Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey has sued three district attorneys, including Cape and Islands DA Michael O’Keefe, alleging they failed to comply with the state public records law.

Ms. Healey filed the complaint for declaratory judgment against Plymouth County district attorney Timothy J. Cruz, Worcester County district attorney Joseph Early Jr., and Mr. O’Keefe two weeks ago in Suffolk County Superior Court. The suit aims to determine whether certain criminal court records are public records under state law, or whether, as the prosecutors argue, the records are exempt from disclosure under laws meant to protect privacy and promote rehabilitation. The action stems from a January 2015 public records request from the Boston Globe. According to the complaint, the Globe sought computer records kept by district attorneys tracking criminal cases, including case numbers, offense dates, docket numbers, court names, and case filing dates.

The Globe has reported that some offices provided the data, while others demanded fees or redacted information. The three district attorneys named in the suit did not provide the records, citing exemptions to the public records law including the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) statute and attorney-client privilege. The CORI law limits dissemination of records and data concerning identifiable individuals and the nature of criminal charges and court proceedings. But police daily logs and court records of public proceedings, among other things, are considered public record.

“It is the position of the attorney general that the public records law required disclosure of the requested records, notwithstanding the CORI law,” the complaint states, adding that the attorney general’s suit “seeks a declaration as to whether certain records in the defendants’ possession are public records that the Defendants must provide pursuant to the Public Records Law in response to a request.”

In a Nov. 23 statement, Mr. O’Keefe, Mr. Early, and Mr. Cruz said they believed there was a conflict between the public records law and CORI.

“While our offices strive for transparency and provide the public and media information every day, there exists substantial disagreement concerning access to electronic records kept by our offices,” the statement said. “The Trial Court in its own effort to balance transparency with the private information contained in court records added filters to its public portal to prevent data mining. The question presented will decide whether the district attorneys’ electronic records are similarly protected.

“We look forward to a clear resolution of these important concerns,” the statement concluded.