

Each party must indicate any relationship to the other party by consanguinity (blood or genetic relationship) or affinity (relationship through marriage of their relatives). Certain relationships are prohibited by Massachusetts statute and other may be prohibited by statutes where the party resides or intends to continue to reside.

Residence & Intent to Continue to Reside 

Before issuing a license to marry a person who resides and intends to continue to reside in another state, the officer having authority to issue the license shall be satisfied, by requiring affidavits or otherwise, that such person is not prohibited from intermarrying by the laws of the jurisdiction where he or she resides. 

Oath

After reading the Impediments to Marriage both parties will take an oath that no Impediments to Marriage exist and then sign under the penalties of perjury indicating an understanding of the Impediments of Marriage.

Dog Licenses

Dog owners whose pets are not licensed by March 31st of each year are subject to a fine in addition to the fee. The owner or keeper of an unlicensed dog after June 1 st shall be fined $10.00 per dog; $15.00 fine on the first of July and a $25.00 fine on the first of August.

According to Groveland’s General Bylaws the licensing fee is set as follows:

  • $5 for every neuter male or spayed female dog
  • $10 for every non-neutered male or non-spayed female dog

Proof of current rabies and proof of neutering or spaying are required.

Dog Kennels – Kennel license fees shall be as follows:

  • 1 to 4 dogs $15.00
  • 5 to 10 dogs $25.00
  • 11 or more dogs $35.00

Raffle and Bazaar Permits

Although Massachusetts General Laws prohibit most forms of gambling in the Commonwealth, an exception is made under MGL Chapter 271 Section 7A for certain non-profit organizations that wish to raise funds through raffles and bazaars. -The term “bazaar” is used to refer to “casino night” type events.

Organizations meeting the criteria outlined in the law may apply for a permit from the Town Clerk where the raffle drawing or casino night will take place. The permit application fee in the Town of Groveland is $10.00. A permit will be issued only after approval of the application by the Town Clerk and the Chief of Police.

The permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance. An unlimited number of raffles, but only three bazaars (casino nights) may be held within the duration of the permit.

Gross proceeds of raffles and bazaars are subject to a 5% Massachusetts excise tax on wagering. Proceeds must be reported to the Lottery Commission and taxes paid within 10 days after each event. The Lottery Commission will send the appropriate tax reporting forms to the sponsoring organization. Additional forms can be obtained by calling the Lottery Commission at 781-849-5555.

At the end of the permit’s validity, and before a renewal permit can be issued, an Annual Report must be filed with the Town Clerk. The report must list all income and expenses associated with raffles and bazaars for the duration of the permit, as well as the names and addresses of participants who won prizes valued at $250.00 or more. The report must be signed by the members of the organization listed on the original permit application, as well as the organization’s accountant.

Organizations holding raffle and bazaar permits are responsible for adhering to the regulations outlined in MGL Chapter 271 Section 7A. There are additional regulations in 940 CMR 12 for raffles in which the value of prizes exceeds $10,000 or in which the ticket price exceeds $10.00. Bazaars (casino nights) are also governed by 940 CMR 13. Questions about these regulations can be directed to the Town Clerk’s Office at 978-556-7221 or the Lottery Commission at 781-849-5555.