Labeling email messages

This procedure defines how email messages are classified and how that determines how long they are kept.

Governing Policy: Electronic Communications Policy

Type: Enterprise; Check with the Departmental Policy Coordinator for procedures specific to each department.

Applies To: City Council Departments

Department Approval: City Clerk's Office

Effective Date: Sept. 10, 2005

Keywords: Email, records, retention, labeling


Messages sent via e-mail meet the State of Minnesota definition of a record. As such, specific classifications of messages sent via e-mail, including any attachments, shall be retained according to the City of Minneapolis Records Management Policy.

Not Public Data

  1. Labeling Messages as a Form of Not Public Data: Although electronic communication is generally a public document, electronic transmission of Not Public Data is an exception to the general public nature of E-mail.
  2. Designating a message as Not Public Data or a form of Not Public Data may minimize the possibility that the recipient will disclose it to unintended third parties. When electronic communication is used to transmit Not Public Data, as defined in the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (Chapter 13 of the Minnesota Statutes), the message should be clearly marked with one of the following designations: Not Public Data or Confidential or Private or Nonpublic or Protected Nonpublic or Trade Secret.

Attorney-Client Privileged

  1. Labeling Messages as Attorney-Client Privileged: Although electronic communication is generally a public document, electronic transmission of Attorney-Client Privileged communications is an exception to the general public nature of electronic communication. When electronic communication is used for communications between an attorney and a client, the message shall be clearly marked with the heading "Attorney-Client Privileged." Merely designating a message as privileged does not necessarily protect it as privileged, but the designation has a legally useful purpose. Privileged information, which is received from an attorney, shall not be forwarded without the attorney's authorization. Clients should consult with the attorney before sending courtesy copies to anyone.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Users are responsible for identifying and labeling email messages correctly.
  • Supervisors and managers are responsible for educating staff about labeling and records management best practices.

Contact us

City Clerk

Information Governance



Mailing address

City Hall
350 S. Fifth St., Room 304
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Temporary office location

250 S. Fourth St., Room 100
Minneapolis, MN 55415