USA Massachusetts

USA Statutes : massachusetts
Title : PART III. COURTS, JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CIVIL CASES
Chapter : TITLE I. COURTS AND JUDICIAL OFFICERS
Section 1. The supreme judicial court shall consist of one chief justice and six associate justices.
Section 10. If, upon the hearing of an appeal in any proceeding, it appears that the appeal is frivolous, immaterial or intended for delay, the court may, either upon motion of a party or of its own motion, award against the appellant double costs from the time when the appeal was taken and also interest from the same time at the rate of twelve per cent a year on any amount which has been found due for debt and damages, or which he has been ordered to pay, or for which judgment has been recovered against him, or may award any part of such additional costs and interest.
Section 12. The supreme judicial court shall hold sittings for the hearing and determination of questions of law arising in any cases at such times and places as the court shall by rule determine, and any such sittings may be adjourned to such places and times as shall appear to the court to be most conducive to the dispatch of business and to the interests of the public.
Section 14. The full court sitting in any county, or for the commonwealth, shall have jurisdiction of all questions of law and of all cases and matters at law or in equity, civil or criminal, which arise in any county other than that in or for which it is sitting, and which might properly be heard and determined by it sitting for such county; and, upon the application of a party, the full court may order any such questions of law, or case or matter, to be entered and determined by the full court sitting in any county, or for the commonwealth.
Section 15. The exceptions alleged at the trial of a criminal case in any county, not subject to the provisions of sections thirty-three A to thirty-three G, inclusive, of chapter two hundred and seventy-eight in accordance with said provisions or not made subject thereto by order of a justice of the superior court in accordance with section thirty-one of said chapter, may be entered and determined either at the law sitting of the supreme judicial court held for the county in which they arise, or, upon the order of the justice presiding at the trial, at the sitting of the court for the commonwealth including an adjourned sitting.
counties Section 16. If the justice before whom an action or proceeding is tried in the supreme judicial court or the superior court in counties other than Barnstable, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth or Suffolk considers that a question of law which arises for the determination of the full court is immaterial, frivolous, or intended merely for delay, or that the interests of the parties or of the public require a more speedy determination thereof than can be reached in the sitting established for the county in which the action or proceeding is tried, he shall so certify and order the question of law to be entered and heard at the sitting of the court for the commonwealth; and all the other proceedings shall be the same as if the question had arisen in one of the above named counties.
Section 17. Jury sittings of the court shall be held by one justice, who shall have all the powers not expressly reserved to the full court.
If there are pending before the court in the respective counties matters requiring trial by jury, such sittings shall be held in the county of Suffolk sitting at Boston or in such other county at such places and times as the court may determine as being conducive to the dispatch of business and to the interest of the public.
Section 18. If the public business so requires, the court may adjourn an established sitting for the county of Bristol from either Taunton or New Bedford to Fall River, in the manner and with the effect of an adjournment to another shire town; and such adjournment shall be subject to all the provisions of law relative to adjournments to another shire town.
Section 19. An action, suit or proceeding arising or pending in the county of Nantucket, which is cognizable by the supreme judicial court and which is to be heard before one justice, shall be entered, heard, tried and determined at the court held in the county of Bristol, in all respects as if the same court were held in the county of Nantucket. An action, suit or proceeding arising or pending in the county of Dukes, which is so cognizable and which is to be heard before one justice, shall be heard, tried and determined at the court held in the county of Bristol, in all respects as if the same court were held in the county of Dukes; provided, that the records and papers in all such cases entered in the county of Dukes shall be kept in said county, but the papers may be transmitted to and from any other county in accordance with such rules or orders as said court may make. All matters cognizable by the full court arising or pending in the county of Dukes or Nantucket shall be heard and determined as if arising in the county of Bristol.
Section 2. The full court shall be the supreme judicial court in banc, and four justices shall constitute a quorum to decide all matters required to be heard by it.
Section 20. Four or more justices present at a jury sitting shall have the powers of a full court. One justice present at a law sitting shall have the same authority as at a jury sitting.
Section 21. The full court, sitting for the commonwealth, shall examine and audit all accounts for services and expenses incident to said court, and they shall be paid by the commonwealth.
prohibited Section 22. The chief justice shall receive a salary of $131,512 and each associate justice shall receive a salary of $126,943 and the chief justice and each associate justice shall annually receive from the commonwealth upon the certificate of the chief justice the amount of expenses incurred by each of them in the discharge of his duties. Such justices shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
Section 23. The justices of the court shall be allowed annually law clerks, stenographers, other clerical assistance and any other personnel that said justices may from time to time deem necessary.
Section 24. (a) A retired chief justice or associate justice of the supreme judicial court whose name has been placed on the list of retired justices pursuant to section sixty-five E of chapter thirty-two may be designated and assigned by the chief justice of the supreme judicial court to perform, during his term of eligibility, such of the duties of the office of associate justice of the supreme judicial court as may be requested of him and which he is willing to undertake, provided that no single assignment shall be for a term longer than ninety days, and provided that full-bench duties may be assigned only to fill a temporary vacancy, including temporary disability, on the court. Such retired chief justice or associate justice may also be designated and assigned by the chief justice of the supreme judicial court to perform; during his term of eligibility, such of the duties of judge of any lower court as may be requested of him and which he is willing to undertake provided that no single assignment shall be for a term of no longer than ninety days.
(b) In performing the service requested of him a retired chief justice or associate justice shall exercise all judicial powers and authority pertaining to the office in which he acts, with respect to matters as to which he is designated to act, and the fact of such service shall be stated on the records of the court, but need not be separately stated in the record or docket of any particular cause or proceeding. Service under the provisions of this section shall not be counted in determining the number of offices authorized or required by any applicable statute for the court on which a retired chief justice or associate justice might serve pursuant to this chapter.
(c) A retired chief justice or associate justice so serving shall be paid by the commonwealth, in addition to the pension or retirement allowance received, a per diem differential rate of compensation equivalent to one two hundred twentieths of the balance remaining after deducting the annual pension or retirement allowance received from the current annual salary of such justice if not retired. The per diem differential rate of compensation shall be paid monthly from Judiciary appropriated funds.
Such retired justice shall be entitled to all other benefits of a regular incumbent of the supreme judicial court and shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred while performing such services at any place other than his place of residence. While so serving he shall be entitled to receive such staff support, clerical assistance and facilities as are customarily available to judges of the court on which he serves.
Section 25. There is hereby created under the superintendence of the supreme judicial court, hereinafter called the court, a disability benefits project, hereinafter called the project, for the exclusive purpose of providing increased legal assistance for mentally or physically disabled persons to secure federal disability benefits provided through the Social Security Disability Insurance program under Title II of the Social Security Act, through the Supplemental Security Income program under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, and through such other programs subsequently established by Congress to accomplish similar purposes for persons with disabilities. The purpose and intent of said project shall be to make funds available, subject to appropriation for such purposes, to organizations, including qualified legal services programs as defined in section one of chapter two hundred and twenty-one A, and other groups, corporations or associations to fund a program of statewide legal assistance, such funds to be distributed pursuant to contracts which set general goals for case-handling, or include other appropriate measures of service, for each organization receiving financial assistance and which require, where appropriate, that a portion of said financial assistance be made available to private attorneys to further effectuate the intent of the project. The court may administer or contract with any organization for the purpose of administering the project. The court may further appoint a disability advisory committee, consisting of members of the legal community including those with experience in advocacy for persons with disabilities, and members of the disabled community, for the purpose of assisting the court in matters pertaining to the project. The composition of the committee, the terms of its members, and the scope of its responsibilities shall be determined by the court.
Section 26. A majority of the supreme judicial court, in consultation with the chief justice for administration and management shall design and implement a program for performance evaluation of judges. The sole purpose of said program shall be the improvement of the performance of individual judges and of the judiciary as a whole and, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, all information compiled by said program shall be confidential. Said court may consult with individuals and organizations and may contract for technical assistance for the purpose of said program to the extent it deems necessary.
program; contents; distribution, collection, etc.
; frequency of evaluations Section 26A. The program for performance evaluation, as described in section twenty-six of this chapter, shall include, but not be limited to, a questionnaire, to be designed and implemented by the supreme judicial court. Said questionnaires shall be given to attorneys, parties and jurors appearing before a judge in each trial and in addition to each trial, in a representative sample of cases, so they may evaluate the performance of the judge. The questionnaire shall include, but not be limited to, questions relative to the judge’s performance, demeanor, judicial management skills, legal ability, attentiveness, bias and degree of preparedness. Completed questionnaires shall be returned to the supreme judicial court, unsigned, within thirty days of the completion of the case or trial and all responses shall remain confidential. The data collected from each questionnaire shall be compiled and once the data has been compiled, the questionnaire from which the data was collected shall be destroyed.
The chief justice for administration and management shall establish the method and means by which the questionnaires shall be distributed, collected, verified and compiled.
Judges with one to four years service shall be evaluated every twelve to eighteen months and judges with more than four years service shall be evaluated every eighteen to thirty-six months. A minimum of twenty-five responses shall be compiled before a judge is evaluated. The supreme judicial court, or their designees, shall conduct the evaluation of a judge. When an evaluation of an individual judge is complete, it shall be made available to that judge and discussed with him.
procedures Section 26B. The majority of the supreme judicial court shall establish judicial evaluation standards which individual judges must achieve during the evaluation process and shall design and implement programs for judges to attend who fail to achieve judicial evaluation standards. The majority of the supreme judicial court shall also establish disciplinary procedures for judges who do not complete programs implemented for judges who fail to achieve judicial evaluation standards.
justices; administration Section 27. The supreme judicial court may adopt rules requiring the justices of the commonwealth to participate in pre-service and in-service training programs for such periods and at such intervals as it deems advisable, and providing for the administration of such training requirements, including procedures for the approval of training programs to comply with such training requirements and for the submission by justices of affidavits of compliance with such training requirements.
restrictions Section 28. The chief justice of the supreme judicial court may grant a leave of absence for study, research, teaching, or such other reason as said chief justice deems appropriate to the improved administration of justice, to a justice of said court, said leave to be for a period not to exceed one year. Any justice who takes an approved leave of absence shall not receive pay during the period of the leave of absence; provided, however, that time spent on leave of absence shall be credited to the justice for retirement purposes; provided, further, that for the purposes of eligibility for life insurance and health plans available under chapter thirty-two A, said justice shall be considered an active employee. The chief justice, in approving such leaves, shall consider the speedy dispatch of judicial business. The chief justice, in consultation with all the justices, shall establish and promulgate standards governing the approval of such leaves including procedures for the submission and disposition of requests for leave.
No leave of absence under this section shall be granted prior to the seventh year of service or within one year of retirement. A justice granted a leave of absence under this section shall not be eligible to take another leave of absence until the expiration of seven years following his return to judicial duties.
All statutory requirements and rules of court pertaining to justices shall continue to be applicable to a justice while he is on leave of absence pursuant to this section.
Section 2A. The chief justice of the supreme judicial court in consultation with the chief justice for administration and management shall periodically prepare a statement of all expenses and costs, including salaries, for the supreme judicial court. Said chief justice shall periodically prepare and submit to the budget director the statement required by section three of chapter twenty-nine which shall show, in detail, an estimate for the ordinary maintenance of the entire judicial system of the commonwealth, and the revenue therefrom, as provided in clause (5) of the first paragraph of said section three. Said statement shall include judicial salaries and the salaries of all officers and employees within the judicial branch of government of the commonwealth and shall include estimates of all sums which the commonwealth is obligated to pay under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine A.
Said chief justice may use the estimates prepared by the chief justice of the appeals court and the chief administrative justice of the trial court for the purposes of this section, attaching whatever recommendations he may desire or deem necessary.
issue writs and process Section 3. The supreme judicial court shall have general superintendence of all courts of inferior jurisdiction to correct and prevent errors and abuses therein if no other remedy is expressly provided; and it may issue all writs and processes to such courts and to corporations and individuals which may be necessary to the furtherance of justice and to the regular execution of the laws.
In addition to the foregoing, the justices of the supreme judicial court shall also have general superintendence of the administration of all courts of inferior jurisdiction, including, without limitation, the prompt hearing and disposition of matters pending therein, and the functions set forth in section three C; and it may issue such writs, summonses and other processes and such orders, directions and rules as may be necessary or desirable for the furtherance of justice, the regular execution of the laws, the improvement of the administration of such courts, and the securing of their proper and efficient administration; provided, however, that general superintendence shall not include the authority to supersede any general or special law unless the supreme judicial court, acting under its original or appellate jurisdiction finds such law to be unconstitutional in any case or controversy; and provided, further that general superintendence also shall not include the authority or power to exercise or supersede any of the powers, duties and responsibilities of the chief justice for administration and management, as established by section one of chapter two hundred and eleven B, in any general or special law except under extraordinary circumstances leading to a severe, adverse impact on the administration of justice; provided, that the majority of the supreme judicial court shall issue a written order that sets forth the basis for a finding that, absent such action, there would be a severe and adverse impact on the administration of justice in the commonwealth. Nothing herein contained shall affect existing law governing the selection of officers of the courts, or limit the existing authority of the officers thereof to appoint administrative personnel.
Section 3A. The justices of the supreme judicial court may appoint an administrative assistant who shall have such powers and perform such duties as the justices shall determine.
The salary of said administrative assistant shall be set by the justice of the supreme judicial court. Said administrative assistant shall serve at the pleasure of the justices and shall be provided with suitable quarters in the Suffolk county courthouse in the city of Boston.
Section 3B. The justices of the supreme judicial court may provide by rule or special order for the holding of conferences of the judges of the various courts and of invited members of the bar, for the consideration of matters relating to judicial business, the improvement of the judicial system and the administration of justice.
Section 4. A majority of the justices may, if in their judgment the public good so requires, remove from office a clerk of the courts or of their own court; and if sufficient cause is shown therefor and it appears that the public good so requires, may, upon a complaint, upon a summary hearing or otherwise, remove a clerk of the superior court in Suffolk county, or of a district court, a county commissioner, a county treasurer, sheriff, register of probate or district attorney, or the recorder of the land court.
court and lower courts Section 4A. The supreme judicial court or a justice thereof may transfer for partial or final disposition in any appropriate lower court any cause or matter which might otherwise be disposed of by a single justice, and said lower court shall thereupon have jurisdiction thereof, subject to appeal, and shall have such assistance from other departments or from the use of writs and process as the law provides shall be available to it or any other court with respect to like causes or matters; provided, however, that no transfer shall be made of the following:—(1) Motions for relief from judgment rendered by the supreme judicial court.
(2) Civil actions under section five of chapter two hundred and forty-nine against the supreme judicial court or the appeals court or a judicial officer thereof.
(3) Dismissal under section thirteen of chapter fifty-eight A of appeals from the appellate tax board or stays of execution of sentence after exceptions or appeal under section forty-nine A of chapter two hundred and seventy-nine.
(4) Any matter incidental to the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the full court for which provision may hereafter be made; and further provided, that no transfer shall be made to any court other than the appeals court of the following:—(1) Civil actions under section five of chapter two hundred and forty-nine against any court other than the supreme judicial court or the appeals court or a judicial officer thereof;(2) Stays of execution of sentence after the filing or allowance of exceptions or the entry of an appeal under section four of chapter two hundred and seventy-nine; reductions of bail under section fifty-eight of chapter two hundred and seventy-six; summary review of questions of law pertaining to issuance or denial of preliminary injunctions in labor dispute cases under subsection (6) of section six of chapter two hundred and fourteen; summary review of workers’ compensation orders pending appeal under section sixty A of chapter one hundred and fifty-two; suspension, modification or annulment of orders or judgments under section one hundred and seventeen of chapter two hundred and thirty-one pending an appeal; and stays of orders or decrees in equity and other certain matters in the probate court under sections twenty-three and twenty-four of chapter two hundred and fifteen.
In any case involving public utility rates, insurance rates, or other matter clearly affecting the public interest or an entire industry, a single justice shall file with the order of transfer a statement of his reasons therefor.
The supreme judicial court may also direct any cause or matter to be transferred from a lower court to it in whole or in part for further action or directions, and in case of partial transfer may issue such orders or directions in regards to the part of such cause or matter not so transferred as justice may require.
Section 5. Questions of law arising upon exceptions, report, or appeal shall be heard and determined by the full court.
Section 6. Questions of law arising upon a trial or other proceeding, or upon a motion for a new trial by reason of an opinion, direction, order or refusal of one justice in matter of law, may be reserved for the consideration of the full court, and so much of the case as is necessary for understanding the question shall be reported.
Section 7. Unless the court for cause shown directs otherwise, questions of law in criminal cases which are entered upon the docket of the full court shall be argued in their order and before any civil cases are argued, and thereafter questions of law in civil cases which are entered upon said docket shall, when reached, be argued in their order if either party is ready. But no party shall be compelled to be ready for argument within ten days after the question has been duly reserved of record in the court in which the case is pending.
Section 8. The full court shall, as soon as may be after the decision of the questions submitted to it, make and enter a proper order, direction or judgment for the further disposition of the case, or cause a rescript, containing a brief statement of the grounds and reasons of the decision, to be filed therein; it may remand the record to the trial court to carry such judgment into effect, or instead thereof, the full court may order a new trial or further proceedings at the bar of the supreme judicial court, or order sentence to be awarded or execution issued in said court.
Section 9. The records and rescripts which are made after the decision of questions of law shall contain a brief statement of the reasons therefor; and if no further opinion is written within sixty days, the reporter shall publish the case with the opinion contained in such record or rescript.
Section 1. There shall be an intermediate appellate court to be known as the appeals court. The appeals court shall consist of a chief justice and twenty-four associate justices.
judicial court; limitations Section 10. Subject to such further appellate review by the supreme judicial court as may be permitted pursuant to section eleven or otherwise, the appeals court shall have concurrent appellate jurisdiction with the supreme judicial court, to the extent review is otherwise allowable, with respect to a determination made in the appellate tax board and in the superior court department, the housing court department, the land court department, the probate and family court department, the Boston municipal court department in criminal session, the Boston municipal court department appellate division, the juvenile court department, the district court department in criminal session, and the district court department appellate divisions, except in review of convictions for first degree murder. A report from any such department of the trial court of any case, in whole or in part, or any question of law arising therein shall be deemed to be within the concurrent appellate jurisdiction of the supreme judicial court and the appeals court.
Without regard to whether review is by appeal, report or otherwise, appellate review of decisions made in the appellate tax board and in the superior court department, the housing court department, the land court department, the probate and family court department, the Boston municipal court department and the appellate division thereof, the juvenile court department, and the district court department, and the appellate divisions thereof, if within the jurisdiction of the appeals court, shall be in the first instance by the appeals court except in the following cases in which appellate review shall be directly by the supreme judicial court without the necessity of any prior hearing or decision by the appeals court on the merits of the issues sought to be reviewed:(A) Whenever two justices of the supreme judicial court issue an order direct review by the supreme judicial court in any case on appeal, either at the request of one of the parties or at the court’s own initiative, upon finding that the questions to be decided are: (1) questions of first impression or novel questions of law which should be submitted for final determination to the supreme judicial court; (2) questions of law concerning the Constitution of the commonwealth or questions concerning the Constitution of the United States which have been raised in a court of the commonwealth; (3) questions of such public interest that justice requires a final determination by the supreme judicial court.
(B) Whenever the appeals court as a body or a majority of the justices of the appeals court considering a particular case certifies that direct review by the supreme judicial court is in the public interest.
In each case where appellate review is not within the jurisdiction of the appeals court, appellate review shall be directly by the supreme judicial court, unless such case is transferred by the supreme judicial court to the appeals court for determination in accordance with section twelve of this chapter.
supreme judicial court Section 11. There shall be no further appellate review by the supreme judicial court of any matter within the jurisdiction of the appeals court which has been decided by that court, except:—(a) where a majority of the justices of the appeals court deciding the case, or of the appeals court as a whole, certifies that the public interest or the interests of justice make desirable a further appellate review, or (b) where leave to obtain further appellate review or late review is specifically authorized by three justices of the supreme judicial court for substantial reasons affecting the public interest or the interests of justice. Upon the written order of a majority of the justices of the appeals court, the decision of a panel of the appeals court may be reviewed and revised by a majority of the justices of the appeals court. Such a review shall not be a condition precedent to obtaining further appellate review by the supreme judicial court.
and from supreme judicial court Section 12. The appeals court may, prior to or after final determination, report any case in whole or in part or any question of law arising therein to the supreme judicial court for consideration and determination if in the opinion of the appeals court the unusual public or legal significance of the matter or the efficient administration of justice so requires. The supreme judicial court shall consider such report and accept the case or questions, in whole or in part, for final determination or, if no determination has been made by the appeals court, may remand the case or questions, in whole or in part, to the appeals court for determination. Except as otherwise provided in section four A of chapter two hundred and eleven, the supreme judicial court may transfer to the appeals court for determination any case or issue pending before it which has not been determined by the appeals court, including those within the original jurisdiction of the supreme judicial court, those of which a direct review by the supreme judicial court has been allowed or claimed, those improperly entered in the supreme judicial court, and those coming within the direct appellate jurisdiction of the supreme judicial court. The supreme judicial court may order any matter, in whole or in part, or any issue therein, pending before the appeals court, transferred to the supreme judicial court for further proceedings.
of rules Section 13. The law governing the presentation of cases to the supreme judicial court for appellate review, except as to the printing of records and briefs, shall apply to the presentation to the appeals court of cases within the concurrent jurisdiction of that court. The appeals court shall, subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court, adopt rules regulating practices, procedures and internal administration of the appeals court. Such rules shall not require the printing of records and briefs, but may require the reproduction of relevant portions of records and briefs by xerography or a similar method producing legible pages in a reasonable number of copies.
The supreme judicial court shall adopt rules regulating the review by it, whether by transfer, report, bill of exceptions or appeal, and the time within which review may be sought; and may make such other rules and orders as may facilitate, or are desirable to regulate, appellate review by either court.
Section 14. In the case of a vacancy in the office of chief justice of the appeals court, or of his illness or absence, his duties shall be performed by the senior justice.
interest Section 15. If, upon the hearing of an appeal or exceptions in any proceeding, it appears that the appeal or exceptions are frivolous, immaterial or intended for delay, the appeals court may, either upon motion of a party or on its own motion, award against the appellant or excepting party double costs from the time when the appeal was taken or the exceptions were allowed, and also interest from the same time at the rate of twelve per cent a year on any amount which has been found due for debt and damages, or which he has been ordered to pay, or for which judgment has been recovered against him, or may award any part of such additional costs and interest.
Section 16. (a) A retired chief justice or associate justice of the appeals court whose name has been placed on the list of retired justices pursuant to section sixty-five F of chapter thirty-two may be designated and assigned by the chief justice of the appeals court to perform, during his term of eligibility, such of the duties of the office of associate justice of the appeals court as may be requested of him and which he is willing to undertake, provided that no single assignment shall be for a term longer than ninety days. Such retired chief justice or associate justice may also be designated and assigned by the chief justice of the appeals court to perform, during his term of eligibility, such of the duties of judge of any lower court as may be requested of him and which he is willing to undertake provided that no single assignment shall be for a term of no longer than ninety days.
(b) In performing the services requested of him, such a retired chief justice or associate justice shall exercise all judicial power and authority pertaining to the office in which he acts, in respect of matters as to which he is designated to act, and the fact of such service shall be stated on the records of the court, but need not be separately stated in the record or docket of any particular cause or proceeding. Service under the provisions of this section shall not be counted in determining the number of offices authorized or required for any court, on which he serves, by any applicable statute.
(c) A retired chief justice or associate so serving shall be paid by the commonwealth, in addition to the pension or retirement allowance received, a per diem differential rate of compensation equivalent to one two hundred and twentieths of the balance remaining after deducting the annual pension or retirement allowance received from the current annual salary of such justice if not retired. The per diem differential rate of compensation shall be paid monthly from Judiciary appropriated funds.
Such retired justice shall be entitled to all other benefits of a regular incumbent of the appeals court and shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred while performing such services at any place other than his place of residence. While so serving he shall be entitled to receive such staff support, clerical assistance and facilities as are customarily available to judges of the court on which he serves.
(d) During the temporary disability of the chief justice or an associate justice of the appeals court, a majority of the justices of the supreme judicial court may designate a justice appointed to the trial court to perform such duties of the office of associate justice of the appeals court as may be necessary to ensure the speedy dispatch of judicial business; provided, however, that any such trial court justice so appointed shall receive a salary commensurate with the salary of the justice or chief justice of the appeals court who is so disabled; and, provided further, that nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the right of such disabled justice to receive his full salary, health or disability benefits or retirement benefits if otherwise provided by law.
Section 17. The chief justice of the appeals court may, subject to the approval of the chief justice of the supreme judicial court, grant a leave of absence for study, research, teaching, or such other reason as said chief justice of the appeals court deems appropriate to the improved administration of justice, to an associate justice of said appeals court, said leave to be for a period not to exceed one year. Any judge who is authorized to take a leave of absence shall not receive any pay during the period of such leave of absence. Provided, however, that time spent on a leave of absence shall be credited to the judge for retirement purposes; provided, further, that for the purposes of eligibility for life insurance and health plans available under chapter thirty-two A, said judge shall be considered an active employee. The chief justice in approving such leaves shall consider the speedy dispatch of judicial business. The chief justice of the appeals court, in consultation with the supreme judicial court, shall establish and promulgate standards governing the approval of such leaves including procedures for the submission and disposition of requests for leave.
No leave of absence under this section shall be granted prior to the seventh year of service or within one year of retirement. A justice granted a leave of absence under this section shall not be eligible to take another leave of absence until the expiration of seven years following his return to judicial duties.
All statutory requirements and rules of court pertaining to justices shall continue to be applicable to a justice while he is on a leave of absence pursuant to this section.
practice Section 2. The chief justice shall receive a salary of $122,050 and each associate justice shall receive a salary of $117,467 and the chief justice and each associate justice shall annually receive from the commonwealth upon the certificate of the chief justice the amount of expenses incurred by each of them in the discharge of his duties. Such justices shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
Section 3. Three justices shall constitute a quorum to decide all matters required to be heard by the appeals court or, upon order of the chief justice, four or more justices may sit. The court may sit in panels of three or more justices. The chief justice, insofar as practicable, shall assign justices to panels in such manner that each justice shall sit a substantially equal number of times with each other justice. The chief justice shall preside over any panel on which he shall sit, or, if the chief justice is not a member of a panel, the senior justice shall be the presiding justice.
sessions Section 4. The appeals court shall sit in the city of Boston and at such other locations within the commonwealth as the supreme judicial court shall determine by rule or order. The commonwealth shall provide adequate quarters and facilities for the appeals court. The chief justice, with the approval of the supreme judicial court, shall arrange such sessions of the appeals court as may be required to discharge its business. Such sittings may be adjourned to such places and times as shall appear to the court to be most conducive to the dispatch of its business and to the interests of the public.
Section 5. The appeals court shall be vested with all powers and authority necessary to carry into execution its judgments, decrees, determinations and orders in matters within its jurisdiction according to the rules and principles of common law and the Constitution and laws of the commonwealth, and subject to the appellate jurisdiction, supervision and superintendence of the supreme judicial court. The appeals court shall have original jurisdiction over the enforcement or review of final orders of the labor relations commission issued pursuant to section six or section six A of chapter one hundred and fifty A or section eleven of chapter one hundred and fifty E.
Section 6. The justices of the appeals court shall appoint the clerk of the appeals court for a term of five years from the date of his appointment, and may remove him. Said justices may appoint a first assistant clerk and three assistant clerks of said court for terms of three years from the dates of their respective appointments, and may remove them. Said clerk, first assistant clerk and assistant clerks shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
The salary of the clerk of the appeals court shall be seventy-nine and nine-tenths percent of the salary of the chief justice of said court and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salary of the first assistant clerk in said court shall be ninety-three and thirty-seven hundredths of the salary of the clerk of said court and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salaries of the assistant clerks in said court shall be eighty-six and one-tenth percent of the salary of said clerk and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth.
Section 7. The chief justice shall annually prepare and submit to the chief justice of the supreme judicial court an estimate, in detail, for the ordinary maintenance of the court, and all revenue therefrom as provided in clause (5) of the first paragraph of section three of chapter twenty-nine. Said estimate shall include judicial salaries and salaries of all officers and employees within the court and shall include estimates of all sums which the commonwealth is obligated to pay under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine A, together with any other information which the chief justice of the supreme judicial court may require.
of maintaining office; duties Section 8. The clerk shall serve as the administrative officer of the court and shall maintain an office in Boston and at such other place or places as the supreme judicial court may designate. The cost of maintaining such office or offices shall be borne by the commonwealth. The clerk or one of the assistant clerks shall attend all sessions of the appeals court; keep and preserve all the papers, records and files thereof; maintain a docket of all matters presented to the appeals court and all proceedings therein and enter thereon accurate records of all orders, decrees, determinations or directions of the court in each case; transmit to the clerk and reporter of the supreme judicial court all papers, opinions, and decrees as required by statute or rule; and receive and keep safely all papers transmitted to him by the clerks of courts, registers of probate and recorder of the land court. He shall make copies of all papers on file in the appeals court and of its docket, upon request, and certify them, if desired, and charge the same fees payable for like services of clerks of courts. He shall issue such notice as the court or any justice thereof may order.
Section 9. In the determination of causes, all decisions of the appeals court shall be given in writing, except as otherwise provided herein, and the grounds for each decision shall be stated and filed in the cause in which rendered. The court may, in appropriate cases, enter a proper order, direction, judgment or decree for the further disposition of a case without stating the reasons therefor, or may cause a rescript containing a brief statement of the grounds and reasons for the decision, to be filed therein. Opinions and rescripts of the appeals court shall be published by the reporter of decisions.
Section 1. There shall be a trial court of the commonwealth which shall consist of the following departments: the superior court department, the housing court department, the land court department, the probate and family court department, the Boston municipal court department, the juvenile court department and district court department. The trial court, as an administrative unit, shall consist of no more than 378 justices and special justices. There shall be selected as herein after provided, a chief justice for administration and management and a chief justice for each of the departments of the trial court.
Section 10. A chief justice in addition to his judicial powers and duties as a justice of the trial court shall subject to the superintendence authority of the supreme judicial court as provided in section three of chapter two hundred and eleven and the administrative authority of the chief justice for administration and management, be the administrative head of his department, its clerks, other officers and employees subject to section ninety-nine of chapter two hundred and seventy-six and the appropriate collective bargaining agreement. A chief justice shall have the following power, authority and responsibility:(i) The power to appoint, discipline, evaluate, transfer and define the duties of all non-judicial personnel within his department including special masters, court reporters, law clerks, temporary clerks and other support personnel consistent with the provisions of section eight and ten A; provided, however, that a chief justice shall not have the power to appoint non-judicial personnel serving in the office of a clerk, recorder or register, but shall have the authority to discipline said clerks, recorders and registers and all other personnel in the offices of said clerks, recorders or registers, upon the raising of any dispute between a first justice and a clerk, recorder or register. Any person aggrieved by any decision of a chief justice under this paragraph may appeal such decision to the chief justice for administration and management; provided, further, that no person holding a commission as a clerk of court, whether elected or appointed, a register of probate or a recorder shall be assigned under the provisions of this paragraph outside the department, division or court to which he is elected or appointed without his consent. Any clerk aggrieved by any transfer or assignment of himself or personnel of his office under this paragraph shall appeal to the chief justice for administration and management who shall forthwith hear and determine the matter;(ii) the power to assign or to transfer justices appointed to his department of the trial court to any particular court within that department for such period or periods of time as the chief justice deems necessary; the chief justice shall also have the power to appoint regional justices and to define their duties. Any justice aggrieved by an order of the chief justice assigning or transferring him to a particular court other than that to which he was appointed, may appeal the assignment or transfer to the chief justice for administration and management who shall forthwith determine the matter;(iii) The authority, prior to making assignments or transfers referred to in paragraph (ii) of this section, to ascertain, if the chief justice so desires, the respective preferences of the justices as to which court or courts, if any, they wish to be assigned or transferred. A justice, claiming to be aggrieved by an order of the chief justice assigning or transferring him to a particular court other than that to which he was appointed, may appeal the assignment or transfer to the chief justice for administration and management who shall forthwith hear and determine the matter;(iv) The power to suspend any particular session in any court within his department; the power to move sessions so that the availability of court personnel is consistent with the needs of individual courts; and the power to transfer cases and matters from a court to any other court within his department, to consolidate cases, and to make such periodic adjustments in the scheduling and locations of court sessions as are deemed necessary for the proper administration of justice;(v) notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, when necessary to ensure the proper administration of justice, transfer employees of his department to serve where needed; impose discipline on such officers and employees, including dismissal and suspension with or without pay; provided, however, that said chief justice may, upon reasonable notice, temporarily transfer nonjudicial personnel within his department, divisions and places for holding court, and in no event shall any such transfer be more than a reasonable distance from the place where such personnel is employed unless the employee so transferred shall consent thereto; provided, further, that such transfer of the employee shall not be for more than ninety days, but such transfer may be extended for three consecutive ninety-day periods, provided that notice is given to the house and senate committees on ways and means upon each extension, including the employee’s position, duties, and reason for the transfer, but such transfer shall not exceed three hundred and sixty consecutive days. The first justice of the court to where the employee is transferred shall provide the first justice of the court to where the employee is permanently assigned with appropriate personnel records and records of activities, including records necessary for the payment of compensation; and provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to a clerk or clerk-magistrate, whether elected or appointed by the governor, register of probate or recorder;(vi) the authority to visit any court within his department.
(vii) the authority to call conferences of any or all of the justices within his department;(viii) the responsibility to compile a comprehensive written report of the operation of his department of the trial court at the conclusion of each fiscal year, and shall deliver said report together with recommendations to the chief justice for administration and management on or before October fifteenth of the ensuing fiscal year. The chief justices shall make such additional reports as may from time to time be required by the chief justice for administration and management;(ix) the responsibility to perform such further administrative duties as may from time to time be assigned by the chief justice for administration and management;(x) the responsibility, annually, to prepare and submit to the chief justice for administration and management a budget estimate, in detail, for the ordinary maintenance of his department of the trial court, and all revenue therefrom, as provided in clause (5) of the first paragraph of section three of chapter twenty-nine. Said budget estimate shall include judicial salaries and the salaries of employees within said department and shall include estimates of all sums which the commonwealth is obligated to pay under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine A;(xi) the authority, upon receipt of an appropriated sum, to administer that appropriation;(xii) the responsibility for the administrative management of the personnel, staff services and business of their departments, including financial administration and budget preparation, record-keeping, information systems and statistical controls, purchasing, planning, construction, case flow management, assignments of sittings of the justices of their respective departments, including justices not appointed thereto but assigned, for the time being therein. Each justice may delegate his responsibilities and powers hereunder and as otherwise provided by law to a justice, regional justice, first justice, court officer, clerk, or any employee of his department, for such period of time and with such limitations as he may impose, whenever in his opinion such delegation of authority will expedite the judicial business of the department; provided, however, that in the exercise or delegation of his powers, he shall in all cases act in a manner consistent with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management;(xiii) The power to set the days and hours during which courts within his department shall be open for business;(xiv) The responsibility to sit and perform judicial duties, within his department, during the course of the calendar year;(xv) The power to discipline any justice assigned or appointed to his department who refuses or fails to comply with any order concerning the performance of his duties as justice or any other lawful order of the chief justice of his department; provided, the chief justice shall also have the power to require any justice assigned or appointed to his department to participate in a judicial enhancement program in response to any action of such justice which brings the judiciary into disrepute, which lowers the public confidence in the judiciary or which impedes the administration of justice. A justice who is disciplined by the chief justice may appeal the imposition of discipline to the chief justice for administration and management. Any justice aggrieved by decision of the chief justice for administration and management may appeal said decision to the supreme judicial court. Consistent with the provisions of chapter two hundred and eleven C, all proceedings, documents, and other matters relating to such discipline shall at all times be confidential and not open to the public unless the justice appealing the disciplinary action agrees that the same shall not be confidential, or unless the supreme judicial court determines that it is in the public interest for any such proceeding, document, or other matter relating to such discipline to be made public. All disciplinary action imposed by a chief justice, whether consensual or not, shall be reported to the supreme judicial court by the chief justice;(xvi) The responsibility to sit and perform judicial duties, within his department, during the course of the calendar year; and(xvii) Any clerk aggrieved by any transfer or assignment of himself or personnel of his office under this section shall have the right to appeal to the chief justice for administration and management who shall forthwith hear and determine the matter.
(xviii) the power, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, to transfer cases between courts consistent with the efficient distribution of caseload and workload within said department;Whenever the term “chief justice” or “administrative justice” appears in any general or special law, it shall mean the chief justice described in section one for the department to which, in context, reference is made. The chief justice shall be provided with suitable offices. He may appoint a court administrator and also such other personnel as he may require and may make such other expenditures for printing, transportation of papers and documents and for other expenses as are incidental to his duties.
Section 10A. A first justice, in addition to his judicial powers and duties as a justice of the trial court and in addition to his general powers of superintendence as first justice of a particular court within the trial court, shall, subject to the superintendence authority of the supreme judicial court as provided in section 3 of chapter 211 and the administrative authority of the chief justice of the first justice’s department of the trial court, be the administrative head of his court; provided, however, that clerks, recorders and registers shall have responsibility for the internal administration of their respective offices, including the selection, appointment, and management of personnel, staff services and record keeping. A first justice or a clerk, recorder or register of the court may submit any dispute that arises between said first justice and said clerk, recorder or register, concerning the management and administration of the office of the clerk, recorder, or register, the duties, powers and obligations of the clerk, recorder, or register, or a member of their staff, or the interpretation of the personnel standards provided for under section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B, to the chief justice of the department. Any person aggrieved by a decision of a chief justice under this paragraph may appeal said decision to the chief justice for administration and management, who shall, within thirty days, hear and determine the matter. A first justice shall also have the following power, authority and responsibility within his court:(i) the power, subject to the approval of the chief justice of his department, to appoint, dismiss, discipline, supervise, assign, evaluate, transfer and define the duties of all non-judicial personnel within his court, including special masters, court reporters, law clerks and other support personnel; except personnel in the office of the clerk, recorder or register; provided any such non-judicial personnel aggrieved by any action under this paragraph may appeal to the chief justice of the department who shall forthwith hear and determine the matter. Any person aggrieved by a decision of a chief justice under this paragraph may appeal said decision to the chief justice for administration and management, who shall, within thirty days, hear and determine the matter.
(ii) the power, subject to the approval of the chief justice of his department, to supervise and assign duties to all justices appointed to or assigned to his court; and to authorize such justices to delegate the calling of the list to the clerk of the court where appropriate to the administration of justice.
(iii) the responsibility to bring to the attention of the chief justice of his department all disputes concerning all clerks, recorders and registers, or their personnel, appointed to or assigned to his court; provided any person aggrieved by any action under this paragraph, may appeal to the chief justice of the department who shall forthwith hear and determine the matter. Any person aggrieved by a decision of a chief justice under this paragraph may appeal said decision to the chief justice for administration and management, who shall, within thirty days, hear and determine the matter.
(iv) The power, subject to the approval of the chief justice of his department, to supervise and assign duties to all justices appointed to or assigned to his division; and(v) The first justice shall periodically prepare and submit to the chief justice of his department an estimate, in detail, for the ordinary maintenance of the division or place for holding court, and all revenues therefrom as provided in clause (5) of the first paragraph of section three of chapter twenty-nine. Said estimate shall include estimates of all sums which the commonwealth is obligated to pay under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine A, together with any information which the chief justice may require. In turn, the chief justice shall periodically prepare and submit to the chief justice for administration and management an estimate, in detail, for the ordinary maintenance of the first paragraph of section three of chapter twenty-nine. Said estimate shall include salaries of all officers and employees within the office and shall include estimates of all sums which the commonwealth is obligated to pay under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine A, together with any other information which the chief justice for administration and management may require.
Section 10B. (a) The exclusive authority to select and appoint assistant clerks in the district court, juvenile court, housing court and Boston municipal court shall be vested in the clerks of said courts and such authority shall not be subject to the review or approval of any other person, except as provided in this section.
(b) Upon the appointment of an assistant clerk, the clerk shall forward notice of said appointment to the chief justice for administration and management, together with (i) a certification of compliance with the personnel standards promulgated pursuant to section 8 and in effect as of July 1, 1998, with respect to job posting, newspaper advertising, review of applications, interviewing applicants, reference checks, verification of eligibility to work in the United States, and criminal record checks and (ii) a certification that sufficient funding is available in the current fiscal year budget to support the position as of the effective date of the appointment. No such appointment may be made in violation of the nepotism provisions of chapter 268A.
(c) The chief justice for administration and management shall, within 21 days, review such appointments of assistant clerks solely for compliance with the specific personnel standards promulgated pursuant to section 8 and in effect as of July 1, 1998, that deal expressly with job posting, newspaper advertising, review of applications, interviewing applicants, reference checks, verification of eligibility to work in the United States, and criminal record checks. Any such appointment not disapproved by the chief justice for administration and management within 21 days of receipt of the appointing authority’s notice of appointment and accompanying certifications shall be deemed to be approved.
(d) Except for matters of compliance with the provisions of subsection (b), any dispute arising between a chief justice of a department or a first justice of a division, and a clerk of court, concerning the selection or appointment of personnel in the office of the clerk shall be submitted directly to the chief justice for administration and management in accordance with clause (xxx) of the third paragraph of section 9, provided that the chief justice for administration and management shall not refer such dispute to any other person, but shall conduct a hearing and determine such dispute within 30 days of receipt of the written notification of such dispute or within such other reasonable time as the chief justice for administration and management shall set with the agreement of the parties to the dispute. The decision of the chief justice for administration and management shall be made in accordance with the applicable provisions of law and shall be binding on the parties.
(e) Any appointing authority aggrieved by a final determination of the chief justice for administration and management under subsection (c) or (d) or by the failure of the chief justice for administration and management to hear and determine a dispute within the time prescribed by subsection (d) may petition for appeal in the supreme judicial court sitting in Suffolk county by filing a copy thereof with the clerk of said court. Such petition for appeal shall be filed within 20 days after the date of receipt of such determination. Each claim of appeal shall set forth separately and particularly each error of law asserted to have been made by the chief justice for administration and management. Upon the entry of the appeal it shall be heard and determined by the court, which shall have jurisdiction to affirm, modify or set aside such determination in whole or in part, or remand the proceeding to the chief justice for administration and management with instructions.
(f) The provisions of this section shall operate notwithstanding any other provision of law and shall not be construed to limit the appointment power conferred by law to any appointing authority within the trial court with respect to the appointment of personnel not specifically governed by this section.
responsibilities of clerks or registers of probate Section 10C. The general superintendence and administrative authority of the chief justice for administration and management, the chief justices of the respective departments of the trial court and the first justices of particular courts shall not include the authority or power to exercise, supersede, limit, prevent the exercise of or otherwise affect any of the powers, duties and responsibilities of the clerks or registers of probate in any general or special law, including laws authorizing or governing the selection and appointment of personnel, except where expressly authorized.
Section 12. There may be an administrator for the trial court of the commonwealth appointed by the chief justice for administration and management to serve at the pleasure of said chief justice. Said court administrator shall receive a salary to be fixed by the chief justice for administration and management and subject to appropriation. The court administrator shall perform such duties and responsibilities as the chief justice for administration and management may from time to time designate. The court administrator shall be quartered in the office of the chief justice for administration and management.
The chief justice may appoint such other personnel as are necessary for the administration of the trial court. Said personnel shall receive salaries to be fixed by the chief justice for administration and management and subject to appropriation.
Section 13. The first justice of each division or court within the superior, probate and family, land, housing, juvenile, Boston municipal and district court departments of the trial court of the commonwealth, or if there is no first justice the chief justice, shall periodically prepare and submit to the chief justice of the department an estimate, in detail, for the ordinary maintenance of the division or place for holding court, and all revenues therefrom as provided in clause (5) of the first paragraph of section three of chapter twenty-nine. Said estimate shall include judicial salaries and the salaries of all officers and employees within the division or place for holding court and shall include estimates of all sums which the commonwealth is obligated to pay under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine A, together with any other information which the chief justice may require. The clerk of courts for each county, the clerk for criminal business for Suffolk county, the clerk for civil business for Suffolk county and the registers of probate in each county shall periodically prepare and submit to the chief administrative justice an estimate, in detail, for the ordinary maintenance of the office, and all revenue therefrom as provided in clause (5) of the first paragraph of section three of chapter twenty-nine. Said estimate shall include salaries of all officers and employees within the office and shall include estimates of all sums which the commonwealth is obligated to pay under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine A, together with any other information which the chief administrative justice may require.
In the case of the district, juvenile, housing, and Boston municipal court departments the first justice of a division thereof shall consult with the clerk of his division in the preparation of his budget estimate.
The chief justice of each department shall review such estimates of the divisions or courts within his department and shall periodically submit to the chief administrative justice for review and approval an estimate of the amount required for all expenses and costs of his entire department, except as otherwise provided in this section.
Section 14. (a) A retired justice of the trial court whose name has been placed on the list of retired justices pursuant to section sixty-five G of chapter thirty-two may be assigned by the chief justice for administration and management to perform, during his term of eligibility, such of the duties of a trial court justice as may be requested of him and which he is willing to undertake, provided that no such single assignment shall be for a term longer than ninety days.
(b) In performing the services requested of him, a retired justice shall exercise all judicial power and authority pertaining to the office in which he acts, in respect of matters as to which he is designated to act, and the fact of such service shall be stated on the record of the court, but need not be separately stated in the record or docket of any particular cause or proceeding. Services under the provisions of this section shall not be counted in determining the number of offices authorized or required by any applicable statute.
(c) A retired justice so serving shall be paid by the commonwealth, in addition to the pension or retirement allowance received, a per diem differential rate of compensation equivalent to one two hundred and twentieths of the balance remaining after deducting the annual pension or retirement allowance received from the current annual salary of such justice if not retired. The per diem differential rate of compensation shall be paid monthly from Judiciary appropriated funds.
Such retired justice shall be entitled to all other benefits of a regular incumbent of the trial court and shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred while performing such services at any place other than his place of residence. While so serving he shall be entitled to receive such staff support, clerical assistance and facilities as are customarily available to judges of the court on which he serves.
nonjudicial personnel Section 16. The chief justice for administration and management shall establish a judicial institute, to provide for the training of the judicial and nonjudicial personnel of the trial court, the appeals court and the supreme judicial court. Said institute shall perform and continually update a comprehensive analysis of the training needs of such personnel, and ensure that such needs are met through programs of the institute provided directly or by contract or through programs of other institutions. Programs of the institute shall include but not be limited to pre-service training for judges through seminars and through a mentor judge program, and frequent in-service training for judges and clerks, and continuing education for all court personnel. The institute shall be provided with suitable offices in the Suffolk county courthouse or elsewhere. The chief justice for administration and management may, within the limits of the amount appropriated therefor, appoint an executive director for said institute and such professional staff, clerks and assistants as it may require and may make such expenditures as may be necessary to execute effectively the functions of said institute. The chief justice for administration and management may further appoint an advisory committee for the purpose of assisting him in matter pertaining to the institute. The composition of the committee, the terms of its members, and the scope of its responsibilities shall be determined by the chief justice for administration and management.
long-range planning and capital budget requests; occupancy fees Section 17. The chief justice for administration and management shall have charge of the daily care, operation and routine maintenance of court facilities owned by the commonwealth, and of long-range planning and capital budget requests for such court facilities.
In carrying out said duties with respect to court facilities, the chief justice for administration and management shall be governed by statutes applicable to facilities management and capital planning and budget requests by state agencies, including but not limited to: sections thirty-eight A to forty-three L, inclusive, of chapter seven; sections seven A to seven K, inclusive, and sections twenty-six A and twenty-six B of chapter twenty-nine; and sections forty-four A to forty-four M, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and forty-nine. Notwithstanding any other general or special law to the contrary, the chief justice for administration and management shall assign and allocate space occupied by the judicial branch in court facilities owned or leased by the commonwealth, and the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall assign and allocate space in such facilities which said chief justice determines is not needed by the judicial branch; provided, however, that the chief justice for administration and management shall resolve any disputes regarding the assignment and allocation of space. In carrying out said duties with respect to court facilities, the chief justice for administration and management shall regularly consult with the court facilities council established in section six of chapter twenty-nine A. The chief justice for administration and management shall, subject to appropriation and to available resources, provide a separate and secure waiting area or room in each division or court within the superior, probate and family, juvenile, Boston municipal and district court departments of the trial court for victims, family members and witnesses during court proceedings, as provided by clause (i) of section three of chapter two hundred and fifty-eight B. Said chief justice for administration and management shall, subject to appropriation and to available resources, include provisions for a safe and secure waiting area or room for all new construction and renovations of court facilities in said departments.
The chief justice for administration and management may charge a county, city or town an occupancy fee for the use of any portion of court facilities owned by the commonwealth. The amount of any such occupancy fee shall be limited to the cost of maintenance, repairs, and utilities attributable to the proportion of the usable floor space of such court facility occupied by such county, city or town. In the event the parties are unable to agree on the amount of the occupancy fee, the director of court facilities in the division of capital asset management and maintenance shall, after hearing if requested by either party, establish such fee. All such fees shall be paid into the General Fund of the commonwealth. The chief justice for administration and management of the trial court, acting jointly with the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, may terminate the occupancy of a portion of such court facilities by a town, city or county only after a process of negotiation with such town, city or county, and only after giving such town, city or county at least one year’s advance notice of such proposed termination.
Section 19. The chief justice for administration and management may establish and promulgate rules for a mandatory alternative dispute resolution program for civil actions within the trial court subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court, subject to appropriation; provided, however, that the parties to a dispute resolution shall not be bound by the results thereof. The chief justice for administration and management shall supervise and establish standards for the implementation of such program and shall further implement a program of certification for all personnel conducting alternative dispute resolution programs in the courts of the commonwealth.
The chief justice of administration and management shall establish a pilot program of alternative dispute resolution within the counties of Bristol, Worcester and Suffolk under his direct supervision. Pursuant to said pilot program, he shall be responsible to fund, coordinate, and evaluate activities of the trial court within said counties to screen and refer cases to alternative dispute resolution. Within said counties, the chief justice for administration and management shall, no later than twelve months from the date of filing any civil litigation which involves a contract claim, tort claim, equitable remedy dispute or other litigation the trial court may determine to be appropriate, be screened for referral to a qualified alternative dispute resolution program. Screening should enable litigants or their attorneys to select among options which include self-directed settlement negotiation, case evaluation, mediation, non-binding arbitration, expert fact finding and binding arbitration. The chief justice for administration and management shall monitor and evaluate the cost, impact and effectiveness of activities undertaken to screen and refer cases to alternative dispute resolution and report annually to the general court on his findings. The annual report should identify unmet needs and promising opportunities for additional screening and referral activities and recommend legislative actions required to implement these activities.
Section 2. There shall be 82 justices appointed to the superior court department, 10 justices appointed to the housing court department, 6 justices appointed to the land court department, 51 justices appointed to the probate and family court department, 30 justices appointed to the Boston municipal court department, 41 justices appointed to the juvenile court department and 158 justices and special justices appointed to the district court department. Except in the case of circuit justices, said appointments, in the case of the housing court department, the probate and family court department, the juvenile court department, and the district court department, shall be made to a particular division within the department and a justice so appointed shall be considered a justice of the department for that division.
Section 20. A chief justice of the trial court may, subject to the approval of the chief justice for administration and management, grant a leave of absence for study, research, teaching, or such other reason as said chief justice deems appropriate to the improved administration of justice, to a judge of said department, said leave to be for a period not to exceed one year. Any judge who takes an approved leave of absence shall not receive pay during the period of the leave of absence; provided, however, that time spent on leave of absence shall be credited to the judge for retirement purposes; provided, further, that for the purposes of eligibility for life insurance and health plans available under chapter thirty-two A, said judge shall be considered an active employee. The chief justice for administration and management, in approving such leaves, shall consider the speedy dispatch of judicial business, including reassignment of judges pursuant to section nine. The chief justice for administration and management, in consultation with the chief justices of the departments of the trial court, shall establish and promulgate standards governing the approval of such leaves including procedures for the submission and disposition of requests for leave.
No leave of absence under this section shall be granted prior to the seventh year of service or within one year of retirement. A judge granted a leave of absence under this section shall not be eligible to take another leave of absence until the expiration of seven years following his return to judicial duties.
All statutory requirements and rules of court pertaining to judges shall continue to be applicable to a judge while he is on leave of absence pursuant to this section.
and duties Section 3. Any justice appointed to a department, or a division thereof, and assigned to another department, or division thereof, shall have and exercise all the powers and duties which a justice appointed to the department, or division thereof, in which said justice is sitting, has and may exercise.
and sick leave; special justices Section 4. The salaries of the justices of the trial court shall be paid by the commonwealth. Each associate justice shall receive a salary of $112,777.
The chief justice of the several departments shall receive a salary of $117,499.
The chief administrative justice shall receive a salary of $122,050.
The justices of the trial court shall devote their entire time during business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
The justices of the trial court shall receive from the commonwealth, in addition to the salary hereinbefore provided, the amount of expenses, including travel incurred by them in the discharge of their duties. Such expenses must be accounted for upon an itemized statement to the chief justices of the respective court departments. Such expenses shall be approved and certified by said chief justices.
Each justice shall be entitled to thirty days vacation leave, twenty days sick leave, and five days personal leave in each calendar year. Each justice shall also be provided with fifteen days education leave in each calendar year except in the first year of service, when said justice shall be provided with twenty days education leave prior to assuming the duties of justice. Vacation leave and sick leave not used in any such year may be accumulated, provided that the number of vacation days so accumulated shall not exceed sixty and the total amount of sick leave not exceed one hundred and eighty days, except as provided herein. A justice of the trial court appointed to any judicial office before July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven shall be credited with accrued vacation leave and sick leave with respect to each year of such prior judicial service at the rate and subject to the limitations set forth in this paragraph, except that the rate for crediting said sick leave shall be thirty days for each calendar year. The chief justice for administration and management is hereby authorized to establish and administer a paid sick leave bank for the benefit of the justices, which bank shall be comprised of vacation leave days, sick leave days and personal leave days accrued and donated by said justices. Each qualifying justice shall also be provided with maternity leave for the same period and upon the same terms and conditions as management and confidential employees of the commonwealth.
Special justices of the trial court shall be subject to the provisions of section six A of chapter two hundred and eighteen and such other provisions of law as are applicable to special justices in the district court department. Special justices who serve full time under the provisions of said section six A shall have all the powers, duties, rights and responsibilities held by associate justices of the trial court, except those who hold the office of chief justice or chief administrative justice.
Section 5. The office of the chief justice of a department of the trial court, as provided in section one, shall not be deemed a judicial office as comprehended under the provisions of Article I of Chapter III of Part the Second of the Constitution. Said office of chief justice shall be filled by appointment, from among the justices appointed to the particular department, by the chief justice for administration and management. A chief justice shall hold said office for a term of five years, and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms. A chief justice, so appointed, may be removed from that office prior to the expiration of his term upon a determination by the chief justice for administration and management that such removal is in the best interests of the administration of justice.
appointment; term Section 6. The office of the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court, as provided in section one, shall not be deemed a judicial office as comprehended under the provisions of Article I of Chapter III of Part the Second of the Constitution. Said office of chief justice for administration and management shall be filled by appointment, from among the justices of the trial court departments, by a majority of the justices of the supreme judicial court. The chief justice for administration and management shall hold said office for a term of five years, and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms. The chief justice for administration and management shall be removed by a majority of the justices of the supreme judicial court only for cause in the nature of malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance. The chief justice for administration and management shall retain his commission as associate justice of the trial court, or of a predecessor court to which he was appointed, while serving as chief justice for administration and management, and may continue to perform such judicial duties as he may have exercised as associate justice, and such other responsibilities as otherwise provided by law.
Section 6A. There shall be an advisory board to assist the justices of the supreme judicial court and the chief justice for administration and management of the judicial department. The board shall consist of the attorney general, or his designee, the executive director of the Massachusetts office of victim assistance and the following additional members appointed by the supreme judicial court: 2 persons who have significant experience in public administration, 2 persons who have significant experience in business administration, 1 lawyer with significant experience in the practice of criminal law, 1 lawyer with significant experience in the practice of civil law, 1 lawyer with significant experience in the practice of probate and family law, 1 lawyer with significant experience in the representation of juveniles in the courts, 1 lawyer with significant judicial experience but not a current justice of the commonwealth or a retired justice serving the commonwealth pursuant to judicial recall, and 1 person who has significant experience in information technology. The board shall choose its chair. The appointed members of said board shall serve for a term of 3 years. The maximum amount of time that said members may serve on said board shall be 2 such terms. The chief justice for administration and management shall be the executive secretary of the board.
The board shall advise the justices of the supreme judicial court and the chief justice for administration and management on all matters of judicial reform including, but not limited to, a proposal for the allocation of resources based on the demonstrated workload of each court.
Section 7. In the case of a vacancy in the office of chief justice of a department of the trial court due to the absence of said chief justice or due to his inability to perform his duties, the office of chief justice in such event shall be filled as provided in section five. The temporary chief justice so appointed may hold said office until the incumbent shall resume his duties and subject to the chief justice for administration and management, but in no event longer than six months. A temporary chief justice shall be eligible to serve a consecutive full term as chief justice.
In the case of a vacancy in the office of chief justice for administration and management due to the absence of said chief justice for administration and management or due to his inability to perform his duties, said office shall be filled by the justices of the supreme judicial court until said chief justice for administration and management shall resume his duties and subject to the justices of said court or until a new chief justice for administration and management is qualified as hereinbefore provided, but in no event shall such office be so filled for a period in excess of six months. The justice appointed as chief justice for administration and management under the provisions of this section shall be eligible to serve a consecutive full term as chief justice for administration and management of the trial court. A chief justice for administration and management may be removed for cause in such manner as shall be provided by the justices of the supreme judicial court, and after a public hearing if it is so requested by the chief justice for administration and management. A vote for removal shall be by a majority of the justices of the supreme judicial court.
Section 8. There shall be an advisory committee on personnel standards. The membership of the committee shall consist of the following persons: the chief justice for administration and management or his designee who shall serve as chair of the committee, the chief justices of the trial court departments, a clerk of courts, a district court clerk and a register of probate, all of whom shall be designated by said chief justices and the commissioner of probation.
The committee shall advise the chief justice for administration and management who shall establish and promulgate standards for the appointment, performance, promotion, continuing education and removal of all personnel within the trial court, except judges, clerks and registers of probate, and shall furnish copies of such standards to all divisions or places for holding sessions within the department of the trial court.
Any appointment that is governed by standards promulgated under the provisions of this section shall forthwith be certified in writing for compliance with such standards to the chief justice for administration and management. The chief justice for administration and management shall have the power to reject any such appointment within fourteen days after receipt of the certification of compliance by the appointing authority but such power to reject any such appointment shall be limited to non-compliance with the standards for appointment.
Any appointment made by a joint authority shall require a majority of such authority, as provided by section six of chapter four.
An officer or employee whose appointment is subject to the provisions of this section may be removed for cause by the appointing authority. Every removal of an officer or employee whose appointment was subject to the provisions of this section shall be reviewed by the committee, and no such removal shall be final until approved by the committee. If any such officer or employee has served three full years in a position, appointment to which is subject to the provisions of this section, he shall have the right to appear personally before the committee before said committee reaches its decision as to whether or not to affirm his removal. The committee shall also advise the chief justice for administration and management in the establishment of salaries and pay scales of all court personnel unless otherwise provided by statute.
The members of said committee shall be allowed their necessary expenses including clerical expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
administration and management Section 9. The chief justice for administration and management in addition to his judicial duties and subject to the superintendence power of the supreme judicial court as provided in section three of chapter two hundred and eleven, shall have general superintendence of the administration of the trial court, including, without limitation, the improvement of the administration of such courts and the securing of their proper and efficient administration.
The chief justice for administration and management shall be the administrative head of the trial court of the commonwealth. The chief justice for administration and management shall periodically prepare and submit to the chief justice of the supreme judicial court an estimate, in detail, for the ordinary maintenance of the entire trial court, and all revenue therefrom, as provided in clause (5) of the first paragraph of section three of chapter twenty-nine. Said estimate shall include judicial salaries and the salaries of all officers and employees within the trial court and shall include estimates of all sums which the commonwealth is obligated to pay under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine A.
In order to achieve the ends stated in this section, the chief justice for administration and management shall be responsible for the management of court personnel, facilities, administration, security, and court business and shall have the authority necessary to carry out these responsibilities including, but not limited to, the following:—(i) the responsibility, upon the request of the supreme judicial court, to provide financial management assistance to said court including review of the budget requests and information as submitted by the department chiefs, to make recommendations thereon and otherwise to assist the court in its budgetary preparations;(ii) the responsibility to provide planning and policy-making functions, including the implementation of such planning and policy-making decisions;(iii) the responsibility to provide the departments of the trial court with technical assistance concerning recordkeeping, auditing and computers, and with support services, such as computerized legal research, stenographic, electronic and video recordation methods and telephone-based interpretation services;(iv) the responsibility consistent with section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B to provide personnel management, including promulgation of job classifications, establishment of system wide personnel policies and hiring practices and the authority to act as collective bargaining agent on behalf of the trial court;(v) the authority to approve expenditures for all libraries maintained by the departments of the trial court;(vi) the authority to coordinate the development and maintenance of, and technical assistance for, information systems;(vii) the responsibility to provide facilities management, including provision of maintenance, equipment and security, the responsibility to coordinate with the division of capital asset management and maintenance regarding construction, leasing, repair and designing of facilities, and the responsibility to plan for reallocation of court jurisdictional lines; this provision is to be construed in conjunction with section six of chapter twenty-nine A and section seventeen of chapter two hundred and eleven B;(viii) the responsibility to monitor and to assist in the case processing and case flow management capabilities of the trial court departments;(ix) the power, upon request by the supreme judicial court, to review the record and make recommendations in any appeals by justices against whom disciplinary actions have been taken by any chief justice;(x) the responsibility to hear, for final determination, appeals by justices claiming to be aggrieved by an order of a chief justice assigning or transferring said justice to a particular court other than that to which he was appointed;(xi) the responsibility to hear, for final determination, appeals by first justices who have been removed by chief justices;(xii) the authority to hear and resolve interdepartmental disputes or disagreements between or among the chief justices of the various departments of the trial court, including but not limited to, (1) transferring personnel in order to facilitate the efficient administration of justice, (2) transferring cases in order to facilitate the efficient administration of justice and (3) making adjustments in the scheduling and location of court sessions in order to facilitate the efficient administration of justice;(xiii) the responsibility to provide administrative management to the office of the jury commissioner;(xiv) the responsibility to establish, manage and implement a mandatory emergency judicial response system for all judges, except when the chief justice for administration and management determines that the participation by a particular judge would create a hardship for such judge;(xv) the responsibility to provide recommendations regarding management of the judicial recall process;(xvi) the responsibility to supervise the implementation of the continuing education programs for judicial and nonjudicial personnel;(xvii) the responsibility to perform all other administrative functions or duties the chief justice for administration and management deems necessary;(xviii) the power to appoint such personnel as the chief justice for administration and management may deem necessary for the office of the chief justice for administration and management; the power to discipline, supervise and define the duties of such personnel, and the power to dismiss such personnel;(xix) the power, where there are pending in different departments of the trial court cases involving the same party or the same issue, and where a request for consolidation is made to the chief administrative justice to consolidate such cases for hearing by one justice, and to assign said justice to sit as a justice of other departments and exercise the powers of justices of other departments, in order to dispose of such cases with efficient use of judicial resources;(xx) upon the joint request of the chief justices of two or more departments of the trial court, authorize the transfer of cases from one department to another;(xxi) the power to assign a justice appointed to any department of the trial court to sit in any other department of the court, for such period or periods of time as he deems will best promote the speedy dispatch of judicial business, provided, however, that,(a) prior to making such assignments, said chief justice for administration and management shall ascertain the respective preferences of the justices of the trial court as to the department or departments, if any, including the department to which he is appointed, to which each such justice desires to be assigned and, in making such assignments to any department of said court shall, to the extent consistent with the effective administration of justice, including the maintenance of the respective specialized functions of the land, housing, probate and family, and juvenile court departments, the administrative responsibilities of any justice, and the speedy dispatch of judicial business in each of the several departments of the trial court, assign to any department on a basis of first priority justices who have expressed as aforesaid their preferences for assignment thereto;(b) a justice, if aggrieved for cause by an order of the chief justice for administration and management assigning him to sit in a particular location or department of the court other than that to which he was appointed may appeal the order of said chief justice for administration and management to the supreme judicial court, which shall forthwith hear and determine the matter;(c) a chief justice shall notify the chief justice for administration and management of, and may report to the supreme judicial court, any order made by said chief justice for administration and management pursuant to this paragraph which, in the opinion of such chief justice, impairs the orderly operation of his department;(xxii) notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, when necessary to ensure the proper administration of justice, transfer employees of the trial court to serve where needed; impose discipline on such officers and employees, including dismissal and suspension with or without pay; provided, however, that the chief justice for administration and management may, upon reasonable notice, temporarily transfer nonjudicial personnel among the various departments, divisions and places for holding court, and in no event shall any such transfer be more than a reasonable distance from the place where such personnel is employed unless the employee so transferred shall consent thereto; provided, further, that such transfer of the employee shall not be for more than ninety days, but such transfer may be extended for three consecutive ninety-day periods, provided that notice is given to the house and senate committees on ways and means upon each extension, including the employee’s position, duties, and reason for the transfer, but such transfer shall not exceed three hundred and sixty consecutive days. The first justice of the court to where the employee is transferred shall provide the first justice of the court to where the employee is permanently assigned with appropriate personnel records and records of activities, including records necessary for the payment of compensation; and provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to a clerk or clerk-magistrate, whether elected or appointed by the governor, register of probate or recorder;(xxiii) (a) notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the chief justice for administration and management may, for the period July first through April thirtieth of any fiscal year, transfer funds from any item of appropriation of any trial court department to any other item of appropriation within the same trial court department; provided, that said transfers shall be made in accordance with schedules submitted to the house and senate committees on ways and means; provided further, that no such transfer shall occur until said schedules have been approved by said committees; provided further, that said schedules shall include the reasons for the necessity of such transfers with reference to actual and projected expenditures throughout the trial court for the fiscal year.
(b) notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the chief justice for administration and management may, for the period May first through June thirtieth of any fiscal year, transfer an amount not to exceed sixty-five thousand dollars from any item of appropriation of any trial court department to any other item of appropriation within the same trial court department; provided, that any funds transferred from an (AA) subsidiary, as defined in the schedule of subsidiary accounts, established by the house and senate committees on ways and means pursuant to section twenty-seven of chapter twenty-nine of the General Laws, as amended, of any item of appropriation may only be transferred to the (AA) subsidiary of any other item of appropriation within the same department of the trial court; provided further, that in no case may funds be transferred into an (AA) subsidiary of any item of appropriation other than from another (AA) subsidiary of any item of appropriation within the same department of the trial court;(xxiv) establish procedures, subject to the rule-making power of the justices of the supreme judicial court, for the assignment of matters coming before the trial court which do not warrant the use of a judge to other appropriate personnel, including clerk-magistrates, mediators, and arbitrators, and authorize such personnel to review, hear, and dispose of such matters, subject to appropriate judicial review;(xxv) the chief justice for administration and management shall make a written report on the state of the trial court at the conclusion of each fiscal year and shall deliver said report, together with recommendations to the supreme judicial court by December fifteenth each year. The supreme judicial court shall then make a written report on the state of the court system and the judiciary for said past fiscal year and shall deliver the report together with recommendations to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, on or before February fifteenth of each year. Said reports shall include, but not be limited to an account of all transfers of appropriated funds among line items and a schedule of all personnel transferred within the judicial system for the past fiscal year and contemplated for the current fiscal year. Such reports shall be a matter of public record;(xxvi) said chief justice for administration and management may assign any personnel from the office of said chief justice for administration and management to any department within the trial court and shall insure, subject to appropriation, that the chief justices have adequate staff for the purpose of assisting such justices in the performance of their duties as administrative heads of the trial court departments;(xxvii) the chief justice for administration and management shall be authorized to visit any department or any division or any place for holding court within such a department. The chief justice for administration and management may from time to time call conferences of any or all of the chief justices of the departments;(xxviii) the chief justice for administration and management shall review all appointments and dismissals governed by standards promulgated under the authority of section eight for noncompliance with such standards and shall rescind any such appointment or dismissal that does not comply with said standards;(xxix) the chief justice for administration and management shall be provided with offices in Suffolk county at the expense of the commonwealth but only after said chief justice for administration and management has not found sufficient office space in any facility owned by the commonwealth at an appropriate distance from the Suffolk county courthouse;(xxx) any dispute arising between a chief justice of a department or a first justice of a division, and a clerk of court, concerning the management and administration of the clerk’s office, the duties, powers and obligations of the clerk’s staff, or the interpretation of the personnel standards provided for under section eight, shall be submitted to the chief justice for administration and management in writing by the clerk, clerk-magistrate, chief justice, or first justice. The chief justice for administration and management shall, within thirty days of receipt of the written notification of such dispute conduct a hearing in order to determine the matter. The decision of the chief justice for administration and management shall be binding on the parties;(xxxi) the chief justice for administration and management shall establish uniform guidelines and policies to further minority employment within the judicial system;(xxxii) notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the chief justice for administration and management, in order to provide for the speedy administration of justice in the counties of Dukes and Nantucket, shall designate, from time to time, justices sitting in the division of the district court department for either of said counties as justices of the superior court department sitting in either of said counties, with power to grant injunctive relief to the same extent as a justice appointed to the superior court department;(xxxiii) the responsibility to administer, subject to appropriation, a reserve fund for the purpose of providing secretarial and administrative support staff and services to the justices of the superior court department of the trial court;(xxxiv) the responsibility to review and make recommendations regarding the expeditious clearing of outstanding warrants throughout the courts of the commonwealth;[There is no clause (xxxv).
] (xxxvi) notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the authority to suspend any particular session of the trial court; move sessions so that the availability of court personnel is consistent with the needs of individual courts; transfer cases and matters from a court to any other court, consolidate cases, and make such periodic adjustments in the scheduling and locations of court sessions as are deemed necessary for the proper administration of justice;(xxxvii) notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the authority to establish the hours during which the courts of the commonwealth shall be open, including Saturday and evening sessions, and to further establish flexible work schedules, provided, however, that no employee shall be required to work more hours during a week than is provided by the relevant collective bargaining agreement;(xxxviii) the chief justice for administration and management may delegate his responsibilities and powers hereunder and as otherwise provided by law to a chief justice, justice, regional justice, first justice, presiding justice, court officer, clerk, or any employee of his department, for such period of time and with such limitations as he may impose, whenever in his opinion such delegation of authority will expedite the judicial business of the trial court;(xxxix) the responsibility to assist the supreme judicial court in exercising its rule making power to eliminate as judicial functions those functions performed by judges which could be performed by non-judicial personnel.
and management; powers and duties Section 9A. All court officers appointed at any time, including messengers appointed pursuant to section thirty-one of chapter two hundred and seventeen, whether appointed prior to or after January first, nineteen hundred and ninety-three, to any department of the trial court shall be employees of the chief justice for administration and management who shall have the authority to appoint, dismiss, define the duties of, assign, transfer and discipline said court officers within the trial court departments as he deems necessary for the administration of justice and for public safety. Such court officers shall, when required, attend the sessions of the court, shall preserve order, provide security, and may serve warrants, mittimuses, precepts, and orders and processes of the court, and shall perform such other duties as chief administrative justices for administration and management may assign.
In the municipal court of the Roxbury district and in the municipal court of the Dorchester district one court officer shall be designated by the first justice of each said court with the approval of the chief justice for administration and management as chief court officer and one as assistant chief court officer. In the district court of Chelsea, in the municipal court of the Brighton district, in the municipal court of the West Roxbury district, in the East Boston district court and in the municipal court of the South Boston district one court officer shall be designated by the first justice of each said court as chief court officer, with the approval of the chief justice for administration and management. In the Boston juvenile court, one court officer shall be designated by the first justice of said court as chief court officer and two as assistant chief court officers with the approval of the chief justice for administration and management. In the municipal court of the city of Boston, the chief justice of the Boston municipal court department, with the approval of the chief justice for administration and management, shall designate one court officer as chief court officer and two as assistant chief court officers of said court for criminal business and one court officer as chief court officer and one as assistant chief court officer of said court for civil business. In the district court of Brockton one court officer shall be designated by the justice of said court as chief court officer. Such court officers shall, while on duty, wear uniforms approved by the chief justice for administration and management, which shall be furnished at the expense of the commonwealth.
Each court officer shall give bond for faithful performance of his duties in the sum of one thousand dollars payable to the General Fund, with sufficient sureties, approved by the chief justice for administration and management.
chairman Section 1. There shall be a commission on judicial conduct consisting of nine members. Three judges shall be appointed by the justices of the supreme judicial court, none of whom shall be justices of said court and no two of whom shall be from the same department of the trial court. Three members of the bar shall be appointed by the chief administrative justice of the trial court, none of whom shall be judges. Three members shall be appointed by the governor, none of whom shall be members of the bar. The members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for all expenses reasonably incurred by them in the performance of their duties. Members of the commission shall serve for six year terms. Commission membership shall terminate if a member ceases to be qualified for the appointment. A vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority for the remainder of the term. Upon the expiration of the term of office of a member, his successor shall be appointed in the manner aforesaid. No person shall succeed himself as a member of the commission except when his membership is due to an appointment to fill a vacancy for the remainder of an unexpired term. One or more alternate members, as necessary, shall be selected in the manner prescribed for initial appointments in each representative class, and shall serve at the call of the chairman to take the place of those who are disqualified from participating in a commission proceeding pursuant to commission rules.
Section 10. (1) The commission shall have authority to receive information, investigate, conduct hearings, and make recommendations to the court relating to mental or physical disability affecting a judge’s performance.
(2) In carrying out its responsibilities regarding physical or mental disabilities, the commission shall follow the same procedures that it employs with respect to discipline for misconduct.
(3) If the judge in a matter relating to physical or mental disability is not represented by counsel, the commission shall appoint an attorney to represent him at public expense.
(4) If a complaint involves the physical or mental condition of the judge, a denial of the alleged condition shall constitute a waiver of medical privilege and the judge shall be required to produce his medical records.
(5) If medical privilege is waived, the judge shall be deemed to have consented to a physical or mental examination by a qualified medical practitioner designated by the commission. The report of the medical practitioner shall be furnished to the commission and the judge.
Section 11. The supreme judicial court may establish an advisory committee on the code of judicial conduct, which may render advisory opinions to judges at their request or on its own motion.
Section 2. (1) All judges of the trial court, the appeals court and the supreme judicial court shall be subject to discipline pursuant to this chapter. The commission on judicial conduct shall have the authority to receive information, investigate, conduct hearings, and make recommendations to the supreme judicial court concerning allegations of judicial misconduct and allegations of mental or physical disability affecting a judge’s performance.
(2) The commission shall have jurisdiction over investigations and recommendations regarding discipline arising from the conduct of all judges, including any retired judge who is assigned to perform the duties of a judge for a temporary period. This jurisdiction shall include all conduct that occurred prior to a judge’s assuming judicial office, and conduct of a lawyer who is no longer a judge that occurred while he held judicial office; provided, however, that in evaluating such conduct, the commission shall give substantial weight to relevant decisions of the supreme judicial court and the board of bar overseers regarding bar discipline. The foregoing shall not be construed to derogate the inherent authority of the supreme judicial court to supervise and discipline judges, the authority of the governor with the consent of the council to remove a judge upon the address of both houses of the legislature or to retire a judge involuntarily because of advanced age or mental or physical disability, the authority of the legislature to remove a judge through impeachment, or the supervisory authority of the chief justices of the appeals and supreme judicial courts or of the chief and department administrative justices of the trial court.
(3) Except where the commission determines otherwise for good cause, the commission shall not deal with complaints arising out of acts or omissions occurring more than one year prior to the date commission proceedings are initiated pursuant to section five; provided, however, that, when the last episode of an alleged pattern of recurring judicial conduct arises within the one year period, the commission may consider all prior acts or omissions related to such alleged pattern of conduct.
(4) In the absence of fraud, corrupt motive, bad faith, or clear indication that the judge’s conduct violates the code of judicial conduct, the commission shall not take action against a judge for making findings of fact, reaching a legal conclusion, or applying the law as he understands it. Commission proceedings shall not be a substitute for an appeal.
(5) Grounds for discipline shall include:(a) conviction of a felony;(b) willful misconduct in office;(c) willful misconduct which, although not related to judicial duties, brings the judicial office into disrepute;(d) conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice or conduct unbecoming a judicial officer, whether conduct in office or outside of judicial duties, that brings the judicial office into disrepute; or(e) any conduct that constitutes a violation of the codes of judicial conduct or professional responsibility.
immunity; executive director; proceedings Section 3. (1) The commission shall report only to the supreme judicial court. The commission shall be allowed for its purposes annually such amount as shall be appropriated for it by the general court. The commission shall be provided with adequate offices. The commission may adopt rules of procedure, without compliance with the provisions of chapter thirty A, but subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court, and may develop appropriate forms for its proceedings. Such rules shall establish reasonable time limits for all stages of commission proceedings and standards for extending time limits applicable to commission proceedings.
(2) Members of the commission, hearing officers, commission counsel, and staff shall be absolutely immune from suit for all conduct in the course of their official duties. A complaint submitted to the commission or its staff and communications related to the complaint shall be absolutely privileged, and no civil action predicated on the complaint or on such a communication may be instituted against any complainant or witness or his counsel; provided, however, such immunity from suit shall apply only to communications to the commission or its staff and shall not apply to public disclosure of information contained in or relating to the complaint.
(3) The commission shall appoint an executive director who shall serve at the pleasure of the commission. The executive director shall be a member of the Massachusetts bar, shall serve full time, and shall not engage in the practice of law. The executive director shall receive an annual salary, subject to appropriation, which is fixed by the commission consistent with classification and compensation policies of the supreme judicial court, and such expenses as are approved by the commission and incurred in the discharge of the executive director’s duties.
(4) The executive director shall have duties and responsibilities as prescribed by the commission, including the authority to:(a) receive information, allegations, and complaints;(b) make preliminary evaluations;(c) screen complaints;(d) conduct investigations;(e) recommend dispositions;(f) maintain the commission’s records;(g) maintain statistics concerning the operation of the commission and make them available to the commission and to the supreme judicial court;(h) prepare the commission’s budget for approval by the commission and administer its funds;(i) employ and supervise other members of the commission’s staff;(j) prepare the annual report of the commission’s activities required pursuant to section four; and(k) employ, with the approval of the commission and subject to appropriation, special counsel, private investigators, or other experts, and clerical assistants, as necessary to investigate and process matters before the commission and before the supreme judicial court. Neither the attorney general’s staff nor law enforcement officers shall be employed for this purpose.
(5) The supreme judicial court may delegate the power to enforce process in commission proceedings to another appropriate court. A witness at any stage of commission proceedings may rely on any privilege applicable to civil proceedings.
Section 4. The commission shall submit annually to the general court and the supreme judicial court a report of its activities together with recommendations. This report shall be a matter of public record and shall be printed as a public document.
investigation and evaluation; detailed complaint or statement of allegations; formal charges Section 5. (1) Commission proceedings relating to the conduct of a judge may be initiated by an oral or written complaint stating facts that, if true, would be grounds for discipline, or by the commission’s own motion when the commission receives reasonable information, including reports in the news media, as to conduct that appears to constitute grounds for discipline. Upon receipt of such complaint or adoption of such motion, the commission shall promptly notify the judge, except as provided in subdivision (2), and shall conduct a prompt, discreet and confidential inquiry, investigation and evaluation.
(2) The commission shall notify the judge of the proceedings and their subject matter before commencing any inquiry, investigation or evaluation in all cases except as follows:(a) where, because of the nature of the complaint, delay is necessary in order to preserve evidence, notice may be delayed until such evidence is obtained, until the matter is dismissed, or until the sworn complaint or statement of allegations is served pursuant to subdivision (6), whichever occurs first;(b) where the identity of the complainant could be readily determined by the judge from the nature of the complaint and there is a danger of reprisal against the complainant, notice may be delayed until the danger of reprisal ends, until the matter is dismissed, or until the sworn complaint or statement of allegations is served pursuant to subdivision (6), whichever occurs first; provided, however, that in any such case where there is an ongoing danger of reprisal, the notice and the statement of allegations may be drafted so as to conceal the complainant’s identity.
(3) The commission shall discourage and shall promptly dismiss complaints which are frivolous, unfounded or outside commission jurisdiction. The commission shall notify the judge and the complainant, if any, of such dismissal in accordance with the provisions of subdivisions (1), (2) and (10).
(4) At any stage of the proceeding, the commission shall be entitled within the time limits established by commission rule to compel by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses, including the judge, and to provide for the inspection of documents, books, accounts, and other records.
(5) After a thorough inquiry, investigation and evaluation, the executive director shall recommend to the commission, and the commission shall determine, by majority vote, whether there is adequate reason to proceed to the preparation of a detailed complaint or statement of allegations. If so, the commission shall request that the complainant file a detailed sworn complaint against the judge. When a sworn complaint is not obtained, the executive director shall prepare a clear statement of the allegations against the judge and the alleged facts forming their basis. Said complaint or statement of allegations shall clearly set forth each act of misconduct where more than one act of misconduct is alleged, and shall state clearly the provision of statute, code of judicial conduct or code of professional responsibility alleged to have been violated by each alleged act of misconduct.
(6) The judge shall be served promptly with a copy of the sworn complaint or statement of allegations.
(7) The judge shall have twenty-one days after receipt of the sworn complaint or statement of allegations to respond in writing to the charges and, if he wishes, to file a written request for a personal appearance before the commission.
(8) The judge shall be entitled to counsel of his own choice. After the judge is served with the sworn complaint or statement of allegations, he shall be entitled before the issuance of formal charges and within the time limits established by commission rule to compel by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses through depositions, and to provide for the inspection of documents, books, accounts, written or electronically recorded statements, and other records. The judge may file written material for commission consideration before the issuance of formal charges.
(9) If the judge requests a personal appearance before the commission, he may be accompanied by counsel, his statement and that of his counsel shall be recorded, and the commission shall not issue formal charges until after such personal appearance.
(10) If at any time prior to the issuance of formal charges the commission determines that it does not have sufficient cause to proceed, the commission shall terminate the proceedings by closing the investigation or dismissing the complaint or the statement of allegations. In that event, the commission shall give notice to the complainant, if any, and to the judge that it has found insufficient cause to proceed. The file in any matter so terminated shall be closed.
(11) The commission may not refer subsequently to a file closed before the issuance of formal charges except in the following circumstances:(a) in a subsequent proceeding that raises similar allegations against the judge and indicates a pattern of recurring judicial misconduct;(b) in a subsequent proceeding alleging conduct in violation of conditions imposed as part of an informal adjustment pursuant to subdivision (1) of section eight;(c) in connection with a decision as to the recommended sanction to be imposed in a subsequent proceeding.
(12) The commission may, upon notice to the judge, amend the allegations prior to a finding of sufficient cause to issue formal charges. The judge may amend his written response or submit additional written material for commission consideration before such finding.
(13) After the judge’s personal appearance pursuant to subdivision (9), if any, and after the expiration of any time limit upon written submissions by the judge pursuant to subdivisions (8) and (12), the commission shall determine whether there is sufficient cause to issue formal charges. A finding of sufficient cause to issue formal charges shall require the concurrence of the majority of all commission members that there is a preponderance of credible evidence that the judge’s conduct constitutes grounds for discipline.
(14) When sufficient cause is found, the commission shall issue formal charges stating those allegations as to which sufficient cause is found. A copy of the formal statement of charges shall be served promptly upon the judge and the judge shall have ten days to respond. Immediately thereafter, a copy of such formal statement of charges and of the judge’s written response shall be filed with the supreme judicial court, which shall promptly appoint a hearing officer. Confidentiality shall cease upon this filing, as provided in section six, and after this filing the proceedings shall be governed by the provisions of section seven.
Section 6. (1) Except as provided in this section, all proceedings of the commission shall be confidential until there has been a determination of sufficient cause and formal charges have been filed with the supreme judicial court. The commission shall ensure that a procedure applicable to commission members, counsel and staff is established for enforcing confidentiality.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1), the judge may waive his right to confidentiality prior to a finding of sufficient cause. In addition, in any case in which the subject matter becomes public, through independent sources or through a waiver of confidentiality by the judge, the commission may issue such statements as it deems appropriate in order to confirm the pendency of the investigation, to clarify the procedural aspects of the disciplinary proceedings, to explain the right of the judge to a fair hearing without prejudgment, or to state that the judge denies the allegations.
(3) If the inquiry was initiated as a result of notoriety or because of conduct that is a matter of public record, and is subsequently terminated because there is insufficient cause to proceed, information concerning the insufficiency of cause to proceed may be released by the commission.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, proceedings pursuant to this chapter may remain confidential, even after a finding of sufficient cause, if the judge, the commission, and the complainant, if any, all concur.
(5) If any federal agency, the judicial nominating council, or any like agency for screening candidates for judicial appointment which succeeds the judicial nominating council, seeks information or written materials from the commission concerning a judge, in connection with his selection or appointment as a judge, information may be divulged in accordance with procedures prescribed by commission rule, including reasonable notice to the judge affected, unless the judge signs a waiver of the right to such notice. If, in connection with the assignment of a retired judge to judicial duties, the chief justice of the supreme judicial court or the appeals court or the chief administrative justice of the trial court seeks information or written materials from the commission about the judge, information may be divulged in accordance with procedures prescribed by commission rule, including reasonable notice to the judge affected, unless the judge signs a waiver of the right to such notice.
attorneys’ fees Section 7. (1) The commission shall schedule a hearing without undue delay after the appointment of the hearing officer by the supreme judicial court. The commission shall schedule the time and place of the hearing, and shall notify the judge and all counsel of the hearing. The judge shall be afforded ample opportunity to prepare for the hearing and may amend his written response to the charges.
(2) The judge and the commission shall each be entitled to discovery to the extent available in civil proceedings, within the time limits provided by commission rules. The judge and the commission shall each be entitled to compel by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses, including the judge, and to provide for the inspection of documents, books, accounts, and other records.
(3) The formal hearing shall be public and shall be conducted before the hearing officer appointed by the supreme judicial court. At the hearing, all testimony shall be under oath, the rules of evidence applicable to civil proceedings shall apply, and the judge shall be accorded due process of law.
(4) An attorney or attorneys of the commission staff, or special counsel retained for the purpose, shall present the matter to the hearing officer. The commission shall have the burden of proving the charges by clear and convincing evidence. The judge and the commission shall be permitted to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses, subject to the rules of evidence applicable to civil proceedings.
(5) The raising of mental or physical condition as a defense constitutes a waiver of medical privilege.
(6) By leave of the commission or with the consent of the judge, the statement of charges may be amended after commencement of the hearing only if the amendment is technical in nature and the judge and his counsel are given adequate time to prepare a response.
(7) Every hearing shall be transcribed.
(8) The hearing officer shall submit to the commission and to the judge a report containing proposed findings and recommendations, the transcripts of testimony and all exhibits. Counsel for the judge and commission shall have twenty days after receipt of such report to submit written objections to the findings and recommendations, and said objections shall become part of the record.
(9) Before the commission reaches its decision, the judge and the complainant, if any, shall have the right to be heard before the commission regarding its recommendation for discipline, and their statements shall be transcribed. Such hearing shall be public, but commission deliberations regarding such recommendation shall be conducted in executive session. The commission shall reach a decision on the basis of the full record within ninety days after such hearing, unless there is good cause for delay. Its conclusions may differ from those proposed by the hearing officer. Its decision shall state specific reasons for all conclusions and recommendations.
(10) A recommendation for discipline shall be reported to the supreme judicial court only if a majority of all members of the commission concur that discipline should be recommended. Any dissent as to the need for or the form of discipline shall be transmitted with the majority decision. A copy of said recommendation and dissent shall be given to the judge and shall become part of the public record. The entire record, including transcripts, exhibits and the hearing officer’s report, shall be transmitted to the supreme judicial court.
(11) If a majority of the members of the commission concur that discipline should not be recommended, the matter shall be dismissed, and the judge and complainant, if any, shall be notified of such dismissal.
(12) The provisions of subdivisions (10) and (11) shall not be construed to prohibit the commission from disposing of the matter by informal adjustment pursuant to section eight as a result of commission deliberations regarding a recommendation for discipline.
(13) The expense of witnesses shall be borne by the party that calls them unless:(a) physical or mental disability of the judge is in issue, in which case the commission shall reimburse the judge for the reasonable expenses of the witnesses whose testimony related to the disability; or(b) the supreme judicial court determines that the imposition of costs and expert witness fees will work a financial hardship or injustice upon him and orders that those fees be reimbursed.
(14) All witnesses shall receive fees and expenses in the same manner as witnesses in civil actions before the courts. A transcript of all proceedings shall be provided to the judge without cost. Except as provided in subdivision (13), costs of all proceedings shall be at public expense.
(15) With the approval of the supreme judicial court, a judge shall be entitled to the payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees by the commonwealth in any case where the matter is dismissed by the commission at any stage after the filing of a sworn complaint or statement of charges, where the supreme judicial court determines despite a commission recommendation for discipline that no sanction is justified, or where the supreme judicial court determines that justice will be served by the payment of such fees.
Section 8. (1) With the agreement of the judge, the commission may by informal adjustment dispose of a complaint at any stage of the proceedings by:(a) informing or admonishing the judge that his conduct is or may be cause for discipline;(b) directing professional counseling and assistance for the judge;(c) imposing conditions on the judge’s conduct; or(d) persuading a judge to retire voluntarily.
(2) The commission may dismiss a sworn complaint, a statement of allegations or a formal statement of charges as unjustified or unfounded at any stage during the proceedings.
(3) The commission may issue a private reprimand with the consent of the judge.
(4) The commission may recommend to the supreme judicial court one or more of the following sanctions:(a) removal;(b) retirement;(c) imposition of discipline as an attorney;(d) imposition of limitations or conditions on the performance of judicial duties;(e) public or private reprimand or censure;(f) imposition of a fine;(g) assessment of costs and expenses;(h) imposition of any other sanction which is reasonable and lawful.
Section 9. The chief justice and the six most senior justices of the appeals court other than the chief justice shall serve in the place of the supreme judicial court when charges are brought against a member of the supreme judicial court.
establishment Section 1. There shall be a committee for public counsel services, hereinafter referred to as the committee, to plan, oversee, and coordinate the delivery of criminal and certain noncriminal legal services by all salaried public counsel, bar advocate and other assigned counsel programs, and private attorneys serving on a per case basis. The committee shall consist of fifteen persons to be appointed for a term of three years by the justices of the supreme judicial court. Said court shall request and give appropriate consideration to nominees for the fifteen positions from the Massachusetts Bar Association, county bar associations, the Boston Bar Association, and other appropriate bar groups including, but not limited to, the Massachusetts Black Lawyers’ Association, Women’s Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers. Each member of the committee shall serve until his successor in office has been appointed and qualified. Vacancies shall be filled by the justices of the supreme judicial court by appointment to an unexpired term. Members of the committee may be removed by the justices of the supreme judicial court. No member of the committee shall receive any compensation for his services, but each member shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in attending the committee meetings.
The provisions of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight A shall apply to all members, officers and employees of the committee, except that the committee may provide representation or enter into a contract pursuant to the provisions of sections three or six although a member of the committee may have an interest or involvement in any such matter; provided, however, that such interest and involvement is disclosed in advance to the other members of the committee and recorded in the minutes of the committee; and provided, further, that no member having an interest or involvement in any contract under section three may participate in any particular matter, as defined in section one of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight A, relating to such contract.
review of client complaints Section 10. The committee shall monitor and evaluate compliance with the standards and the performance of counsel in its divisions in order to insure competent representation of defendants in all courts of the commonwealth and shall establish a procedure for the review and disposition of client complaints. The committee shall also establish procedures whereby comments on the standard of performance of counsel in its divisions may be submitted by the justice hearing a particular matter.
notice Section 11. The committee shall establish rates of compensation payable, subject to appropriation, to all counsel who are appointed or assigned to represent indigents within the private counsel division in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of section six. Such rates of compensation shall be reviewed periodically at public hearings held by the committee at appropriate locations throughout the state, and notice shall be given to all state, county and local bar associations and other interested groups, of such hearings by letter and publication in advance of such hearings. Such periodic review shall take place not less than once every two years.
oversight department; invoices Section 12. The committee shall establish policies and procedures to provide fair compensation to private counsel, which shall include a remedy for an attorney aggrieved by the amount of payment. The committee shall also establish an audit and oversight department to monitor billing and private attorney compensation. All invoices shall be processed for payment within thirty days of receipt by the chief counsel. Bills shall be submitted to the committee within thirty days of the conclusion of a case; or, if the case is pending at the end of the fiscal year, within thirty days after the end of such fiscal year. The amount of payment for invoices received by the chief counsel more than thirty days after the final disposition of the case or more than thirty days after the end of the fiscal year shall be reduced by 10 percent. Bills submitted after such date need not be processed for payment within thirty days. The committee may further prescribe such policies and procedures for payment as it deems appropriate; provided, however, that the committee may impose interest and penalties, where appropriate, upon overpayment of the private attorney bills recovered from private attorneys.
Section 13. The committee shall appoint a chief counsel, whose responsibilities and duties shall be defined by the committee and shall include, but not be limited to, the overall supervision of the workings of the various divisions of the committee. The committee shall further appoint two deputy chief counsel, with duties defined by the committee, one of whom shall supervise the public defender division, and the other shall supervise the private counsel division. The committee shall also prescribe the procedures for the appointment of all legal and nonlegal staff of the public defender division and for the procurement of office space as may be required. The chief counsel shall authorize the certification of all payments under section twenty-seven G of chapter two hundred and sixty-one and section twenty of chapter twenty-nine. All legal and nonlegal staff of the public counsel division shall be full time and shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their duties and shall neither directly or indirectly engage in the private practice of law. The chief counsel and deputy chief counsels shall likewise devote full time to their duties. The chief counsel, deputy chief counsels and all legal and non-legal staff of the committee, including staff attorneys hired under subparagraphs (a) and (b) of section 6 but not including persons described in the fourth sentence of said subparagraph (b) of said section 6, shall be considered public employees for purposes of chapter 258. The chief counsel shall be paid a salary comparable to the salary paid to a district attorney. The salaries of the deputy chief counsels shall be established by the committee. All other legal staff of the public defender division shall be paid at salaries comparable to the salary paid to an attorney employed in a district attorney’s office.
The counsel and other employees appointed by the committee shall not be subject to the provisions of chapter thirty-one.
representation Section 14. The public counsel division, except in cases of conflict of interest, shall represent indigent defendants in all appeals and related post-conviction remedies. In the case of a conflict of interest, the assignment shall be to the private counsel division.
consultation Section 15. The committee shall consult regularly with a community advisory board appointed by the committee to represent the greater Roxbury community. Members of the community advisory board shall not receive compensation or reimbursement for expenses.
classification system Section 16. The committee shall establish, supervise and maintain a system for the appointment of counsel for the provision of legal services for indigents subject to the sex offender registry classification system and resulting appeals pursuant to sections 178C to 178P, inclusive, of chapter 6.
access to verifying information Section 21/2. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a person claiming indigency under the provisions of section 2 must execute a waiver authorizing the court’s chief probation officer, or his designee, to obtain the person’s wage and tax information from the department of revenue, and any other information from the department of transitional assistance, the department of medical assistance, and the registry of motor vehicles that the court may find useful in verifying the person’s claim of indigency. Said waiver shall authorize the chief probation officer, or his designee, to conduct any further re-assessment required by this section.
It shall be the responsibility of the chief probation officer assigned to each court to ensure that a defendant claiming to be indigent meets the definition of indigency under section 2. A defendant seeking appointment of counsel shall be interviewed by the chief probation officer or his designee before the appointment of counsel. The person conducting the interview shall explain to the defendant (1) the definition of indigency, (2) the process used to verify his information with other state agencies, and (3) the consequences of misrepresenting his financial information in applying for the appointment of counsel. The person conducting the interview shall prepare a written indigency intake report that shall record the results of the interview and his recommendation on whether or not the defendant is indigent. The defendant and the person conducting the interview shall sign the indigency intake report. In signing the report, the defendant shall certify under the pains and penalties of perjury that the information contained therein is true and that he has not concealed any information relevant to his financial status. All statements contained in the report shall be deemed material statements. The completed report shall be presented to a judge who may adopt or reject the recommendations in the report, either in whole or in part.
Any appointment of counsel by the court is at all times subject to said verification of indigency by the chief probation officer assigned to each court. Not later than 60 days after the appointment of counsel, said chief probation officer or his designee shall complete a re-assessment of the defendant’s financial circumstances to ensure that the defendant continues to meet the definition of indigency. In preparing his re-assessment, the chief probation officer or his designee may access wage and tax information in the possession of the department of revenue and such other information relevant to the verification of indigency in the possession of the department of transitional assistance, the department of medical assistance and the registry of motor vehicles. Said departments shall provide such information to the chief probation officer or his designee upon request. Upon completion of his reassessment, the chief probation officer shall prepare a written report of his findings. The chief probation officer shall sign the report, certifying that the defendant either continues to meet or does not continue to meet the definition of indigency. The report shall be filed with the case papers and shall be presented to the judge presiding at the defendant’s next court appearance. If, upon receipt of the report, a judge finds that the defendant no longer meets the definition of indigency, he shall revoke the appointment of counsel and allow the defendant a reasonable continuance to obtain new counsel. Not later than 6 months after the appointment of counsel, and every 6 months thereafter, the chief probation officer or his designee shall conduct a further re-assessment of the defendant’s financial circumstances to ensure that he continues to meet the definition of indigency and shall prepare, sign and file a written report certifying that the defendant either continues to meet, or does not continue to meet, that definition of indigency.
If a criminal defendant is charged with a second or further offense while continuing to be represented by court-appointed counsel for a previously charged offense, the court in its discretion shall determine whether any further determination of indigency, other than the 60-day and bi-annual reassessments required by the defendant’s representation for the first offense, need be undertaken.
Upon completion of any said re-assessments, the chief probation officer shall prepare a written report of his findings. The chief probation officer shall sign the report, certifying that the defendant either continues to meet or does not continue to meet the definition of indigency. The report shall be filed with the case papers and shall be presented to the judge presiding at the defendant’s next court appearance. If, upon receipt of the report, a judge finds that the defendant no longer meets the definition of indigency, he shall revoke the appointment of counsel and allow the defendant a reasonable continuance to obtain new counsel.
If the court finds that a person has materially misrepresented or omitted information concerning his property or assets for purposes of determining indigency, and that said person does not meet the definition of indigency, the court shall immediately terminate any assignment or appointment of counsel made under chapter 211D of the General Laws and shall assess costs of not less than $500 against said person.
A person provided counsel under this chapter shall be assessed a counsel fee of $150, which the court may waive only upon determining that the defendant is unable to pay. If, upon reviewing the chief probation officer’s report on the 60-day re-assessment of the defendant’s indigency, the court concludes that the defendant is able to pay the $150 counsel fee of which he obtained a waiver, the court shall invalidate the waiver and re-impose the $150 counsel fee.
The court may authorize a defendant to perform community service in lieu of payment of the counsel fee. A defendant seeking to work off his counsel fee in community service shall perform 10 hours of community service for each $100 he owes in legal counsel fees. Notwithstanding any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, a criminal matter shall not be terminated and the defendant shall not be discharged if the defendant owes any portion of the legal counsel fee imposed by this section. The clerk shall not release any bail posted on such criminal matter until the legal counsel fee is satisfied in accordance with this chapter.
The clerk of the court shall, within 60 days of appointment of counsel, report to the departments of transitional assistance, medical assistance and revenue and the registry of motor vehicles the amount of any legal counsel fee owed by the defendant under this chapter. The department of revenue shall intercept the fee from tax refunds due to persons who have not paid it. The departments of transitional assistance and medical assistance shall deduct the fee in weekly or monthly increments from the benefit payments of persons who have not paid it. The registrar of motor vehicles shall place a lien in the amount of any portion of the legal counsel fee owed by the defendant upon the title of any motor vehicle owned in whole or in part by him. The lien shall be released only upon notification from the clerk of the court that the fee has been collected or worked off in community service.
for determination Section 2. The committee for public counsel shall establish a definition of “indigency” for the purposes of this chapter and uniform standards and procedures for the determination by the courts of the commonwealth that (1) a person is indigent and is unable to obtain counsel or (2) said indigent person has the ability to pay a reduced fee for the appointment of counsel. Said definition and standards, and any amendments thereto, shall be subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court and shall be used by the courts of the commonwealth in determining assignment of cases to the committee pursuant to section five. In the formulation of said definition, standards, and procedures, the committee shall consider the reporting system operated by the commissioner of revenue for the purpose of verifying financial eligibility of participants in state or federally funded programs, and its potential applicability to the provision of legal services for indigent defendants. Payment of any reduced fee by an indigent person for the appointment of counsel shall be made to the probation department of the appointing court, and shall be forwarded to the state treasurer who shall deposit such in the general fund.
with misdemeanor or municipal ordinance violation; fee assessment Section 2A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a criminal defendant charged with a misdemeanor or a violation of a municipal ordinance or bylaw need not be appointed counsel if the judge, at arraignment, informs such defendant on the record that, if the defendant is convicted of such offense, his sentence will not include any period of incarceration. For good cause, that judge or another judge of the same court may later revoke such determination on the record and appoint counsel, and on the request such counsel shall be entitled to a continuance to conduct any necessary discovery and to prepare adequately for trial. Any such determination or revocation by a judge shall be endorsed upon the docket of the case.
Any person provided counsel under the provisions of this chapter shall be assessed a counsel fee of $150, which may be waived at the discretion of the court. Said fee shall be in addition to any reduced fee required pursuant to section two and shall be collected in accordance with said section.
The department of revenue shall be authorized to intercept said fee from tax refunds due to persons who have not paid said fee.
The department of public welfare shall be authorized to deduct said fee in weekly or monthly increments from persons who have not paid said fee.
contracts Section 3. Said committee may accept gifts, grants or contributions from any source, whether public or private, and may enter into contracts to provide or receive services with any federal, state, county or municipal entity, with any group or individual, whether profit or nonprofit, or with any nonprofit or voluntary charitable group, corporation, association or organization, including any bar association or bar advocate group.
rotating appointment mechanism Section 4. Said committee shall adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the conduct of its affairs and may from time to time amend or revise the same. The committee shall prepare an annual report which shall be a public document. The committee shall establish standards and guidelines for the training, qualification and removal of counsel in the public and private counsel divisions who accept its appointments, and shall provide pre-service and in-service training for both private counsel who accept assignments and salaried public counsel. The committee may establish a rotating appointment mechanism that will encourage open access among attorneys participating within the private counsel division.
Section 5. Said committee shall establish, supervise and maintain a system for the appointment or assignment of counsel at any stage of a proceeding, either criminal or noncriminal in nature, provided, however, that the laws of the commonwealth or the rules of the supreme judicial court require that a person in such proceeding be represented by counsel; and, provided further, that such person is unable to obtain counsel by reason of his indigency. The committee may also establish a system for the provision of counsel in any pre-arraignment procedure. A justice or associate justice shall assign a case to the committee, as hereafter provided, after receiving from the probation officer a written report containing the probation officer’s opinion as to the defendant’s ability to pay for counsel, based on the standards and procedures provided for in section two.
duties Section 6. In carrying out its duties as prescribed in section five, the committee shall:(a) Utilize its staff of attorneys, which shall be known hereafter as the “public defender division”. Said division shall include a unit to be known as the Roxbury defenders unit, which shall represent clients as assigned pursuant to this chapter in the Roxbury division of the district court department. Said division shall also include a unit to be known as the youth advocacy project. Said division shall be assigned to represent indigent defendants in all criminal cases, except that:(i) said division shall not be assigned to represent more than one defendant in any matter before any court on the same case or arising out of the same incident;(ii) said division shall not be assigned to represent a defendant in any case in which there is a conflict of interest with any of its clients;(iii) said division shall not be assigned to a case where a person is before the probate and family court department or the housing court department for criminal contempt or in such other proceeding in said departments in which such person is entitled to be represented by counsel;(iv) said division shall not be assigned to represent any child alleged to be delinquent, except in such cases which may result in exposure to adult incarceration or commitment to the department of youth services until the age of twenty-one, and except in cases charging delinquency by conduct which would be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison if committed by an adult and except in the Boston and Bristol county divisions of the juvenile court department or in the Roxbury division of the district court department. Private counsel who have been certified to accept assignments in such cases shall also be eligible to provide representation to persons thus charged;(v) said division shall not be assigned to represent any person charged with a misdemeanor unless said misdemeanor is in conjunction with a felony charge for which said division has been assigned;(vi) notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, the division shall be assigned in any civil or criminal matter described in paragraph (b) where the chief counsel determines in writing that insufficient numbers of qualified attorneys are available for assignment by the private counsel division in courts located in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin or Berkshire counties.
(b) Establish, supervise, and maintain a system for the appointment of private counsel, hereafter called the private counsel division which shall include a children and family law program and a mental health unit. The committee shall enter into contractual agreements with any state, county or local bar association or voluntary charitable group, corporation or association, including bar advocate groups, for the purpose of providing such counsel. Said committee may also contract with such other organized groups of attorneys as may be formed to afford representation to indigent defendants and may appoint and compensate private attorneys, on a case-by-case basis, as counsel for indigents entitled to representation. Neither individuals nor members nor participants in any group, corporation or association with whom the committee may contract under this paragraph shall be considered to be or have any rights as state employees.
(i) Said division shall be assigned for all persons accused of crimes entitled to counsel who, through their inability to pay for counsel, must have counsel appointed to them, but who, pursuant to the provisions of subparagraph (a) of this section are not to be represented by the public counsel division.
(ii) Said division shall be assigned to represent a person who is before the probate and family court department or the housing court department in a criminal contempt proceeding or in such other proceeding in said departments in which a person is entitled to be represented by counsel.
(iii) Said division shall also be assigned to represent persons in such other proceedings as the chief counsel shall determine to be necessary.
counsel division; establishment of children and family law program Section 6A. In carrying out its duties as prescribed in sections 5 and 6, the committee shall, subject to appropriation, utilize its attorney staff within the private counsel division. The committee shall establish a children and family law program in the counties of Essex and Hampden which shall, upon the court’s appointment, provide representation to indigent persons in children and family law cases. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the system as established in sections 5 and 6 of this chapter, whereby the court appoints certified private counsel to represent children and parents in the majority of children and family law cases.
Section 6B. Not more than 1 counsel assigned or appointed under section 5, 6 or 6A shall be paid for representation of a party in civil proceedings pending in any trial court under paragraph C of section 23, section 24 or 29B or sections 39E to 39I, inclusive, of chapter 119 or section 3 of chapter 210. The chief counsel of the committee for public counsel services may permit an exception to this provision in extraordinary circumstances, such as the pendency of separate actions in distant counties on behalf of a client.
Section 7. Said divisions shall be assigned to represent persons charged in the district court department with concurrent felonies under section twenty-six of chapter two hundred and eighteen as further defined by the committee.
Section 8. Upon a determination by a court that a person accused of murder in the first or second degree is indigent, the chief counsel or his designee may assign the case to either the public defender division or the private counsel division, subject to the approval of the justice making the determination of indigency.
Section 9. The committee shall establish standards for the public defender division and the private counsel division which shall include but not be limited to:(a) vertical or continuous representation at the pre-trial and trial stages by the attorney either assigned or appointed, whenever possible;(b) required participation by each attorney in an approved course of training in the fundamentals of criminal trial practice, unless the attorney has a level of ability which makes such participation unnecessary;(c) specified caseload limitation levels;(d) investigative services;(e) a method for the provision of social services or social service referrals;(f) availability of expert witnesses to participating counsel;(g) clerical assistance, interview facilities, and the availability of a law library and model forms to participating counsel; and(h) adequate supervision provided by experienced attorneys who shall be available to less experienced attorneys.
(i) qualifications for vendors for the services provided in clauses (d), (e) and (f) and a range of rates payable for said services, taking into consideration the rates, qualifications and history of performance; provided, however, that such ranges may be exceeded with approval of the court. Payment of such costs and fees shall be in accordance with the provisions of section twenty-seven A to G, inclusive, of chapter two hundred and sixty-one.
powers and duties Section 1. (a) There is established, as an independent commission in the judicial branch of the commonwealth, a Massachusetts sentencing commission which shall consist of nine voting members and six non-voting members. The governor shall appoint the voting members of the commission, and shall designate one member as chairman. Three of the voting members shall be present district court, Boston municipal court or superior court department judges, selected from a list of seven judges recommended by the chief justice for administration and management, and at least one district court judge or Boston municipal court and one superior court judge shall be appointed. Two of the voting members shall be assistant district attorneys, selected from a list of seven assistant district attorneys recommended by the Massachusetts District Attorneys’ Association. One of the voting members shall be an assistant attorney general, selected from a list of three assistant attorneys general recommended by the attorney general. Two of the voting members shall be members of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, selected from a list of five such members recommended by the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. One voting member shall be a public defender, selected from a list of three public defenders recommended by the committee for public counsel services. The non-voting members shall be the commissioner of corrections, or his designee; the commissioner of probation, or his designee; and the secretary of public safety, or his designee; the chairman of the Massachusetts parole board, or his designee; the president of the Massachusetts Sheriffs Association or his designee; a victim witness advocate selected by the victim witness board.
The chairman and the members of the commission shall be subject to removal from the commission by the governor only for neglect of duty or malfeasance in office or for a showing of other good cause.
(b) (1) The voting members of the commission shall be appointed for six-year terms; provided, however, that the initial terms of the first members of the commission shall be staggered so that four members, including the chairman, serve terms of six years; three members serve terms of four years; and two members serve terms of two years. Terms of those members appointed because of their public office or position shall end when the member leaves such public office or position, and a successor shall be appointed in the prescribed manner.
(2) No voting member may serve more than two full terms. A voting member appointed to fill a vacancy that occurs before the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term.
(3) Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but each member shall be reimbursed by the commonwealth for all reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of official duties.
(4) Judges who serve on the commission and shall not be required to resign their judicial appointments.
(c) The commission shall have the power to perform such functions as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, and may delegate to any member or designated person such powers as may be appropriate to the accomplishment of the duties of the commission as set forth below. In particular, the commission shall:(1) appoint and fix the salary and duties of a director and other personnel, who shall serve at the discretion of the commission;(2) submit appropriations requests to the secretary of administration and finance;(3) utilize, with their consent, the services, equipment, personnel, information, and facilities of federal, state, local, and private agencies and instrumentalities with or without reimbursement therefor;(4) enter into and perform such contracts, leases, cooperative agreements, and other transactions as may be necessary in the conduct of the functions of the commission, with any public agency, or with any person, firm, association, corporation, educational institution, or nonprofit organization;(5) accept and employ, in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, voluntary and uncompensated services;(6) request such information, data, and reports from any Massachusetts agency or judicial officer as the commission may from time to time require and as may be produced consistent with other law;(7) serve as a clearinghouse for the collection, preparation, and dissemination of information on sentencing practices and assist courts, departments, and agencies in the development, maintenance, and coordination of sound sentencing practices;(8) make recommendations to the legislature concerning modification or enactment of laws relating to crimes, sentencing, and correctional matters, as well as recommendations concerning programmatic, budgetary and capital matters that the commission finds to be necessary and advisable to carry out the purposes of this chapter;(9) hold hearings and call witnesses to assist the commission in the exercise of its powers or duties.
(d) Except as hereinafter provided, the commission shall act by affirmative vote of at least five of its voting members.
(e) Upon the request of the commission, each agency and department of the commonwealth is hereby authorized and directed to make its services, equipment, personnel, facilities and information available to the greatest practicable extent to the commission in the execution of its functions. The commission shall, to the extent practicable, utilize existing resources of the administrative office of the trial court for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary duplication.
(f) Except as otherwise provided by law, the commission shall maintain and make available for public inspection a record of the final vote of each member on any action taken by it.
(g) The director shall supervise the activities of persons employed by the commission and perform other duties assigned to the director by the commission. The director shall, subject to the approval of the commission, appoint such officers and employees as are necessary in the execution of the functions of the commission.
Section 2. The purposes of the Massachusetts sentencing commission shall be to recommend sentencing policies and practices for the commonwealth which:(1) punish the offender justly;(2) secure the public safety of the commonwealth by providing a swift and sure response to the commission of crime;(3) meet the purposes of sentencing, which are:(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense;(B) to promote respect for the law;(C) to provide just punishment for the offense;(D) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;(E) to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and(F) to provide the defendant with educational or vocational training;(4) provide certainty and fairness in sentencing, avoiding unwarranted sentencing disparities among defendants with similar criminal records who have been found guilty of similar criminal conduct, while maintaining judicial discretion and sufficient flexibility to permit individualized sentences warranted by mitigating or aggravating factors;(5) promote truth in sentencing, in order that all parties involved in the criminal justice process, including the prosecution, the defendant, the court, the victim and the public, are aware of the nature and length of the sentence and its basis;(6) ration correctional capacity and other criminal justice resources to sentences imposed, making said rationing explicit, rational and coherent, in order to:(A) afford sufficient correctional capacity to incarcerate violent offenders consistent with paragraph one;(B) evaluate, on a yearly basis, the performance of said rationing, making appropriate remedial recommendations consistent with subparagraph (8) of paragraph (c) of section one;(C) prevent the prison population in the commonwealth from exceeding the capacity of the prisons, and to prevent premature release for any other reason, and to serve the ends of truth in sentencing by taking into account, in establishing sentencing policies and practices for the commonwealth, the nature and capacity of correctional facilities and community sanctions available in the commonwealth consistent with protecting public safety;(7) encourage the development and implementation of intermediate sanctions in appropriate cases as a sentencing option, consistent with protecting public safety;(8) enhance the value of criminal sanctions and ensure that the criminal penalties imposed are the most appropriate ones by encouraging the development of a wider array of criminal sanctions;(9) make offenders accountable to the community for their criminal behavior, through community service, restitution, and a range of intermediate sanctions;(10) evaluate the impact, if any, on correctional facility capacity of the discontinuation of sentence reductions for good conduct;(11) nothing contained in this section shall be construed as creating any right of action.
Section 3. (a) (1) The commission, by affirmative vote of at least six members of the commission and consistent with all pertinent provisions of this chapter and existing law, shall recommend sentencing guidelines, which shall take effect only if enacted into law.
(2) The sentencing guidelines shall be used by the district and superior courts of the commonwealth, and the Boston municipal court, in imposing a sentence in every criminal case. Said sentence shall not be suspended in whole or in part. The sentencing judge shall impose a sentence within a range prescribed by the sentencing guidelines for every offense, unless the sentencing judge sets forth in writing reasons for departing from that range, on a sentencing statement as set forth in paragraph (h), based on a finding that there exists one or more aggravating or mitigating circumstances that should result in a sentence different from the one otherwise prescribed by the guidelines. The commission shall establish non-exclusive aggravating and mitigating circumstances to guide the sentencing judge, as set forth in paragraph (d). In the absence of an applicable sentencing guideline the court shall impose an appropriate sentence, having due regard for the purposes set forth in section two.
(3) The sentencing guidelines shall be based on reasonable offense characteristics, taking into account the nature and seriousness of each offense, and reasonable offender characteristics taking into account the offender’s character, background, amenability to correction, and criminal history and the availability of the commonwealth’s criminal justice and public safety resources.
For every criminal offense under the laws of the commonwealth, the guidelines shall establish:(A) The circumstances, if any, under which the imposition of intermediate sanctions may be proper, and the circumstances under which imprisonment may be proper.
(B) Appropriate intermediate sanctions for offenders for whom imprisonment may not be necessary or appropriate. In establishing such intermediate sanctions, the commission shall make specific reference to non-institutional sanctions, including but not limited to: standard probation, intensive supervision probation, community service, home confinement, weekend jail sentences, day reporting, residential programming, substance abuse treatment, restitution, means-based fines, continuing education, including but not limited to the “Changing Lives Through Literature” program administered by the trial court and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, vocational training, special education, and psychological counseling; provided, however, that in no event shall a state employee be replaced by an offender serving an intermediate sanction.
(C) A target sentence for offenders for whom an intermediate sanction may not be appropriate based on a combination of reasonable offense and offender characteristics for each offense, and the adequacy of the commonwealth’s criminal justice and public safety resources. The guidelines shall provide that, for each target sentence, the sentencing judge may impose a maximum sentence within a range to be established by the commission for each offense, and a minimum sentence of two-thirds of the maximum sentence; provided, however, that for target sentences of two years or greater the range may not be greater than twenty percent greater or less than the target sentence; and provided, further, that for target sentences of less than two years, the sentencing judge may impose an intermediate sanction. Within that range, the sentencing court may impose any sentence without stating its reasons therefor.
The commission shall act consistent with the need for flexibility, expeditious administration, case-flow management and resources of the trial court departments in sentencing guidelines.
(D) The circumstances, which shall not be considered exclusive, under which a sentencing judge may depart upward or downward from the range otherwise prescribed by the guidelines.
(E) The circumstances, if any, under which substance abuse treatment may be mandated, and the circumstances under which substance abuse treatment may be offered to an offender for voluntary participation.
(b) The commission shall adopt, in conjunction with the sentencing guidelines, general policy statements, which shall be used in interpreting the guidelines.
(c) In its development of the sentencing guidelines, the commission shall not be bound by any existing mandatory maximum or minimum term prescribed by statute and may recommend target sentences that exceed existing mandatory maximum terms or that fall below existing mandatory minimum terms. The commission shall conduct an empirical study in order to ascertain, to the extent practical, a survey of those individuals appearing before the commonwealth’s criminal courts, and those committed to probation, prison and jail. It should also include the average sentences imposed for all offenses prior to the promulgation by the commission of the sentencing guidelines, and the length of prison terms actually served in such cases. The commission shall not be bound by such average sentences, and shall independently develop a sentencing range that is consistent with the purposes of sentencing described in section two; provided, however, that the commission shall assure that the target sentences established for each offense shall not be higher than the averages determined herein solely because of the discontinuation of sentence reductions for good conduct. The commission shall promulgate guidelines regarding participation in work release, education, training, employment or treatment programs outside correctional facilities. The commission shall utilize this data and develop any other data it deems necessary in order to assess the impact of the sentencing guidelines and carry out the purposes set forth in said section two.
(d) In establishing non-exclusive aggravating and mitigating circumstances pursuant to subparagraph (2) of paragraph (a), the commission shall determine whether the following kinds of factors, among others, are relevant, and shall take such factors into account only to the extent that it deems to be relevant:(1) factors that describe the nature and circumstances of the offense;(2) factors that describe the offender’s mental state at the time of the offense;(3) factors that describe the relationship, if any, between the offender and victim;(4) factors that describe the nature and degree of the harm caused by the offense;(5) the community view of the gravity of the offense;(6) the public concern generated by the offense;(7) the deterrent effect a particular sentence may have on the commission of the offense by others;(8) the current incidence of the offense in the community and in the commonwealth as a whole;(9) the role in the offense of each offender in cases involving multiple offenders;(10) the age of the offender;(11) the mental and emotional condition of the offender, to the extent that such condition mitigates the defendant’s culpability or to the extent that such condition is otherwise plainly relevant;(12) the offender’s physical condition, including drug dependence;(13) the offender’s family ties and responsibilities;(14) the offender’s community ties;(15) the offender’s degree of dependence upon criminal activity for a livelihood;(16) the offender’s character and personal history; and(17) the offender’s amenability to correction, treatment, or supervision.
(e) Except for the crimes set forth in section one of chapter two hundred and sixty-five, the sentencing judge may depart from the range established by the sentencing guidelines and impose a sentence below any mandatory minimum term prescribed by statute, if the judge sets forth in writing reasons for departing from that range on a sentencing statement as set forth in paragraph (h) of this section, based on a finding that there exists one or more mitigating circumstances that should result in a sentence different from the one otherwise prescribed by the guidelines and below any applicable mandatory minimum term.
The commission shall assure that the guidelines are neutral as to the race, sex, national origin, creed, religion and socio-economic status of offenders.
(f) The commission periodically shall assess the impact of the sentencing guidelines in order to determine the type and amount of correctional resources needed. In particular, the commission shall examine the impact of said guidelines on intermediate sanctions and correctional institutions and may consult with all appropriate authorities for this purpose. Beginning in the year after the sentencing guidelines become law, but no later than May first, the following persons shall submit comments and recommendations to the commission regarding the implementation and impact of the sentencing guidelines: The governor’s chief legal counsel, the commissioner of probation; the chairman of the parole board; every district attorney; the chief counsel of the committee for public counsel services; the commissioner of corrections; the chief justices of the superior court, district court, and Boston municipal court; the attorney general; and the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
(g) Beginning in the calendar year following the effective date of the sentencing guidelines, the commission, at or after the beginning of a regular session of the legislature, but not later than the first day of October, may submit to the legislature proposed amendments to the sentencing guidelines. Such amendments shall be accompanied by a report stating the reasons therefor. The amendments to the guidelines shall take effect only if enacted into law.
(h) The chief justice for administration and management, in consultation with the sentencing commission, shall promulgate the form of a sentencing statement, conforming to the sentencing guidelines, which shall be used by the sentencing judge in the application of the guidelines when imposing a sentence. The sentencing judge shall complete the statement for every sentence imposed. If the sentencing judge imposes a sentence that departs from the range established by the guidelines, he shall, in the sentencing statement, give the facts, circumstances, evidence, opinions and any other matters considered by him to support the mitigating circumstances justifying the imposition of a sentence different from the one otherwise prescribed by the guidelines or below any applicable mandatory minimum term. One copy of the sentencing statement shall be forwarded by the court to the commission, which shall be used by the commission to submit to the legislature, at least annually, an analysis of sentencing patterns under the guidelines.
(i) Any inmate sentenced to a state or county correctional facility prior to the effective date of any sentencing guidelines enacted into law shall be subject to the law, regulation and rules governing the issuance of parole and the supervision of parole at the time the offense was committed.
(j) A person sentenced to a term of imprisonment as prescribed by any sentencing guidelines enacted into law may be eligible for parole after serving the minimum sentence imposed, less credit for deductions for good conduct earned under section one hundred and twenty-nine D of chapter one hundred and twenty-seven.
(k) The commission shall provide a public hearing and opportunity for public comment on its sentencing guidelines prior to submitting said guidelines to the legislature.
Section 4. (a) A defendant may file a notice of appeal for review of an otherwise final sentence if:(1) the sentence was imposed in violation of law; or(2) the sentence was imposed as a result of an incorrect application of the sentencing guidelines; or(3) the departure upward from the applicable guideline range was an abuse of discretion; or(4) the sentence was imposed for an offense for which there is no sentencing guideline and is plainly unreasonable.
(b) The commonwealth, with the personal approval of the attorney general or a district attorney, may appeal an otherwise final sentence if:(1) the sentence was imposed in violation of law;(2) the sentence was imposed as a result of an incorrect application of the sentencing guidelines;(3) the departure downward from the applicable guideline range was an abuse of discretion; or(4) the sentence was imposed for an offense for which there is no sentencing guideline and is plainly unreasonable.
(c) In the case of a plea agreement entered into pursuant to Rule twelve of the Massachusetts rules of criminal procedure:(1) a defendant may not appeal a sentence unless the sentence imposed is greater than the sentence prescribed by the sentencing guidelines; and(2) the commonwealth may not appeal a sentence unless the sentence imposed is less than the sentence prescribed by the sentencing guidelines.
(3) a sentence imposed by the court in accordance with the recommendation of either the defendant or the commonwealth may not be appealed by the party which made the recommendation; and a sentence imposed in accordance with a jointly-agreed recommendation may not be appealed by either the defendant or the commonwealth.
(d) Appeals from sentences imposed under the sentencing guidelines shall be conducted in accordance with the Massachusetts rules of appellate procedure.
(e) If imprisonment is imposed, the entry of an appeal under the provisions of this section shall not stay the execution of the sentence unless the judge imposing it, upon a showing of a reasonable likelihood of success, finds that execution of the sentence should be stayed pending final determination of the appeal.
Section 1. The following terms as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:“Chief justice”, the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court.
“Commission”, the Massachusetts sentencing commission.
“Commissioner”, the commissioner of probation.
“Community corrections program”, any program that is operated by a state, local or private service agency, that has been deemed an appropriate intermediate sanctions program by the office of community corrections.
“Intermediate sanctions program”, any program that has been determined to impose an appropriate sanction upon an offender for whom imprisonment may not be necessary or appropriate, including but not limited to standard probation, intensive supervision probation, community service, home confinement, weekend jail sentences, day reporting, residential programming, substance abuse treatment, restitution, means-based fines, continuing education, including but not limited to the “Changing Lives Through Literature” program administered by the trial court and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, vocational training, special education, and psychological counseling.
“Community corrections plan”, a written proposal submitted to the executive director of the office of community corrections for approval and funding as a community corrections program.
“Executive director”, the executive director of the office of community corrections.
director Section 2. (a) There is hereby established subject to appropriation within the office of the commissioner of probation an office of community corrections, whose purpose is to establish a continuum of community corrections programs and services statewide. The goal of this chapter is to ensure and promote public safety by developing community corrections programs for appropriate offenders.
(b) The executive director of the office of community corrections shall be appointed by the commissioner of probation to establish, oversee and operate a statewide program of community corrections.
(c) The executive director shall operate subject to the direction and approval of the commissioner. Said executive director shall work in consultation with the commission, administrative office of the trial court, the department of corrections, the parole board and the county sheriffs to ensure consistency between sentencing guidelines and community corrections. The office shall, to the extent practicable, utilize existing resources of the administrative office of the Massachusetts courts for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary duplication.
duration; conditions; eligibility Section 3. (a) Any court exercising jurisdiction is authorized to sentence any eligible offender to a community corrections program; provided, however, that the court designate the duration of the sentence of imprisonment that otherwise would have been imposed.
(b) The court may dictate the duration and conditions of the sentence in a community corrections program for any period of time consistent with existing law.
(c) A sentence to a community corrections program shall be imposed as a condition of probation consistent with chapters two hundred and seventy-six and two hundred and seventy-six A. The court may modify the sentence of an offender serving a sentence in a community corrections program in the same manner as if the offender had been placed on probation.
(d) The commissioner shall develop interim standards for the eligibility of offenders for community corrections, taking into consideration the following factors:(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense;(2) the offender’s mental state at the time of the offense;(3) the relationship, if any, between the offender and victim;(4) the nature and degree of the harm caused by the offense;(5) the community view of the gravity of the offense;(6) the public concern generated by the offense;(7) the age of the offender;(8) the deterrent effect a particular sentence may have on the commission of the offense by others;(9) the current incidence of the offense in the community and in the commonwealth as a whole;(10) the role of the offender in cases involving multiple offenders;(11) the mental and emotional condition of the offender;(12) the offender’s physical condition;(13) the offender’s family ties and responsibilities;(14) the offender’s community ties;(15) the offender’s degree of dependence upon criminal activity for a livelihood;(16) the offender’s character and personal history;(17) the offender’s amenability to correction, treatment, or supervision;(18) the offender’s past criminal history, including convictions, acquittals, guilty pleas, pleas of nolo contendere, dismissals and matters continued without a finding;(19) the offender’s arrest record;(20) the offender’s past history of violence.
No offender shall be eligible for sentencing to a community corrections program who is: (1) convicted of a crime that results in serious bodily harm or death to another person, excluding offenses in which negligence was the primary element, (2) convicted of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault, or (3) convicted of a crime involving the use of a firearm.
Section 4. (a) The executive director is hereby authorized and directed to develop and implement standards for a contracting process for community corrections plans, as follows:(1) A community corrections plan shall include:(A) a description of its goals and anticipated reductions in incarcerations, including the types and number of targeted offenders to participate in the program;(B) a description of the administrative, capital and operating costs of the programs and supplemental funding sources, including the imposition of user fees to defray program costs;(C) a description of methods for supervision of offenders and measures for the maintenance of public safety;(D) a description of measures to collect restitution payments to victims.
(2) Subject to appropriation, the executive director, shall select plans for funding. All contracts shall provide that the executive director may suspend funding or may assume administrative responsibility for any community corrections program not in compliance with program standards, or if the public safety is threatened.
(3) The executive director shall monitor programs for compliance with the goals of chapter two hundred and eleven E of the General Laws, and shall provide technical assistance, training and education to providers in developing and operating community corrections programs.
(4) Continued funding shall be subject to appropriation, and eligibility for continued funding shall be contingent on provider compliance with the goals, standards and procedures established by the commission, and on an evaluation by the executive director of the effectiveness of the program. Each provider shall submit a biannual report no later than March fifteenth and August fifteenth of each year to the county community corrections advisory board, to the executive director and to the commission.
(b) Subject to an agreement between the commissioner and the secretary of public safety and subject to appropriation, the resources of community corrections programs shall be utilized by the parole board for the purpose of parole supervision.
(c) The office of community corrections shall develop and implement a public education program about community corrections, provide technical assistance, training and education to the judiciary and criminal justice system agencies and personnel, coordinate training for providers, and serve as a clearinghouse for information regarding community corrections programs.
Section 5. The commissioner shall submit an annual report no later than January 15 of each year, commencing January 15, 1998, to the governor, the commission, the joint committees on criminal justice, the judiciary and public safety, and the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate. The report shall include but shall not be limited to the following information:(1) the effectiveness of the office of community corrections in promoting the goals of the commission;(2) the effectiveness of the office of community corrections in diverting offenders by reducing prison commitments;(3) the evaluations and recommendations submitted by the county community corrections advisory boards and by providers of community corrections programs;(4) fiscal audits on the expenditure of state funds;(5) allegations of provider noncompliance and the results of any investigations into such allegations.
Section 6. (a) There is hereby established within each county a county community corrections advisory board consisting of at least eight but not more than twelve members including the following:(1) the first justice of the superior court, or his designee;(2) a district court judge appointed by the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court;(3) a probation officer appointed by the commissioner;(4) a representative of the parole board appointed by the secretary of public safety;(5) the district attorney, or his designee;(6) a public defender appointed by the committee for public counsel services;(7) a mental health professional or substance abuse counselor appointed by the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court;(8) the sheriff, or his designee;(9) not more than four other members appointed by the commissioner.
(b) The county community corrections advisory board shall assist in the review and monitoring of community corrections programs located in that county. Its responsibilities shall include holding public hearings on community corrections plans submitted to the executive director, reporting any allegations of provider noncompliance, and submitting written comments to the executive director and to the commission, which shall include evaluations of each provider located in that county, analysis of the results of community corrections programs located in that county, recommendations for change and any other information, statistics or data requested by the executive director or the commission, no later than May fifteenth and November fifteenth of each year.
head; definitions Section 1. The superior court department of the trial court of the commonwealth, established pursuant to section 1 of chapter 211B, shall consist of 82 justices appointed to the department. The justice as provided under section one of chapter two hundred and eleven B as the chief justice for the superior court department, in addition to his judicial powers and duties, shall, subject to the superintendence authority of the supreme judicial court as provided in section three of chapter two hundred and eleven and the administrative authority of the chief justice for administration and management, be the administrative head of the superior court department, and shall also have the power authority and responsibility of a chief justice as set forth in section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven B. A chief justice shall hold said office for a term of five years, and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms. A chief justice, so appointed, may be removed from that office prior to the expiration of his term upon a determination by the chief justice for administration and management that such removal is in the best interests of the administration of justice.
Wherever the words “superior court”, or wherever in this chapter the word “court” is used in that context, they shall refer to the superior court department of the trial court, and the words “justice of the superior court”, or the word “justice”, in context, shall mean an associate justice of the trial court appointed to the superior court department.
[Text of section applicable as provided by 2004, 252, Sec. 23.
] Section 12. If, upon an appeal in a civil action authorized by law, the appellant fails to enter and prosecute his appeal, the court may, upon complaint of the appellee, affirm the former judgment or render such other judgment as law and justice require.
Section 13. If, by mistake or accident, an appeal to the superior court is not duly entered therein, or if, for a like reason, a complaint founded on an omission to enter an appeal has not been entered by the appellee, the court, upon petition filed within one year after the appeal or complaint should have been entered, may upon terms allow the appeal or complaint to be entered; but attachments made and security given in the original action shall not thereby be revived or continued in force.
Section 14. A regular sitting or regular sittings of the court in the several counties shall be held in each year in each of the following places:—For Barnstable, at Barnstable;For Berkshire, at Pittsfield;For Bristol, at Taunton, New Bedford and Fall River;For Dukes county, at Edgartown;For Essex, at Salem, Lawrence and Newburyport;For Franklin, at Greenfield;For Hampden, at Springfield;For Hampshire, at Northampton;For Middlesex, at Lowell and Cambridge;For Nantucket, at Nantucket;For Norfolk, at Dedham;For Plymouth, at Plymouth and Brockton;For Suffolk, at Boston;For Worcester, at Worcester and Fitchburg.
Said court may adjourn any sitting or session from one place to another within the county, whether or not it be to a place mentioned in this section, in the manner and with the effect of adjournment to another shire town, and such adjournment shall be subject to all the laws relative to adjournment to another shire town. Said court may hold sittings for naturalization in any city or town.
terms; removal Section 14A. Subject to section fourteen of chapter two hundred and fourteen, the chief justice of the superior court department shall establish from time to time a regular sitting or regular sittings of said court at each of the places named in section fourteen of this chapter, may establish special sittings and separate sessions of regular or special sittings at any of said places, may establish sittings for naturalization at any city or town, and may designate the class or classes of business for which any sitting or session is established. Regular sittings heretofore established by said chief justice shall, unless changed, be held at the same times and places from year to year, but may be changed at any time by him subject to the provisions of section fourteen. An order establishing or changing the time or place of a sitting in any county shall be entered on the records of the court in such county, and public notice shall be given by posting a copy of such order in the office of the clerk in such county within fifteen days after the date thereof, or otherwise as said chief justice may direct.
In addition to the powers conferred upon said chief justice under section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven B and for the purpose of the efficient administration of the business of the department, he may designate, from time to time, from among the justices thereof, a first justice for any county or for any group of counties; provided, however, that appropriate consideration shall be given to seniority, length of service in that particular county or group of counties and managerial ability. Said first justice shall be the administrative head of the court for that particular county or group of counties and shall have the powers enumerated in section ten A of chapter two hundred and eleven B; and as administrative head of the court, said first justice shall be responsible for the management of the courthouse and shall have authority over all personnel employed by the superior court department; provided, however, that clerks shall have responsibility for the internal administration of their respective offices, including personnel, staff services and record keeping. A first justice or a clerk of the court may submit any dispute that arises between said first justice and said clerk concerning the management and administration of the office of said clerk the duties, powers and obligations of the clerk or a member of his staff, or the interpretation of the personnel standards provided for under section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B, to the chief justice of the department. Any person aggrieved by a decision of a chief justice under this paragraph may appeal said decision to the chief justice for administration and management, who shall, within thirty days, hear and determine the matter.
Each first justice so appointed shall serve as the first justice of that court for a five-year term and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms at that particular court. Any first justice may be removed during any five-year term from his position as first justice when it is determined by the chief justice of the superior court department to be in the best interests of the administration of justice. Any first justice who is removed during a five-year term from his position as first justice by the chief justice of the superior court department may appeal the removal to the chief justice for administration and management.
Section 19. The clerks of the courts, and in Suffolk county of the superior court department, may maintain regularly established offices in such cities and towns as may be designated by the chief justice of the superior court department.
Section 19A. The justices of the superior court may appoint for a term of five years, and may at any time for cause remove, a special master, who shall receive from the commonwealth a salary of five thousand dollars. He shall perform such administrative duties pertaining to the court and shall hear and dispose of such interlocutory matters relating to the assignment, postponement, continuance and order of trial of cases, at such times and places as the chief justice of said court may determine. Every order or decision of said master shall be subject to appeal to the court and the appellant shall be granted an immediate hearing.
Section 2. The court shall be held by one of the justices, and when so held shall have and exercise all the power and jurisdiction committed to said court. The chief justice shall make such assignments for the attendance of a justice at the several times and places appointed for holding the court as will be most convenient and as will insure the prompt performance of its duties.
Section 20. Except as provided in section twenty-nine, in counties in which separate sittings of the court are established for civil and criminal business, criminal cases only shall be tried by jury at the criminal sittings, and civil cases only at the civil sittings; but jurors summoned for either civil or criminal business may by order of the court be used interchangeably for either civil or criminal business as occasion may require.
Section 20A. The superior court may in counties where more than one session is held simultaneously for civil or criminal business or for civil and criminal business require that jurors be held in a central pool and assigned to the several sessions in such manner as the court shall order. It may in its discretion order that writs of venire facias for jurors issue for the total number of jurors required for all sessions at any sitting without specifying therein that they are required for civil or criminal business. Jurors so drawn shall be subject to be used interchangeably for civil or criminal business.
The chief justice of the superior court department may designate not more than three officers appointed under section seventy of chapter two hundred and twenty-one to attend the central pool of jurors in the county for which they are appointed. The officers so designated shall perform their duties under the direction of the court, and receive such compensation as the chief administrative justice shall establish, except that in Middlesex county the juror pool officers shall receive a salary of not less than twenty-eight thousand one hundred and seventy dollars per annum.
Section 21. The chief justice may, by written order to the sheriff, order a special jury for a sitting for criminal business to be held in any county at such time and place as may be appointed in such order. The sheriff shall give notice thereof as directed in the order therefor; but no person under recognizance to answer to an indictment or to a criminal complaint shall be held to appear at such special sitting or at any time and place other than the regular sittings of the court, unless duly notified by written summons from the clerk.
Section 22. Every Monday shall be a return day in the superior court department for the entry of suits upon recognizances and bonds in criminal cases held in the district court department. Such suits may be made returnable at the election of the district attorney at any such return day within three months after the date of the writ. Trials by jury of such suits shall take place at criminal sittings; and, for the purpose of docketing and recording such suits, they shall be deemed to be criminal cases, provided that the provisions of chapter two hundred and twenty-seven shall be applicable thereto as in other civil cases except that no bond shall be required as provided in section nine thereof. If any Monday is a legal holiday, such entry shall be made on the day following. This section shall not apply to appeals arising under sections fifty-two to sixty-three, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and nineteen.
Section 23. The chief justice may, by written order to the sheriff, cause the grand jury in any county to be assembled at a time and place appointed therein.
Section 24. At a sitting of the court at which criminal business may be transacted, cases arising under chapters one hundred and nineteen, two hundred and forty-eight, one hundred and thirty-eight, one hundred and thirty-nine and two hundred and seventy-three shall have precedence in the order in which said chapters are herein named, next after the cases of persons who are actually confined in prison and awaiting trial; provided, that the court, on motion of the district attorney, may order that the trial of any specified case of crime shall take precedence over all other cases.
Section 25. If a case is on trial at the end of a sitting, such sitting may be continued, and jurors serving in such case may be required to serve until the case is finished.
Section 26. The records of courts which are transferred to the superior court shall remain in custody of its clerks. In Suffolk county, the clerk of said court for civil business shall have the custody of said records in civil cases, and the clerk for criminal business shall have the custody of said records in criminal cases. Copies of said records may be certified by said clerks respectively. Judicial writs and processes which are founded upon such records shall issue under the seal of the superior court, in like manner and with the same effect as similar writs and processes founded upon its own records.
transfer to land court Section 26A. The superior court may, upon the application of either party, order a jury-waived civil action where any right, title or interest in land is involved, including actions for specific performance of contracts, removed to the land court for trial and disposition. Upon the entry of such an order, the clerk of the court shall forthwith transmit all the papers in the case to the recorder of the land court who shall forthwith enter them on the land court docket, which court thereafter shall have jurisdiction of the action so removed.
Section 29. A prisoner held in jail for trial upon an indictment for an offence not punishable by death or by imprisonment for life, or so held upon an appeal, at any time except during a sitting of the superior court for criminal business in the county where he is held, may petition said court that he be brought before the court at a sitting thereof for civil business in that county in order that disposition may be made of his case. After due notice to the district attorney, and with his consent, the court may grant the petition, and the presiding justice may dispose of the case, as if he were holding a sitting of the court for criminal business, or he may continue the case to the next sitting of the court for criminal business. When a person who has a right to so petition is committed to jail, the keeper thereof shall notify him of such right, furnish him with a blank form for its exercise, and transmit it to the court, if signed by him. This section shall not apply in cases in which two or more persons are held on one complaint or indictment, unless all the defendants join in the petition.
Section 3. The court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of civil actions for the foreclosure of mortgages, and of real and mixed actions, except those of which the land court or district courts have jurisdiction, of complaints for flowing lands, and of claims against the commonwealth. Except as otherwise provided by law, the court shall have original jurisdiction of civil actions for money damages. The actions may proceed in the court only if there is no reasonable likelihood that recovery by the plaintiff will be less than or equal to $25,000, or an amount ordered from time to time by the supreme judicial court. Where multiple damages are allowed by law, the amount of single damages claimed shall control.
review Section 30. In any action or proceeding involving or arising under section twenty B, twenty C or twenty-four of chapter one hundred and forty-nine, or section six or six A of chapter two hundred and fourteen, the chief justice shall designate three associate justices to hear and determine the action or proceeding. The decision of said court shall be subject to review in accordance with the provision of subsection (6) of section six of chapter two hundred and fourteen.
action for damages [Text of section applicable as provided by 2004, 252, Sec. 23.
] Section 3A. (a) A clerk-magistrate in the superior court shall not accept for filing a complaint or other pleading which commences a civil action for money damages, except as otherwise provided by law, unless it is accompanied by a statement signed by the attorney or pro se party. The statement shall specify the facts on which the plaintiff then relies to determine money damages. The defendant may file with his answer a statement specifying the potential damages which may result if the plaintiff prevails.
(b) If it appears to the court, from the statement of damages by the plaintiff that there is no reasonable likelihood that the estimated damages will be consistent with the civil money damage limits of the court, as set forth in section 3, the judge, after receiving written responses from the parties and after a hearing, if requested by any party, may dismiss the case without prejudice for failure to comply with the requirements of said section 3 regarding the amount necessary for proceeding in the superior court. The filing fee in the dismissed actions shall be retained by the court; but the recommencement of the same action in the district court or Boston municipal court departments of the trial court shall not require the payment of a filing fee. If a civil action is dismissed in the district court or Boston municipal court departments pursuant to section 19A of chapter 218, and the action is recommenced in the superior court, the filing fee shall be reduced by the amount of the filing fee previously paid to attempt to commence the same action in the district court or Boston municipal court. The procedure provided herein for dismissal of an action for violation of the requirements regarding the amount necessary to proceed in the superior court under section 3 shall be the exclusive method by which the dismissal may be ordered. Violation of the requirements for proceeding in the superior court shall not deprive the court of jurisdiction and shall not be grounds for any post-judgment relief in any case.
(c) In any case where the superior court dismisses the case as provided in this section, the plaintiff may take an appeal as hereinafter provided. The appeal shall be to a single justice of the appeals court at the next sitting thereof. Upon being notified of the dismissal, the plaintiff shall have 7 days thereafter to file a notice of appeal with the clerk of the dismissing court. Upon receipt of notice of appeal timely filed, the clerk shall forthwith notify the judge who approved the dismissal. Within 3 days of receipt of the notice, the judge who approved the dismissal shall set forth written findings and reasons justifying the dismissal, which findings and rulings shall be part of the record on appeal. The clerk shall forward the pleading which commenced the civil action, all statements by the parties, specifying in detail the potential damages if the plaintiff prevails, the judge’s written findings and reasons justifying the dismissal and any other documents on file relevant to the appeal to the clerk of the appeals court. Upon receipt thereof, the clerk of the appeals court shall set the matter down for a speedy hearing and send notice to the parties. The court dismissing the case may, with or without motion, issue an order or process to preserve the rights of the parties pending the appeal. The single justice of the appeals court may enter or revoke that order or process. The decision of the single justice of the appeals court as to the dismissal shall be final.
(d) Notwithstanding chapter 260 or any other applicable statutes of limitation, in a civil action under this section in which a plaintiff’s case has been dismissed as provided in this section, the plaintiff shall be given 30 days after the date of receipt of the notice of dismissal or, in the case of an appeal from the dismissal, 30 days after the date of receipt of the notice of the decision of the single justice of the appeals court to file the case in the appropriate court; if, the commencement of the dismissed case was within the applicable statute of limitations. The 30-day time limit in this section for recommencement of an action following dismissal of the action shall apply only when the time permitted under the applicable statute of limitations would have expired at any time from the original commencement of the action to the end of the 30-day period.
Section 4. The court shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions, except those of which other courts have exclusive original jurisdiction.
Section 5. The court shall have jurisdiction of all civil actions and proceedings which are legally brought before it by appeal or removal.
Section 6. The court shall have original jurisdiction of all crimes. Crimes committed in that part of Scituate described in chapter three hundred and ninety-four of the acts of nineteen hundred and twelve shall be within the territorial jurisdiction of the court both in Norfolk county and in Plymouth county, and arrests and service of process in such cases may be made by an officer qualified to serve criminal process in Cohasset. Crimes committed in any part of Cambridge, Watertown or Newton lying in the Charles river basin shall be within the territorial jurisdiction of the court both in Middlesex county and in Suffolk county.
Section 7. The clerk of the courts for the county in which an indictment for a capital crime has been entered, or, in the county of Suffolk, the clerk of the superior court for criminal business, shall forthwith send notice thereof, with a copy of the indictment, to the chief or first justice of the court and to the attorney general. Any justice of said court may thereupon appoint a time for the arraignment of the prisoner, which shall take place either at a regular sitting or on a day specially assigned therefor.
appeal Section 8. If an appeal or a bill of exceptions in a case, civil or criminal, has been duly entered in the appeals court or supreme judicial court, any security taken in the case, by bond, attachment or otherwise, shall stand as if no judgment had been entered or exception taken in the superior court until entry of judgment pursuant to the rescript of the appellate court.
recording Section 9. Orders or decrees of the supreme judicial court upon questions arising in a case pending in the superior court shall be entered of record in the superior court, and such case shall be disposed of as law and justice require, conformably to the rescript or order of the supreme judicial court.
Section 1. In case of a vacancy in the office of chief justice of the supreme judicial or the superior court, or of his illness or absence, his duties shall be performed by the senior justice present and qualified to act.
Section 10. If public business requires, either court may adjourn an established sitting in one shire town to another in the same county. Persons, recognizances and processes required to appear at or to be returned to the established sitting shall appear at, be returnable to and have day in, the adjourned sitting.
sheriff’s duty Section 11. If no justice is present at the time and place appointed for holding a court at the beginning of a sitting or at an adjournment thereof, the sheriff of the county or any of his deputies may adjourn the court from day to day or from time to time, as circumstances require, or as ordered by any of the justices, and shall give notice of such adjournment by making public proclamation in the court house, and by a notice posted on the door of the court house or published in a newspaper.
justice Section 12. In such case, any justice may by a written order require the sheriff or his deputy to adjourn the court without day or to the time expressed in the order; and the officer shall adjourn the court accordingly by public proclamation in the court house.
Section 13. Each court may establish a seal and appoint all officers necessary for the transaction of its business.
Section 1A. Unless otherwise specifically provided, the superior court shall have original jurisdiction, concurrently with the supreme judicial court, of all proceedings, cases and matters of which the supreme judicial court has jurisdiction, excepting those within the appellate jurisdiction of the full court, those provided for under section four of chapter two hundred and eleven, and those which cannot be transferred under section four A of said chapter.
court Section 1B. Questions of law arising in any proceeding of which jurisdiction is vested in the superior court by section one A may be reserved and reported to the appeals court for the consideration of that court in the manner provided in section one hundred and eleven of chapter two hundred and thirty-one.
Section 2. If, in the opinion of a justice of either court, it is important that a writ or other process should be speedily issued in a cause pending in the court of which he is a justice, he may order it to be issued by the clerk of the courts in the county in which he is sitting; and such clerk shall transmit the order to the clerk of the courts of the county in which the cause is pending, to be filed and recorded with the other papers in the case.
Section 3. The courts shall, respectively, make and promulgate uniform codes of rules, consistent with law, for regulating the practice and conducting the business of such courts in cases not expressly provided for by law, for the following purposes:First, Simplifying and shortening pleadings and procedure.
Second, Prescribing the terms upon which amendments will be allowed or unnecessary counts and statements stricken from the record; discouraging negligence and deceit; preventing delay; securing parties from being misled; placing the party not in fault as nearly as possible in the condition in which he would have been if no mistake had been made; distinguishing between form and substance; and substituting fixed and certain requirements for the discretion of the court.
Third, Conducting trials.
Fourth, Presenting distinctly the questions to be tried by the jury.
Fifth, Giving a party such notice of the evidence which is intended to be offered by the adverse party as will prevent surprise and enable him to prepare for trial.
Sixth, Prescribing such forms of verdicts as will place upon record the finding of the jury.
Seventh, The entry of judgment by the clerk under a general order in all cases ripe for judgment.
Eighth, Expediting the decision of causes and securing the speedy trial thereof.
Ninth, Remedying abuses and imperfections in practice and diminishing costs.
Tenth, Filing and hearing motions to set aside verdicts and notifying adverse parties thereof.
Tenth A, Making effective the declaratory procedure provided by chapter two hundred and thirty-one A.
Eleventh, The superior court may also make and promulgate such rules for the regulation of the printing, publication and distribution of trial lists and for notifying attorneys of trials in civil causes as the public convenience in the several counties requires.
The rules of the superior court, promulgated under the authority of this section, shall be subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court.
Section 3A. Copies of the rules, as provided for in section three, shall be printed at the expense of the commonwealth from such sums as may be appropriated therefor and expended under the direction of the chief justices. There may be included such notes and annotations, if any, as shall be directed by vote of the justices. Copies of general revisions of the rules not otherwise disposed of may be sold to the general public at such price per copy as shall be fixed by vote of the justices, which price may be less than, but shall not exceed, the cost of printing, binding and paper. Copies intended for sale shall be transmitted, under the direction of the chief justice, to the several clerks of the courts and to each clerk of the supreme judicial and the superior court in Suffolk county, and shall be placed on sale by them at the price so fixed. Each such clerk shall in January in each year pay into the state treasury all sums received from the sale of such copies during the preceding year, and shall also in said month report in writing to the chief justice the number of such copies sold during the preceding year and the number remaining on hand at the end thereof.
Section 4. The courts shall always be open in every county and the business thereof, or of the justices thereof, may be transacted at any time; but such business shall not, except as provided in section six of chapter two hundred and twenty, be transacted on Saturday or Sunday or on a legal holiday unless it relates to an application which, in the opinion of the justice to whom it is made, is of pressing necessity; provided, that, if the convenience of the public so requires, either court shall be open for the transaction of business on such Saturdays, not legal holidays, and during such hours thereof, as the chief justice thereof may determine.
Section 5. The courts and the justices thereof, respectively, may in any county transact any business of such courts and direct the entry of any order, judgment or decree in an action, suit or proceeding pending in the same court in another county.
Section 6. Regular sittings of the courts for the transaction of civil or criminal business shall commence on the day appointed therefor and end on the day preceding the day appointed for the commencement of the next regular sitting in such county for the transaction of the same kind of business. Such regular sittings may at any time be adjourned from time to time or without day, and such adjournment shall excuse the attendance during the adjournment of all persons required to attend at the sitting, unless expressly notified to attend, but shall not otherwise terminate the sitting.
Section 7. Two or more simultaneous sessions of the court may be held in the same shire town or in different shire towns in the same county, if public convenience requires; and the business may be so divided as to secure its speedy and convenient disposal.
Section 8. The courts shall, respectively, receive, examine and allow accounts for services and expenses incident to their sittings and order payment thereof out of the state treasury.
Section 9. The justices of each court, except as otherwise provided, shall make such arrangements for the attendance of a justice at the several times and places appointed for holding their court as will be most convenient and as will insure the prompt performance of their duties.
concurrent Section 1. The supreme judicial and superior courts shall have original and concurrent jurisdiction of all cases and matters of equity cognizable under the general principles of equity jurisprudence and, with reference thereto, shall be courts of general equity jurisdiction, except that the superior court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all actions in which injunctive relief is sought in any matter involving or growing out of a labor dispute as defined in section twenty C of chapter one hundred and forty-nine.
Section 10. A justice of either court or the full court may, if necessary, hear and determine cases pending in a county other than that in which such justice or court is sitting, or any motion therein; but a motion shall not be so heard nor an order so made until reasonable notice thereof has been given to the adverse party or his counsel; and either party may transmit his reasons in writing for or against the application to the court or justice, who shall examine the same and proceed thereon as if the parties were present. All orders made on such hearings shall be transmitted to the clerk in the proper county, and be entered by him.
to failure of charitable gifts; deviation; notice; parties Section 10B. Upon a petition commenced after the death of the donor for the application cy pres to similar public charitable purposes of a gift for a public charitable purpose which has become impossible or impracticable of fulfillment, the court may exercise jurisdiction without requiring that the heirs or next of kin of the donor or others who would be entitled to take upon failure of any charitable gift be joined as parties. Upon any such petition notice shall be given to persons not joined as parties who would be entitled to take upon failure of any charitable gift, unless the provisions of section eight K of chapter twelve is applicable, or, if the provisions of said section are not applicable, unless, upon a petition commenced more than twenty years after the death of the donor, the court expressly finds that the donor by written instrument manifested a general intention to devote the property to public charitable purposes. Such notice, where required, shall be given by publication or otherwise, as the court shall determine to be practicable in the circumstances.
Upon a petition to permit reasonable deviation from any of the subordinate terms of a charitable gift of a donor who has died, the court may exercise jurisdiction without requiring that those who would be entitled to take upon failure of such gift be joined as parties or notified of the proceeding. Nothing in this section shall preclude the joinder as a party in any such petition of a person who would be entitled to take upon failure of any charitable gift. The provisions of section eight G of chapter twelve shall be applicable to all such petitions.
Section 11. The supreme judicial court, upon request of a party to a civil action in which equitable relief is sought, may frame issues of fact to be tried by a jury and order the same to be tried in that court or in the superior court in the county in which such cause is pending, or upon the request of all parties in any other county.
Section 12. If there is no regular sitting of the supreme judicial court within three months after the framing of such issues, a justice thereof may order the clerk of the courts for the county in which the cause is pending to summon a jury to try such issues, and the proceedings at such trial shall be in all respects the same as in a trial at a regular sitting.
Section 13. The superior court, upon request of a party to a civil action in which equitable relief is sought pending therein, may frame issues of fact to be tried by a jury and order them to be tried in the county in which such cause is pending.
Section 14. A justice of the supreme judicial court and a justice of the superior court shall, at all convenient times, sit in Boston to hear and determine civil actions in which equitable relief is sought and motions therein arising in any county.
Section 15. A justice of either court shall not dissolve an injunction issued by the other court, or by a justice thereof, or interpose in any action in which equitable relief is sought pending before the other court, except as provided in sections one hundred and fifteen, one hundred and seventeen, and one hundred and eighteen of chapter two hundred and thirty-one.
Section 16. The courts may issue writs of seisin and execution in common form if such process is appropriate for the enforcement of a judgment granting or denying equitable relief.
Section 17. Where a bond is required of a receiver appointed by either court the provisions of section seven of chapter two hundred and three shall apply.
Section 18. The original papers in a civil action pending in either court may be taken from the files in any county by counsel of record of either party, for use before the court, upon leaving a memorandum and receipt on such files, containing a short description of the papers so taken.
performance of contract Section 1A. The fact that the plaintiff has a remedy in damages shall not bar an action for specific performance of a contract, other than one for purely personal services, if the court finds that no other existing remedy, or the damages recoverable thereby is in fact the equivalent of the performance promised by the contract relied on by the plaintiff, and the court may order specific performance if it finds such remedy to be practicable. If performance is not ordered, damages may be determined in the proceeding, and if the defendant claims a jury on that issue, the issue shall be framed and referred for jury trial.
Section 1B. A person shall have a right against unreasonable, substantial or serious interference with his privacy. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity to enforce such right and in connection therewith to award damages.
Section 1C. A person shall have the right to be free from sexual harassment, as defined in chapter one hundred and fifty-one B and one hundred and fifty-one C. The superior court shall have the jurisdiction to enforce this right and to award the damages and other relief provided in the third paragraph of section 9 of chapter 151B. Any such action shall be commenced in the superior court within the time allowed by said section 9 of said chapter 151B. No claim under this section that is also actionable under chapter 151B or chapter 151C shall be brought in superior court unless a complaint was timely filed with the Massachusetts commission against discrimination under said chapter 151B.
Section 2. The supreme judicial court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all civil actions in which equitable relief is sought cognizable under any statute and not within the jurisdiction conferred by section one, unless a different provision is made; and the superior court shall have like original and exclusive, or like original and concurrent, jurisdiction only if the statute so provides.
Section 3. The supreme judicial and superior courts shall have original and concurrent jurisdiction of the following cases:(1) Actions to compel the redelivery of goods or chattels taken or detained from the owner.
(2) Actions for contribution by or between devisees, legatees or heirs liable for the debts of a deceased testator or intestate, and by or between other persons respectively liable for the same debt or demand, if there are two or more such persons liable at the same time to make such contribution.
(3) Actions between joint owners of personal property, and their legal representatives, relative to such property, with authority to determine their respective rights and interests therein, to order a division or sale thereof and make and order a proper distribution of the proceeds of a sale, and to do all other things relative to a determination of the ownership, division and distribution of such property or the proceeds thereof.
(4) Actions between joint trustees, co-executors and co-administrators, and their legal representatives.
(5) Actions upon accounts of such a nature that they cannot be conveniently and properly adjusted and settled in an action in the district court.
(6) Actions by creditors to reach and apply, in payment of a debt, any property, right, title or interest, legal or equitable, of a debtor, within or without the commonwealth, which cannot be reached to be attached or taken on execution although the property sought to be reached and applied is in the possession or control of the debtor independently of any other person or cannot be reached and applied until a future time or is of uncertain value, if the value can be ascertained by sale, appraisal or by any means within the ordinary procedure of the court. In such action, the interest of the defendant in partnership property may be reached and applied in payment of the plaintiff’s debt; but unless it is a judgment debt, the business of the partnership shall not be enjoined or otherwise interrupted further than to restrain the withdrawal of any portion of the debtor’s share or interest therein until the plaintiff’s debt is established, and if either partner gives to the plaintiff a sufficient bond with sureties approved by the clerk, conditioned to pay to the plaintiff the amount of his debt and costs within thirty days after it is established, the court shall proceed no further therein than to establish the debt; and upon the filing of such bond, any injunction previously issued in such action shall be dissolved.
(7) Actions to reach and apply shares or interests in corporations organized under the laws of the commonwealth or of the United States, and located or having a general office in the commonwealth, whether the plaintiff is a creditor or not, and whether the action is founded upon a debt or not.
(8) Actions to reach and apply in payment of a debt any property, right, title or interest, real or personal, of a debtor, liable to be attached or taken on execution in a civil action against him and fraudulently conveyed by him with intent to defeat, delay or defraud his creditors, or purchased, or directly or indirectly paid for, by him, the record or other title to which is retained in the vendor or is conveyed to a third person with intent to defeat, delay or defraud the creditors of the debtor.
(9) Actions to reach and apply the obligation of an insurance company to a judgment debtor under a motor vehicle liability policy, as defined in section thirty-four A of chapter ninety, or under any other policy insuring a judgment debtor against liability for loss or damage on account of bodily injury or death or for loss or damage resulting therefrom, or on account of damage to property, in satisfaction of a judgment covered by such policy, which has not been satisfied within thirty days after the date when it was rendered.
(10) Actions to enforce the purpose or purposes of any gift or conveyance which has been or shall have been made to and accepted by any county, city, town or other subdivision of the commonwealth for a specific purpose or purposes in trust or otherwise, or the terms of such trust, or, if it shall have become impracticable to observe or carry out such purpose or purposes, or such terms, or, if the occasion therefor shall have terminated, to determine the purposes or uses to which the property involved shall be devoted and enforce the same. Such action shall be commenced only by the attorney general or, with leave of court, by ten taxpayers of such county, city, town or other subdivision. The defendant in any such action may set up such impracticability or termination and request the judgment of the court as to such other use of said property in its answer. In the case of an action by ten taxpayers as aforesaid, the attorney general shall be served with notice of the preliminary petition for leave, and may intervene as a party at any stage of the proceedings; and the plaintiffs shall be liable for costs, including reasonable counsel fees in the discretion of the court, which may, also in its discretion, award to the plaintiffs costs, including reasonable counsel fees, to be paid by the defendant or out of the fund involved, if any.
(11) Actions to determine the purposes or uses to which the property, whether held in trust or otherwise, of any church or religious society which shall have failed for two consecutive years next prior to the commencement of the action to hold religious services or shall have failed for such period to hold a meeting for the election of officers or shall otherwise have become inactive, or of any auxiliary organization affiliated with such a church or religious society, shall be applied, and to enforce the application thereof in accordance with such determination. Such action may be commenced by the governing body of the religious denomination having jurisdiction over such church or religious society according to the usages of the denomination to which such church or religious society belongs, or by the state organization of such denomination, if there is any, otherwise the national organization thereof; and in any action so commenced the attorney general shall be joined as a defendant.
(12) Civil actions seeking injunctive relief and commenced by the attorney general in the name of the commonwealth or in his name to enforce a regulation or decision or order of an agency of the commonwealth, whether interlocutory or final, directing a person to take or refrain from taking an action or cease an activity. It shall not be a defense to such an action that the regulatory statute under which the action is brought provides criminal penalties for the violation of its provisions; provided, however, that the results of such an action may not be used as the basis for criminal prosecution. The scope of review in such an action shall be governed by section fourteen of chapter thirty A.
(13) Civil actions seeking injunctive relief and commenced by the attorney general in the name of the commonwealth or in his name to compel a person whom an agency of the commonwealth has preliminarily determined to be subject to its authority to comply with any regulations or orders or decisions, whether interlocutory or final, the purpose of which is to require the person to participate in appropriate administrative proceedings designed, among other things, to determine finally whether the person is subject to the agency’s authority. The court shall not take evidence concerning any facts not previously submitted to the agency and, unless it determines that the defendant is not subject to the agency’s authority, it shall grant judgment for the commonwealth.
(14) Actions brought by the attorney general in the name of the commonwealth or by any ten citizens of a city or town to compel the city or town to appropriate for the support of public education the amounts that the city or town is required to appropriate for such purpose by chapter seventy.
a person; injunctive relief; damages; exceptions Section 3A. Any person whose name, portrait or picture is used within the commonwealth for advertising purposes or for the purposes of trade without his written consent may bring a civil action in the superior court against the person so using his name, portrait or picture, to prevent and restrain the use thereof; and may recover damages for any injuries sustained by reason of such use. If the defendant shall have knowingly used such person’s name, portrait or picture in such manner as is prohibited or unlawful, the court, in its discretion, may award the plaintiff treble the amount of the damages sustained by him. Nothing in this section shall be so construed as to prevent any person practicing the profession of photography from exhibiting in or about his or its establishment specimens of the work of such person or establishment, unless the exhibiting of any such specimen is continued after written notice objecting thereto has been given by the person portrayed; and nothing in this section shall be so construed as to prevent any person from using the name, portrait or picture of any manufacturer or dealer in connection with the goods, wares and merchandise manufactured, produced or dealt in by such manufacturer or dealer which such person has sold or disposed of with such name, portrait or picture used in connection therewith; or from using the name, portrait or picture of any author, composer or artist in connection with any literary, musical or artistic production of such author, composer or artist which such person has sold or disposed of with such name, portrait or picture used in connection therewith.
violations of chapter 66A; remedies; limitation Section 3B. Any holder, as that term is defined in chapter sixty-six A, which violates any provision of said chapter sixty-six A, shall be liable to any individual who suffers any damage as a result of such violations, and the individual damaged may bring an action against such holder to recover any damages sustained. Notwithstanding any liability for actual damages as may be shown, such holder shall be liable for exemplary damages of not less than one hundred dollars for each violation together with such costs and reasonable attorney’s fees as may be incurred in said action.
Any holder which violates or proposes to violate any of the provisions of chapter sixty-six A shall be subject to an action for injunction, declaratory judgment, or mandamus issued by any court of competent jurisdiction. The court may make such order or judgment as may be necessary to prevent any holder from employing practices which violate chapter sixty-six A. Actions for injunction or mandamus under this section may be prosecuted by an individual or by the attorney general in the name of the commonwealth upon his own complaint or upon the complaint of any individual.
An action to enforce any liability created under chapter sixty-six A, may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction within three years from the date in which the liability arises; provided, however, that where a defendant had materially or willfully misused any personal data required to be disclosed to a data subject according to the provisions of chapter sixty-six A, and said personal data so misused is material to the establishment of the defendant’s liability to the data subject, the action may be brought at any time within three years after such misuse is discovered.
Section 4. Each court may, if necessary to secure justice and equity, issue to courts of inferior jurisdiction, corporations and persons all general and special writs and processes required in a civil action.
Section 5. Civil actions in which equitable relief is sought may be brought in any county in which a transitory action between the same parties might be brought, as well as in counties in which it is elsewhere provided that such actions may be brought.
precedent; procedural requisites Section 6. (1) No court shall have jurisdiction to issue a preliminary or permanent injunction in any case involving or growing out of a labor dispute, as defined in section twenty C of chapter one hundred and forty-nine, except after hearing the testimony of witnesses in open court, with opportunity for cross-examination, in support of the allegations of a complaint made under oath, and testimony in opposition thereto, if offered, and except after findings of fact by the court, to the effect:—(a) That unlawful acts have been threatened and will be committed unless restrained or have been committed and will be continued unless restrained, but no injunction or temporary restraining order shall be issued on account of any threat or unlawful act excepting against the person or persons, association or organization making the threat or committing the unlawful act or actually authorizing or ratifying the same after actual knowledge thereof;(b) That substantial and irreparable injury to the plaintiff’s property will follow;(c) That as to each item of relief granted greater injury will be inflicted upon the plaintiff by the denial of relief than will be inflicted upon the defendants by the granting of relief;(d) That the plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law; and(e) That the public officers charged with the duty to protect the plaintiff’s property are unable or unwilling to furnish adequate protection.
(2) Such hearing shall be held after due and personal notice thereof has been given, in such manner as the court shall direct, to all known persons against whom relief is sought, and also to the chief of those public officials of the city or town within which the unlawful acts have been threatened or committed charged with the duty to protect the plaintiff’s property; provided, however, that if a complaint shall also allege that, unless a temporary restraining order shall be issued without notice, a substantial and irreparable injury to the plaintiff’s property will be unavoidable, such a temporary restraining order may be issued upon testimony under oath, sufficient, if sustained, to justify the court in issuing a preliminary injunction upon a hearing after notice, and a statement of the grounds justifying the issuance of such order shall be made a matter of record by the court; provided, further, that no such temporary restraining order shall be issued except upon its also being made to appear to the satisfaction of the court, either from the testimony of witnesses or from written assurances filed by counsel in regard to his personal conduct:—(A) That a principal representative or attorney of the employees or labor organizations participating in such dispute was informed of the time and place at which the application for a temporary restraining order would be presented sufficiently in advance to appear in opposition thereto; or(B) That the plaintiff made every reasonable effort to comply with clause (A) but was unable so to do; provided, however, that notification by mail alone shall not be deemed compliance with this section without proof of receipt.
Such testimony or written assurances shall set forth in detail the manner in which the plaintiff complied with clause (A) or (B) and shall be made part of the record in the case. If the defendants appear in opposition to the application for a temporary restraining order they shall be afforded an opportunity to cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses at such length as is reasonable under the circumstances and a like opportunity to introduce evidence in opposition thereto. Such a temporary restraining order shall be effective for no longer than five days and shall become void at the expiration of said five days and shall not be subject to renewal. No temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction shall be issued except on condition that the plaintiff shall first file an undertaking with adequate security in an amount to be fixed by the court sufficient in its opinion to recompense those enjoined for any loss, expense or damage caused by the improvident or erroneous issuance of such order of injunction, including all reasonable costs, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee, and expense of defense against the order or against the granting of any injunctive relief sought in the same proceeding and subsequently denied by the court.
(3) The undertaking herein mentioned shall be understood to signify an agreement entered into by the plaintiff and the surety upon which a judgment may be rendered in the same action or proceeding against said plaintiff and surety, upon a hearing to assess damages of which hearing the plaintiff and surety shall have reasonable notice, the said plaintiff and surety submitting themselves to the jurisdiction of the court for that purpose. But nothing herein contained shall deprive any party having a claim or cause of action under or upon such undertaking from electing to pursue his ordinary remedy by a separate civil action.
(4) No restraining order or injunctive relief shall be granted to any plaintiff who has failed to comply with any obligation imposed by law which is involved in the labor dispute in question, or who has failed to make every reasonable effort to settle such dispute either by negotiation or with the aid of any available governmental machinery of mediation or voluntary arbitration.
(5) No restraining order, other than a temporary restraining order issued without notice as provided in subdivision (2) of this section, and no preliminary or permanent injunction shall be granted in a case involving or growing out of a labor dispute, except on the basis of findings of fact made and filed by the court in the record of the case prior to the issuance of such restraining order or injunction; and every restraining order or injunction granted in a case involving or growing out of a labor dispute shall include only a prohibition of such specific act or acts as may be expressly complained of in the complaint filed in such case and as shall be expressly included in said statement of grounds or findings of fact made and filed by the court as provided herein.
(6) Whenever the court shall issue or deny a preliminary injunction in a case involving or growing out of a labor dispute, the court, upon the request of any party to the proceeding, shall forthwith report any questions of law involved in such issue or denial to the supreme judicial court and stay further proceedings except those necessary to preserve the rights of the parties. Upon the filing of such report, the questions reported shall be heard in a summary manner by a justice of the supreme judicial court, who shall with the greatest possible expedition affirm, reverse or modify the order of the superior court. The decision of such justice of the supreme judicial court upon the questions so raised shall be final, but without prejudice to the raising of the same questions before the full court upon appeal from the final judgment.
(7) No permanent injunction which may be issued under this section shall be effective for a period exceeding one year from the date of its issuance; provided, however, that after a new hearing and findings of fact as provided in clauses (a) to (e), inclusive, of subsection (1) and subject to the provisions of subsections (2) to (5), inclusive, it may be renewed.
injunctive relief; arbitration; definition Section 6A. Notwithstanding any of the provisions of section six so far as they may be applicable, a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction may be granted in any case in which the parties to a jurisdictional dispute, as hereinafter defined, have voluntarily submitted such dispute to arbitration, and one of such parties fails to abide by the arbitration procedure or to comply with the terms of the arbitration award and engages in or continues to engage in a strike, picketing, boycott or other concerted interference against an employer. The restraining order or preliminary injunction may be granted in favor of the party which abides by the procedure and complies with the award as well as in favor of the employer who is ready and willing to abide by the terms of such award.
The term “jurisdictional dispute” means a dispute between two or more labor organizations or groups or employees the object of which is to require that particular work be assigned to employees in a particular labor organization or in a particular trade, craft or class rather than to employees in another labor organization or in another trade, craft or class.
Section 7. In actions for the construction of wills, or for instructions relative to wills the court may order notice of the action and of the time and place for hearing to be served on such number of the parties in interest representing all possible interests as the court shall direct, and to be published for three weeks successively in such newspaper as it directs. If it appears that any possible interest is not represented, further service may be ordered until all possible interests are represented before the court or until a guardian ad litem has been appointed. If all possible interests are represented by persons before the court, it shall be unnecessary to make other persons having similar interests parties defendant.
order as additional remedy; definitions; requisites; procedure Section 7A. As used in this section, “damage to the environment” shall mean any destruction, damage or impairment, actual or probable, to any of the natural resources of the commonwealth, whether caused by the defendant alone or by the defendant and others acting jointly or severally. Damage to the environment shall include, but not be limited to, air pollution, water pollution, improper sewage disposal, pesticide pollution, excessive noise, improper operation of dumping grounds, impairment and eutrophication of rivers, streams, flood plains, lakes, ponds or other water resources, destruction of seashores, dunes, wetlands, open spaces, natural areas, parks or historic districts or sites. Damage to the environment shall not include any insignificant destruction, damage or impairment to such natural resources.
As used in this section “person” shall mean any individual, association, partnership, corporation, company, business organization, trust, estate, the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, any administrative agency, public or quasi-public corporation or body, or any other legal entity or its legal representatives, agents or assigns.
The superior court for the county in which damage to the environment is occurring or is about to occur may, upon a civil action in which equitable or declaratory relief is sought in which not less than ten persons domiciled within the commonwealth are joined as plaintiffs, or upon such an action by any political subdivision of the commonwealth, determine whether such damage is occurring or is about to occur and may, before the final determination of the action, restrain the person causing or about to cause such damage; provided, however, that the damage caused or about to be caused by such person constitutes a violation of a statute, ordinance, by-law or regulation the major purpose of which is to prevent or minimize damage to the environment.
No such action shall be taken unless the plaintiffs at least twenty-one days prior to the commencement of such action direct a written notice of such violation or imminent violation by certified mail, to the agency responsible for enforcing said statute, ordinance, by-law or regulation, to the attorney general, and to the person violating or about to violate the same; provided, however, that if the plaintiffs can show that irreparable damage will result unless immediate action is taken the court may waive the foregoing requirement of notice and issue a temporary restraining order forthwith.
It shall be a defense to any action taken pursuant to this section that the defendant is subject to, and in compliance in good faith with, a judicially enforceable administrative pollution abatement schedule or implementation plan the purpose of which is alleviation of damage to the environment complained of, unless the plaintiffs demonstrate that a danger to the public health and safety justifies the court in retaining jurisdiction.
Any action brought pursuant to the authorization contained in this section shall be advanced for speedy trial and shall not be compromised without prior approval of the court.
If there is a finding by the court in favor of the plaintiffs it may assess their costs, including reasonable fees of expert witnesses but not attorney’s fees; provided, however, that no such finding shall include damages.
The court may require the plaintiffs to post a surety or cash bond in a sum of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars to secure the payment of any costs which may be assessed against the plaintiffs in the event that they do not prevail.
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed so as to impair, derogate or diminish any common law or statutory right or remedy which may be available to any person, but the cause of action herein authorized shall be in addition to any such right or remedy.
liability; hours of operation Section 7B. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, no owner of a rifle, pistol, silhouette, skeet, trap, blackpowder, or other similar range shall be liable in any civil action or criminal prosecution in any matter relating to noise or noise pollution resulting from use of the range, provided said owner of the range was in compliance with any applicable noise control law, ordinance or by-laws in existence at the time of the construction of such range.
No owner shall be liable in any action for nuisance, and no court shall enjoin the use or operation of said range on the basis of noise or noise pollution, provided said owner was in compliance with any noise control law, ordinance or by-laws in existence at the time of the construction of the range.
The exemptions from liability and the immunities from prosecution provided in this section shall also extend to any owner who, in order to satisfy a requirement of law, regulation or by-law, relocates his range within the same parcel of land or a contiguous parcel of land, owned by him at the time that the commonwealth or its political subdivision commences enforcement of such a requirement or that the owner voluntarily complies with such a requirement. In order to maintain these exemptions from liability and immunities from prosecution, owners who relocate their ranges pursuant to the preceding sentence shall remain in compliance with the applicable noise control laws, ordinances or by-laws in existence at the time of the construction of the original range described in the first paragraph.
No standards in rules adopted by any state, city, or town agency for limiting levels of noise in terms of decibel level which may occur in the outdoor atmosphere shall apply to the ranges exempted from liability under the provisions of this section. Such ranges shall be prohibited from operating between the hours of ten o’clock post meridian and eight o’clock ante meridian unless otherwise allowed by the local governing body.
Section 8. Civil actions in which equitable relief is sought and motions and other applications therein, whether interlocutory or final, shall in the first instance be heard and determined by one justice of the court.
merits Section 9. All acts and proceedings in civil actions other than trials upon the merits, wherever they may be conducted, shall be considered as taking place in court and not in chambers.
Chapter 215: Section 1. Divisions; definitions; courts of record Section 1. The probate and family court department established under section one of chapter two hundred and eleven B shall consist of divisions, one for each county, and wherever the words “probate court”, “court of insolvency” or “probate and insolvency court” are used, or similar words importing the same, or wherever in this chapter the word “court” is used in that context, they shall refer to a division of the probate and family court department; and the words “judge of probate”, “judge of probate and insolvency” or the word “judge”, in context, shall mean an associate justice of the trial court appointed to a division of the probate and family court department; and the words “register of probate”, “register of probate and insolvency” or the word “register”, in context, shall mean the register of a division of the probate and family court department; and the words “registry of probate”, “registry of probate and insolvency” or the word “registry”, in context, shall mean the registry of said division.
Probate courts shall be courts of record, and the judge and the register of probate for each county shall be, respectively, the judge and the register of the division within the probate and family court department for that county.
Chapter 215: Section 10. Appellate procedure Section 10. The procedure upon an appeal from an order, decree or denial of a probate court shall be in accordance with the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Chapter 215: Section 11. Report of facts Section 11. In cases not governed by the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure or comparable rules for domestic relations matters, the judge by whom an order, judgment, decree or denial was made shall report the material facts found by him, on request of any party entitled to appeal therefrom made within ten days after such party has notice of such order, judgment, decree or denial; otherwise such report shall be in the discretion of the judge.
Chapter 215: Section 12. Repealed, 1973, 1114, Sec. 67 Chapter 215: Section 13. Reservation and report of case to appeals court Section 13. A judge of the probate court by whom a case or matter is heard for final determination may reserve and report the evidence and all questions of law therein for consideration of the appeals court, and thereupon like proceedings shall be had as upon appeal. And if, upon making an interlocutory judgment, decree or order, he is of opinion that it so affects the merits of the controversy that the matter ought, before further proceedings, to be determined by the appeals court, he may report the question for that purpose, and stay all further proceedings except such as are necessary to preserve the rights of the parties.
Chapter 215: Section 14. Interlocutory judgments and decrees; revision on appeal from final judgments or decrees Section 14. Interlocutory judgments and decrees not appealed from shall be open to revision upon appeals from final judgments and decrees so far only as it appears to the appeals court or supreme judicial court that such final judgments and decrees are erroneously affected thereby.
Chapter 215: Section 15. Repealed, 1975, 400, Sec. 61 Chapter 215: Section 16. Repealed, 1986, 211, Sec. 1 Chapter 215: Section 17. Insolvent estates Section 17. In the case of an estate of a deceased person represented insolvent, if the court, instead of appointing commissioners to receive and examine the claims of creditors against the estate, receives and examines such claims itself, the provisions of this chapter, so far as applicable, shall govern the proceedings for proof of the same and appeals from the allowance or disallowance thereof, exclusive of the provisions of sections eleven and sixteen of chapter one hundred and ninety-eight.
Chapter 215: Section 18. Stenographers; appointment Section 18. At the trial of any issue of fact in a probate court the presiding judge may appoint a stenographer, who shall be sworn and shall attend the trial, or such part thereof as the judge may direct, and perform like duties and receive the same compensation therefor as a stenographer appointed by the superior court who is not on salary; and the sums so payable for his attendance at court and for any transcript of his notes or part thereof furnished to the judge by his direction shall be paid by the commonwealth upon the certificate of the judge. The judges of probate of any county may appoint a stenographer for the probate court of such county. The compensation and expenses of such stenographer shall be paid by the commonwealth.
Chapter 215: Section 19. Consolidation of appeals by appellant Section 19. An appellant from decrees of a probate court settling different accounts of an executor, administrator, guardian, conservator, trustee or receiver may unite his appeals in one notice of appeal, and they shall thereupon be entered as one appeal in the supreme judicial court; and an appeal taken by another appellant from any of the same decrees, or from another decree made at the same time or earlier, settling any other account of such fiduciary, may be entered in the supreme judicial court as part of the matter comprised in the appeal previously entered. The court may, upon appeal, deal with such different accounts as if they formed one continuous account, and may give effect to any alterations which it may make in any account by altering the balance of the last account without altering the balance of any previous account.
Chapter 215: Section 2. Superior jurisdiction; presumption Section 2. Probate courts shall be courts of superior and general jurisdiction with reference to all cases and matters in which they have jurisdiction, and no order, judgment, decree, sentence, warrant, writ or process made, issued or pronounced by them need set out any adjudication or circumstances with greater particularity than would be required in other courts of superior and general jurisdiction, and the like presumption shall be made in favor of proceedings of the probate courts as would be made in favor of proceedings of other courts of superior and general jurisdiction.
Chapter 215: Section 20. Consolidation of appeals by court Section 20. The supreme judicial court may at any time, upon terms, consolidate any separate appeals from a probate court pending therein, and may thereafter deal with such consolidated appeals together or otherwise, as justice requires.
Chapter 215: Section 21. Repealed, 1973, 1114, Sec. 70 Chapter 215: Section 22. Effect of appeal; interlocutory orders Section 22. After an appeal has been claimed and filed in the registry of probate, all proceedings in pursuance of the act appealed from shall, except as otherwise expressly provided, be stayed until the determination thereof by the supreme judicial court or appeals court; but if, upon such appeal, such act is affirmed, it shall thereafter be of full force and validity. An appeal from an interlocutory order, judgment or decree, however, shall not suspend proceedings under the same pending the appeal, except as otherwise expressly provided by law.
Chapter 215: Section 23. Effect of appeal; equity cases Section 23. An appeal from a final or interlocutory order or decree in equity of a probate court made in the exercise of any jurisdiction in equity shall not suspend or stay proceedings under such order or decree pending the appeal. But the probate court or a justice of the supreme judicial court, in case of such appeal, may stay all proceedings under such order or decree and make necessary or proper orders to protect the rights of persons interested pending the appeal; and any such order of the probate court for a stay of proceedings or for protection of any such rights may be varied or discharged by a justice of the supreme judicial court upon motion, and shall not be otherwise subject to an appeal.
Chapter 215: Section 24. Effect of appeal; separate support and custody cases Section 24. The preceding section shall apply to orders or judgments of probate courts in proceedings under chapter two hundred and eight, and under sections thirty-two and thirty-seven of chapter two hundred and nine, except that, as provided in the Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure, the filing of an appeal shall stay the running of the nisi period in a divorce case.
Chapter 215: Section 25. Removal of fiduciary; effect of appeal Section 25. A decree of a probate court removing an executor, administrator, guardian, conservator, trustee or receiver shall have effect, notwithstanding an appeal therefrom, until otherwise ordered by a justice of the supreme judicial court. The probate court may in such case appoint a successor to the person removed, and the latter shall forthwith deliver all the property of the estate held by him to his successor, who shall proceed in the performance of his duties in like manner as if no appeal had been taken; but if the decree of removal is reversed by a final decree of the supreme judicial court, the powers of such successor shall thereupon cease and he shall forthwith deliver to his predecessor in the trust, or to such person as the court may order, all property of the estate in his hands.
Chapter 215: Section 26. Decree; force and effect Section 26. A decree of a probate court made under the preceding section shall have effect, notwithstanding an appeal therefrom, until otherwise finally determined by the supreme judicial court.
Chapter 215: Section 27. Pending appeals; modification of decrees Section 27. After an appeal is claimed from an order or decree referred to in the two preceding sections, and before such appeal has been finally determined, a justice of the supreme judicial court may suspend or modify such order or decree during the pendency of such appeal.
Chapter 215: Section 28. Reversal or affirmance Section 28. The supreme judicial court or appeals court may, upon appeal, reverse or affirm, in whole or in part, any judgment, decree or order of the probate court, and may enter such judgment or decree thereon as the probate court should have entered, may remand the case for further proceedings, or make any order therein as law and justice may require.
Chapter 215: Section 29. Repealed, 1975, 400, Sec. 65 Chapter 215: Section 3. General provisions Section 3. Probate courts shall have jurisdiction of probate of wills, of granting administration on the estates of persons who at the time of their decease were inhabitants of or residents in their respective counties and of persons who die out of the commonwealth leaving estate to be administered within their respective counties; of the appointment of guardians and conservators; of all matters relative to the estates of such deceased persons and wards; of petitions for the adoption of children, and for change of names; of proceedings transferred to it under the provisions of section four A of chapter two hundred and eleven; and of such other matters as have been or may be placed within their jurisdiction. Whenever service of any notice, summons, citation, order or other process in any of the foregoing proceedings is ordered to be made by publication the names of the estates or parties to such proceedings shall be printed in bold type.
Probate courts have exclusive original jurisdiction of actions for divorce or for affirming or annulling marriage.
Probate courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all actions concerning the execution and validity of health care proxies created pursuant to chapter two hundred and one D or disputes arising thereunder.
Chapter 215: Section 30. Rules and forms; power of judges to make Section 30. The judges of the probate courts or a majority of them shall from time to time make rules for regulating the practice and for conducting the business in their courts in all cases not expressly provided for by law and shall prescribe forms, and, as soon as convenient after making or prescribing them, shall submit a copy of their rules, forms and course of proceedings to the supreme judicial court, which may alter and amend them, and from time to time make such other rules and forms for regulating the proceedings in the probate court as it considers necessary in order to secure regularity and uniformity.
Chapter 215: Section 30A. Repealed, 1978, 478, Sec. 130 Chapter 215: Section 30B. Estate administration process; form Section 30B. The chief justice of the probate and family court department shall prescribe a form which shall provide all interested persons of an estate with information regarding the estate administration process as well as a description of their rights and ability to enforce such rights under such process. An individual seeking appointment as an executor, administrator, guardian, conservator or trustee of an estate shall provide such form to all ascertained interested persons at the time such individual seeks assent to such appointment. Anyone seeking appointment to such position shall provide proof, in a manner satisfactory to the court, that the form has been provided to all interested parties or that a reasonable effort to so provide such form has been made. Such proof shall be a condition precedent to the appointment of a person as executor, administrator, guardian, conservator or trustee of an estate. The form shall contain such information as the chief justice deems necessary to adequately inform such persons and shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:(1) the name and address of the petitioner, executor, administrator, guardian, conservator or trustee of the estate;(2) a statement that the notice is being sent to persons who have or may have some interest in the estate;(3) a description of the court where papers relating to the estate are on file;(4) requirements under chapter 195 relating to inventories of estates;(5) any surety or bond required of the executor or administrator, the potential for waiving such requirement, an interested person’s rights with regard to objecting to the waiver and any rights an interested person has with regard to bringing an action on the bond;(6) requirements under chapter 206 relating to the rendering of accounts and the settlement and allowance of accounts relative to the estate, including any rights of an interested person and any procedures necessary for an interested person to review or object to the accounts or settlement statements, including any fees paid to the executor or administrator; and(7) a statement describing the legal consequences including, but not limited to, any rights which may be waived, resulting from the giving of one’s assent or consent during the estate administration process.
Chapter 215: Section 31. Notice of hearing; rule making power of courts Section 31. The supreme judicial court and the probate courts shall make rules requiring notice of any hearing, motion or other proceeding before said courts to be given to parties interested or to the attorneys of record therefor.
Chapter 215: Section 32. Transaction of business out of court Section 32. Judges of the probate courts may transact business out of court at any time and place, if all parties entitled to notice assent thereto in writing or voluntarily appear; and in such cases their judgments and decrees shall be entered as of such sessions of the court as the convenience of the parties may require.
Chapter 215: Section 33. Notice; ex parte matters Section 33. Orders of notice and other official acts which are passed as of course and which do not require previous notice to an adverse party may be issued and performed at any time.
Chapter 215: Section 34. Enforcement of orders, sentences, judgments and decrees; punishing contempts; effect of arrearages on support orders; unemployment of defendant Section 34. Probate courts shall have like power and authority for enforcing orders, sentences, judgments and decrees made or pronounced in the exercise of any jurisdiction vested in them, and for punishing contempts of such orders, sentences, judgments and decrees and other contempts of their authority, as are vested for such or similar purposes in the supreme judicial or superior court in relation to an action in which equitable relief is sought pending therein. A judge of the probate court sentencing a person to jail or ordering a person to participate in a program of community service for failure to obey an order or judgment of the court relative to the support of his wife or minor children may order that the sentence be served or that the community service be performed during such hours as will permit such person to continue his employment. The failure of a defendant to comply with an order of the court for the support of spouse or minor children at a time when the defendant possessed the ability to make the support payment as ordered by the court may be punished as a criminal contempt. At the hearing of a complaint for civil contempt, the defendant shall have the burden of proving his or her inability to comply with the pre-existing order or judgment of which the complaint alleges violation.
When a judge of the probate court finds that a defendant is in civil contempt for failure to obey any order or judgment of the court relative to support of a spouse or child, the judge shall issue an order for the defendant to do one or more of the following:(1) serve a sentence in jail; provided, however, that such sentence shall be stayed if the defendant purges himself of the contempt by taking such action as may be specified in the order, including one or more of the actions specified in clauses (2) to (6), inclusive;(2) pay the full amount due under the order or judgment for support;(3) make regular payments of current support and an additional specified amount towards arrears, pursuant to a payment schedule ordered by the court that requires payment of not less than the amount required under section 12 of chapter 119A and that meets all other requirements of said section 12 of said chapter 119A;(4) actively seek paid employment and report at regular intervals, as specified in the order, to a probation officer on actions taken to seek employment;(5) participate in a program of community service, as specified in the order, for up to 40 hours per week and report at regular intervals to a probation officer to present proof of participation in such program; or(6) participate in an appropriate job readiness or job training program, as specified in the order, and report at regular intervals to a probation officer to present proof of participation in such program.
An order or judgment in a contempt proceeding for payment of an arrearage shall not be contingent on a reduction in the amount of current support payable under an existing order or judgment for support of a spouse, former spouse or child absent a finding that a substantial change of circumstances has occurred. Neither the existence of an arrearage nor the amount of any arrearage shall constitute a substantial change of circumstances or grounds for modification of an outstanding order or judgment for support.
In addition to any other remedy available pursuant to this section or chapter 119A to enforce an order or judgment for support, if the defendant is unable to comply with an order to make current payments of support, is unemployed and is not disabled, a judge of the probate court shall order such defendant to; (i) actively seek paid employment and report at regular intervals, as specified in the order, to a probation officer on actions taken to seek employment; (ii) to participate in a program of community service for up to 40 hours per week and to report at regular intervals, as specified in the order, to a probation officer to present proof of participation in such program; or (iii) to participate in an appropriate job readiness or job training program and to report at regular intervals, as specified in the order, to a probation officer to present proof of participation in such program.
Chapter 215: Section 34A. Contempt; support or custody orders; costs; service; attorney’s fees; interest Section 34A. Actions for contempt against any party for failure to obey any order or judgment of the probate court relative to support of a wife or children or affecting the custody of children shall be commenced in accordance with the rules of probate courts applicable to domestic relations matters.
The cost of such service shall, upon approval of the court, be borne by the county. If the party summonsed for contempt fails to appear, the court may order a capias to issue which shall be returnable forthwith or at such time as the court may order. The capias shall be served by a deputy sheriff, constable, or upon motion any person designated by the court to make such service and the costs of service, upon approval of the court, shall be paid by the county.
Any judge of probate may with the approval of the chief of police, through the office of said chief, order a police officer to make service of the summons or of a capias if, in his opinion, service by a police officer is necessary in order to promote the efficient enforcement of this section. The schedule of fees in section eight of chapter two hundred and sixty-two shall not apply to cost of service made pursuant to this section.
In entering a judgment of contempt for failure to comply with an order or judgment for monetary payment, there shall be a presumption that the plaintiff is entitled to receive from the defendant, in addition to the judgment on monetary arrears, all of his reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses relating to the attempted resolution, initiation and prosecution of the complaint for contempt. The contempt judgment so entered shall include reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses unless the probate judge enters specific findings that such attorney’s fee and expenses shall not be paid by the defendant.
Any monetary contempt judgment shall carry with it interest, from the date of filing the complaint, at the rate determined under the provisions of section six C of chapter two hundred and thirty-one of the General Laws.
Chapter 215: Section 34B. Review of contempt order prior to order of confinement Section 34B. A judge of the probate court who has found a party to be in civil or criminal contempt for failure to obey any order or judgment of the probate court relative to support of a spouse or children or relative to the custody of children shall, before ordering such person to be confined in a jail, review such order or judgment to determine that such order or judgment was issued by a court of competent jurisdiction and was not obtained by fraud.
Chapter 215: Section 35. Warrants and commissions; revocation Section 35. A warrant or commission for the appraisal of an estate, for examining the claims against insolvent estates, for the partition of land or for the assignment of dower or curtesy or other interests in land, may be revoked by the court for sufficient cause, and a new commission may be issued or other appropriate proceedings taken.
Chapter 215: Section 36. Judgments, decrees and orders; necessity of writing; notices; recording Section 36. Judgments, decrees and orders of probate courts shall be in writing, and in contested cases or in cases wherein the court has reserved judgment, notices thereof shall be given by the registers to the attorneys of record, and in the absence of an attorney of record, to any party who has appeared personally and given his address. The registers shall record in books kept therefor such judgments, decrees, orders and other proceedings in said courts and such instruments, as shall be determined by rules made from time to time under section thirty, by entering the same upon the pages thereof in fair and legible handwriting, printing, typewriting, or by photographic process, or by any combination of any two or more of such methods. They may also direct the recording of any judgments, decrees, orders, instruments and other proceedings in their offices, irrespective of the time when such judgments, decrees, orders, instruments or other proceedings were made, received or held, by means of microphotography or other similar photographic process, and, in such case need not maintain books for such records, but shall provide such filing equipment therefor as they deem proper, the cost of which shall be paid by the county. When such recording is by photographic process, registers shall keep an alphabetical index thereof, or other appropriate description of and reference to the film upon which such recording may be found.
Chapter 215: Section 37. Docket and index; manner of keeping; public inspection Section 37. Each register shall keep a docket of all cases and matters in his court, and shall enter therein every case or matter by its appropriate title and number, brief memoranda of all proceedings had and papers filed therein, the dates of such proceedings or filing of such papers, and references to the places in which the proceedings or papers are recorded, if there is a record thereof. He shall also keep a separate alphabetical index of all such cases and matters which shall refer both to said docket and to the files of the court, and a separate alphabetical index of all public administrators seeking appointment or appointed to administer any estates, with the names of such estates. Such docket and indexes shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times.
Chapter 215: Section 38. Oaths Section 38. Oaths required in proceedings in probate courts may be administered by the judge, register or assistant register in or out of court or by a justice of the peace or notary public, and, when administered out of court, a certificate thereof shall be returned and filed or recorded with the proceedings; but the judge may require any such oath to be taken before him in open court.
Chapter 215: Section 39. Administration of estates; compensation for services; power to determine and enforce Section 39. Probate courts may ascertain and determine the amount due any person for services as appraiser, for premiums of surety companies for acting as surety upon the official bonds of administrators, executors, trustees, guardians, conservators or receivers, or for services rendered by any person in connection with the administration of the estate of a deceased person, or with the administration of any trust, guardianship, conservatorship or receivership; and payment of said amount when ascertained and determined to be due may be enforced summarily by said court upon motion of the person to whom the amount is due in the same manner as a like payment under a decree in equity may be enforced, and execution may also be issued therefor against the executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, conservator or receiver personally as upon a judgment at law.
Chapter 215: Section 39A. Attorneys’ fees; power of court to determine Section 39A. At any time during the administration of an estate, and irrespective of the pendency of a particular proceeding, the probate court shall have power to hear an application for, and fix and determine, the compensation and expenses of an attorney for services rendered to the estate or to its representative or to a devisee, legatee, distributee or any other person interested therein.
Such application shall be instituted by a petition, upon a form provided by the court. Notice of the application shall be given in such manner as the court shall direct. In the event that the court shall determine that any sum or sums is or are due to the petitioner or to any other party interested in the application, the compensation shall be awarded on an equitable basis in accordance with the size, importance, complexity and difficulty of the matters involved and the time spent thereon. The court may direct payment thereof from the estate generally or from funds in the hands of the representative of the estate and belonging to any legatee, devisee, distributee or other person interested therein.
In the event that the court shall determine that any such attorney has already received or been paid a sum in excess of the fair value of his services on such equitable basis, as thus determined, the court shall have power to direct him to refund such excess.
For the purposes of this section, the term “estate” shall be deemed to include trusts, guardianships, conservatorships and all other relationships involving the administration of property by fiduciaries.
Chapter 215: Section 39B. Attorneys’ fees; allowance Section 39B. When a judgment or decree is entered in a contested proceeding seeking equitable relief or on an account or to determine the construction of a will or of any trust instrument or to determine any question as to the powers, rights or duties of any fiduciary under any written instrument or to determine any question with respect to services rendered by any such fiduciary or the compensation of such fiduciary for such services, the probate court may, in its discretion as justice and equity may require, provide that such sums as said court may deem reasonable be paid out of the estate in the hands of such fiduciary to any party to the proceeding on account of counsel fees and other expenses incurred by him in connection therewith. The sums awarded shall be specified in the judgment or decree which may in such case direct that any sum so awarded to any party be paid in whole or in part to his counsel. The probate court, subject to appeal, shall have like powers when entering a judgment or decree after the receipt of a rescript from the supreme judicial or appeals court unless the rescript shall specifically direct otherwise. The counsel of any party to whom an award might be made under this section on account of counsel fees or expenses may file and prosecute in his own name a petition under section thirty-nine A for the payment directly to him of any sum or sums which the court would have power to award the party. A person interested, whose counsel would have standing hereunder or under section thirty-nine A, shall have standing to institute and prosecute a petition for the determination of any sum or sums which the court would have power to award against such person.
Chapter 215: Section 4. Separate estates of married women; paternity, custody and support of minors Section 4. Probate courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of actions by married women relative to their separate estate, of actions relative to the care, custody, education and maintenance of minor children provided for by sections thirty and thirty-seven of chapter two hundred and nine, and of actions relative to paternity, support, and custody of minor children provided for in chapter two hundred and nine C and shall have jurisdiction concurrently with the district and Boston municipal court departments of actions relative to paternity or support as provided in chapter two hundred and nine C and actions for support as provided in section thirty-two F of chapter two hundred and nine and actions relative to paternity or support as provided in two hundred and nine D.
Chapter 215: Section 40. Resignation or removal of fiduciary; power to compel surrender of property Section 40. If an executor, administrator, guardian, conservator, trustee or receiver resigns or is removed, and neglects or refuses to deliver to his successor all property held by him under the trust, the probate court may, upon application of such successor or any person beneficially interested, order such delivery made, and shall have like powers for enforcing such order as are given to it by section thirty-four.
Chapter 215: Section 41. Temporary investments Section 41. A probate court may, upon application of a person interested in an estate in process of settlement in such court, direct the temporary investment of any money belonging to such estate in securities approved by the judge, or on paid-up shares and accounts of and in co-operative banks, or in share accounts or savings deposits of federal savings and loan associations or a savings and loan association located in the commonwealth; or it may authorize the money to be deposited in any bank or savings institution in the commonwealth empowered to receive such deposits and said sums may be placed in accounts which require prior notice of intention to withdraw, provided that the interest payable on such accounts is at a rate higher than accounts where no notice to withdraw is required.
Chapter 215: Section 41A. Distribution of limited funds of estates to parents of minors Section 41A. A probate court may, upon application of an administrator or executor of an estate under such terms and conditions as the court may direct, authorize said person to deliver to the parent of a minor, any funds to which such minor is entitled and held by said administrator or executor when the sum is less than one thousand dollars.
Chapter 215: Section 42. Appearances Section 42. A duly authorized attorney at law may enter his appearance as attorney for the party represented by him in any proceeding in a probate court, and all processes and notices served upon him shall have the same force and effect as if served upon the party whom he represents. Any person entering an appearance as herein provided, or in his own behalf, shall print or type his name directly below his signature thereon, but failure to do so shall not affect the validity thereof.
Chapter 215: Section 43. Interrogatories Section 43. In any proceeding in a probate court, the petitioner or respondent may at any time after the filing of the petition file interrogatories in the registry of probate for the discovery of facts and documents material to the support or defence of the proceeding. All provisions of chapter two hundred and thirty-one relative to interrogatories in civil actions shall, so far as applicable, apply to such interrogatories. If a party neglects or refuses to expunge, amend or answer according to said chapter, the petition shall be dismissed or its prayer granted, or such other order or decree entered as may be required.
Chapter 215: Section 44. Concealed property; examination of suspects under oath Section 44. Upon complaint to a probate court by a person interested in the estate of a deceased person against a person suspected of having fraudulently received, concealed, embezzled or conveyed away any property, real or personal, of the deceased, the court may cite such suspected person, although he is executor or administrator, to appear and be examined on oath upon the matter of the complaint. If the person so cited refuses to appear and submit to examination, or to answer such interrogatories as may be lawfully propounded to him, the court may commit him to jail until he submits to the order of the court. The examination shall be had and recorded in such manner as the court shall direct, and the final record shall be signed by the party examined. A proceeding hereunder shall be entitled “petition for discovery”.
Chapter 215: Section 45. Costs Section 45. In contested cases before a probate court or before the supreme judicial court on appeal, costs and expenses in the discretion of the court may be awarded to either party, to be paid by the other, or may be awarded to either or both parties to be paid out of the estate which is the subject of the controversy, as justice and equity may require. In any case wherein costs and expenses, or either, may be awarded hereunder to a party, they may be awarded to his counsel or may be apportioned between them. Execution may issue for costs awarded hereunder.
Chapter 215: Section 46. Summons or citation; service by registered mail Section 46. When personal service is required of any summons or citation issued by a probate court, the court may direct such service to be made by registered mail addressed to the party entitled thereto at his post office address. Further service may be ordered.
Chapter 215: Section 47. Waiver of notice Section 47. The notice required in any proceeding in a probate court may be dispensed with if all parties entitled thereto assent in writing to such proceeding or waive notice.
Chapter 215: Section 48. Repealed, 1970, 317, Sec. 2 Chapter 215: Section 49. Notices; selection of newspapers Section 49. Parties to probate proceedings may select the newspapers in which the notices ordered upon their petitions shall be published, preference to be given to a newspaper, if any, published in the town where the deceased last dwelt, unless, in the judgment of the register, the interests of all parties require publication in some other locality; but the court may order the notice published in one other newspaper.
Chapter 215: Section 5. French spoliation awards Section 5. Probate courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all matters relative to the administration of moneys appropriated by the congress of the United States on account of French spoliations.
Chapter 215: Section 50. Receipts and releases of fiduciaries; recording; fees Section 50. A paper or instrument, discharging a claim or purporting to acknowledge the performance of a duty or payment of money for which an executor, administrator, guardian, conservator, trustee or receiver is chargeable or accountable in a probate court, shall, upon the request of a party interested, be recorded in the registry of said court; and the registers of probate in their respective counties shall enter, record, index and certify any original paper or instrument offered as aforesaid, and shall receive for such services like compensation as registers of deeds would be entitled to demand for like services. Such compensation shall be paid by the person leaving such paper or instrument for record at the time of leaving it.
Chapter 215: Section 51. Repealed, 1955, 418, Sec. 2 Chapter 215: Section 52. Original will; taking from registry Section 52. The probate court in which a will has been duly proved, allowed and recorded may, after the expiration of twenty days within which an appeal may be taken from the decree admitting such will to probate, upon the petition of the executor or of a legatee named in such will, or of any person interested in the estate of the testator, and after notice and a hearing, permit the original will, if it appears necessary, to be taken from the files of such court to establish the right or title of such executor, legatee or person to the estate of the testator in any foreign country.
Chapter 215: Section 53. Court room and room for records; duty to provide Section 53. The commonwealth shall provide and maintain suitable rooms for the use of the probate courts, ample fireproof rooms and suitable alcoves, cases and boxes for the safe keeping of all records, files, papers and documents belonging to the several registries of probate, and shall also provide all books necessary for keeping the records, and all printed blanks and stationery used in probate proceedings.
Chapter 215: Section 54. Rooms for records; additional space Section 54. If in the opinion of the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court such fireproof rooms are insufficient, he shall certify the need of additional accommodations to the general court.
Chapter 215: Section 55. Preservation of dockets and indexes Section 55. If in the judgment of the chief justice public convenience so requires, he may, at the expense of the commonwealth, cause the files and records of the probate and family court department, within the respective divisions, to be rearranged, indexed and docketed, worn or defaced dockets renewed and the indexes consolidated, under the direction and supervision of the registers of the respective divisions.
Chapter 215: Section 56. Recording of proceedings in Suffolk; expense Section 56. The expense of recording probate proceedings in Suffolk county, not exceeding forty-five hundred dollars in any one year, shall be paid by the commonwealth, upon the official certificate of the register, countersigned by a justice appointed to the division for said county, in the amounts and to the persons named in such certificate.
Chapter 215: Section 56A. Investigations Section 56A. Any judge of a probate court may appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the facts of any proceeding pending in said court relating to or involving questions as to the care, custody or maintenance of minor children and as to any matter involving domestic relations except those for the investigation of which provision is made by section sixteen of chapter two hundred and eight. Said guardian ad litem shall, before final judgment or decree in such proceeding, report in writing to the court the results of the investigation, and such report shall be open to inspection to all the parties in such proceeding or their attorneys. The compensation shall be fixed by the court and shall be paid by the commonwealth, together with any expense approved by the court, upon certificate by the judge to the state treasurer. The state police, local police and probation officers shall assist the guardian ad litem so appointed, upon his request.
Chapter 215: Section 56B. Contempt proceedings involving child care, custody or maintenance; guardian ad litem; appointment Section 56B. Any judge of a probate court may appoint a guardian ad litem to institute contempt proceedings under the provisions of section thirty-four A against any party for failure to obey judgments of the probate court involving care, custody or maintenance of minor children, and said guardian ad litem may personally serve throughout the commonwealth any summons or capias incidental to the enforcement of this section. The compensation shall be fixed by the court and shall be paid by the commonwealth, together with any expense approved by the court, upon certificate by the judge to the state treasurer. The state police, local police and probation officers shall assist the guardian ad litem so appointed, upon his request.
Chapter 215: Section 57. Contempt powers of judge, etc. Section 57. The judge of a probate court may keep order in court, and may punish any contempt of his authority.
Chapter 215: Section 58. Court; open times Section 58. The probate court shall be open daily on days other than Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, for hearings, matters in equity, proceedings in contempt and for making orders, judgments and decrees in matters before them, except that, if the convenience of the public so requires, a court shall be open on any Saturday, not a legal holiday, for said purposes during such hours as the judge or judges thereof may determine. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the times of hearings shall be discretionary with the judges of said courts.
Chapter 215: Section 59. Adjournment Section 59. A judge of a probate court may adjourn court as occasion requires; and if he is absent at the time appointed for holding court, the register shall adjourn it as he may consider necessary or as the judge may order. The register may also adjourn court when the office of judge is vacant.
Chapter 215: Section 6. Equity jurisdiction Section 6. The probate and family court department shall have original and concurrent jurisdiction with the supreme judicial court and the superior court department of all cases and matters of equity cognizable under the general principles of equity jurisprudence and, with reference thereto, shall be courts of general equity jurisdiction, except that the superior court department shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all actions in which injunctive relief is sought in any matter growing out of a labor dispute as defined in section twenty C of chapter one hundred and forty-nine.
Probate courts shall also have jurisdiction concurrent with the supreme judicial and superior courts, of all cases and matters in which equitable relief is sought relative to: (i) the administration of the estates of deceased persons; (ii) wills, including questions arising under section twenty of chapter one hundred and ninety-one; (iii) trusts created by will or other written instrument; (iv) cases involving in any way the estate of a deceased person or the property of an absentee whereof a receiver has been appointed under chapter two hundred or the property of a person under guardianship or conservatorship; (v) trusts created by parol or constructive or resulting trusts; (vi) all matters relative to guardianship or conservatorship; and (vii) actions such as one described in clause (11) of section three of chapter two hundred and fourteen and of all other matters of which they now have or may hereafter be given jurisdiction. They shall also have jurisdiction to grant equitable relief to enforce foreign judgments for support of a wife or of a wife and minor children against a husband who is a resident or inhabitant of this commonwealth, upon an action by the wife commenced in the county of which the husband is a resident or inhabitant. They shall, after the divorce judgment has become absolute, also have concurrent jurisdiction to grant equitable relief in controversies over property between persons who have been divorced. They shall also have jurisdiction of an action by an administrator, executor, guardian, conservator, receiver appointed as aforesaid or trustee under a will to enjoin for a reasonable period of time the foreclosure, otherwise than by open and peaceable entry, of a mortgage on real estate, or the foreclosure of a mortgage on personal property, which real estate or personal property is included in the estate or trust being administered by such fiduciary, if in the opinion of the court the proper administration of the estate or trust would be hindered by such foreclosure. They shall also have jurisdiction, concurrent with the superior court, of proceedings in which equitable relief is sought under sections seven to twelve, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and seventeen and section twenty-six of chapter one hundred and twenty-three.
Notwithstanding any contrary or inconsistent provisions of the General Laws, procedure in cases in the probate court within the jurisdiction granted by this section shall be governed by the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure.
Chapter 215: Section 60. Holidays and election days Section 60. If the regular time for holding a probate court occurs on a legal holiday, the court shall not be open, and all notices, summonses, citations, orders and other papers which would otherwise be made returnable at said regular time shall be made returnable on the next secular day thereafter.
Chapter 215: Section 61. Repealed, 1939, 65, Sec. 1 Chapter 215: Section 62. Times and places for holding courts Section 62. The court shall be held by one of the justices, and when so held shall have and exercise all the power and jurisdiction committed to said court. The chief justice, after consultation with the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court, shall make such assignments for the attendance of a justice at the several times and places appointed for holding the court as will be most convenient as will insure the prompt performance of its duties.
Chapter 215: Section 63. Repealed, 1986, 174, Sec. 2 Chapter 215: Section 6A. Attachment by injunction Section 6A. In any proceeding before a probate court, an attachment may be made by injunction to reach shares of stock or other property which cannot be reached to be attached in a civil action in which money damages are sought, and the property so attached shall thereafter be subject to such order as justice and equity may require; and in relation to such probate proceedings said court shall have all the powers which the supreme judicial and superior courts have in relation to actions to reach and apply.
Chapter 215: Section 6B. Repealed, 1945, 582, Sec. 3 Chapter 215: Section 6C. Modification of judgment as to care and custody of minor children; temporary orders Section 6C. Upon a complaint, after a judgment pursuant to this chapter relative to the care and custody of minor children, filed by either parent or by a next friend on behalf of the children, after notice to both parents, the court may make a judgment modifying its earlier judgment as to the care and custody of said minor children provided that the court finds that a material and substantial change in the circumstances of the parties has occurred and that a modification is necessary in the best interests of the children.
During the pendency of such an action, upon motion of either party or of a next friend on behalf of the minor children of the parties and notice to the other party or parties, the court may make temporary orders relative to the care and custody of such children. Every order entered shall include specific findings of fact made by the court which clearly demonstrate the injury, harm or damage that might reasonably be expected to occur if relief pending a judgment of modification is not granted. An order entered pursuant to this section may only be entered without advance notice if the court finds that an emergency exists, the nature of which requires the court to act before the opposing party or parties can be heard in opposition. In all such cases, such order shall be for a period not to exceed five days and written notice of the issuance of any such order and the reasons therefor shall be given to the opposing party or parties together with notice of the date, time and place that a hearing on the continuation of such order will be held.
Chapter 215: Section 7. Attachment of jurisdiction; control of case Section 7. If a case is within the jurisdiction of the probate courts of two or more counties, the court first taking cognizance thereof by the commencement of proceedings therein shall retain jurisdiction thereof, and shall exclude the jurisdiction of the probate courts of all other counties; and the administration, guardianship or conservatorship first granted shall extend to all the estate of the deceased or ward in the commonwealth.
Chapter 215: Section 8. Trusts Section 8. All matters of trust of which probate courts have jurisdiction, except those arising under wills, shall be within the jurisdiction of the probate court of any county where any of the parties interested in the trust reside, or where any of the land held in trust is situated; but such jurisdiction, when once assumed, shall exclude the probate court of any other county from taking jurisdiction of any matter subsequently arising in relation to the same trust.
Chapter 215: Section 8A. Change of venue Section 8A. If it appears before final judgment or decree in any proceeding pending in a probate court that said proceeding was begun in the wrong county, said court may order the proceeding with all papers relating thereto to be removed to the probate court for the proper county, and it shall thereupon be entered and pending in the last mentioned court as if originally commenced therein, and all prior proceedings otherwise regularly taken shall thereupon be valid.
Chapter 215: Section 9. Persons entitled to appeal Section 9. A person aggrieved by an order, judgment, decree or denial of a probate court made after this chapter takes effect, may, within thirty days after the entry thereof, appeal therefrom to the appeals court or, subject to the provisions of section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven A, to the full court of the supreme judicial court. Said courts shall have like powers and authority with respect thereto as upon an appeal in any civil action.
Chapter 215: Section 9A. Fiduciaries; acts during appeal period Section 9A. The acts of an executor, administrator, guardian, conservator or trustee performed after the entry of the decree appointing him in such capacity or authorizing or licensing him to sell, mortgage, or lease, real or personal property and prior to the expiration of the period allowed for an appeal therefrom shall be valid to the same extent as if said appeal period had expired without any appeal in all instances where there has been no appearance entered against such appointment, sale, mortgage or lease, prior to the entry of the decree or where such appearance has been entered and withdrawn prior to the entry of the decree, notwithstanding the fact that an appeal may have been taken in said period.
Section 1. For each county there shall be a division of the probate and family court department of the trial court, and in each division except those for Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, Worcester, Plymouth, Hampden, Bristol, Norfolk and Barnstable counties, one appointment of an associate justice of the trial court shall be made and he shall be the justice for that division. Wherever the words “probate court”, “court of insolvency” or “probate and insolvency court” are used, or similar words importing the same, or wherever in this chapter the word “court” is used in that context, they shall refer to a division of the probate and family court department of the trial court; and the words “judge of probate”, “judge of probate and insolvency” or the word “judge”, in context, shall mean an associate justice of the trial court appointed to a division of said probate and family court department; and the words “register of probate”, “register of probate and insolvency” or the word “register”, in context, shall mean the register of a division of the probate and family court department; and the words “registry of probate”, “registry of probate and insolvency” or the word “registry”, in context, shall mean the registry of said division.
Section 10. Bonds required to be given to the judge of probate shall be given, in case of vacancy in the office of judge, to the acting judge, and to his successors in office, and all business shall be done in his name or in the name of the probate court or the court of insolvency for the county where the case or matter is pending; but bonds may be approved, and other acts required to be done or certified by the judge may be done or certified, by the acting judge.
bonds of registers; notice Section 11. Judges of probate shall semi-annually inspect the doings of the registers of their courts, and see that the records and files are made up seasonably and kept in good order; and if the records are left incomplete for more than six consecutive months, such neglect, unless caused by illness or casualty, shall be adjudged a forfeiture of the bond of the register. In case of any neglect causing a forfeiture of the bond of the register or assistant register, the judge shall forthwith give written notice thereof to the state treasurer, who shall thereupon cause the bond to be put in suit; and the amount recovered in such suit shall be applied to the expense of making up the deficient records under the direction of the court in whose records the deficiency exists, and the surplus, if any, shall be carried into the account of such treasurer. This section shall not exempt registers or assistant registers from an action for any other breach of their bond, or from other liability for neglect or misconduct in office.
Section 12. Each register shall give bond to the state treasurer for the faithful performance of his official duties, in a sum not less than one thousand nor more than ten thousand dollars, as ordered by the judge, with one or more sureties approved by him.
Section 13. Upon the death, resignation, removal or absence of the register, if there is no assistant register, or if he also is absent, the judge shall appoint a temporary register to act until a register is qualified, or until the disability is removed. Such temporary register shall be sworn before the judge, and a certificate thereof, with his appointment, shall be recorded with the proceedings of each court in which he acts.
Section 14. The register shall certify upon his records and to the comptroller the number of days, the dates upon which, and the occasions for which, the duties of the judge of probate are performed by a judge of another county under section eight.
Section 15. The register shall have the care and custody of all books, documents and papers pertaining to his court, or deposited with the records of insolvency or filed in the registry of probate, and shall carefully preserve them and deliver them to his successor. He may, with the approval of the chief justice and at the expense of the commonwealth cause copies of the indexes, or new indexes, to the records which are in his custody, to be printed and sold at a price not less than the cost of paper, printing and binding. He shall perform all other duties, pertaining to his office, required by law or prescribed by the judge. He may attest the records by the volume, and the attestation shall be sufficient when the volume containing the same bears the attest, with the written signature of the register or other person lawfully authorized.
names on filed instruments Section 15A. The register or assistant register may print or type the name of any person whose signature appears on any instrument filed in the registry of probate and is not clearly legible, such name to be printed or typed directly below such signature.
district other than district in which filed; recording of information Section 15B. Whenever the inventory or schedule filed by a fiduciary indicates that a decedent, ward, absentee or beneficiary owns or owned real estate in a registry district other than that in which the inventory or schedule is filed, the fiduciary shall cause to be inserted in said inventory or schedule a reference to the volume, page number and district in which the original deed has been recorded, and shall forthwith cause to be filed in the registry of deeds for each registry district where any of the land included in the inventory or schedule lies, a notice of such inventory or schedule containing information relative to the location of the land in such district, the volume and page number of the deeds book in which the land is recorded and the probate docket number and name of the estate. Such registry of deeds shall record and index such notice in the grantor index under the name of the decedent, ward, absentee or beneficiary.
another county; duties of registers Section 15C. The register in each county shall, upon the receipt of an inventory, filed in an estate matter being probated in his court, which contains as an asset an interest in real estate located in another county, send a certified copy of the will or petition for administration and inventory to the register in the county in which the real estate is located and also to the register of deeds in said county. Upon receipt of said copies each such register shall file them with the records of their respective offices in the same manner as if such papers had been originally filed in their office.
commissioner of revenue Section 16. The register shall, except as herein provided, send by mail to the commissioner of revenue a copy of every inventory and appraisal filed in his court by an executor, administrator or trustee, within thirty days after the filing of the same. The register shall also, within the same period, send by mail to said commissioner a copy of the will of the decedent, if such has been allowed by the probate court. The register shall also furnish such copies of papers in his office as the commissioner shall require, and shall furnish information as to the records and files in his office in such form as the commissioner may require. A refusal or neglect by the register so to send a copy of such inventory and appraisal or to furnish such copies or information shall be a breach of his official bond; but the commissioner may excuse him from sending copies of inventories and of wills of estates no part of which, in his judgment, appears to be subject to a tax under chapter sixty-five or chapter sixty-five C. If an executor, administrator or trustee fails to file said inventory and appraisal within three months from the date of his appointment, the register shall within thirty days after the expiration thereof notify the commissioner of such failure.
assistant Section 17. The register shall forthwith report to the state secretary a vacancy in the office of assistant register and the name, residence and date of appointment of the person appointed to fill such vacancy.
Section 18. The register shall furnish copies of records or other papers in his custody and shall collect the legal fees therefor.
Section 19. Whenever any instrument creating or increasing an estate or fund for benevolent, charitable, humane or philanthropic purposes is filed for record in a registry of probate, the register shall forthwith send to the division of public charities established by section eight B of chapter twelve a statement setting forth the book and page in the registry where the instrument is recorded, with the name, if any, of the estate or fund, and further stating by whom said estate or fund has been created or increased, and by whom it is to be administered.
justices, powers, terms Section 2. There shall be six judges of probate in the county of Middlesex, four judges of probate in the counties of Norfolk, Bristol, Suffolk, Worcester and Plymouth, three judges of probate in each of the counties of Essex and Hampden, and two judges of probate in the county of Barnstable. The chief justice of the probate and family court department shall designate one justice to be the first justice of a particular court; provided that appropriate consideration shall be given to seniority, length of service in that particular court and managerial ability. Said first justice shall have the powers enumerated in section ten A of chapter two hundred and eleven B and shall be the administrative head of that particular court and shall have authority over all personnel employed therein; provided, however, that registers shall have responsibility for the internal administration of their respective offices, including personnel, staff services and record keeping. A first justice or a register of the court may submit any dispute that arises between said first justice and said register concerning the management and administration of the office of the register, the duties, powers and obligations of the register, or a member of their staff, or the interpretation of the personnel standards provided for under section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B, to the chief justice of the department. Any person aggrieved by a decision of a chief justice under this paragraph may appeal said decision to the chief justice for administration and management, who shall, within thirty days, hear and determine the matter.
Each first justice so appointed shall serve as first justice of that court for a five-year term and shall be eligible to serve additional five-year terms in that particular court. Any first justice may be removed from his position as first justice when it is determined by the chief justice of the probate and family court department to be in the best interests of the administration of justice. Any first justice who is removed from his position as first justice by the chief justice of the probate and family court department may appeal the removal to the chief justice for administration and management. The probate court and the court of insolvency for said counties may be held by one or both of the judges, and, when so held, shall have and exercise all the powers and jurisdiction committed to the respective courts. The judges shall so arrange the performance of their duties as to insure a prompt and punctual discharge thereof. The judges may perform each other’s duties when necessary or convenient. Simultaneous sessions of the courts in said counties may be held if public convenience requires. Citations, orders of notice and all other processes issued by the register of probate and insolvency, in this chapter called the register, for any of said counties, shall bear teste of the first judge of said court. Deposits or investments made in the name of the judge of probate shall be in the name of the first judge of the court, and shall be subject to the order of the court.
Section 20. The register shall annually, on the first Mondays of January, April, July and October, account for and pay over to the state treasurer all fees and compensation which have been received by him otherwise than by salary.
applications Section 21. He may at any time receive and place on file complaints, petitions and applications to the probate court or the court of insolvency, and may issue orders of notice, summonses and citations in like manner and with like effect as if issued by the judge; but if the judge considers such notice insufficient, he may order further notice.
appraisers, etc. Section 22. The register may issue process of attachment and of execution, and all other processes and all warrants, letters and licenses necessary to carry into effect any order, judgment or decree of the courts, and they may run into any county and shall be executed and obeyed throughout the commonwealth. A facsimile of his signature imprinted by him on all such warrants, letters and licenses and all processes except executions shall have the same validity as his written signature. He may appoint appraisers to make any inventory required to be returned to said courts.
documents and communications Section 22A. Whenever the register, in any communication, document or writing intended for use outside the registry, identifies a husband and wife, he shall use the name of both husband and wife and shall not use a legal phrase as a substitute for either name.
Section 23. The first justice of each court of the probate and family court department may, with the approval of the chief justice of the probate and family court, appoint for a term of three years, and may, with the approval of said chief justice, remove, a first assistant register of probate. Before entering upon the performance of his duties, a first assistant register shall take the oath prescribed by the constitution, and shall give bond to the state treasurer for the faithful performance of his official duties in a sum not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars, as ordered by the first justice, with one or more sureties approved by him.
Section 23A. In addition to the first assistant registers of probate provided for in section 23, the first justices of the respective courts of the probate and family court department for the following counties may, with the approval of the chief justice of the probate and family court appoint, and may, with the approval of said chief justice, remove assistant registers with the same powers and duties. Said appointments shall be as follows:Barnstable, 4 assistant registersBerkshire, 1 assistant registerBristol, 8 assistant registersEssex, 5 assistant registersFranklin, 1 assistant registerHampden, 3 assistant registersHampshire, 1 assistant registerMiddlesex, 8 assistant registersNorfolk, 5 assistant registersPlymouth, 5 assistant registersSuffolk, 6 assistant registersWorcester, 7 assistant registers.
Section 23B. The registers of probate of the respective courts of the probate and family court department for the following counties may, subject to the approval of the chief justice for administration and management as to compliance with personnel standards promulgated pursuant to section 8 of chapter 211B, appoint one or more administrative deputy assistants; provided, however that such administrative deputy assistants may be removed at the pleasure of said registers of probate. Said administrative deputy assistants shall meet the definition of both confidential and managerial employees as those terms appear in chapter 150E and shall perform no official judicial duties. Said appointments shall be as follows:Barnstable, one administrative deputy assistant.
Essex, one administrative deputy assistant.
Franklin, one administrative deputy assistant.
Hampshire, one administrative deputy assistant.
Middlesex, 3 administrative deputy assistants.
Suffolk, two administrative deputy assistants.
Worcester, one administrative deputy assistant.
Section 26. The signing of the name of any second, third or fourth assistant register followed by the designation, “assistant register”, shall be a sufficient official signature.
Section 27. An assistant register shall perform his duties under the direction of the first justice, and shall pay over to the register all fees and amounts received as such assistant. He may authenticate papers and perform such other duties as are not performed by the register. In case of the absence, neglect, removal, resignation or death of the register, the assistant may complete and attest any records remaining unfinished and may act as register until a new register is qualified or the disability removed.
guardian ad litem Section 27A. The judges of probate for Suffolk county may appoint and at their pleasure remove a permanent officer to perform the duties prescribed by section fifty-six A of chapter two hundred and fifteen and such other duties as said judges may determine. Such officer shall be allowed such sums for necessary traveling and other expenses as may be approved by the judges. The salary and expenses of such officer shall be paid by the commonwealth.
registers Section 28. The first justice of the Suffolk county court may, subject to the approval of the chief justice, appoint a clerk and may, with the approval of the chief justice, remove him. The register of probate may designate 5 employees as deputy assistant registers with the same powers as assistant registers and may revoke any such designation at will. A deputy assistant register shall receive as additional compensation an amount equal to 15 per cent of the annual salary of the Suffolk county register of probate. The register may also, from time to time, designate 5 employees as associate deputy registers who shall have the powers of assistant registers and receive as additional compensation an amount equal to 7.
5 per cent of the salary paid to the register. The register may revoke any such designation at will.
registers Section 29. The first justice of the Middlesex county court may, with the approval of the chief justice, appoint a clerk who may administer such oaths required in probate proceedings as are not prescribed by law to be administered by the judge or register, and shall perform such clerical and other duties as may be required by the first justice, with the approval of the chief justice, and he may be removed by the first justice with the approval of the chief justice. Said first justice may, with the approval of the chief justice, designate six employees as deputy assistant registers with the same powers as assistant registers and may revoke any such designation with the approval of the chief justice. Said deputy assistant registers shall receive a salary in an amount equal to 15 per cent of the annual salary of the Middlesex county register of probate.
register Section 29A. The first justice of the Dukes county court may, with the approval of the chief justice, appoint a clerk who may administer such oaths required in probate proceedings as are not prescribed by law to be administered by the judge or register, and shall perform such clerical and other duties as may be required by the first justice, with the approval of the chief justice, and who may be removed by the first justice with the approval of the chief justice. Said first justice may, with the approval of the chief justice, designate one employee as deputy assistant register and may revoke any such designation with the approval of the chief justice. Said deputy assistant register shall receive a salary of six thousand dollars.
register Section 29B. The first justice for the Nantucket county court may, with the approval of the chief justice, appoint a clerk who may administer such oaths required in probate proceedings as are not prescribed by law to be administered by the judge or register, and shall perform such clerical and other duties as may be required by the first justice, with the approval of the chief justice, and who may be removed by the first justice with the approval of the chief justice. Said first justice may, with the approval of the chief justice, designate one employee as deputy assistant register and may revoke any such designation with the approval of the chief justice. Said deputy assistant register shall receive a salary of six thousand dollars.
registers Section 29C. The first justice of the Barnstable probate court may, with the approval of the chief justice of the probate court, designate three employees as deputy assistant registers with the same powers as an assistant register and may revoke any such designation at his pleasure. Said deputy assistant register shall receive a salary of six thousand dollars.
register Section 29D. The first justice of the Berkshire probate court may, with the approval of the chief justice of the probate court, designate one employee as deputy assistant register with the same powers as assistant register and may revoke any such designation at pleasure. Said deputy assistant register shall receive a salary of six thousand dollars.
registers Section 29E. The first justice of the Hampden probate court may, with the approval of the chief justice of the probate court, designate six employees of the deputy assistant registers with the same powers as an assistant register and may revoke any such designation at his pleasure. Said deputy assistant registers shall receive a salary of $6,000.
registers Section 29F. The first justice of the Worcester probate court may, with the approval of the chief justice of the probate court, designate three employees as deputy assistant registers with the same powers as an assistant register and may revoke any such designation at his pleasure. Said deputy assistant register shall receive a salary an amount equal to fifteen per cent of the annual salary of the Worcester county register of probate.
assistant registers Section 29G. The first justice of the Bristol probate and family court may, with the approval of the chief justice of the probate court, designate three employees as deputy assistant registers with the same powers as an assistant register and may revoke any such designation at his pleasure. Said deputy assistant registers shall receive in addition to their salaries as employees, a salary of $6,000 per annum.
registers Section 29I. The first justice of the Plymouth probate court may, with the approval of the chief justice of the probate court, designate two employees as deputy assistant registers with the same powers as an assistant register and may revoke any such designation at his pleasure. Said deputy assistant registers shall receive in addition to their salaries as employees, a salary of $6,000 per annum.
Section 30. The judges of probate for the counties of Suffolk, Middlesex, Plymouth and Norfolk may appoint three officers, and the judges of probate for the counties of Essex and Worcester may appoint two officers to attend the sessions of the court for their respective counties. Such officers may be removed at the pleasure of the judge or judges of probate of their respective counties, and said judge or judges may fill any vacancy caused by removal or otherwise. Each court officer appointed hereunder for Suffolk, Middlesex, Worcester, Essex, Norfolk or Plymouth county shall give bond with sufficient sureties approved by a judge of his court for the faithful performance of his duties, in the sum of one thousand dollars, payable to the state treasurer. Each officer appointed hereunder shall serve the orders, precepts and processes issued by the probate court for which he is appointed or by a judge thereof; and shall at the expense of the commonwealth be furnished with a uniform such as the court shall order, which he shall wear while in attendance on said court.
Section 33. The registers for the several counties shall annually be allowed for assistance in their several counties, to be paid by the commonwealth, such sums as shall annually be appropriated by the general court. All employees in the various registries of probate shall be subject to the provisions of sections forty-five to fifty, inclusive, of chapter thirty.
assistants, and assistant registers; payment Section 35. The salaries of registers including administrative deputy assistants and all assistant registers shall be paid by the commonwealth.
Section 35A. The salaries of the registers of the probate and family court department shall be seventy-five and forty-seven hundredths percent of the salary of the chief justice of said department and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth.
The registers of probate shall devote their entire time during business hours to their respective duties and shall not directly or indirectly engage in the practices of law.
Section 35B. The salaries of first assistant registers and administrative deputy assistants of the probate and family court department shall be 83.
5 per cent of the salary of the registers pursuant to section 35A and shall be paid by the commonwealth. The salaries of assistant registers of said department shall be seventy-seven percent of the salary of the registers of said department pursuant to section thirty-five A and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth.
The assistant registers of probate shall devote their entire time during business hours to their respective duties and shall not directly or indirectly engage in the practice of law.
Section 39. The compensation of court officers for attendance at sessions of the probate courts and of messengers for said courts, whose appointment is authorized by law, shall be paid by the commonwealth.
Section 3B. There shall be an associate justice of the trial court appointed in Hampshire county, hereinbefore known as the special judge of probate and insolvency in the county of Hampshire, who shall be and perform the duties of a full-time circuit justice in said county or such other county as the chief justice may designate, and when so assigned shall receive from the commonwealth the expenses incurred by him. Upon such designation, the registry of the court to which said circuit justice is assigned shall certify upon the records of the court, and to the comptroller, the number of days, the dates upon which, and the occasions for which, the circuit justice performed his duties. Nothing in this section shall be construed to establish a new judicial position nor abolish the tenure of the incumbent special judge of probate and insolvency.
Section 3C. There shall be 11 associate justices of the trial court appointed for the probate and family court department who shall be and perform the duties of circuit justices in such counties as the chief justice shall from time to time designate, and when so assigned they shall receive from the commonwealth the expenses incurred by them.
Section 4. There shall be in each county a register of probate and insolvency, who shall hold office for six years beginning with the first Wednesday in January in the year succeeding his election, and until his successor is qualified.
Section 42. Judges, registers and assistant registers shall receive from the commonwealth their actual and proper traveling expenses incurred by them in the performance of their official duties in holding and attending court at a place other than that where the registry of probate is situated and any expenses actually incurred in transporting official papers from the registry of probate to another probate office within the same county for court purposes, upon an itemized statement of such expenses being certified to, and approved by, the chief justice, provided, however, that a justice appointed to the probate and family court in Dukes county or Nantucket county shall receive his actual expenses for travel by land, sea or air from his residence on the mainland to such county and from such county to his residence on the mainland. The traveling expenses necessarily incurred by judges of probate sitting at the direction of the chief justice in counties other than counties in which they are appointed shall be paid by the commonwealth, upon the certificate of said chief justice.
Section 43. A temporary register shall be entitled to the same compensation as the register, and shall be paid by him if the appointment is caused by his absence; but if the appointment is caused by his death, removal or resignation, the temporary register shall be paid by the commonwealth. No judge or register shall receive any fee or compensation in addition to his salary for holding or attending courts or acting as judge or register in any county, nor for anything done in his official capacity, except as expressly provided by law, but any judge of probate assisting another judge in the performance of his duties may receive compensation from him, if not entitled to receive it from the commonwealth.
Section 5. Each judge of probate, before entering upon the performance of his official duties, in addition to the oaths prescribed by the constitution, shall take and subscribe an oath that he will faithfully discharge said duties and that he will not during his continuance in office violate any provision of section six. Such oath shall be filed in the registry of probate of the county for which he is appointed.
Section 5A. Each register, before entering upon the performance of his official duties, in addition to the oaths prescribed by the constitution, shall take and subscribe an oath that he will faithfully discharge said duties and that he will not during his continuance in office, directly or indirectly, be interested in, or benefited by, the fees or emoluments which may arise in any suit or matter pending in either of the courts of which he is register. Such oaths shall be filed in the registry of probate of the county for which he is elected.
proceedings; prohibition Section 6A. No special judge of probate, register, assistant register or person employed in any registry of probate and insolvency shall be interested in, or benefited by, the fees or emoluments which may arise in any matter pending before the probate court or court of insolvency of his county; nor shall he act as counsel or attorney, either in or out of court, in any matter pending before said courts or in an appeal therefrom; nor shall he, except as otherwise provided, be appointed or act as executor, administrator, guardian, conservator, commissioner, appraiser or assignee of or upon an estate within the jurisdiction of his court; nor shall he be interested in the fees or emoluments arising from any of said trusts; provided, that nothing in this section shall prohibit the practice of law before said courts by a special judge of probate. Section seven of chapter one hundred and ninety-two and section seven of this chapter shall apply to a special judge of probate.
assignment to another county Section 6B. No justice, circuit justice or special justice sitting in a probate and family court shall be interested in, or be benefitted by, the fees or emoluments which may arise in any matter pending before any probate court or which may arise in any suit or action pending in any court of this commonwealth where the subject matter or cause of action is founded upon or derived from proceedings begun in any of the probate courts nor shall he, except as otherwise provided, be appointed or act as executor, administrator, guardian, conservator, trustee under a will, commissioner, appraiser or assignee of or upon an estate within the jurisdiction of any probate court; nor shall he be interested in the fees or emoluments arising from any of said trusts. Full-time justices, or circuit justices provided for under this chapter, shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law. The judge of probate for Dukes county and the judge of probate for Nantucket county shall sit in the probate and family court for any other county upon designation thereto by the chief justice for said department pursuant to section eight, and when so assigned shall receive from the commonwealth the expenses incurred by them.
executor Section 7. If a judge or register desires to be appointed guardian of his minor child, who is an inhabitant of or resides in the same county, such appointment may be made, and all subsequent proceedings in regard thereto had, in the probate court of an adjoining county. A judge who is named as executor of or trustee under a will may be appointed as such except that, if such will is offered for probate in his county, such appointment shall be made, and all subsequent proceedings in regard thereto had, in the probate court of an adjoining county.
Section 8. The justice provided for under the provisions of section one of chapter two hundred and eleven B as the chief justice for the probate and family court department, in addition to his judicial powers and duties, shall, subject to the superintendence authority of the supreme judicial court as provided in section three of chapter two hundred and eleven and the administrative authority of the chief justice for administration and management, be the administrative head of the probate and family court department and shall also have the power, authority and responsibility of a chief justice as set forth in section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven B. A chief justice shall hold said office for a term of five years, and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms. A chief justice, so appointed, may be removed from that office prior to the expiration of his term upon a determination by the chief justice for administration and management that such removal is in the best interests of the administration of justice. The chief justice may establish forms for the annual reports of the work of the registers of the several courts; and said registers shall annually on or before October first prepare and file with the chief justice reports of the work of said courts during the preceding court year, and said reports shall also be filed with the chief justice for administration. Said chief justice of the probate and family court shall also have the powers and duties described in section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven B and section forty-two of this chapter; except that none of the powers herein described or referred to shall be construed as authorizing said chief justice to alter or affect the provisions of sections fifty-eight, fifty-nine, sixty or sixty-two of chapter two hundred and fifteen.
secretary and staff; expenditures Section 8A. The chief justice shall be provided with suitable offices. He may, subject to appropriation, appoint an executive secretary and such clerks, assistants or other personnel as he may require and may make such other expenditures for printing, transportation of papers and documents and for other expenses as are incidental to his duties. He may remove said executive secretary at his pleasure and define his duties.
Section 9. A judge of probate may, in any case in which a judgment, decree, order or allowance can be made without a hearing, and in any case after a hearing, make such judgment, decree, order or allowance, and approve bonds, at any place in the commonwealth, with the same effect as if so made and approved in his county; and if such judge, under section eight of this chapter, acts in a county other than his own, such judgment, decree, order or allowance may be signed, and bonds approved, outside the county where he may have been designated to act. This section shall not affect the validity of any judgment, decree, order or allowance signed or bond approved prior to March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight.
Chapter 218: Section 1. Territorial jurisdiction and place of holding court Section 1. The district court department, established under section 1 of chapter 211B, shall consist of divisions, 1 for each of the judicial districts hereinafter enumerated, and whenever the words “district court”, “municipal court” or “court” are used in this chapter, unless the context refers exclusively to the Boston municipal court department or a juvenile court, or some other clearly contrary intent, such words shall refer to a division of the district court department. Unless the context refers only to a person appointed to the Boston municipal court department or to a juvenile court, the words “justice” and “special justice” shall mean, respectively, an associate justice and a special justice of the trial court appointed to a division of the district court department; and the words “clerk” or “clerk of court” shall mean the clerk of such court; and the words “assistant clerk”, “deputy assistant clerk”, “temporary clerk” or “temporary assistant clerk” shall mean, respectively, an assistant clerk, deputy assistant clerk, temporary clerk or temporary assistant clerk of such court.
The several divisions of the Boston municipal court department and of the several divisions of the district court department shall continue to comprise the following cities, towns, wards and territory, in the following counties, respectively.
BarnstableThe first district court of Barnstable, held at Barnstable; Barnstable, Sandwich and Yarmouth. The second district court of Barnstable, held at Orleans; Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans, Brewster, Chatham, Harwich and Dennis. The third district court of Barnstable, held at Falmouth; Mashpee, Falmouth and Bourne. Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
BerkshireThe district court of northern Berkshire, held at Adams, North Adams and Williamstown; Adams, North Adams, Williamstown, Clarksburg, Florida, New Ashford, Cheshire, Savoy, Hancock, and Windsor; the district court of central Berkshire exercising concurrent jurisdiction in Windsor and Hancock.
The district court of central Berkshire, held at Pittsfield; Pittsfield, Hancock, Lanesborough, Peru, Hinsdale, Dalton, Washington, Richmond, Lenox, Becket and Windsor; the district court of southern Berkshire exercising concurrent jurisdiction in Lenox and Becket and the district court of northern Berkshire exercising concurrent jurisdiction in Windsor and Hancock.
The district court of southern Berkshire, held at Great Barrington and Lee; Sheffield, Great Barrington, Egremont, Alford, Mount Washington, Monterey, New Marlborough, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Sandisfield, Lee, Tyringham, Otis, Lenox and Becket; the district court of central Berkshire exercising concurrent jurisdiction in Lenox and Becket.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
BristolThe first district court of Bristol, held at Taunton; Taunton, Rehoboth, Berkley, Dighton, Seekonk, Easton and Raynham.
The second district court of Bristol, held at Fall River; Fall River, Somerset, Swansea, Freetown and Westport; the third district court of Bristol exercising concurrent jurisdiction in Freetown and Westport.
The third district court of Bristol, held at New Bedford; New Bedford, Fairhaven, Acushnet, Dartmouth, Freetown and Westport; the second district court of Bristol exercising concurrent jurisdiction in Freetown and Westport.
The fourth district court of Bristol, held at Attleboro; Attleboro, North Attleborough, Mansfield and Norton. Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
Dukes CountyThe district court of Dukes County, held at Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and Tisbury; Dukes County.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119, and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119, are excepted from the jurisdiction of the above court of this county.
EssexThe first district court of Essex, held at Salem; Salem, Beverly, Danvers, Middleton and Manchester-by-the-Sea.
The second district of Essex, held at Ipswich; Ipswich, Hamilton, Topsfield and Wenham.
The central district court of northern Essex, held at Haverhill; Haverhill, Groveland, Georgetown, Boxford and West Newbury; the district court of Newburyport exercising concurrent jurisdiction in West Newbury.
The district court of eastern Essex, held at Gloucester; Gloucester, Rockport and Essex.
The district court of southern Essex, held at Lynn; Lynn, Swampscott, Saugus, Marblehead and Nahant.
The district court of Lawrence, held at Lawrence and Methuen; Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and Methuen.
The district court of Newburyport, held at Newburyport; Amesbury, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury; the central district court of northern Essex exercising concurrent jurisdiction in West Newbury.
The district court of Peabody, held at Peabody; Peabody and Lynnfield.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
FranklinThe district court of Franklin, held at Greenfield, Franklin county, except Orange and Erving; Warwick, Wendell; Leverett, Shutesbury and New Salem. Sessions may also be held at Shelburne Falls in Shelburne and Buckland at such times and places as the justice of said court may determine.
The district court of eastern Franklin, held at Orange; Athol, Orange, Erving, Warwick, Wendell, Leverett, Shutesbury and New Salem. Said court shall be held in Athol at least one day each week of the year. Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
HampdenThe district court of eastern Hampden, held at Palmer; Palmer, Brimfield, Hampden, Monson, Holland, Wales, Wilbraham, Ludlow and East Longmeadow.
The district court of western Hampden, held at Westfield and Chester; Westfield, Chester, Granville, Southwick, Russell, Blandford, Tolland, Montgomery and Agawam.
The district court of Chicopee, held at Chicopee; Chicopee. The district court of Holyoke, held at Holyoke; Holyoke.
The district court of Springfield, held at Springfield; Springfield, West Springfield and Longmeadow.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
HampshireThe district court of Hampshire, held at Northampton, Cummington, Huntington and Easthampton; Hampshire county, except Amherst, Belchertown, Granby, Hadley, South Hadley, Pelham and Ware and any violation of law committed on the land of the metropolitan district commission comprising the Quabbin reservation or used for the supply or protection of the Quabbin reservoir.
The district court of eastern Hampshire, held at Belchertown, Amherst, Granby, Hadley, South Hadley, Pelham, Ware, and any violation of law committed on the land under the care and control of the department of conservation and recreation comprising the Quabbin reservation or used for the supply or protection of the Quabbin reservoir.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
MiddlesexThe district court of central Middlesex, held at Concord; Concord, Acton, Bedford, Carlisle, Lincoln, Maynard, Stow, and Lexington.
The first district court of northern Middlesex, held at Ayer; Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Pepperell, Townsend, Ashby, Shirley, Westford, Littleton, Boxborough and the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone.
The first district court of eastern Middlesex, held at Malden; Malden, Wakefield, Melrose and Everett.
The second district court of eastern Middlesex, held at Waltham; Waltham, Watertown and Weston.
The third district court of eastern Middlesex, held at Cambridge; Cambridge, Arlington and Belmont.
The fourth district court of eastern Middlesex, held at Woburn; Woburn, Winchester, Burlington, Wilmington, Stoneham, Reading and North Reading.
The first district court of southern Middlesex, held at Framingham; Framingham, Ashland, Holliston, Sudbury, Wayland and Hopkinton.
The district court of Lowell, held at Lowell; Lowell, Billerica, Tewksbury, Dracut, Chelmsford and Tyngsborough.
The district court of Marlborough, held at Marlborough; Marlborough and Hudson.
The district court of Natick, held at Natick, Natick and Sherborn.
The district court of Newton, held at Newton; Newton.
The district court of Somerville, held at Somerville; Somerville and Medford.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
NantucketThe district court of Nantucket, held at Nantucket; Nantucket county.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of the above court of this county.
NorfolkThe district court of northern Norfolk, held at Dedham; Dedham, Dover, Norwood, Westwood, Medfield, Wellesley and Needham.
The district court of East Norfolk, held at Quincy; Quincy, Braintree, Cohasset, Weymouth, Holbrook, Randolph and Milton; and, in criminal cases, concurrently with the second district court of Plymouth, that part of Scituate described in chapter 394 of the acts of 1912. Arrests and service of process in such cases may be made by an officer qualified to serve criminal process in Cohasset.
The district court of southern Norfolk, held at Stoughton; Stoughton, Avon, Canton and Sharon.
The district court of Western Norfolk, held at Wrentham; Franklin, Walpole, Foxborough, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, Wrentham and Plainville.
The municipal court of Brookline, held at Brookline; Brookline.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
PlymouthThe second district court of Plymouth, held at Hingham; Hingham, Rockland, Hull, Hanover, Scituate and Norwell.
The third district court of Plymouth, held at Plymouth; Plymouth, Kingston, Plympton, Pembroke, Duxbury, Halifax, Hanson and Marshfield.
The fourth district court of Plymouth, held at Wareham; Middleborough, Wareham, Lakeville, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester and Carver.
The district court of Brockton, held at Brockton; Brockton, Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, Whitman, Abington and West Bridgewater. Said court may adjourn to the Massachusetts correction institution, Bridgewater, whenever the public convenience seems to the first justice to render such adjournment expedient.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
SuffolkThe central division of the Boston municipal court department, held at Boston; wards 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17 and 18 of Boston as they existed on February 1, 1882; and in criminal cases, concurrently with the Roxbury and Brighton divisions of the Boston municipal court department, the second and third district courts of eastern Middlesex and the district court of Newton, respectively, so much of the Charles river basin, as defined in section 2 of chapter 524 of the acts of 1909, as affected by chapter 245 of the general acts of 1916 as is within the districts of said courts.
The Brighton division of the Boston Municipal court department, held at Brighton in Boston; ward 25 of Boston as it existed on February 1, 1882.
The Charlestown division of the Boston municipal court department, held at Charlestown in Boston: wards 3, 4 and 5 of Boston as they existed on February 1, 1882; provided, however, that in criminal matters, said court shall have exclusive jurisdiction in that part of said wards which is in so much of the Charles river basin, as defined in section 2 of chapter 524 of the acts of 1909, as affected by chapter 245 of the general acts of 1916 under the care and control of the department of conservation and recreation as is within the districts of said court.
The district court of Chelsea, held at Chelsea; Chelsea, and Revere.
The Dorchester division of the Boston municipal court department, held at Dorchester in Boston; ward 24 of Boston as it existed on February 1, 1882, and the territory comprised within the limits of precinct 12 of ward 13 of Boston as it existed on November 2, 1948.
The East Boston division of the Boston municipal court department, held at East Boston in Boston; Winthrop and wards 1 and 2 of Boston as they existed on March 1, 1886; provided, however, that said court shall have territorial jurisdiction in matters that arise in the Sumner tunnel and Lieutenant William F. Callahan, Jr. tunnel, including any property, toll plazas and approach roads thereto under the ownership, care, custody and control of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority as provided in chapter 598 of the acts of 1958.
The Roxbury division of the Boston municipal court department, held at Roxbury in Boston; wards 19, 20, 21 and 22 of Boston as they existed on February 1, 1882, excepting ward 10, save as hereinafter provided, as it existed on February 1, 1976; provided, however, that, notwithstanding any other law, said court shall have jurisdiction over matters arising in precincts 1, 6 and 7 of ward 10.
The South Boston division of the Boston municipal court department, held at South Boston in Boston; wards 13, 14 and 15 of Boston as they existed on February 1, 1882.
The West Roxbury division of the Boston municipal court department, held at West Roxbury in Boston; ward 23 of Boston as it existed on February 1, 1882, the territory comprised within the limits of the former town of Hyde Park which was annexed to Boston by chapters 469 and 583 of the acts of 1911, and ward 10, except precincts 1, 6 and 7 of said ward 10, as existing on February 1, 1976.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county. The juvenile court located in the city of Boston, heretofore known as the Boston juvenile court, shall have the territorial jurisdiction provided in section 57 and, with respect to children in Suffolk county, shall have exclusive jurisdiction of petitions brought under said sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119.
WorcesterThe central district court of Worcester, held at Worcester; Worcester, Auburn and Millbury.
The first district court of northern Worcester, held at Gardner; Gardner, Petersham, Hubbardston and Westminster.
The first district court of eastern Worcester, held at Westborough and Grafton; Westborough, Grafton, Southborough, Northborough and Shrewsbury.
The second district court of eastern Worcester, held at Clinton; Clinton, Berlin, Bolton, Boylston, Harvard, Lancaster, Sterling and West Boylston.
The first district court of southern Worcester, held at Southbridge and Webster; Southbridge, Webster, Sturbridge, Charlton, Dudley and Oxford.
The second district court of southern Worcester, held at Uxbridge; Uxbridge, Blackstone, Douglas, Northbridge, Millville and Sutton.
The third district court of Southern Worcester, held at Milford; Milford, Mendon, Upton, Bellingham and Hopedale.
The district court of western Worcester, held at North Brookfield; East Brookfield, Brookfield, Spencer, North Brookfield, West Brookfield, Warren, Hardwick, Leicester, New Braintree, Barre, Oakham, Paxton and Rutland. Said court may adjourn to any town within its district other than North Brookfield whenever the public convenience seems to the presiding justice to render such adjournment expedient.
The district court of Fitchburg, held at Fitchburg; Fitchburg and Lunenburg.
The district court of Leominster, held at Leominster; Leominster, Holden and Princeton.
The district court at Winchendon, held at Winchendon; Winchendon, Ashburham, Phillipston, Royalston and Templeton.
Cases of delinquent children under sections 52 to 84, inclusive, of chapter 119 and petitions brought under sections 24 and 39E of said chapter 119 are excepted from the jurisdiction of all of the above courts of this county.
Each division of the district court department may be referred to by the name of the principal place for the holding of that court.
Chapter 218: Section 10. Assistant clerks Section 10. The clerk of a district court may, subject to the approval of the chief justice for administration and management as to compliance with personnel standards promulgated pursuant to section 8 of chapter 211B, appoint one or more assistant clerks for whose official acts the clerk shall be responsible, who shall be paid by him unless salaries payable by the commonwealth are authorized in this section or in section 53. In courts having one or more assistant clerks, the clerk may designate one as the first assistant clerk. An assistant clerk with salaries payable by the commonwealth may be appointed in courts the judicial districts of which have, according to the national census last preceding, a population of 60,000 or more, and in the following districts:district court of Greenfield;district court of southern Berkshire;district court of northern Berkshire;district court of eastern Essex;third district court of Essex;district court of Franklin;district court of eastern Franklin at Orange;district court of eastern Hampden;district court of western Hampden;district court of eastern Hampshire;district court of Marlborough;first district court of eastern Worcester;second district court of southern Worcester;third district court of Southern Worcester, provided, that said position shall only be designated to a trial court employee in said court currently performing the duties and functions of an assistant clerk and shall not be construed as adding any additional positions to the trial court.
Two assistant clerks with salaries payable by the commonwealth may be appointed in:district court of Chicopee;second district court of Barnstable;third district court of Barnstable;district court of central Berkshire;district court of Natick;district court of Holyoke;first district court of northern Middlesex;first district court of northern Worcester;second district court of eastern Worcester.
Three assistant clerks with salaries payable by the commonwealth may be appointed in:district court of Peabody;fourth district court of Bristol;district court of Fitchburg;first district court of southern Worcester;district court of western Worcester;district court of Leominster;first district court of Barnstable;district court of Hampshire;second district court of eastern Middlesex;district court of Newton;district court of Southern Norfolk;municipal court of Brookline;district court of central Middlesex.
Four assistant clerks with salaries payable by the commonwealth may be appointed in:fourth district court of eastern Middlesex;district court of northern Norfolk;third district court of Plymouth;district court of western Norfolk.
Five assistant clerks with salaries payable by the commonwealth may be appointed in:second district court of Plymouth;district court of Newburyport;first district court of eastern Middlesex;central district court of northern Essex;first district court of Bristol;district court of southern Essex;district court of Lawrence;third district court of Bristol.
Six assistant clerks with salaries payable by the commonwealth may be appointed in:second district court of Bristol;district court of Somerville;first district court of Essex;first district court of southern Middlesex.
Seven assistant clerks with salaries payable by the commonwealth may be appointed in:fourth district court of Plymouth;district court of Lowell;district court of Chelsea.
Eight assistant clerks with salaries payable by the commonwealth may be appointed in:district court of Brockton;district court of East Norfolk.
Nine assistant clerks with salaries payable by the commonwealth may be appointed in:central district court of Worcester.
Ten assistant clerks with salaries payable by the commonwealth may be appointed in:third district court of eastern Middlesex;district court of Springfield.
Assistant clerks who were appointed under authority of this section, who are paid by the commonwealth, and who have held said appointment for three consecutive years prior to the effective date of this act shall hold office during good behavior, but subject to applicable retirement laws, and may be removed from office under procedures authorized by section 8 of chapter 211B.
Each assistant clerk appointed prior to January 1, 1987 under the authority of this section and serving continuously in such appointment thereafter shall be entitled to 30 days vacation leave and 30 days sick leave in each calendar year. Any such assistant clerk may accumulate vacation and sick leave not used in any such year; provided, however, that the total amount of vacation days so accumulated shall not exceed 60 and the total amount of sick leave so accumulated shall not exceed 180 days; and provided, further, that no additional such days shall be accumulated on or after January 1, 1987 except in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to section 8 of chapter 211B. All other assistant clerks appointed under the authority of this section shall be entitled to vacation leave and sick leave in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to said section 8.
In the following courts, one of the assistant clerks shall be designated in charge of six-person jury sessions and shall be paid by the commonwealth in accordance with the job classification and pay plan established, subject to appropriation, by the chief justice of administration and management:district court of Somerville;district court of Chelsea;third district court of eastern Middlesex;the district court of Newton;district court of Lowell;first district court of southern Middlesex at Framingham;district court of East Norfolk;central district court of Worcester;district court of Newburyport;district court of Springfield;second district court of Plymouth.
In the district court of western Worcester, the central district court of Worcester, the district of Lowell, the district court of East Norfolk, the district court of Chelsea and the third district court of eastern Middlesex, the clerk may designate one of his assistant clerks as assistant clerk in charge of the remand list; said list being for the trial of all cases transferred to said court from the superior court under the provisions of section 102C of chapter 231. The salary of said assistant clerk shall be paid by the commonwealth in accordance with the job classification and pay plan established, subject to appropriation by the chief justice for administration and management.
Chapter 218: Section 10A. Deputy assistant clerks; power to designate Section 10A. The clerk of each district court, except the central division of the Boston municipal court department, may, designate such employees in his office, as in his judgment may be necessary for the convenience of the public, as deputy assistant clerks of said court, who shall have the same authority to administer oaths as an assistant clerk of a district court without receiving any extra compensation therefor.
Chapter 218: Section 11. Temporary assistant clerks Section 11. In case of the absence, death or removal of a salaried assistant clerk of the district court department and the Boston municipal court department, the clerk, subject to the approval of the chief justice for administration and management as to compliance with personnel standards promulgated pursuant to section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B, may appoint a temporary assistant clerk, to act until such assistant clerk resumes his duties or until the vacancy is filled. A temporary assistant clerk shall be paid by the commonwealth for each day’s service an amount equal to the rate by the day of the compensation of such assistant clerk as established by section eighty, but compensation so paid to a temporary assistant clerk for service, in excess of the number of days of vacation accumulated by the assistant clerk as provided in section ten in any one year, shall be deducted by the state treasurer from the salary of such assistant clerk; provided, however, that if an assistant clerk is absent due to his illness or physical disability for a period not exceeding the number of days of sick leave he has accumulated, no such deduction shall be made. Such thirty day sick leave or any portion thereof not used in any year may be accumulated, but shall, in any event, not exceed one hundred and eighty days in any consecutive six-year period.
Chapter 218: Section 12. Clerks; oath of office; duties and powers Section 12. The clerks, assistant clerks, temporary clerks and temporary assistant clerks of said courts shall be sworn, and in the case of any such assistant clerk, temporary clerk or temporary assistant clerk the oath of office may be administered by the justice or a special or associate justice of his court, who shall, upon administering the same, forthwith make return of such act with the date thereof to the state secretary. They or one of them shall attend all sessions of the court and shall keep a record of all its proceedings. The clerks shall have the care and custody of all the records, books and papers appertaining to, or filed or deposited in, their respective offices. A clerk may make and issue writs and processes, shall make returns of the court, tax bills of costs and receive fines, forfeitures, fees and costs accruing from the civil and criminal business of the court, including fees for blanks and copies.
Chapter 218: Section 13. Records; storage Section 13. The records, papers and documents of the district courts may, subject to the approval of the supervisor of public records, be stored and kept in fireproof rooms, vaults and safes, provided by the commonwealth in the towns where the divisions are respectively situated, or in the courthouses.
Chapter 218: Section 14. Facsimile signatures Section 14. Clerks and assistant clerks of district courts may sign process issued by the said courts, and court records, documents or other legal papers, or copies thereof, relating to criminal, delinquent, wayward and neglected cases made or issued by such clerks or assistant clerks in conformity with law, except search warrants and process authorizing arrests or commitments, by imprinting thereon a facsimile of the signature of the clerk or assistant clerk; and such facsimile signatures shall have the same validity as their written signatures.
Complaints for violations of the parking law, brought under section twenty A or section twenty C of chapter ninety, may be signed by the complainant by imprinting thereon a facsimile of his signature. Said facsimile signature shall have the same validity as his written signature.
Chapter 218: Section 15. Times for holding trials; office hours Section 15. The chief justice for the district court department, and the chief justice for the Boston municipal court department, shall prescribe the times for holding civil and criminal trials in their respective departments, and the divisions thereof, except where such times are established by law, and the hours when their respective departments, and divisions, shall open for the transaction of business, and shall also prescribe reasonable office hours for the clerks of their respective divisions, during which hours the offices of such clerks shall be open, and may authorize such clerks to operate their offices on Saturdays with reduced personnel. Such hours shall be fixed with reference to the business of said divisions and the convenience of the public and of attorneys, and notice thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the offices of the respective clerks. Clerks shall also keep their offices open whenever the court so orders.
Chapter 218: Section 16. Bond of clerk Section 16. The clerk of a division of the district court department before entering upon the performance of his official duties, and thereafter, at intervals of not more than one year, so long as he continues to hold such office, shall give to the commonwealth a bond, conditioned to perform faithfully his official duties, with a surety company authorized to transact business in the commonwealth, as surety, in a sum approved by the chief justice of the district court department, but in no event less than five thousand dollars. Failure to give such bond shall be sufficient cause for his removal.
Chapter 218: Section 17. Justice, clerk or assistant clerk; restrictions on practice of law; special justices; restrictions on hearing or trying cases Section 17. A justice, clerk or assistant clerk of a district court shall not be retained or employed as an attorney in an action, complaint or proceeding pending in the court to which he is appointed, or which has been examined or tried therein; and a special justice shall not be so retained or employed in any case in which he acts or has acted as justice. No justice or special justice shall hear or try any case or proceeding in any court of the district court department, if he shall know that a partner or office associate of his has been directly or indirectly retained or employed as an attorney in such case or proceeding. No special justice shall practice in a criminal session of any court in the commonwealth nor shall he practice at all in the court, or predecessor district court, to which he is appointed.
Chapter 218: Section 18. Justices and clerks; receipt of certain fees; prohibition Section 18. A justice, special justice acting in the place of the justice, clerk or assistant clerk of a district court shall not receive any fee or compensation to his own use, other than his regular salary or allowance, for making complaints or issuing in any capacity warrants, subpoenas or other criminal processes which he is authorized to issue, or for any official services performed by him in court. A clerk or assistant clerk shall not receive, in addition to his salary, any fee or compensation for making out bail papers, or for admitting a prisoner to bail while the court is in session or during the hours when his office is required to be open.
Chapter 218: Section 19. General provisions [Text of section applicable as provided by 2004, 252, Sec. 23.
] Section 19. Except as otherwise provided by law, the district court and Boston municipal court departments shall have original jurisdiction of civil actions for money damages. The actions may proceed in the courts only if there is no reasonable likelihood that recovery by the plaintiff will exceed $25,000, or an amount ordered from time to time by the supreme judicial court. Where multiple damages are allowed by law, the amount of single damages claimed shall control. Notwithstanding the limitation of $25,000, or other amount ordered by the supreme judicial court, the district courts may proceed with actions for money damages in any amount in summary process actions. The Boston municipal and district court departments shall have original jurisdiction concurrent with the probate and family court department of actions relative to paternity and support under chapter two hundred and nine C. The district courts shall also have jurisdiction of actions in summary process under chapter two hundred and thirty-nine and in the hearing and disposition of such actions shall have the same equitable powers and jurisdiction as is provided for the divisions of the housing court department pursuant to section three of chapter one hundred and eighty-five C. The Boston municipal and district court departments shall have original jurisdiction concurrent with the probate and family court department of proceedings under chapter two hundred and nine D. They shall have jurisdiction of proceedings transferred to them under the provisions of section four A of chapter two hundred and eleven.
Chapter 218: Section 19A. District court or Boston municipal court; statement of facts in support of civil action for damages; dismissal; appeals [Text of section applicable as provided by 2004, 252, Sec. 23.
] Section 19A. (a) A clerk-magistrate in a district court or in the Boston municipal court shall not accept for filing any complaint or other pleading which commences a civil action for money damages, except as otherwise provided by law, unless it is accompanied by a statement signed by the attorney or pro se party. The statement shall specify the facts on which the plaintiff then relies to determine money damages. The defendant may file with his answer a statement specifying the potential damages which may result if the plaintiff prevails.
(b) If it appears to the court from the statement of damages by the plaintiff that there is no reasonable likelihood that the estimated damages will be consistent with the civil money damage limits of the court, as set forth in section 19, the judge, after receiving written responses from the parties and after a hearing, if requested by any party, may dismiss the case without prejudice for failure to comply with the requirements of said section 19 regarding the amount necessary for proceeding in the district court or Boston municipal court departments. The filing fee in the dismissed actions shall be retained by the court. If a civil action is dismissed in the superior court pursuant to section 3A of chapter 212, and the action is recommenced in the district court or Boston municipal court, those courts shall not require the payment of a new filing fee. If an action commenced in the district court or Boston municipal court departments is dismissed as provided herein and is recommenced in the superior court, the filing fee shall be reduced by the amount of the filing fee previously paid to attempt to commence the same action in the district court or the Boston municipal court. The procedures provided herein for dismissal of an action for violation of the requirements regarding the amount necessary to proceed in the district court or Boston municipal court departments under section 19 shall be the exclusive method by which the dismissal may be ordered. Violation of the requirements for proceeding in the district court or Boston municipal court departments shall not deprive the court of jurisdiction and shall not be grounds for any post-judgment relief in any case.
(c) In any case where a district court or the Boston municipal court dismisses the case as provided in this section, the plaintiff may take an appeal as hereinafter provided. The appeal shall be to a single justice of the appeals court at the next sitting thereof. Upon being notified of the dismissal, the plaintiff shall have 7 days thereafter to file a notice of appeal with the clerk of the dismissing court. Upon receipt of notice of appeal timely filed, the clerk shall forthwith notify the judge who ordered the dismissal. Within 3 days of receipt of the notice, the judge who ordered the dismissal shall set forth written findings and reasons justifying the dismissal, which findings and rulings shall be part of the record on appeal. The clerk shall forward the pleading which commenced the civil action, all statements by the parties, specifying in detail the potential damages if the plaintiff prevails, the judge’s written findings and reasons justifying the dismissal and any other documents on file relevant to the appeal to the clerk of the appeals court. Upon receipt thereof, the clerk of the appeals court shall set the matter down for a speedy hearing and send notice to the parties. The court dismissing the case may, with or without motion, issue an order or process to preserve the rights of the parties pending the appeal. The single justice of the appeals court may enter or revoke that order or process. The decision of the single justice of the appeals court as to the dismissal shall be final.
(d) Notwithstanding chapter 260 or any other applicable statutes of limitation, in a civil action under this section in which a plaintiff’s case has been dismissed as provided in this section, the plaintiff shall be given 30 days after the date of receipt of the notice of dismissal or, in the case of an appeal from the dismissal, 30 days after the date of receipt of notice of the decision of the single justice of the appeals court to file the case in the appropriate court; if the commencement of the dismissed case was within the applicable statute of limitations. The 30-day time limit in this section shall apply only when the time permitted under the applicable statute of limitations would have expired at any time from the original commencement of the action to the end of the 30-day period.
Chapter 218: Section 19B. District court or Boston municipal court; trial by jury of six; appeals [Text of section applicable as provided by 2004, 252, Sec. 23.
] Section 19B. (a) Except as otherwise provided by law, all civil actions for money damages, or summary process actions, filed in a district court or the Boston municipal court shall be subject to 1 trial, with or without a jury of 6, in the district court department or in the Boston municipal court department. Any party may demand a trial by jury of 6 of any issue triable of right by a jury by serving upon the other parties a demand therefor in writing after the commencement of the action. The demand may be endorsed upon a pleading of the demanding party. The failure of a party to serve and file a demand for jury trial shall constitute a waiver by that party of trial by jury. In any case in which a party has filed a timely demand for a jury trial, the action shall not be designated upon the docket as a jury action until after the completion of a pretrial conference, a hearing on the results of the conference and until the disposition of any pretrial discovery motion and compliance with any order of the court pursuant to the motions.
(b) The district court and Boston municipal court departments may hold jury of 6 sessions for the purpose of conducting jury trials of summary process cases and of civil actions for money damages proceeding in those courts pursuant to the provisions of section 19. The chief justice for the district court department shall designate at least 1 district court in each county for the purpose of conducting jury trials; but, with the approval of the chief justice for the superior court department, facilities of the superior court may be designated by the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court for the conduct of jury trials in cases commenced in the district courts or in the Boston municipal court. If necessary, facilities of any department of the trial court may be designated by the chief justice for administration and management for trial by jury of civil cases from the district court or the Boston municipal court. The chief justice for the district court department may also designate 1 or more district courts in any county for the purpose of conducting jury waived trials of cases commenced in any district court of the county consistent with the requirements of the proper administration of justice. Persons in district courts who waive their right to jury trial shall be provided a jury waived trial in the same district court if the jury waived trial session has been established in the court. If the jury waived trial session has not been so established, the parties shall be provided a jury waived trial in a court as hereinbefore designated. Parties in the district courts who claim a jury trial shall be provided a jury trial in a jury of 6 session in the same court if a jury of 6 session has been established in that court. If a jury of 6 session has not been so established, the parties shall be provided jury trials in a jury of 6 session as hereinbefore designated. In cases where the parties claim a jury trial, the clerk shall, subject to subsection (a), forthwith transfer the case for trial in the appropriate jury session. The transfer shall be governed by procedures to be established by the chief justices of the district court and Boston municipal court departments.
(c) The justice presiding over a jury of 6 session shall have and exercise all powers and duties which a justice sitting in the superior court department has and may exercise in the trial and disposition of civil cases including the power to report questions of law to the appeals court. Trials by juries of 6 shall proceed in accordance with the law applicable to trials by jury in the superior court; but the number of peremptory challenges shall be limited to 2 to each party. Jurors shall be provided for the jury of 6 session by the office of the jury commissioner in accordance with chapter 234A. If necessary, the superior court shall make available jurors from the pool of jurors for the jury sessions in either civil or criminal sessions in the superior court. The chief justices of the district court and Boston municipal court departments shall arrange for the sittings of the jury sessions and shall assign justices thereto, so that speedy trials may be provided. Review may be had by the appropriate appellate division pursuant to section 108 of chapter 231, and thereafter by the appeals court.
(d) The justice presiding at the jury of 6 session may, upon the request of a party, appoint a stenographer; provided, however, that where the party claims indigency, the appointment is determined to be reasonably necessary in accordance with chapter 261; and provided, further, that the court electronic recording system is not available or not properly functioning. The stenographer shall be sworn, shall take stenographic notes of all the testimony given at the trial and shall provide the parties thereto with a transcript of the notes or any part thereof taken at the trial or hearing for which the stenographer shall be paid by the party requesting it at the rates fixed by the chief justices for the district court or Boston municipal court departments; but the rate shall not exceed the rate provided by section 88 of chapter 221. The chief justices may make regulations consistent with law relative to the assignments, duties and services of stenographers appointed for sessions in their respective departments and any other matter relative to stenographers. The compensation and expenses of the appointed stenographers shall be paid by the commonwealth. The request for the appointment of a stenographer to preserve the testimony at a trial shall be given to the clerk of the court by a party, in writing, no later than 48 hours before the proceeding for which the stenographer has been requested. The party may file with such request an affidavit of indigency and request for payment by the commonwealth of the cost of the transcript and the court shall hold a hearing on the request before appointing a stenographer in those cases where the party will be unable to pay the cost. The hearing shall be governed by chapter 261 and the cost of the transcript shall be considered an extra cost as provided therein. If the court is unable, for any reason, to provide a stenographer, the proceedings may be recorded by electronic means. The original recording of proceedings in a district court or in the Boston municipal court made with a recording device under the exclusive control of the court shall be the official record of the proceedings. The record or a copy of all or a part thereof, certified by the appropriate chief justice or his designee, to be an accurate electronic reproduction of the record or part thereof, or a typewritten transcript of all or a part of the record or copy thereof, certified to be accurate by the court or by the preparer of the transcript, or stipulated to by the parties, shall be admissible in any court as evidence of testimony given whenever proof of the testimony is otherwise competent. A party may request payment by the commonwealth of the cost of the transcript subject to the same provisions regarding a transcript of a stenographer as hereinbefore provided.
(e) Any party who files in a district court or in the Boston municipal court an appeal to the appellate division, in a civil action subject to this section, within 10 days of the entry of judgment or within the further time as the justice orders for cause shown allows, shall also file a bond executed by the party or attorney of record on such party’s behalf, payable to the appellee in a reasonable sum and with surety or sureties approved by the appellee or by the justice or clerk or assistant clerk of the district court or Boston municipal court, conditioned to satisfy any judgment for costs which may be entered against the appellant upon the appeal. Any party, in lieu of filing the bond required for an appeal to the appellate division, may deposit with the clerk, within the time required for filing a bond, a reasonable amount to be fixed by the clerk or justice, as security for the prosecution of the appeal and the payment of costs. A certificate of the deposit shall be issued to the depositor by the clerk of the court who shall hold the deposit until the final disposition of the case when the clerk shall apply the deposit to the satisfaction of any costs awarded against the depositor and pay the balance, if any, to the depositor or the depositor’s legal representative. A bond or deposit shall not be required of the commonwealth or any officer or employee thereof represented by the attorney general, or of a county, city, town or other municipal corporation, or of a board, officer or employee thereof represented by the city solicitor, town counsel or other officer having similar duties, or of a political subdivision, or of a party who has given bond according to law to dissolve an attachment or of a defendant in an action of tort arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use of a motor vehicle or trailer as defined in section 1 of chapter 90 if the payment of any judgment for costs which may be entered against him is secured, in whole or in part, by a motor vehicle liability bond or policy or a deposit as provided in section 34D of said chapter 90 and the court may, in any case, for cause shown, after notice to adverse parties, order that no bond be given.
Chapter 218: Section 19C. District court jurisdiction; equity powers and rules [First paragraph applicable as provided by 2004, 252, Sec. 23.
] Section 19C. The district court and Boston municipal court departments of the trial court shall have the same equitable powers and jurisdiction as is provided for the superior court pursuant to chapter 214 and the same authority with regard to declaratory judgments as is provided for the superior court pursuant to chapter 231A for the purpose of the hearing and disposition of summary process actions and of civil actions for money damages under section 19 of this chapter.
The district courts shall have original jurisdiction in rem and personam of all actions arising under sections one hundred and twenty-seven A to one hundred and twenty-seven K, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and eleven. The district courts shall have equity powers only to the extent necessary to enforce the aforementioned sections, including the power to appoint receivers, grant injunctions and issue restraining orders as justice and equity may require and for punishing civil contempt of orders, rulings and decrees made or pronounced in the exercise of this jurisdiction.
Subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court, the chief justice for the district court department may from time to time promulgate rules and prescribe forms for the efficient operation of such equity sessions in the courts of the district court department; and in the Boston municipal court department the chief justice for said department may promulgate such rules and prescribe such forms.
Chapter 218: Section 19D. Housing specialists; appointment; knowledge requisites; powers and duties Section 19D. The first justice of a district court may appoint, subject to appropriation, and subject to the approval of the chief justice of the district court department, such number of housing specialists as the first justice of said department may from time to time determine. The first justice may designate one of them as chief housing specialist for the court. All housing specialists shall hold office at the pleasure of the first justice of the district court, subject, however, to retirement under the provisions of any applicable general or special law relative to retirement systems. All housing specialists shall be knowledgeable in the maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation of dwelling units; the problems of landlord and tenant as they pertain to dwelling units; the types of funds and services available to assist landlords and tenants in the financing and resolution of such problems; the federal and state laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of such units; and the financing and resolution of such problems. The housing specialists shall have such powers and perform such duties as the first justice of the district court shall from time to time prescribe with regard to actions pending before the court under chapter two hundred and thirty-nine. Every housing specialist shall be sworn by the first justice of the district court, who shall, upon administering the oath, forthwith make return of such act with the date thereof to the state secretary.
Chapter 218: Section 2. Boston municipal courts; concurrent jurisdiction over waters and islands Section 2. The municipal courts in Boston shall have concurrent jurisdiction over all waters, islands and places not included in the district of any one of said courts or of the district court of Chelsea, and within the jurisdiction of the superior court for Suffolk county, except as provided in the preceding and following sections.
Chapter 218: Section 20. Actions against executors and administrators, and against bail Section 20. District courts shall also have jurisdiction of civil actions against executors and administrators under section ten of chapter two hundred and thirty, and shall further have jurisdiction of civil actions against bail taken in a civil action in the district courts.
Chapter 218: Section 21. Power to establish rules of procedure; venue; jurisdictional amount; hearings; damages and penalties Section 21. There shall be within the district court department and the Boston municipal court department a simple, informal and inexpensive procedure, hereinafter called the procedure, for the determination, according to the rules of substantive law, of claims in the nature of contract or tort, other than slander and libel, in which the plaintiff does not claim as debt or damages more than two thousand dollars; provided, however, that said dollar limitation shall not apply to an action for property damage caused by a motor vehicle, and for a review of judgments upon such claims when justice so requires. The procedure shall not be exclusive, but shall be alternative to the formal procedure for civil actions begun by summons and complaint.
The chief justice for the district court department shall make uniform rules with respect to the procedure applicable to all the courts within said department, and the chief justice for the Boston municipal court department shall make rules for the Boston municipal court department, all such rules being subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court.
Actions under this section and sections twenty-two to twenty-five inclusive, shall be brought, at the option of the plaintiff, in the judicial district where either the plaintiff or the defendant lives or has his usual place of business or employment; provided, however, that actions brought against a landlord or lessor of land or tenements rented for residential purposes, and arising out of such property or rental, may also be brought in the judicial district in which the property is located.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, each court within the district court department shall have civil jurisdiction of such actions commenced in such court which should have been brought in some other court, to the extent that the action may be heard and disposed of by the court in which it was begun, if the venue of said action is waived or, if venue requirements are not waived, the court may, on motion of any party, order the action, with all papers relating thereto, transferred for hearing and disposition to the court in which the action should have been commenced. Said action shall thereupon be entered and prosecuted in such court as if it had originally commenced therein, and all prior proceedings otherwise regularly taken shall thereafter be valid. An action may be commenced under this section if the initial amount of damages claimed is two thousand dollars or less or is an action for property damage caused by a motor vehicle regardless of the amount of the claims notwithstanding that the court may award double or treble damages in accordance with the provisions of any general or special law.
Actions brought under sections twenty-one to twenty-five, inclusive, may be heard in the first instance by a clerk-magistrate of the district court department or the Boston municipal court department. For the purpose of hearing such property damage claims caused by a motor vehicle the procedure established shall provide for all such claims to be heard on one evening every other week, and on one Saturday on the alternative week, unless otherwise agreed to by all parties in such actions in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-four O of chapter ninety.
In the hearing and disposition of any claim for money damages within the jurisdiction of such procedure, the Boston municipal and district court departments shall have all equity powers and jurisdiction conferred by sections one, one A and two, and clause (1) of section three of chapter two hundred and fourteen.
Chapter 218: Section 22. Procedure Section 22. The procedure shall include the beginning of actions with an entry fee of $20 for claims of $500 for less and $30 for claims of greater than $500, plus the surcharge required by section four C of chapter two hundred and sixty-two, but without summons and complaint and without requirement, except by special order of court, of any pleading other than a concise written statement of the claim. The procedure shall include notice by first class mail instead of the mode of service heretofore required, and shall include provisions for early hearing. The procedure may include the modification of any or all rules of pleading and practice, anything contained in other chapters, sections or acts notwithstanding, and may include a stay of the entry of judgment or of the issue of execution and authority in the court, in its discretion, after proper inquiry, to order payment to the prevailing party of the amount found due on or before a day stated or by instalments, to modify, extend or vacate such order and, in its discretion, to enforce such order by contempt proceedings, substantially in the manner provided in chapter two hundred and twenty-four, and to provide therefor in the rules for the procedure. Said rules for the procedure may provide for the elimination of any or all fees and costs, and that costs shall be in the discretion of the court. In causes begun under the procedure, the court may on application for cause shown issue writs of attachment of property.
At the commencement of an action under the procedure the plaintiff shall be informed that such action may be submitted for mediation and resolution at the request of either party and with the agreement of both parties. The clerk-magistrate shall make appropriate note of any agreement so reached, and entry of judgment shall be made by the court. Any action which is not resolved by agreement may, at the request of any party, be heard by a clerk-magistrate under the provisions of sections twenty-one to twenty-five, inclusive; provided, however, that cases heard before a jury of six must be heard by a justice.
Chapter 218: Section 23. Initial determination of cause; removal; claim for trial by jury; bond or deposit; finding as evidence; report to appellate division Section 23. Every cause begun under the procedure shall be determined initially in the district court department. No such cause may be removed for trial in the superior court department. In any action for property damage caused by a motor vehicle where the action is transferred to the regular civil docket in the district court department by the insurer and the unpaid party recovers a judgment for any amount due and payable by the insurer, the court shall assess against the insurer in addition thereto, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
A plaintiff beginning a cause under the procedure shall be deemed to have waived a trial by jury and any right of appeal to a jury of six session in the district court department. If, however, said cause shall be appealed to a jury of six session in the district court department by the defendant as hereinafter provided, the plaintiff shall have the same right to claim a trial by a jury of six.
The defendant may, within ten days after receipt of the magistrate’s finding, file in the court where the cause was determined a claim of trial by jury, or in the alternative for a trial before a single justice and shall file his affidavit that there are questions of law and fact in the cause requiring a trial by jury or a single justice, with the specifications thereof, and that such trial is intended in good faith.
Trials by jury of six in the district court department shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of law applicable to trials by jury in the superior court department, except that each party shall be entitled to two preemptory challenges. Jurors shall be drawn from the pool of jurors available for the jury sessions in civil cases in the superior court department.
The chief justice of the district court department shall designate at least one court in each region for the purpose of hearing cases where a claim for trial by a jury of six or by a single justice is entered. Claims for trial by a jury of six or by a single justice from courts within Suffolk county shall be held in the Boston municipal court department or district courts in Suffolk county or, with the approval of the chief justice of the district court department, may be held in those district courts whose judicial districts adjoin Suffolk county as are designated by said chief justice. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the chief justice for administration and management may designate the facilities of any other department of the trial court for trial by jury of six or by a single justice in the district court department or the Boston municipal court department. The Boston municipal court department shall be authorized to hear such appeals for the district courts in Suffolk county.
A defendant’s claim for trial by jury or by a single justice shall be accompanied by twenty-five dollars for the entry of the cause in the court of the department to which the case has been appealed, and a bond in the penal sum of one hundred dollars, with such surety or sureties as may be approved by the plaintiff or the clerk or an assistant clerk of the district court department, payable to the other party or parties to the cause, conditioned to satisfy any judgment and costs which may be entered against him in the jury of six proceeding or a proceeding before a single justice in said cause waiting thirty days after the entry thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in any action brought by a tenant of residential premises pursuant to the provisions of section fifteen B of chapter one hundred and eighty-six, bond shall be given in an amount equal to three times the amount of the security deposit or balance thereof to which the tenant is entitled, plus interest at the rate of five percent from the date when such payment became due, together with court costs and an amount equal to a reasonable attorney’s fee for service which had been performed by an attorney, if any, or which may be expected to be performed by an attorney during the pendency of the appeal.
The clerk shall forthwith transmit such original papers or attested copies thereof as the rules for the procedure may provide, and the court of the department to which the case has been appealed may require pleadings pursuant to the District/Municipal Courts Rules of Civil Procedure, but the cause may be marked for trial on the list of causes advanced for speedy trial by jury. A finding for the plaintiff in the district court department shall be prima facie evidence for the plaintiff in the trial by jury of six or before a single justice. At such trial the plaintiff may, but need not, introduce evidence.
No bond shall be required of a county, town or other municipal corporation, or of a board, officer or employee thereof represented by the city solicitor, town counsel or other officer having similar duties, or of a political subdivision, or of a party who has given bond according to law to dissolve an attachment or of a defendant in an action of tort arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use of a motor vehicle or trailer as defined in section one of chapter ninety if the payment of any judgement for costs which may be entered against him is secured, in whole or in part, by a motor vehicle liability bond or policy or a deposit as provided in section thirty-four D of chapter ninety.
The court shall waive the requirement of a bond in the amount of one hundred dollars if it is satisfied that the defendant has insufficient funds available to him to furnish the necessary bond and that the defendant’s appeal is not frivolous.
No party to a cause under the procedure shall be entitled to a report. If the court is of the opinion that a question of law requires review, it may submit the matter, in the form of a report of a case stated, to the appellate division.
A judgment in an action for property damage caused by a motor vehicle commenced under the procedure shall not have a res judicata, collateral estoppel or other preclusive effect on any other action arising out of the same cause of action.
Chapter 218: Section 24. Transfer to regular docket Section 24. The court may, in its discretion, transfer a cause begun under the procedure to the regular civil docket for formal hearing and determination as though it had been begun by summons and complaint, and may impose terms upon such transfer.
Chapter 218: Section 25. Costs; discretion of court Section 25. In any civil action begun by summons and complaint which might have been begun under the procedure, the rules for the procedure may provide, or the court may by special order direct, that the cost to be recovered by the plaintiff, if he prevails, shall be eliminated in whole or in part.
Chapter 218: Section 26. General provisions Section 26. The district courts and divisions of the Boston municipal court department shall have original jurisdiction, concurrent with the superior court, of the following offenses, complaint of which shall be brought in the court of the district court department, or in the Boston municipal court department, as the case may be, within which judicial district the offense was allegedly committed or is otherwise made punishable:— all violations of by-laws, orders, ordinances, rules and regulations, made by cities, towns and public officers, all misdemeanors, except libels, all felonies punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five-years, the crimes listed in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of section eight of chapter ninety B, subparagraph (1) of paragraph (a) of subdivision (1) of section twenty-four, paragraph (a) of section twenty-four G and paragraph (1) of section twenty-four L of chapter ninety, paragraph (a) of section thirty-two and paragraph (a) of section thirty-two A of chapter ninety-four C, and section thirty-two J of chapter ninety-four C, section one hundred and thirty-one E of chapter one hundred and forty, sections thirteen K, fifteen A and twenty-one A of chapter two hundred and sixty-five and sections sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-eight, thirty, forty-nine and one hundred and twenty-seven of chapter two hundred and sixty-six, and sections one, fifteen and fifteen A of chapter two hundred and seventy-three, and the crimes of malicious destruction of personal property under section one hundred and twenty-seven of chapter two hundred and sixty-six, indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen years of age, intimidation of a witness or juror under section thirteen B of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight, escape or attempt to escape from any penal institution, forgery of a promissory note, or of an order for money or other property, and of uttering as true such a forged note or order, knowing the same to be forged. They shall have jurisdiction of proceedings referred to them under the provisions of section four A of chapter two hundred and eleven.
Chapter 218: Section 26A. Trial by jury; discovery; jury-waived trial; record of proceedings; probation Section 26A. Trial of criminal offenses in the Boston municipal court department and in the district court department shall be by a jury of six persons, unless the defendant files a written waiver and consent to be tried by the court without a jury. Such waiver shall not be received unless the defendant is represented by counsel or has filed a written waiver of counsel. No decision on such waiver shall be received until after the completion of a pretrial conference and a hearing on the results of such conference and until after the disposition of any pretrial discovery motions and compliance with any order of the court pursuant to said motions. Such waiver shall be filed in accordance with the provisions of section six of chapter two hundred and sixty-three; provided, however, that defense counsel shall execute a certificate signed by said counsel indicating that he has made all the necessary explanations and determinations regarding such waiver. The form of such certificate shall be prescribed by the chief justice for the district court department.
In the Boston municipal court department and the district court department upon the motion of a defendant consistent with criminal procedure, or upon the court’s own motion, the judge shall issue an order of discovery requiring any information to which the defendant is entitled and also requiring that the defendant be permitted to discover, inspect, and copy any material and relevant evidence, documents, statements of persons, or reports of physical or mental examinations of any person or of scientific tests or experiments, within the possession, custody, or control of the prosecutor or persons under his direction and control. Upon motion of the defendant the judge shall order the production by the commonwealth of the names and addresses of the prospective witnesses and the production by the probation department of the record of prior convictions of any such witness.
Trial by jury in the Boston municipal court department and the district court department shall be in those jury sessions designated in accordance with section twenty-seven A. Where the defendant has properly filed a waiver and consented to be tried without a jury, as hereinbefore provided, trial shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of law applicable to jury-waived trials in the superior court; provided, however, that at the option of the defendant, the trial may be before a judge who has not rejected an agreed recommendation or dispositional request made by the defendant pursuant to the provisions of section eighteen of chapter two hundred and seventy-eight. Review in such cases may be had directly by the appeals court, by appeal, report or otherwise in the same manner provided for trials of criminal cases in the superior court.
The justice presiding over such jury-waived trial in the Boston municipal court department or the district court department shall have and exercise all of the powers and duties which a justice sitting in the superior court department has and may exercise in the trial and disposition of criminal cases including the power to report questions of law to the appeals court, but in no case may he impose a sentence to the state prison.
The justice presiding at such jury-waived session in the Boston municipal court department or the district court department shall, upon the request of the defendant, appoint a stenographer; provided, however, that where the defendant claims indigency, such appointment is determined to be reasonably necessary in accordance with the provisions of sections twenty-seven A to twenty-seven G, inclusive, of chapter two hundred and sixty-one. Such stenographer shall be sworn, and shall take stenographic notes of all the testimony given at the trial, and shall provide the parties thereto with a transcript of his notes or any part thereof taken at the trial or hearing for which he shall be paid by the party requesting it at the rate fixed by the chief justice of the Boston municipal court department or for the district court department as the case may be; and provided, further, that such rate shall not exceed the rate provided by section eighty-eight of chapter two hundred and twenty-one. Said chief justice may make regulations not inconsistent with law relative to the assignments, duties and services of stenographers appointed for sessions in his department and any other matter relative to stenographers. The compensation and expenses of a stenographer shall be paid by the commonwealth.
The request for the appointment of a stenographer to preserve the testimony at a trial in the Boston municipal court department or district court department shall be given to the clerk of the court by the defendant in writing no later than forty-eight hours prior to the proceeding for which the stenographer has been requested. The defendant shall file with such request an affidavit of indigency and request for payment by the commonwealth of the cost of the transcript and the court shall hold a hearing on such request prior to appointing a stenographer, in those cases where the defendant alleges that he will be unable to pay said cost. Said hearing shall be governed by the provisions of sections twenty-seven A to twenty-seven G, inclusive, of chapter two hundred and sixty-one, and the cost of such transcript shall be considered an extra cost as provided therein. If the court is unable, for any reason, to provide a stenographer, the proceedings may be recorded by electronic means. The original recording of proceedings in the Boston municipal court department or of a division of the district court department made with a recording device under the exclusive control of the court shall be the official record of such proceedings. Said record or a copy of all or a part thereof, certified by the chief justice for the Boston municipal court department or a district court department, or his designee, to be an accurate electronic reproduction of said record or part thereof, or a typewritten transcript of all or a part of said record or copy thereof, certified to be accurate by the court or by the preparer of said transcript, or stipulated to by the parties, shall be admissible in any court as evidence of testimony given whenever proof of such testimony is otherwise competent. The defendant may request payment by the commonwealth of the cost of said transcript subject to the same provisions regarding a transcript of a stenographer as provided hereinbefore.
In any case heard in a jury waived session in the Boston municipal court department or a district court department where a defendant is placed on probation or placed under probation supervision, he shall thereafter be supervised by the probation officer of the court in which the case originated, unless the trial justice shall order otherwise and unless the regulations of the commissioner of probation provide otherwise.
Chapter 218: Section 27. Imposition of penalties Section 27. The district court may impose the same penalties as the superior court for all crimes of which they have jurisdiction, except that they may not impose a sentence to the state prison; provided, however, that the divisions of the juvenile court department shall have the authority to hear cases and impose penalties in accordance with the provisions of sections fifty-two through eighty-four of chapter one hundred and nineteen, and section one through nineteen of chapter one hundred and twenty.
Chapter 218: Section 27A. Jury sessions Section 27A. (a) Every division of the district court department is authorized to hold jury sessions for the purpose of conducting jury trials of cases commenced in the several courts of criminal offenses over which the district courts have original jurisdiction under the provisions of section twenty-six. The Boston municipal court department shall also be authorized for the purpose of conducting jury trials in cases commenced in said department and for the purpose of conducting jury trials of cases commenced in the divisions of the district court department in Suffolk county.
(b) The chief justice for the district court department shall designate at least one division in each county or an adjoining county for the purpose of conducting jury trials; provided, however, that jury trials in cases commenced in the courts within Suffolk county shall be held in the Boston municipal court department or district courts in Suffolk county or with the approval of the chief justice, may be held in such divisions of the district court department the judicial districts of which adjoin Suffolk county as are designated by said chief justice; and jury trials in cases commenced in the divisions for Dukes county and Nantucket county may be held in Barnstable county or Bristol county; and provided further that, with the approval of the chief justice for the superior court department, facilities of said superior court may be designated by the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court for jury trials in cases commenced in the district court department or in the Boston municipal court department. Jurors shall be drawn from the county in which trial is held.
The chief justice of the district court department may also designate one or more divisions in each county for the purpose of conducting jury-waived trials of cases commenced in any court of said county consistent with the requirements of the proper administration of justice.
(c) A defendant in any division of the district court who waives his right to jury trial as provided in section twenty-six A shall be provided a jury-waived trial in the same division.
A defendant in any division of the district court who does not waive his right to jury trial as provided in section twenty-six A shall be provided a jury trial in a jury session in the same division if such has been established in said division. If such session has not been so established, the defendant shall be provided a jury trial in a jury session as hereinbefore designated. In cases where the defendant declines to waive the right to jury trial, the clerk shall forthwith transfer the case for trial in the appropriate jury session. Such transfer shall be governed by procedures to be established by the chief justice for the district court department.
(d) The justice presiding over a jury session shall have and exercise all the powers and duties which a justice sitting in the superior court department has and may exercise in the trial and disposition of criminal cases including the power to report questions of law to the appeals court, but in no case may he impose a sentence to the state prison. No justice so sitting shall act in a case in which he has sat or held an inquest or otherwise taken part in any proceeding therein.
(e) Trials by juries of six persons shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of law applicable to trials by jury in the superior court except that the number of peremptory challenges shall be limited to two to each defendant. The commonwealth shall be entitled to as many challenges as equal the whole number to which all the defendants in the case entitled.
(f) For the jury sessions, jurors shall be provided by the office of the jury commissioner in accordance with the provisions of chapter two hundred and thirty-four A.
(g) The district attorney for the district in which the alleged offense or offenses occurred shall appear for the commonwealth in the trial of all cases in which the right to jury trial has not been waived and may appear in any other case. The chief justices for the district court department and the Boston municipal court department shall arrange for the sittings of the jury sessions of their respective departments and shall assign justices thereto, to the end that speedy trials may be provided. Review may be had directly by the appeals court, by appeals, report or otherwise in the same manner provided for trials of criminal cases in the superior court.
(h) The justice presiding at such jury session in the Boston municipal court department or district court department shall, upon the request of the defendant, appoint a stenographer; provided, however, that where the defendant claims indigency, such appointment is determined to be reasonably necessary in accordance with the provisions of chapter two hundred and sixty-one. Such stenographer shall be sworn, and shall take stenographic notes of all the testimony given at the trial, and shall provide the parties thereto with a transcript of his notes or any part thereof taken at the trial or hearing for which he shall be paid by the party requesting it at the rate fixed by the chief justice for the department where the case is tried; and provided, further, that such rate shall not exceed the rate provided by section eighty-eight of chapter two hundred and twenty-one. Said chief justice may make regulations not inconsistent with law relative to the assignments, duties and services of stenographers appointed for sessions in his department and any other matter relative to stenographers. The compensation and expenses of a stenographer shall be paid by the commonwealth.
The request for the appointment of a stenographer to preserve the testimony at a trial shall be given to the clerk of the court by the defendant in writing no later than forty-eight hours prior to the proceeding for which the stenographer has been requested. In the Boston municipal court department or the district court department, the defendant shall file with such request an affidavit of indigency and request for payment by the commonwealth of the cost of the transcript and the court shall hold a hearing on such request prior to appointing a stenographer, in those cases where the defendant alleges that he will be unable to pay said cost. Said hearing shall be governed by the provisions of sections twenty-seven A to twenty-seven G, inclusive, of chapter two hundred and sixty-one, and the cost of such transcript shall be considered an extra cost as provided therein. If the court is unable, for any reason, to provide a stenographer, the proceedings may be recorded by electronic means. The original recording of proceedings in the Boston municipal court department or the district court department made with a recording device under the exclusive control of the court shall be the official record of such proceedings. Said record or a copy of all or a part thereof, certified by the chief justices for the Boston municipal court department or the district court department, or his designee, to be an accurate electronic reproduction of said record or part thereof, or a typewritten transcript of all or a part of said record or copy thereof, certified to be accurate by the court or by the preparer of said transcript, or stipulated to by the parties, shall be admissible in any court as evidence of testimony given whenever proof of such testimony is otherwise competent. The defendant may request payment by the commonwealth of the cost of said transcript subject to the same provisions regarding a transcript of a stenographer as provided hereinbefore.
(i) In any case heard in a jury session where a defendant is found guilty and placed on probation, he shall thereafter be supervised by the probation officer of the court in which the case originated, unless the trial justice shall order otherwise and unless the regulations of the commissioner of probation provide otherwise.
Chapter 218: Section 28. Recognizances to keep peace Section 28. District courts may require persons found guilty of any crime within their final jurisdiction, except a violation of by-laws, orders, ordinances, rules and regulations, made by cities, towns and public officers, or of the laws and regulations relative to the public health or relative to defective highways, in addition to the punishment prescribed by law, to recognize with sureties, in a reasonable sum, to keep the peace or be of good behavior, or both, for not more than one year, and to stand committed until they so recognize. Sections thirteen, sixteen and seventeen of chapter two hundred and seventy-five shall apply to recognizances so taken.
Chapter 218: Section 29. Repealed, 1964, 308, Sec. 10 Chapter 218: Section 2A. Transfer of civil actions brought in wrong court Section 2A. Each district court shall have civil jurisdiction of actions local or transitory begun in such court which should have been brought in some other district court, to the extent that the court in which the action is begun may try and dispose of the case if the question of venue is waived or, if not waived, the court may, on motion of any party, order the action, with all papers relating thereto, to be transferred for trial or disposition to any other district court in which the action might have been commenced. The defendant in said action shall be entitled to costs and such reasonable attorney’s fees as may be allowed by the court. Said action shall thereupon be entered and prosecuted in such court as if it had been originally commenced therein, and all prior proceedings otherwise regularly taken shall thereafter be valid. An additional entry fee for entry in the court to which the case is transferred shall be paid to the clerk of the transmitting court for transfer with the papers.
Chapter 218: Section 3. Boston municipal courts; concurrent criminal jurisdiction over waters and islands Section 3. The central, Charlestown, South Boston, and East Boston divisions of the Boston municipal court department, shall have and exercise, concurrently with each other, the same criminal jurisdiction as said courts have within their respective districts over all islands, except East Boston, and waters, except so much of the Charles river basin as is described in section one, within the criminal jurisdiction of the superior court for Suffolk county.
Chapter 218: Section 30. Binding over to superior court Section 30. They shall commit or bind over for trial in the superior court persons brought before them who appear to be guilty of crimes not within their final jurisdiction, and may so commit or bind over persons brought before them who appear to be guilty of crimes within their final jurisdiction. If such a person is committed for failure to recognize as ordered, the superior court shall thereupon have jurisdiction of the case against such person for the purpose of revising the amount of bail theretofore fixed.
Chapter 218: Section 31. Repealed, 1992, 379, Sec. 142 Chapter 218: Section 32. Complaints and warrants Section 32. District courts may receive complaints and issue warrants and other processes for the apprehension of persons charged with crime and found within their county, or who after committing crime therein escape therefrom, returnable before a court of the county having jurisdiction of the trial or examination of the person charged with the crime.
Chapter 218: Section 33. Warrants and process; power of clerks to issue Section 33. A clerk, assistant clerk, temporary clerk or temporary assistant clerk, may receive complaints, administer to complainants the oath required thereto, and issue warrants, search warrants and summonses, returnable as required when such process are issued by said courts. No other person, except a judge, shall be authorized to issue warrants, search warrants or summonses.
Chapter 218: Section 34. Arrest without warrant; endorsement of complaint by arresting officer Section 34. Said courts may dispense with the issuing of a warrant if the person charged with a crime has been arrested without a warrant and brought before the court or admitted to bail; but in such case the officer making the arrest shall endorse upon the complaint a statement of his doings.
Chapter 218: Section 35. Complaints, warrants and process; power to issue; disqualification to hear case; destruction of applications for complaints Section 35. A justice or special justice of a district court, or a justice of the peace who is also a clerk or assistant clerk of such a court, may at any time receive complaints and issue warrants and summonses, under his own hand and seal, and such justice or special justice may likewise issue search warrants, returnable before a court or trial justice having jurisdiction of the trial or examination of the person charged with the crime. If, after a hearing on the issuance of a complaint or a request for a search warrant, by a justice or special justice of a district court he issues such complaint or warrant, he shall be disqualified from presiding over a trial on the merits of any matter brought to trial because of such complaint or warrant if the defendant objects to his sitting before any evidence is taken.
If such an application for the issuance of a complaint is denied, the clerk of the district court wherein such application was made shall destroy such application one year after the date such application was filed, unless a justice of such court or the chief justice of the district courts shall for good cause order that such application be retained on file for a further period of time. The clerk shall enter on the face of any application so denied a conspicuous notation to that effect, and such applications shall be maintained separately from other records of such court. The provisions of this paragraph relating to the destruction of such applications shall not apply to applications filed pursuant to section twenty C of chapter ninety.
Chapter 218: Section 35A. Process; issuance on complaints for misdemeanors; consideration of criminal records and domestic violence records; right to hearing Section 35A. If a complaint is received by a district court, or by a justice, associate justice or special justice thereof, or by a clerk, assistant clerk, temporary clerk or temporary assistant clerk thereof under section 32, 33 or 35, as the case may be, the person against whom such complaint is made, if not under arrest for the offense for which the complaint is made, shall, in the case of a complaint for a misdemeanor or a complaint for a felony received from a law enforcement officer who so requests, and may, in the discretion of any said officers in the case of a complaint for a felony which is not received from a law enforcement officer, be given an opportunity to be heard personally or by counsel in opposition to the issuance of any process based on such complaint unless there is an imminent threat of bodily injury, of the commission of a crime, or of flight from the commonwealth by the person against whom such complaint is made. The court or said officers referred to above shall consider the named defendant’s criminal record and the records contained within the statewide domestic violence record keeping system maintained by the office of the commissioner of probation in determining whether an imminent threat of bodily injury exists. Unless a citation as defined in section 1 of chapter 90C has been issued, notice shall also be given of the manner in which he may be heard in opposition as provided herein.
The court, or said officer thereof, may upon consideration of the evidence, obtained by hearing or otherwise, cause process to be issued unless there is no probable cause to believe that the person who is the object of the complaint has committed the offense charged.
The term district court as used in this section shall include the Boston municipal court department and the juvenile court department.
Chapter 218: Section 36. Justice of peace; taking bail Section 36. The governor, with the advice and consent of the council, may from time to time, upon the petition of the aldermen or the selectmen of any town within the judicial district of a district court, except a town in which the clerk of such court resides, designate and commission a justice of the peace residing in such town to take bail in criminal cases arising within said judicial district.
Chapter 218: Section 37. Process for witnesses and defendants in criminal and juvenile cases; direction and service Section 37. District courts, justices, special justices, clerks, assistant clerks, temporary clerks and temporary assistant clerks thereof may issue summonses and other processes for witnesses in criminal cases, and at all hearings upon applications for complaints wherein a person may be charged with the commission of a crime, and such processes and likewise warrants and other processes in such cases, issued by said courts or persons, may be directed to a court officer or probation officer of the court issuing the process, or either specifically or in general terms to any person in the commonwealth qualified to serve criminal process, and any such process may be served and executed in any part of the commonwealth by the person to whom it is delivered for that purpose. This section shall apply to summonses, warrants and other processes for parties and witnesses in cases of wayward, delinquent or neglected children.
Chapter 218: Section 38. Access to courts; sittings; adjournments; filing of complaints Section 38. District courts and Boston municipal court divisions shall always be open and business may be transacted at any time, except as provided in section six of chapter two hundred and twenty. Sittings of the courts shall be held in the courthouses or other places provided therefor by the judicial branch, at the times and in the towns fixed by law; but if the times are not fixed by law, they shall be prescribed as provided in section fifteen. Sittings may be adjourned from time to time as occasion requires, and cases, civil or criminal, may be continued to any future day fixed for the sitting of the court. Subject to any other provisions of law relative to the filing of complaints for particular crimes, district courts and Boston municipal court divisions may place on file any complaint in a criminal case other than a complaint for the commission of a felony issued against a person who appears previously to have been convicted of a felony or previously to have had a complaint for felony placed on file.
Chapter 218: Section 39. Books and supplies Section 39. Justices and clerks of district courts, except the central division of the Boston municipal court department, may procure all law books relating to the laws of the commonwealth, including the reports of the supreme judicial court, the Massachusetts digests, all blank books, blanks, stationery and other incidentals required by said courts and approved by the justices. The clerk of a district court in any county other than Suffolk, the judicial district of which has a population exceeding one hundred and twenty thousand as ascertained by the last preceding national census and in which there is no county law library, may, with the approval of the chief justice, procure other law books required by said court. The expenses thereof shall be certified by the justices or clerks monthly, and shall be transmitted to the state treasurer for payment.
Chapter 218: Section 4. District court jurisdiction; seals Section 4. District courts shall be courts of record. They shall be courts of superior and general jurisdiction with reference to all cases and matters in which they have jurisdiction, and no order, decree, judgment, sentence, warrant, writ or process made, issued or pronounced by them need set out any adjudication or circumstances with greater particularity than would be required in other courts of superior and general jurisdiction, and the like presumption shall be made in favor of proceedings of such courts as would be made in favor of proceedings of other courts of superior and general jurisdiction. Each district court shall have a seal, which shall be in the custody of its clerk, and shall be affixed to all processes issued by such court requiring a seal.
Chapter 218: Section 40. Part-time special justices; authorized cases Section 40. A special justice of a district court who does not serve full-time in accordance with the provisions of section six A shall sit on the Boston municipal court department by assignment in the same manner as if he were serving full-time. When such a special justice, who is part-time, so-called, holds court, or a session thereof or an inquest, or certifies a bill of costs to the treasurer of the commonwealth, that fact, and the fact which gave him jurisdiction, shall be entered upon the general records of the court, but need not be stated in the record of any case heard by him.
Except in the central division of the Boston municipal court department, the district court of Dukes county and the district court of Nantucket, no justice or special justice who does not serve full-time shall hear and determine any civil cases other than supplementary proceedings, summary process, small claims, and proceedings relating to juveniles and mentally ill persons in any district court without the authorization of the chief justice of the district courts. The chief justice of the district courts shall give such authorization for specified limited periods of time in specified district courts and only as the public convenience may require, and may give such authorization by general rule applicable to the hearing and determination of interlocutory proceedings, or whenever full-time justices or special justices assigned to hear such civil cases, who serve full-time in accordance with the provisions of section six A, are absent or otherwise unable to sit. No such authorization shall be required for the rehearing of matters of law arising in civil causes by any justice assigned to the appellate division of a district court.
Chapter 218: Section 41. Special justice; powers and duties Section 41. A special justice of a district court shall at all times have and exercise all the powers and duties of a justice of such court, so far as to render decisions, make orders, and perform such other acts as he may deem necessary or proper in connection with or relating to matters which have been heard before him.
Chapter 218: Section 42. Adjournment when justice absent Section 42. If no justice or special justice is present at the time and place appointed for holding a session of a district court, the sheriff or any of his deputies or the clerk may adjourn the court from day to day or from time to time, giving notice thereof as circumstances may require.
Chapter 218: Section 42A. Administrative head of district court department Section 42A. The justice, as provided under section one of chapter two hundred and eleven B, as the chief justice for the district court department, in addition to his judicial powers and duties, shall, subject to the superintendence authority of the supreme judicial court as provided in section three of chapter two hundred and eleven and the administrative authority of the chief justice for administration and management be the administrative head of the district court department.
In addition to the powers conferred in section ten of said chapter two hundred and eleven B, said chief justice shall have the powers and duties prescribed in sections forty-three to forty-three D, inclusive, of this chapter and in such other provision of statute. A chief justice shall hold said office for a term of five years, and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms. A chief justice, so appointed, may be removed from that office prior to the expiration of his term upon a determination by the chief justice for administration and management that such removal is in the best interests of the administration of justice.
Chapter 218: Section 43. Uniform rules of practice and procedure; power to make and promulgate Section 43. The chief justice shall from time to time make and promulgate uniform rules of practice and procedure, subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court, including rules for the preparation and submission of reports, the allowance of reports which a justice shall disallow as not conformable to the facts, or shall fail to allow by reason of physical or mental disability, death, resignation, retirement or removal and the reporting of cases reserved for report when a justice shall fail to report the same by reason of physical or mental disability, death, resignation, retirement or removal, the granting of new trials, and the practice and the manner of conducting business in cases which are not expressly provided for by law. Such rules shall not apply to the Boston municipal court department.
Chapter 218: Section 43A. Uniform practices; forms; superintendence of record keeping Section 43A. The chief justice shall be authorized to require uniform practices, to prescribe forms of blanks and records, and to superintend the keeping of records by clerks. He may authorize any justice or special justice to hold a session of any division at another division or elsewhere, in order to promote the speedy dispatch of the court’s business.
Chapter 218: Section 43B. Official forms; powers of chief justice Section 43B. In addition to the powers set forth in section forty-three A, the chief justice for the district court department shall prescribe official forms to be used in all divisions of said department. Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the provisions of section one hundred and one A of chapter two hundred and seventy-six.
Chapter 218: Section 43C. Repealed, 1978, 478, Sec. 199 Chapter 218: Section 43D. Repealed, 1993, 478, Sec. 7 Chapter 218: Section 43E. Community mediation advisory board; coordinator Section 43E. There shall be established a district court community mediation advisory board. The board shall be advisory to the chief justice of the district court department on matters pertaining to the utilization and role of community mediation in the district court department, including but not limited to the education and training of community mediators and the establishment of standards for persons and organizations engaged in community mediation in the district court department, and shall perform such other duties as the chief justice may request. Said board shall also advise the chief justice on the utilization of funds that may be appropriated for the purpose of supporting the use of community mediation in the district court department. Said board shall consist of five members to be appointed by the chief justice for such terms as he may establish. Members shall be eligible for reappointment. They shall be knowledgeable and experienced in the utilization of community mediation in the courts and shall serve without compensation.
Said chief justice shall appoint, subject to appropriation, a coordinator of community mediation, who shall serve at his pleasure and at a salary to be fixed by the chief justice of the district court department. Said coordinator shall perform such duties with regard to community mediation as the chief justice of the district court department shall determine.
Chapter 218: Section 44. Process; formal requisites; territorial jurisdiction Section 44. Processes issuing from district courts shall be under the seal of the court, signed by the clerk or an assistant clerk or temporary clerk or temporary assistant clerk, and shall bear teste of the justice, or, in the Boston municipal court department, the chief justice, unless he is a party or unless his office is vacant, and in such cases they shall bear teste of the special justice who holds the senior commission or the senior associate justice. The process, civil or criminal, of a district court shall run throughout the commonwealth for service in any case or proceeding within its jurisdiction.
Chapter 218: Section 45, 46. Repealed, 1975, 377, Sec. 15 Chapter 218: Section 47. Clerks; duty to make payments and to account; penalty Section 47. Clerks of district courts, except Boston municipal court department, shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, account for and pay over to the state treasurer all money received by them from civil business, including fees for the blanks and copies, and to city and town treasurers all fines and forfeitures received by them payable to said cities or towns, and render to said treasurers a detailed account on oath of the same. Such payments shall include the balances due and payable at the end of the month last preceding the day of payment. They shall, at the end of a criminal case, pay the fees and expenses of officers entitled thereto from the funds in their hands payable to the city or town liable for the payment of such fees and expenses, if they have sufficient funds therefor, and all such fees and expenses not so paid shall be certified at the end of each month to the treasurer of the city or town liable therefor, who shall pay them to the parties entitled thereto. They shall, at the end of a criminal case or inquest, pay the fees of witnesses for the commonwealth and the fees and expenses of officers at inquests who are entitled thereto, from the funds furnished them by the state treasurer for that purpose, or out of any funds which may be paid into court and are payable to the commonwealth. They shall be allowed for the amounts so paid in their settlement with the state, city and town treasurers. If they do not have in their hands sufficient funds returnable to the commonwealth with which to pay such fees, as herein provided, that may make written requisition therefor upon the state treasurer, who shall pay to them not more than two hundred dollars each in any one month; but if it appears necessary to the commissioner of administration, he may approve in addition thereto a requisition for not more than two hundred dollars in any one month, and, upon receipt of a requisition so approved, the state treasurer may pay to them such amount as may be called for therein. They shall account therefor in their regular settlements with the state treasurer and shall be liable therefor on their official bonds. A clerk violating any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.
Chapter 218: Section 48. Sentences to Deer Island Section 48. In cases in which municipal courts in Boston are authorized to sentence to imprisonment in the house of correction or county jail, or to commit thereto for nonpayment of fine, they may sentence to imprisonment in the house of correction at Deer island or commit thereto.
Chapter 218: Section 49. Clerks; duty to pay certain fees; advances; accounting Section 49. In the municipal courts in Boston, except the central division of the Boston municipal court department, and in the East Boston division of the Boston municipal court department, witness fees and the fees and expenses of officers named in section fifty of chapter two hundred and sixty-two and of all other persons shall, at the end of a criminal case or inquest in which such fees or expenses accrue, be paid by the clerks to the persons entitled thereto. If they do not have sufficient funds in their hands with which to make such payments, they may make written requisition upon the chief justice and thereupon the state treasurer shall advance to them not more than one hundred dollars each in any one month, for which they shall, before the tenth day of each month, account to the commonwealth and for which they shall be liable on their official bonds.
Chapter 218: Section 5. Contempt cases; service of process Section 5. Processes issued in contempt cases may be served by any officer qualified to serve criminal process.
BOSTON Chapter 218: Section 50. Justices; number; vacation and sick leave; rule making power Section 50. The Boston municipal court department established under section one of chapter two hundred and eleven B shall consist of 30 associate justices of the trial court appointed to said department. They shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law. Said justices shall each be entitled to thirty days vacation and thirty days sick leave in each calendar year. Vacation leave and sick leave not used in any such year may be accumulated, provided that the number of vacation days so accumulated shall not exceed sixty and the total amount of sick leave shall not exceed one hundred and eighty days.
The chief justice of the department, subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court and the chief justice for administration and management, may make, from time to time, rules for regulating the practice and conducting the business therein in all cases not expressly provided for by law.
Unless the context refers only to a district court or a juvenile court, or some other clearly contrary intent, whenever the words “municipal court of the city of Boston”, “municipal court”, “district court” or “court” are used in this chapter, they shall refer to the Boston municipal court department. And unless the context includes, or refers only to, a person appointed to a district court or to the Boston juvenile court, the words “justice” or “associate justice” shall mean an associate justice of the trial court appointed to the Boston municipal court department; and the words “clerk” or “clerk of court” shall mean a clerk of said department; and the words “assistant clerk”, “deputy assistant clerk”, “temporary clerk” or “temporary assistant clerk” shall mean, respectively, an assistant clerk, deputy assistant clerk, temporary clerk or temporary assistant clerk of said department.
BOSTON Chapter 218: Section 51. Repealed, 1978, 478, Sec. 205 BOSTON Chapter 218: Section 51A. Administrative head of Boston municipal court department; appointment of first justice; allowance of bills Section 51A. The justice provided for under section one of chapter two hundred and eleven B as the chief justice of the Boston municipal court department, in addition to his judicial powers and duties, shall, subject to the superintendence authority of the supreme judicial court as provided in section three of chapter two hundred and eleven and the administrative authority of the chief justice for administration and management be the administrative head of the Boston municipal court department, and shall also have the powers and responsibilities of a chief justice as set forth in section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven B; provided, however, that the clerk shall have responsibility for the internal administration of his office, including the selection, appointment, and management of personnel, staff services and record keeping. Said chief justice shall hold office for a term of five years, and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five year terms. Said chief justice may be removed from his position as chief justice when it is determined by the chief justice for administration and management to be in the best interests of the administration of justice.
The chief justice of the Boston municipal court department shall have the power to appoint the first justice of each of the various divisions within the Boston municipal court department, subject to the approval of the chief justice for administration and management, and to define his duties; provided, however, that appropriate consideration shall be given to seniority, length of service at that particular division, and managerial ability. Each first justice so appointed shall serve as the first justice of that court for a five-year term and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms at that particular court. Any first justice may be removed from his position as first justice, when it is determined by the chief justice of the district court department to be in the best interests of the administration of justice. Any first justice who is removed from his position as first justice by the chief justice of the district court department may appeal such removal to the chief justice for administration and management.
Said chief justice of the Boston municipal court department, or, in case of his death, illness, absence or incapacity, the senior justice in the department, shall allow bills of costs, accounts, charges and expenses which arise in his department, and shall certify to the public officer by whom payable such amounts so allowed.
BOSTON Chapter 218: Section 52. Justices and special justices; assignment; additional sessions; compensation, etc. Section 52. In addition to the powers conferred in section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven B, the chief justice referred to in section fifty-one A may from time to time make assignments for the attendance of a justice at the several times and places appointed for holding court. Said chief justice, or, in case of his death, illness, absence or incapacity, the senior justice in the department, if in his opinion the public business so requires, may provide for additional sessions in the department. A special justice appointed in the district court department, with the assent of the chief justice for that department, may hold any such additional session at the request of the chief justice or senior justice as aforesaid. During the continuance of such request a special justice shall have and exercise all the powers and duties of a justice. The fact of holding court and the fact which gave him jurisdiction shall be entered upon the general records of the court, but need not be stated in the record of any case heard by him. The compensation of said justice shall be at the rate by the day of the salary of an associate justice of the municipal court of the city of Boston; and, except when holding an additional session as above provided, the compensation for service in excess of the number of days of vacation leave he has accumulated which may be rendered to or for any one justice shall be deducted from the salary of such justice; provided, however, that if such justice is absent due to his illness or physical disability for a period not exceeding the number of days of sick leave he has accumulated, no such deduction shall be made.
BOSTON Chapter 218: Section 52A. Clerks; criminal and civil business Section 52A. The central division of the Boston municipal court department shall have one clerk for both criminal and civil business. The position of clerk for civil business shall be abolished when said position becomes vacant and the duties of such clerk shall be assumed by the clerk for criminal business who shall be hereinafter the one clerk for the said central division of the Boston municipal court department. The first assistant clerk for criminal business shall hereinafter serve as the first assistant clerk of the central division of the Boston municipal court department. The person currently serving as acting clerk for civil business shall hereinafter serve as the second assistant clerk of the central division of the Boston municipal court department and shall be paid at the same rate of compensation that he now receives. Any reference in any general or special law to a clerk of the Boston municipal court for civil business shall be construed to refer to the one clerk of the central division of the Boston municipal court department as proscribed herein.
BOSTON Chapter 218: Section 53. Clerks and assistant clerks Section 53. In the central division of the Boston municipal court department, there shall be one clerk and the same number of assistant clerks of said court as were authorized in statute on January first, two thousand three. The assistant clerks shall be appointed by the clerk, subject to the approval of the chief justice for administration and management with respect to compliance with the personnel standards promulgated under section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B, and the clerk shall be responsible for the doings of his assistants, and may remove them at his pleasure. The salary of the clerk shall be seventy-five and forty-seven hundredths per cent of the salary of the chief justice of the department, and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salaries of the assistant clerks shall be seventy-seven per cent of the salary of the clerk, and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth.
The clerk and assistant clerks shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
Each assistant clerk of said court appointed to such position prior to January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven and serving continuously thereafter, shall be entitled to thirty days vacation and thirty days sick leave in each calendar year. Each such assistant clerk may accumulate vacation leave and sick leave not used in any such year; provided, however, that the number of vacation days so accumulated shall not exceed sixty and the total amount of sick leave so accumulated shall not exceed one hundred and eighty days; and provided, further, that no additional such days shall be accumulated on or after said January first except in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B. All other clerks and assistant clerks of said court shall be entitled to vacation leave and sick leave in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to said section eight.
Assistant clerks appointed under authority of this paragraph who have held said appointment for three consecutive years shall hold office during good behavior, but subject to applicable retirement laws, and may be removed by the clerk for cause shown, subject to the procedures authorized by section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B.
The clerk may designate such employees in his office as in his judgment may be necessary for the convenience of the public, as deputy assistant clerks of said court who shall have the same authority to administer oaths as the assistant clerks of said court.
BOSTON Chapter 218: Section 53A. Temporary assistant clerks Section 53A. In case of the absence, death or removal of a salaried assistant clerk of the central division of the Boston municipal court department, the clerk of said court may, subject to the approval of the chief justice, appoint a temporary assistant clerk, to act until such assistant clerk resumes his duties or until the vacancy is filled.
BOSTON Chapter 218: Section 54. Civil jurisdiction [Text of section applicable as provided by 2004, 252, Sec. 23.
] Section 54. In addition to the jurisdiction otherwise conferred and except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the central division of the Boston municipal court department shall have jurisdiction of civil actions in which money damages are sought pursuant to sections 19 and 21 and of actions brought under chapter two hundred and forty-seven if one or more of the defendants lives or has his usual place of business in Suffolk County, excluding Chelsea and Revere, or, if in connection with the commencement of such an action the approval of trustee process is sought, one of the alleged trustees lives or has a usual place of business in Suffolk County, excluding Chelsea and Revere, or, in actions brought under chapter two hundred and twenty-seven, if an attachment of property or personal service of the complaint is made in said county.
BOSTON Chapter 218: Section 55. Recording systems; stenographic and medical services and equipment Section 55. The chief justice of the Boston municipal court department may employ stenographic services and provide for recording systems for the court. Said department may secure for its criminal business medical service, and the equipment necessary therefor, and for this purpose may expend annually such sum, not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars, as the chief justice of the Boston municipal court department may from time to time determine, subject to the approval of the chief justice for administration and management. Sums so expended shall be paid by the commonwealth upon vouchers approved by the chief justice of the Boston municipal court department.
BOSTON Chapter 218: Section 56. Clerks; accounting; penalty Section 56. The clerk shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, account for and pay over to the collector of the city of Boston or to the state treasurer, as the case may be, the balance due and payable at the end of the preceding month of all money received by them payable by law to the city of Boston or to the commonwealth, and shall render to said officers a detail account thereof under oath. Violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.
JUVENILE COURT, THE BRISTOL COUNTY JUVENILE COURT AND THE SPRINGFIELD JUVENILE COURT Chapter 218: Section 57. Juvenile courts; divisions; territorial jurisdiction; appeals Section 57. The juvenile court department established under section one of chapter two hundred and eleven B as of July first, nineteen hundred and ninety-three shall be composed of divisions, in each of the judicial districts hereinafter enumerated, which shall continue to have and exercise jurisdiction over the following cities, towns and territory, in the following counties, respectively:Suffolk Countyheld at the Dorchester division of the Boston municipal court department, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Dorchester division of the Boston municipal court, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at the West Roxbury division of the Boston municipal court, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the West Roxbury division of the Boston municipal court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Boston, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the central division of the Boston municipal court department, the Roxbury division of the Boston municipal court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine, the Brighton division of the Boston municipal court department, the Charlestown division of the Boston municipal court department, the East Boston division of the Boston municipal court department, the Chelsea division of the district court department; and the South Boston division of the Boston municipal court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
Barnstable County and Town of Plymouthheld at Orleans, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Orleans division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Barnstable, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Barnstable and Falmouth divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Plymouth, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Plymouth division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Nantucket, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Nantucket division of the district court department, and at Edgartown, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Edgartown division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
Plymouth Countyheld at Brockton, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Brockton division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Hingham, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Hingham division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Wareham, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Wareham division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
Norfolk Countyheld at Quincy, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Quincy and Stoughton divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Dedham, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Dedham and Wrentham divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Brookline, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Brookline division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
Middlesex Countyheld at Cambridge, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Cambridge, Somerville and Malden divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Framingham, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Framingham, Natick, and Marlboro divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Lowell, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Lowell and Ayer divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Woburn, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Woburn division of the district court department as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Waltham, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Waltham, Newton and Concord divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
Essex Countyheld at Lynn, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Lynn division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Salem, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Salem and Peabody divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Newburyport, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Newburyport, Ipswich and Gloucester divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Lawrence, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Lawrence and Haverhill divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
Worcester Countyheld at Fitchburg, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Fitchburg, Leominster, Gardner, and Winchendon divisions of the district court department; provided, however, that sessions of the Fitchburg division of the juvenile court may be held in the Leominster, Gardner, or Winchendon divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine; and, provided further, that each session so held shall have the same jurisdiction as herein prescribed for the Fitchburg division.
held at Dudley, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Dudley division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Milford, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Uxbridge and Milford divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Worcester, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Worcester, Clinton, Westboro and Spencer divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
Franklin and Hampshire Countiesheld at Northampton, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Northampton division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Greenfield, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Greenfield division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Orange, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Orange division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Ware, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Ware division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
Berkshire Countyheld at Pittsfield, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Pittsfield division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at North Adams and Adams, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Northern Berkshire division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Great Barrington, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Southern Berkshire division of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine. Hampden Countyheld at Holyoke, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Holyoke and Westfield divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
held at Springfield, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of the Springfield, Palmer and Chicopee divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
Bristol Countyheld at New Bedford, Taunton, Fall River and Attleboro, within the same territorial limits as are prescribed for the criminal jurisdiction of all the Bristol county divisions of the district court department, as the chief justice of the juvenile court department may determine.
Appeals provided under section thirty-nine I of chapter one hundred and nineteen, when taken from a court of the Suffolk county division of the juvenile court department, shall be to the appeals session of the Boston court of the Suffolk county division of the juvenile court department, and such appeals from the courts of the Bristol county division of the juvenile court department shall be to the juvenile appeals session in said division. Appeals from courts of the Worcester county division of the juvenile court department shall be taken to the appeals sessions of the Worcester court of the Worcester county division of the juvenile court department. Appeals in cases heard in the courts of the Barnstable county and town of Plymouth division of the juvenile court department shall be heard in the jury of six session held at the Barnstable division of the district court department or in the juvenile appeals session of the Bristol county division of the juvenile court department, as determined by the chief justice of the juvenile court department. Appeals in cases heard in the courts of the Plymouth county division of the juvenile court department shall be heard in the jury of six session held in the Wareham division of the district court department. Appeals in cases heard in the courts of the Norfolk county division of the juvenile court department shall be heard in the jury of six session held in the Dedham division of the district court department. Appeals in cases heard in the courts of the Middlesex county division of the juvenile court department shall be heard in the jury of six sessions held in the Cambridge, Framingham and Lowell divisions of the district court department, as determined by the chief justice of the juvenile court department. Appeals in cases heard in the courts of the Essex county division of the juvenile court department shall be heard in the jury of six session held in the Peabody division of the district court department. Appeals in cases heard in the courts of the Franklin and Hampden counties division of the juvenile court department shall be heard in the juvenile appeals session of the Springfield court of said division. Appeals in cases heard in the courts of the Berkshire and Hampshire counties division of the juvenile court department shall be heard in the jury of six sessions held in the Northampton and Pittsfield divisions of the district court department, as determined by the chief justice of the juvenile court department.
Whenever the words “juvenile court” or “court”, when the context indicates a juvenile court, are used in this chapter, they shall refer to a division of the juvenile court department. And when the context indicates personnel appointed to a division of the juvenile court department, the word “justice” shall mean an associate justice of the trial court appointed to a division of the juvenile court department; and the words “clerk” or “clerk of court” shall mean the clerk of said division; and the words “assistant clerk”, “deputy assistant clerk”, “temporary clerk”, or “temporary assistant clerk” shall mean, respectively, an assistant clerk, a deputy assistant clerk, temporary clerk or temporary assistant clerk of said division.
JUVENILE COURT, THE BRISTOL COUNTY JUVENILE COURT AND THE SPRINGFIELD JUVENILE COURT Chapter 218: Section 57A. Chief justice; administrative head of juvenile court system; executive secretary; powers and duties Section 57A. The justice provided for under section one of chapter two hundred and eleven B as the chief justice for the juvenile court department, in addition to his judicial powers and duties, shall, subject to the superintendence authority of the supreme judicial court as provided in section three of chapter two hundred and eleven and the administrative authority of the chief justice for administration and management, be the administrative head of the juvenile court department, and shall also have the powers and responsibilities set forth in section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven B; provided, however, that the clerk of such court shall have responsibility for the internal administration of his office, including personnel, staff services and record keeping.
Said chief justice may appoint an executive secretary and, for the purpose of coordinating the business of the department, said chief justice shall define his or her duties. Said executive secretary shall be a member of the bar and shall receive from the commonwealth a salary equal to seventy percent of the salary of said chief justice. Said executive secretary shall devote full time during business hours to his or her duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
Said chief justice may require uniform practices, may prescribe forms of blanks and records. He shall have general superintendence of all the courts of the juvenile court department, and their clerks and other offices, but except as otherwise provided by law, shall have no power to appoint any such officers. A chief justice shall hold said office for a term of five years, and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms. A chief justice, so appointed, may be removed from that office prior to the expiration of his term upon a determination by the chief justice for administration and management that such removal is in the best interests of the administration of justice.
Said chief justice shall also prescribe official forms to be used in all courts of the juvenile court department and in juvenile sessions of the district court department.
JUVENILE COURT, THE BRISTOL COUNTY JUVENILE COURT AND THE SPRINGFIELD JUVENILE COURT Chapter 218: Section 58. Justices and clerks; assignment; salaries; vacation and sick leave; interpreters Section 58. The Suffolk county division of the juvenile court department shall consist of seven justices, the Middlesex county division shall consist of six justices, the Worcester county division shall consist of four justices, the Franklin and Hampshire counties division shall consist of one justice, the Bristol county division shall consist of three justices, the Essex county division shall consist of four justices, the Norfolk county division shall consist of two justices, the Plymouth county division shall consist of three justices, the Barnstable county and town of Plymouth division shall consist of one justice, and the Berkshire and Hampden counties division shall consist of four justices, all of whom shall be members of the bar. There shall be 4 associate justices of the trial court appointed for the juvenile court department who shall be and perform the duties of circuit justices in the following counties, and when so assigned, they shall receive from the commonwealth the expenses incurred by them: three justices in the Worcester, Franklin and Hampshire, Berkshire, and Hampden county divisions, and three justices in the Suffolk, Barnstable and town of Plymouth, Plymouth, Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex, and Bristol county divisions. The chief justice of the district court department may, upon request of the chief justice of the juvenile court department, assign a special justice who is not serving full-time under the provisions of section six A from the district court department to sit in any court of the juvenile court department. The chief justice of the juvenile court department shall have the power to define the duties of said first justices, and shall appoint, from among the justices of the juvenile court department, a first justice for each of the divisions within said department; provided, that appropriate consideration shall be given to seniority, length of service at that particular division, and managerial ability. Each first justice so appointed shall serve as the first justice of that particular division for a five-year term, and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms at that particular division. Any first justice may be removed from his position as first justice by the chief justice of the juvenile court department, when it is determined by the said chief justice to be in the best interests of the administration of justice. Any first justice who is removed from his position as first justice by the chief justice of the juvenile court department may appeal the removal to the chief justice for administration and management, who shall hear and determine the matter.
Citations, orders of notice, writs, executions and all other processes issued by the clerk of each division shall bear the teste of the first justice thereof. The first justice shall be the administrative head of his division; provided, however, that the clerks shall have responsibility for the internal administration of his office, including the selection, appointment, and management of personnel, staff services and record keeping. A first justice or a clerk of the court may submit any dispute that arises between said first justice and said clerk concerning the management and administration of the office of the clerk, the duties, powers and obligations of the clerk, or a member of their staff, or the interpretation of the personnel standards provided for under section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B, to the chief justice of the department. Any person aggrieved by a decision of a chief justice under this paragraph may appeal said decision to the chief justice for administration and management, who shall, within thirty days, hear and determine the matter.
In the case of the absence, death or removal of a clerk of a division of the juvenile court department, or a vacancy in the position of clerk for any other reason, the chief justice of the juvenile court department may appoint a temporary clerk, to act until the clerk resumes his duties, or until the vacancy is filled. The clerk of the court shall appoint assistant clerks and support personnel in his division, with all of such appointments subject to approval by the chief justice for administration and management with respect to personnel standards as provided in section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B. In the case of the absence, death or removal of an assistant clerk of a division of the juvenile court department, or a vacancy in the position of assistant clerk for any other reason, the clerk may appoint a temporary assistant clerk, to act until such assistant clerk resumes his duties, or until the vacancy is filled.
Each division shall have a clerk, who shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the council and who shall hold office during good behavior, subject, however, to retirement under the provisions of any applicable general or special law relative to retirement systems. The Suffolk county division held at Boston shall have a first assistant clerk and said division shall have eleven assistant clerks; the Barnstable county division held at Plymouth shall have a first assistant clerk and said division shall have two assistant clerks; the Bristol county division shall have a first assistant clerk and five assistant clerks; the Franklin and Hampshire counties division shall have an assistant clerk; the Essex county division shall have an assistant clerk; the Berkshire and Hampden counties division held at North Adams shall have an assistant clerk; the Hampden division held at Springfield shall have an assistant clerk; the Middlesex county division shall have a first assistant clerk and seven assistant clerks; the Norfolk county division held at Quincy shall have four assistant clerks; the Plymouth county division shall have a first assistant clerk and two assistant clerks; and the Worcester county division shall have a first assistant clerk and two assistant clerks. Said first assistant clerks and assistant clerks shall be appointed by the clerks of said courts, with all such appointments subject to approval by the chief justice for administration and management with respect to personnel standards promulgated under section 8 of chapter 211B.
The salaries of the clerks in the juvenile court department shall be seventy-five and forty-seven hundredths percent of the salary of the chief justice of said department and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salaries of the first assistant clerks in said department and the salary of the assistant clerk in charge of the appeals session shall be eighty-three and one-half percent of the salary of the clerks of said court and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salaries of the assistant clerks in said department shall be seventy-seven percent of the salary of said clerks and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth.
The clerks and assistant clerks of the juvenile court department shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
Each clerk and assistant clerk of the juvenile court department appointed to such position prior to January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven and serving continuously in such position thereafter shall be entitled to thirty days vacation and thirty days sick leave in each calendar year. Each such clerk and assistant clerk may accumulate vacation leave and sick leave not used in any such year; provided, however, that the number of vacation days so accumulated shall not exceed sixty and the total amount of sick leave shall not exceed one hundred and eighty days; and provided, further, that no additional such days shall be accumulated on or after said January first except in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B. Any other clerk and assistant clerk of said department shall be entitled to vacation leave and sick leave in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to said section eight.
The first justice of each division of the juvenile court department may, with the approval of the chief justice for administration and management, appoint such official interpreters, or enter into service contracts for telephone-based interpretation services, as he may deem necessary for the sessions of his division. Any such interpreter shall hold his position at the pleasure of said first justice, and shall render such additional services as said first justice may require. Said first justice shall forthwith discharge any such interpreter who is found by him to have requested or received, directly or indirectly, any gratuity, bonus or fee in connection with any case pending or in the course of preparation for presentation to any court. Other interpreters may be employed by the first justice when the services of the official interpreter are not available.
JUVENILE COURT, THE BRISTOL COUNTY JUVENILE COURT AND THE SPRINGFIELD JUVENILE COURT Chapter 218: Section 58A. Administrative assistant for intergovernmental relations Section 58A. The Boston juvenile court shall have an administrative assistant for intergovernmental relations who shall coordinate activities between the Boston juvenile court and the department of mental health, the department of public welfare, the department of youth service and other state, county and federal agencies. Said administrative assistant shall be appointed by the justice and shall receive a salary equal to eighty per cent of the salary of the justice.
JUVENILE COURT, THE BRISTOL COUNTY JUVENILE COURT AND THE SPRINGFIELD JUVENILE COURT Chapter 218: Section 58B. Special justices of Boston juvenile court; certification of full-time duties; restrictions on employment Section 58B. (a) Any special justice of the Boston juvenile court holding office on January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six may, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (c), certify in writing to the justice of the Boston juvenile court that upon said certificate becoming effective, said special justice shall devote full-time during ordinary business hours to the duties of his office and shall not engage directly or indirectly in the practice of law. Said certificate shall become effective at such time as the justice of the Boston juvenile court may direct, but in no case later than July first, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine provided that no such special justice shall become full-time before another who has filed a certificate before him; and provided further that no certificate may be withdrawn after it has been filed.
(b) Upon said certificate becoming effective, said special justice shall be subject to the following provisions: (1) he shall devote full-time during ordinary business hours to the duties of his office, and shall not engage directly or indirectly in the practice of law; (2) he shall be paid the salary provided in section seventy-seven A for justices of the district courts who are required to devote full-time to their duties, other than the chief justice of the district courts, said salary to be paid from the same source and in the same manner as the salary paid to the justice of the Boston juvenile court, and travel and expense allowances to the same extent as is provided for justices of district courts; (3) he shall sit in such other courts in such manner as the law provides for special justices who serve full-time in accordance with the provisions of section six A; provided that when he is assigned to sit in another court it is upon the concurrence of the chief justice of the district courts and the justice of the Boston juvenile court; and (4) he shall have such other powers, duties, rights and privileges as has a special justice under clause (4) of paragraph (b) of section six A.
(c) The certificate provided for in paragraph (a) of this section may be filed with the justice of the Boston juvenile court at any time before May first, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.
(d) A special justice of the Boston juvenile court who certifies himself in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be deemed to be entitled to the provisions of section six with regard to vacation and sick leave, including the provisions relative to accumulation; and, provided further, that during the calendar year in which his certificate is made effective, said special justice shall be entitled to the number of absences for vacation and sick leave corresponding to the proportion of said year remaining after said certificate becomes effective.
Notwithstanding any provisions of the General Laws to the contrary, (1) for the purposes of determining his pension responsibilities a special justice of the Boston juvenile court who serves full-time in accordance with the provisions of this section shall not be subject to the provisions of section sixty-five D of chapter thirty-two; and (2) for purposes of determining the pension rights of a special justice of the Boston juvenile court who files a certificate in accordance with the provisions of this section said special justice may elect to waive the provisions of section sixty-five B of chapter thirty-two and his full-time service shall be deemed the service of a justice of a district court, other than the chief justice, and said special justice shall be entitled to the same credit for his part-time service, if any, as a special justice as is provided in section sixty-five A of chapter thirty-two for a justice of a district court who has previously served as a special justice, provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to alter the pension rights and responsibilities applicable to a special justice of the Boston juvenile court who does not file a certificate under the provisions of this section.
(e) Any special justice of the Boston juvenile court who does not file a certificate under the foregoing provisions shall after July first, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine, be precluded from engaging directly or indirectly in the practice of law.
(f) Except as provided in paragraph (e), nothing in this section shall affect the powers, duties, rights and privileges of any special justice of the Boston juvenile court who is holding his office on January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six and who does not file a certificate under paragraph (a).
(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to establish a new judicial position nor to abolish the tenure of any incumbent special justice of the Boston juvenile court.
(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to interfere with the existing administrative powers and duties of the justice of the Boston juvenile court.
JUVENILE COURT, THE BRISTOL COUNTY JUVENILE COURT AND THE SPRINGFIELD JUVENILE COURT Chapter 218: Section 58C. Special justices of juvenile court Section 58C. (a) Any special justice of a juvenile court who assumes office after January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six shall devote full time during ordinary business hours to the duties of his office and shall not engage directly or indirectly in the practice of law.
(b) Said special justice shall be paid the salary provided in section seventy-seven A for justices of the district courts who are required to devote full time to their duties, other than the chief justice thereof, said salary to be paid from the same source and in the same manner as the salary paid to a justice of a juvenile court, and travel and expense allowance to the same extent as is provided for justices of district courts.
(c) Said special justice shall sit in such other divisions or departments within the trial court as the law provides for a justice of a juvenile court; and he shall have such other powers, duties, rights and privileges as has a special justice under clauses (4) and (5) of paragraph (b) of section six A.
(d) Said special justice shall have the same rights of vacation and sick leave and the same pension rights and responsibilities as are provided a special justice of a district court under paragraph (d) of section six A.
JUVENILE COURT, THE BRISTOL COUNTY JUVENILE COURT AND THE SPRINGFIELD JUVENILE COURT Chapter 218: Section 59. Powers, duties and procedure; jurisdiction Section 59. Except as otherwise provided by law, the divisions of the juvenile court department shall have and exercise, within their respective jurisdictions, the same powers, duties, and procedure as the divisions of the district court department; and all laws relating to district courts or municipal courts in their respective counties or officials thereof or proceedings therein, shall, so far as applicable, apply to said divisions of the juvenile court department.
The divisions of the juvenile court department shall also have jurisdiction in equity concurrent with the supreme judicial court and with the superior court department in all cases and matters arising under the provisions of chapters 119 and 210.
Chapter 218: Section 6. Justices; number; terms; compensation; duties Section 6. In each district court, as provided in section one, one appointment of associate justice of the trial court shall be made; except that the courts corresponding to the district court of Brockton, the district court of Chicopee, the district court of Chelsea, the first district court of Barnstable, the second district court of Bristol, the third district court of Bristol, the district court of Hampshire, the first district court of eastern Middlesex and the first district court of southern Middlesex, so-called, shall have two justices each; the courts corresponding to the third district court of eastern Middlesex and the central district court of Worcester, so-called, shall have three justices each; and the district court of Springfield shall have four justices.
Except as provided by section two of chapter one thousand and ninety of the acts of nineteen hundred and seventy-one, of section two of chapter three hundred and fifty-six of the acts of nineteen hundred and seventy-three, of section two of chapter nine hundred and fifty-nine of the acts of nineteen hundred and seventy-three, and of section two of chapter five hundred and twenty-two of the acts of nineteen hundred and seventy-six, there shall be appointed in each court an additional number of justices equivalent to the number of justices provided for said court in the first paragraph, which additional number shall correspond to the number of special justices authorized on January thirty-first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six for a district court having substantially the same territorial jurisdiction as said court; provided that in no event shall the total number of justices and special justices in the district court department hereby exceed 158; and provided further that such appointments made under this paragraph shall be made to those courts where vacancies first occur in the office of special justice after February first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six, and thereafter where vacancies occur in positions authorized under this paragraph.
The chief justice of the district court department shall have the power to appoint the first justice of each of the various courts within the district court department, subject to the approval of the chief justice for administration and management, and to define his duties; provided, however, that appropriate consideration shall be given to seniority, length of service at that particular division, and managerial ability. Each first justice so appointed shall serve as the first justice of that court for a five-year term and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms at that particular court. Any first justice may be removed from his position as first justice, when it is determined by the chief justice of the district court department to be in the best interests of the administration of justice. Any first justice who is removed from his position as first justice by the chief justice of the district court department may appeal such removal to the chief justice for administration and management.
Citations, orders of notice, writs, executions and all other processes issued by the clerk of the court shall bear the teste of the first justice thereof or the chief justice of the department.
The first justice shall be the administrative head of his court and shall have the powers enumerated in section ten A of chapter two hundred and eleven B. As administrative head of his court, said first justice shall be responsible for the management of the courthouse and shall have control over all personnel employed therein; provided, however, that the clerk shall have responsibility for the internal administration of his office, including the selection, appointment, and management of the personnel, staff services and record keeping; and provided, further, that the commissioner of probation shall have the authority to appoint, dismiss, assign and discipline probation officers and associate probation officers within the several sessions of the trial court. A first justice or a clerk of the court may submit any dispute that arises between said first justice and said clerk concerning the management and administration of the office of the clerk, the duties, powers and obligations of the clerk, or a member of their staff, or the interpretation of the personnel standards provided for under section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B, to the chief justice of the department. Any person aggrieved by a decision of a chief justice under this paragraph may appeal said decision to the chief justice for administration and management, who shall, within thirty days, hear and determine the matter.
The clerk of each district court may appoint assistant clerks and temporary assistant clerks.
A special justice in the district court department or the juvenile court department who does not serve full-time in accordance with the provisions of section six A, section fifty-eight B or fifty-eight C shall be paid by the commonwealth for each day’s services at the rate by the day of the salary of a justice of the court where he is assigned.
If a justice is absent on Saturday or absent due to an assignment in another court or department within the trial court, no such deduction shall be made therefor from vacation time or sick leave accumulated. During the calendar year of the taking office of a justice no such deduction shall be made for the absence of the justice on that proportion of thirty days corresponding to the proportion of said calendar year remaining after his taking office as justice, nor in addition for the absence of the justice by reason of illness or physical disability for the said proportion of thirty days.
Subject to the provisions of section forty, the special justices in the district court department shall sit and in addition perform such other duties as special justices in such other courts on such occasions as ordered by the chief justice for the district court department; and in such other departments of the trial court as authorized by law.
JUVENILE COURT, THE BRISTOL COUNTY JUVENILE COURT AND THE SPRINGFIELD JUVENILE COURT Chapter 218: Section 60. Jurisdiction over offenders; rule making power Section 60. Within the territorial limits prescribed in section fifty-seven, the divisions of the juvenile court department shall have and exercise jurisdiction, exclusive of all municipal and district courts, over cases of juvenile offenders under age seventeen and cases of neglected or delinquent children, and over proceedings referred to it under the provisions of section four A of chapter two hundred and eleven. In addition to the powers conferred in section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven B, the chief justice for the juvenile court department may, from time to time, provide procedural forms and make general rules and issue standing orders in reference to practice and procedure for the conducting of business in the juvenile court department, subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, said chief justice may make and promulgate rules providing for the transfer of petitions brought in the Boston court of the Suffolk county division of the juvenile court department under sections thirty-nine E to thirty-nine I of chapter one hundred and nineteen for hearing in other courts of the Suffolk county division of the juvenile court department as may be appropriate.
Chapter 218: Section 61 to 65. Repealed, 1992, 379, Sec. 168 Chapter 218: Section 66. Boston municipal court department; messenger Section 66. There shall be a messenger of the Boston municipal court department, appointed by a majority of the justices.
Chapter 218: Section 67. Boston municipal court; interpreters Section 67. The chief justice of the Boston municipal court department may appoint such official court interpreters, or enter into such service contracts for the provision of telephone-based interpretation services, as he may deem necessary for the criminal and the civil sessions of the court, subject to the approval of the chief justice for administration and management. Official interpreters shall hold their positions at the pleasure of said department chief justice and shall render such additional services as said chief justice may require. Said department chief justice shall forthwith discharge any such official interpreter who shall be found by him to have requested or received, directly or indirectly, any gratuity, bonus or fee in connection with any criminal or civil case pending or in course of preparation for presentation to any court. Other official interpreters, or a telephone-based interpretation service, may be employed when the services of the official court interpreter are not available.
Chapter 218: Section 68. East Boston division of the Boston municipal court department; interpreter Section 68. The justice of the East Boston division of the Boston municipal court department may appoint an Italian interpreter for that court. Said interpreter shall be entitled to an annual vacation period of fifteen working days with pay.
Chapter 218: Section 69. Clerks of divisions of district court department; allowance for assistance Section 69. Clerks of the divisions of the district court department shall be allowed annually for clerical assistance such amounts as shall be approved by the chief justice for said department.
Chapter 218: Section 6A. Special justices of district court; certification of full time duties; restrictions on employment Section 6A. (a) Any special justice of a district court holding office on January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six may, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (c), certify in writing to the chief justice for the district court department that upon said certificate becoming effective said special justice shall devote full-time during ordinary business hours to the duties of his office and shall not engage directly or indirectly in the practice of law. Said certificate shall become effective at such time as the chief justice for the district court may direct, but in no case later than July first, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine; provided, however, that no special justice shall become full-time before another who has filed a certificate before him; and provided, further, that a certificate may not be withdrawn after it has been filed.
(b) Upon said certificate becoming effective, said special justice shall be subject to the following provisions: (1) he shall devote full-time during ordinary business hours to the duties of his office, and shall not engage directly or indirectly in the practice of law; (2) he shall be paid the salary provided for justices of the trial court who are required to devote full-time to their duties, said salary to be paid from the same sources and in the same manner as the salary of other justices of the district courts, and travel and expense allowances to the same extent as is provided for justices of the district courts; (3) he shall sit by assignments of the chief justice for the district court in the district court to which he was appointed, in district courts in the county in which the district court to which he was appointed is located or in which he resides or in a county adjacent to either of them, and, in instances where exigent circumstances require, in district courts in other counties, and he shall perform such other duties as are assigned him by said chief justice. He shall be assigned to sit as proximate as reasonably practicable to the district court to which he was appointed, consistent with the public interest in the effective administration of justice; and he shall sit in such other courts and in such manner as the law provides for justices and special justices of the district courts; (4) except as otherwise provided in this section he shall have the same powers, duties, rights and privileges, including the power to hear and decide civil actions, as a justice of a district court who is required to devote full-time to his duties and who is not the administrative head of his court; and (5) as provided in the preceding section six, he shall be eligible to be a first justice.
(c) The certificate provided for in paragraph (a) may be filed with the chief justice for the district court at any time before May thirty-first, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.
(d) The provisions of section six with regard to vacation and sick leave, including the provisions relative to accumulation, shall be deemed applicable to all justices and special justices who serve full-time in accordance with the provisions of this section. During the calendar year in which his certificate is made effective a special justice shall be entitled to the number of absences for vacation and sick leave corresponding to the proportion of said year remaining after said certificate becomes effective.
Notwithstanding any provisions of the general laws to the contrary, (1) for the purposes of determining pension responsibilities a special justice appointed, or first appointed, as the case may be, to his office prior to January second, nineteen hundred and seventy-five who serves full-time in accordance with the provisions of this section shall not be subject to the provisions of section sixty-five D of chapter thirty-two; and (2) for purposes of determining the pension rights of a special justice who serves full-time in accordance with the provisions of this section any special justice may elect to waive the provisions of section sixty-five B of chapter thirty-two and his full-time service shall be deemed the service of a justice of a district court, other than the chief justice, and said special justice shall be entitled to the same credit for his part-time service, if any, as a special justice as is provided in section sixty-five A of chapter thirty-two for a justice of a district court who has previously served as a special justice; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to alter the pension rights and responsibilities applicable to a special justice who does not file a certificate under the provisions of this section.
(e) Any special justice holding office on January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six who does not file a certificate under the foregoing provisions shall, after July first, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine, be precluded from engaging directly or indirectly in the practice of law.
(f) Except as provided in paragraph (e) nothing in this section shall affect the powers, duties, rights and privileges of any special justice who is holding his office on January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six and who does not file a certificate under the provisions of paragraph (a).
(g) Any special justice who assumes office after January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-six shall devote full-time during ordinary business hours to the duties of his office and shall not engage directly or indirectly in the practice of law, and shall also be subject to so much of the other provisions of paragraphs (b) and (d) as are applicable.
(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to establish a new judicial position nor to abolish the tenure of any incumbent special justice of a district court.
(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to interfere with the existing administrative powers and duties of a first justice in a district court.
Chapter 218: Section 7. Oaths; power to administer Section 7. Justices and special justices of district courts may, in or out of court, administer oaths in all cases in which an oath is required, unless otherwise expressly provided.
Chapter 218: Section 70. Clerks of Boston municipal and juvenile court departments; allowance for assistance Section 70. The clerks of the Boston municipal court department and the clerks of the divisions of the juvenile court department shall each be annually allowed for clerical assistance such amounts as the chief justice for their respective departments may approve.
Chapter 218: Section 71 to 73. Repealed, 1922, 399, Sec. 3 Chapter 218: Section 74. Monthly installments Section 74. Salaries of justices and special justices appointed to district courts shall be paid in monthly installments by the commonwealth.
Chapter 218: Section 75, 75A. Repealed, 1978, 478, Sec. 224 Chapter 218: Section 75B. Salaries of assistant clerks of Boston municipal court department Section 75B. The salaries of the first assistant clerks of the central division of the Boston municipal court department and the first assistant clerk designated in charge of twelve man jury sessions of said court shall be equal to eighty-three and one-half percent of the salary of the clerks of said court as provided for in section 53.
Chapter 218: Section 76, 76A. Repealed, 1978, 478, Sec. 224 Chapter 218: Section 77. Repealed, 1955, 741, Sec. 1A Chapter 218: Section 77A, 77B. Repealed, 1978, 478, Sec. 224 Chapter 218: Section 78. Repealed, 1975, 863, Sec. 6 Chapter 218: Section 79. Salaries of clerks Section 79. The salaries of the clerks of the district court department shall be seventy-five and forty-seven hundredths percent of the salary of the chief justice of said department and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth.
The clerks in the district court department shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
The clerks in the district court department appointed to said position prior to January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and serving continuously thereafter shall be entitled to thirty days vacation and thirty days sick leave in each calendar year. Any such clerk may accumulate vacation and sick leave not used in any such year; provided, however, that the number of vacation days so accumulated shall not exceed sixty and the total amount of sick leave shall not exceed one hundred and eighty days; and provided, further, that no additional such days shall be accumulated after said January first except in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B. All other clerks in the district court department shall be entitled to vacation leave and sick leave in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to said section eight.
Chapter 218: Section 8. Clerks; appointment; number; retirement; vacation and sick leave Section 8. Each district court shall have a clerk and the central division of the Boston municipal court department shall have one clerk as provided in section 52A. All such clerks shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the council. Said clerks shall hold office during good behavior, but subject, however, to retirement under the provisions of any applicable general or special law relative to retirement systems. Said clerk shall have responsibility for the internal administration of his office, including personnel, staff services and record keeping.
Each clerk appointed prior to January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven under the authority of this section and serving continuously thereafter shall be entitled to thirty days vacation and thirty days sick leave in each calendar year. Any such clerk may accumulate vacation and sick leave not used in any such year; provided, however, that the total amount of vacation days so accumulated shall not exceed sixty and the total amount of sick leave so accumulated shall not exceed one hundred and eighty days; and, provided further, that no additional such days shall be accumulated on or after said January first except in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B. All other clerks appointed under the authority of this section shall be entitled to vacation leave and sick leave in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to said section eight.
Chapter 218: Section 80. Compensation of assistant clerks; practice of law Section 80. The salaries of the first assistant clerks of the district court divisions as designated pursuant to section ten shall be eighty-three and one-half percent of the salaries of the clerks of said divisions as provided for in section seventy-nine and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salaries of the assistant clerks of the district court divisions shall be seventy-seven percent of the salaries of the clerks of said divisions as provided for in section seventy-nine, and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth.
The assistant clerks of the district court department shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
The assistant clerks of the district court department appointed to said position prior to January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven and serving continuously thereafter shall be entitled to thirty days vacation and thirty days sick leave in each calendar year. Any such clerk may accumulate vacation and sick leave not used in any such year; provided, however, that the number of vacation days so accumulated shall not exceed sixty and total amount of sick leave shall not exceed one hundred and eighty days; and provided, further, that no additional sick days shall be accumulated after said January first except in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B. All other assistant clerks of said department shall be entitled to vacation leave and sick leave in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the chief justice for administration and management pursuant to said section eight.
Chapter 218: Section 80A. Boston municipal court department; salaries of secretary and assistant secretary to justices Section 80A. The secretary and assistant secretary to the justices of the Boston municipal court department shall receive from the commonwealth in full for all services performed by them such salaries as shall be fixed by the justices of said department.
Chapter 218: Section 81. Traveling expenses Section 81. A justice of a division of the district court department upon certificate of the chief justice for the district court department shall quarterly be reimbursed by the commonwealth for the traveling expenses incurred by him when sitting at the order of said chief justice in a division other than the division to which he was appointed.
If sessions of a division of the district court department are held in more than one town in its district, the chief justice of the district court shall designate in which town the clerk’s main office shall be established, and the justices, clerk, assistant clerks, court officers and probation officers of such division shall each be allowed by the commonwealth traveling expenses necessarily incurred when required to hold or attend sessions of said division at any town in the district other than the town in which said main office is so established, such expenses to be computed either from the town where such office is established to such other town, or from his place of residence within such district to such other town, whichever is the shorter distance; provided, however, that a justice or a special justice appointed to the district court in Dukes county or the district court in Nantucket county shall receive his actual expenses for travel by land, sea or air from his residence on the mainland to such county office.
Chapter 218: Section 82. Repealed, 1956, 738, Sec. 8 Chapter 218: Section 82A. Repealed, 1969, 867, Sec. 2 Chapter 218: Section 83. Repealed, 1931, 301, Sec. 36 Chapter 218: Section 84. Computation of compensation Section 84. Justices and clerks whose salaries are fixed in this chapter shall be paid at the same rate for any part of a year, and in computing the rate by the day of the compensation of justices and clerks of district courts, Sundays and legal holidays shall not be included in the days on which the courts are open for business.
Chapter 218: Section 9. Temporary clerks Section 9. In the case of the absence, death or removal of a clerk of a court of the district court department, the chief justice of the district court department may appoint a temporary clerk, to act until the clerk resumes his duties or until the vacancy is filled.
In the case of the absence, death or removal of a clerk of a court of the Boston municipal court department, the chief justice of the Boston municipal department may appoint a temporary clerk, to act until the clerk resumes his duties or until the vacancy is filled.
A temporary clerk shall be paid by the commonwealth for each day’s service an amount equal to the rate by the day of the compensation of the clerk of such court as established in the salary schedule set forth in section seventy-nine; but compensation so paid to a temporary clerk for service, in excess of the number of days of vacation accumulated by the clerk as provided in section eight in any one year, shall be deducted by the state treasurer from the salary of the clerk; provided, however, that if a clerk is absent, due to his illness or physical disability, for a period not exceeding the number of days of sick leave he has accumulated pursuant to said section eight, no such deduction shall be made. Such thirty days sick leave or any portion thereof not used in any year may be accumulated, but shall, in any event not exceed one hundred and eighty days in any consecutive six-year period. If the person so appointed holds an office or position, the salary or compensation for which is paid out of the treasury of the commonwealth, or of a county, or a municipality, he shall not receive the salary of both office or positions during the period of such temporary service.
Chapter 220: Section 1. Flags; display in courts Section 1. The flag of the United States and the flag of the commonwealth shall be displayed in every court of justice of the commonwealth while court is in session. The flags shall be of suitable dimensions.
Chapter 220: Section 10. Judge, etc.
; interest of town in suit or proceeding Section 10. No person shall be disqualified from acting as judge, magistrate, appraiser or officer of any kind in a suit or proceeding in which a town is interested by reason of his interest as an inhabitant thereof. No juror shall be disqualified by reason of being an inhabitant of Boston.
Chapter 220: Section 11. United States judicial officer; ineligibility for certain offices Section 11. No person who holds a judicial office under the laws of the United States shall hold any judicial office of this commonwealth, except that of trial justice or justice of the peace.
Chapter 220: Section 12. Referee in bankruptcy; ineligibility for certain offices Section 12. No person who holds the office of referee in bankruptcy shall at the same time hold any judicial office, except that of justice of the peace, nor the office of clerk or assistant clerk of any court, or register or assistant register of probate and insolvency.
Chapter 220: Section 13. Exclusion of minors as spectators from court room Section 13. Any court may exclude minors as spectators from the court room during the trial of any cause, civil or criminal, if their presence is not necessary as witnesses or parties.
Chapter 220: Section 13A. Contempt cases; rights of defendant Section 13A. Any person who shall wilfully disobey any lawful process, order, judgment or command of the court in any action in which injunctive relief is sought in any matter involving or growing out of a labor dispute, as defined in section twenty C of chapter one hundred and forty-nine, by doing any act or thing in or by such process, order, judgment or command forbidden to be done by him, if the act or thing so done by him is of such character as to constitute also a criminal offense under the laws of the commonwealth shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial for his said contempt by an impartial jury of the county wherein it shall have been committed; provided, that this right shall not apply to contempts committed in the presence of the court or so near thereto as to interfere directly with the administration of justice or apply to the misbehavior, misconduct or disobedience of any officer of the court in respect to the orders or process of the court.
Chapter 220: Section 13B. Contempt cases; demand for retirement of justice sitting Section 13B. The defendant in any proceeding for contempt of court in such a case may file with the court a demand for the retirement of the justice sitting in such case, if the contempt arises from an attack upon the character or conduct of such justice and the attack occurred elsewhere than in the presence of the court or so near thereto as to interfere directly with the administration of justice. Upon the filing of any such demand, prior to the hearing in the contempt proceeding, the justice shall thereupon proceed no further, but another justice shall be assigned by the chief justice of the court.
Chapter 220: Section 14. Commitment for contempt; service of process Section 14. Commitments for contempt of court may be made to any jail in the commonwealth; and processes issued in proceedings relative to alleged contempt may be served in any county by any sheriff or deputy sheriff to whom they are directed.
Chapter 220: Section 14A. Time within which certain decisions to be rendered Section 14A. An associate justice of the superior court, who has reserved his decision in a case heard by him without a jury, shall render his decision within four months from the date when the hearing was closed, or within such further time as the chief justice of said court may grant, upon a request in writing by such justice within said period, containing a full report of his reasons for not having rendered his decision and for requesting an extension of time for rendering his decision. A justice or special justice of a district court, other than the municipal court of the city of Boston, who has reserved his decision in a case heard by him, shall render his decision within a like period, or within such further time as the presiding justice of the appellate division of the court in which the case was heard may grant, upon a like request in writing, made by such justice or special justice within said period. An associate or special justice of the municipal court of the city of Boston, who has reserved his decision in a case heard by him, shall render such decision within a like period, or within such further time as the chief justice of said court may grant, upon a like request in writing, made by such associate or special justice within said period.
Chapter 220: Section 15. Jurisdiction Section 15. The supreme judicial court and the superior court shall have jurisdiction to naturalize aliens resident within their respective judicial districts in the manner set forth in the federal laws relative to naturalization.
Chapter 220: Section 16, 17. Repealed, 1932, 144, Sec. 3 Chapter 220: Section 18. Declarations of intention Section 18. The superior court may authorize the execution and reception by the clerk of the court of declarations of intention in naturalization proceedings at such times as the court by general order may direct.
Chapter 220: Section 19. Repealed, 1932, 16 Chapter 220: Section 2. General powers Section 2. The courts of the commonwealth and the justices thereof shall have and exercise all the powers necessary for the performance of their duties. They may issue all writs, warrants and processes and make and award judgments, decrees, orders and injunctions necessary or proper to carry into effect the powers granted to them, and, if no form for such writ or process is prescribed by statute, they shall frame one in conformity with the principles of law and the usual course of proceedings in the courts of the commonwealth.
Chapter 220: Section 3. Conservators of peace; powers of justices Section 3. The justices of the supreme judicial court and of the superior court, justices and special justices of district courts, by virtue of their offices, and justices of the peace shall be conservators of the peace throughout the commonwealth and as such may, upon view of an affray, riot, assault or battery, without a warrant in writing, command the assistance of every sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable and police officer and of all other persons present for its suppression and for the arrest of all persons concerned therein as provided in chapters two hundred and seventy-five and two hundred and seventy-six. Persons so arrested shall be taken before a district court or trial justice for examination.
Chapter 220: Section 4. First day of sitting; designation Section 4. In writs, processes, records and judicial proceedings, civil or criminal, the day on which any sitting is to commence may be designated as the first, second or other Monday, or other day in the week, as the case may be, of the month in which the sitting commences.
Chapter 220: Section 5. Change of time and place of court; notice Section 5. If it is unsafe or inexpedient to hold a court at the time and place appointed, a justice of the court may appoint another time and place within the same county for holding the same. Such adjournment shall be made by an order in writing, signed by the justice or justices, and served by public proclamation by the person to whom it is directed in the shire town or as near thereto as is safe, and also by publication in such newspaper or in such other manner as is required in the order.
Chapter 220: Section 6. Business days; exceptions Section 6. The divisions of the departments of the trial court shall always be open and the business thereof, or of a justice thereof, may be transacted at any time, except that such business shall not be transacted on a Saturday or Sunday or on a legal holiday unless it relates to an application which, in the opinion of the justice to whom it is made, is of pressing necessity or for the purpose of instructing or discharging a jury, receiving a verdict or adjourning; provided that, if the convenience of the public so requires, the divisions shall be open for the transaction of business on such Saturdays, not legal holidays and during such hours thereof as the administrative justice of the department may determine. This section shall not prevent the exercise of the jurisdiction of any magistrate in criminal cases to preserve the peace or arrest offenders. The provisions of section nine of chapter four shall apply in the case of the closing of a court on any Saturday to the same extent as if such Saturday were a legal holiday.
Chapter 220: Section 7. Process servers Section 7. Sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables and other officers shall serve all lawful processes issued by a court, judge, judicial officer or county commissioners legally directed to them.
Chapter 220: Section 8. Purchase of claims by attorney and court officers, etc.
, prohibited; penalty Section 8. No attorney, justice of the peace, sheriff, deputy sheriff or constable shall, directly or indirectly, buy or be interested in buying, or, directly or indirectly, lend or advance or agree to lend or advance any money or other goods, or give or promise any valuable consideration whatever to any person, as an inducement to place, or in consideration of having placed, in the hands of any person any bond, note, book debt or right of action for collection, with intent to make for himself any gain from the fees arising from such collection by legal proceedings. Violations of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty nor more than five hundred dollars.
Chapter 220: Section 9. Criers Section 9. Clerks or assistant clerks of courts, sheriffs or their deputies, as the court may direct, shall perform the duties of criers, without additional compensation; and any officer may adjourn the court by order thereof.
Chapter 221: Section 1. Clerk of court for commonwealth; appointment; term, etc. Section 1. The justices of the supreme judicial court shall appoint the clerk of the supreme judicial court for the commonwealth for a term of five years from the date of his appointment, and may appoint an assistant clerk of said court for a term of three years from the first day of January next after his appointment, and may remove him.
Chapter 221: Section 10. Temporary clerk; appointment by court Section 10. If at a sitting of any court neither the clerk nor assistant clerk is present, the court may appoint a temporary clerk, who shall perform the duties of the office during the sitting or until the clerk or assistant clerk resumes his duties, unless an appointment under one of the two preceding sections is sooner made or unless a new clerk has qualified.
JUDICIAL AND SUPERIOR COURTS Chapter 221: Section 100. Temporary and assistant clerks; salaries Section 100. Each temporary clerk shall be paid by the clerk for whom he is acting such compensation as the court appointing him may determine. Each temporary assistant clerk appointed under section nine shall receive from the commonwealth the same salary as the assistant clerk for whom he is acting, and the amount so paid shall be deducted from the salary of such assistant clerk.
JUDICIAL AND SUPERIOR COURTS Chapter 221: Section 101. Salaries as full compensation Section 101. Except as otherwise provided, the salaries of clerks shall be in full compensation for all services rendered by them in the civil or criminal courts, to the county commissioners, in making any returns required by law or in the performance of any other official duty.
JUDICIAL AND SUPERIOR COURTS Chapter 221: Section 102. Clerical assistance Section 102. The clerks of the courts in the several counties, the clerks of the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county and the clerks of the superior court for said county shall each be annually allowed for clerical assistance, to be paid by the commonwealth such amounts as shall be approved by the chief administrative justice of the trial court.
Chapter 221: Section 11. Oath of clerk Section 11. The clerk, assistant clerk, temporary clerk and temporary assistant clerk of a court shall be sworn before a justice thereof, who shall, upon administering the oaths of office, forthwith make return of such act with the date thereof to the state secretary.
Chapter 221: Section 12. Bonds of clerks Section 12. The clerk and assistant clerk of the supreme judicial court for the commonwealth shall each, before entering upon the performance of his duties, and thereafter, at intervals of not more than one year, so long as he continues to hold such office, give bond, in the sum of two thousand dollars, conditioned to perform faithfully his official duties, payable to the state treasurer, with a surety company authorized to transact business in the commonwealth, as surety. Each clerk of the courts shall give bond in like manner to the commonwealth, conditioned to perform faithfully his official duties, with a surety company authorized to transact business in the commonwealth, as surety, in a sum not less than five thousand dollars. If the administrative justice shall so prescribe by rule, assistant clerks of the superior court department shall give bond in like manner and in a sum determined by said administrative justice.
Chapter 221: Section 13. Assistant clerk; notice to secretary of state of vacancies Section 13. Each clerk shall forthwith report to the state secretary a vacancy in the office of assistant clerk, and shall report the name and residence of the person appointed to fill such vacancy, and the date of the expiration of the term of service.
Chapter 221: Section 14. General duties of clerks Section 14. The clerks shall attend all the courts of which they are clerks when held in their respective counties, and the sessions of the county commissioners, and shall record their proceedings; and shall have the care and custody of all the records, books and papers which pertain to, or are filed or deposited in, their respective offices. The duties of the clerks, so far as they relate to the county commissioners, may be performed by deputy assistant clerks designated under section seven.
Chapter 221: Section 15. Supreme judicial court in Suffolk; duties of clerk and assistant clerk Section 15. The clerk of the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county shall attend all sessions of the court, except when sitting as a full court; shall record the proceedings and shall preserve all the files and papers thereof, including electronic filings; shall keep an electronic or paper docket record of all complaints, petitions, including petitions for admission to the bar, or other processes presented to the court. The clerk shall maintain care and custody of all court forms, all electronic and paper dockets, all electronic and paper information, including but not limited to notes, data, audit trails, statutes, and statistics, all electronic and paper reports of every nature and description, and all records, books and papers, both in electronic and paper format, which are filed or deposited in the county clerk’s office. The clerk shall make copies of all papers on file in the court and of the docket record thereof, if desired, and certify them under the seal of the court, shall issue such writs or other processes as the court orders, shall charge the fees provided by law for like services for clerks of courts, and if no express fee is provided, the clerk shall receive a fair compensation for the services required in analogy to like services for which a compensation is fixed by law. Each assistant clerk shall under the direction of the clerk perform any of the above duties of the clerk and shall pay over to the clerk all fees and amounts received as such assistant. When the assistant clerk is so acting his attestation as assistant clerk shall be sufficient without further designation. The clerk of the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county shall have responsibility for the internal administration of the clerk’s office, including, personnel, staff services and record keeping.
Chapter 221: Section 16. Superior court in Suffolk; duties of clerk Section 16. The clerk of the superior court for civil business in Suffolk county, or such assistant clerk of said court as the justices thereof designate for such duty, shall act as clerk of said court when sitting in Boston for the hearing of cases from any other county, and for such purposes as the court may order.
Chapter 221: Section 16A. Unified session clerk; designation; compensation Section 16A. The clerk of the superior court for criminal business in Suffolk county may designate, with the approval of the chief justice for administration and management, 1 assistant clerk appointed under section 5, as the unified session clerk to perform, under the direction of the clerk of the superior court for criminal business in Suffolk county, duties pertaining to the statewide unified session for trials and hearings relative to the determination of sexually dangerous persons pursuant to section 9 of chapter 123A. Such clerk shall receive in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section 4, a sum equivalent to 10 per cent of the salary of an assistant clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 17. Facsimile of signature of clerk; signature of assistant clerk Section 17. A facsimile of the signature of the clerk of any court in the commonwealth, imprinted by him upon any writ, summons, subpoena, order of notice or order of attachment, except executions, shall have the same validity as his written signature.
The name of an assistant clerk of any court, followed by the designation “assistant clerk” shall be a sufficient official signature.
Chapter 221: Section 18. Affidavits in court proceedings Section 18. Any affidavit required in any action or proceeding pending in any court in the commonwealth may be made and sworn to before a clerk or assistant clerk of such court.
Chapter 221: Section 19. Duty to forward notices of appeal, etc.
, to attorney general Section 19. The clerks shall cause one or more copies of all notices of appeal, orders for the report of cases, and bills of exceptions in criminal matters which may be filed or allowed in cases in which the attorney general appears for the commonwealth to be printed and forwarded to him at Boston as soon as may be after they have been filed or allowed.
Chapter 221: Section 2. Duties Section 2. The clerk shall attend all sessions of the court, preserve all the files and papers thereof, keep a docket record of all questions transferred, and of all petitions, complaints or other processes presented to the court, and enter thereon the names of the parties in full and of the counsel who appear in their behalf, and a brief description of the nature of the action or proceeding. He shall also record thereon accurate minutes of all orders, decrees or directions of the court in each case, transmit forthwith to the clerks of courts in the several counties all rescripts made or ordered by the court and the papers which belong to the supreme judicial court or the superior court in each case, and receive and keep safely all papers transmitted to him by the clerks of the courts. He shall make copies of all papers on file in said court and of the docket record thereof, if desired, and certify them under the seal of the court. He shall issue such writs or other processes as the court orders, shall charge the fees provided by law for like services for clerks of courts, and if no express fee is provided, he shall receive a fair compensation for the services required of him in analogy to like services for which a compensation is fixed by law. He shall annually, before the last Wednesday of December, account with and pay over to the state treasurer all fees received by him.
Chapter 221: Section 20. Rescripts, notice of Section 20. When a rescript is filed in a case or proceeding in any court, the clerk, register or recorder of such court shall forthwith give notice thereof to an attorney of record of each party. The clerk of the supreme judicial court for the commonwealth shall transmit a copy of each rescript to the reporter of decisions.
Chapter 221: Section 21. Repealed, 1973, 1114, Sec. 78 Chapter 221: Section 22. Orders of notice; power of clerk to issue Section 22. A clerk of the courts may issue any order of notice upon any complaint or other proceeding in a civil action which might be issued by court; but the court or a justice thereof may cause additional notice to be given.
Chapter 221: Section 23. Alphabetical list of parties Section 23. Each clerk shall keep an alphabetical list of the names of all parties to every action or judgment recorded in the records and a reference to the book and page thereof; and, if there are two or more plaintiffs or defendants, the name of each and a like reference shall be inserted in its appropriate place in the alphabetical list.
Chapter 221: Section 24. Repealed, 1956, 707, Sec. 3 Chapter 221: Section 25. Repealed, 1953, 319, Sec. 27 Chapter 221: Section 26. Physicians or unregistered practitioners convicted of crimes; clerk to report convictions to board of registration in medicine Section 26. The clerk of any court in which a physician registered in the commonwealth is convicted of any crime or in which an unregistered practitioner is convicted of holding himself out as a practitioner of medicine or of practicing medicine shall, within one week thereafter, report the same to the board of registration in medicine together with a copy of the court proceedings in the case. For the purposes of this section, a person shall be deemed to be convicted of a crime if he pleaded guilty or was found or adjudged guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
In the instance where a physician pleads nolo contendere to charges or where sufficient facts of guilt were found and the matter was continued without a finding by a court of competent jurisdiction, such clerk shall, within one week thereafter, report the same to the board of registration in medicine together with a copy of the court proceedings in the case.
Chapter 221: Section 27. Extension of papers on record Section 27. The supreme judicial court shall by rule or order direct in what manner and to what extent, if any, the papers in causes which are entered in any court of the commonwealth shall be extended upon the records, after final judgment or otherwise, and what shall be a final record. Such rule or order shall specify whether such extension shall be in whole or in part, shall be in long hand, typewriting, print or otherwise, or shall consist of the filing of original papers in such causes by loose leaf system or otherwise.
Chapter 221: Section 27A. Obsolete or useless papers; disposition, destruction or storage Section 27A. The supreme judicial court may by rule or order provide for the disposal by destruction or otherwise of obsolete and useless papers or records which have been filed or deposited in any court of the commonwealth or in the custody of any of the clerks of the courts acting in the capacity of clerk of the county commissioners and of obsolete and useless notes of testimony that have been preserved in any such court, but subject, except with respect to such notes, to the following requirements:—(1) Any cause to which the papers relate, if they relate to a cause, shall have been finally disposed of for more than twenty years, and any criminal complaint which shall have been disposed of by being placed on file, as provided in section thirty-eight of chapter two hundred and eighteen, and shall have remained on file for more than twenty years.
(2) No original paper bearing date or known to have been filed earlier than the year eighteen hundred shall be destroyed.
(3) Reasonable notice to the public shall be given before any such disposal is made of any paper.
Any rule or order under authority of this section may provide for the method of proof in other causes of the contents of papers disposed of hereunder, and shall govern such proof, notwithstanding any statutory provision requiring any different method of proof.
The destruction of papers relating to matters heard before a trial justice or other magistrate, or old records of notaries public which are kept in any court in the commonwealth, is within the authority provided by this section.
In any rule or order of the supreme judicial court under this section for disposal or destruction of papers preserved in any particular court or clerk’s office or storage place, the action so authorized shall be subject to the supervision of the court in which the papers are preserved and no papers shall be so disposed of or destroyed without an order of such court, and in the case of a district court, without an order of the standing justice of such district court. Exceptions from any general description of papers to be destroyed may be made at any time. In the case of the disposal or destruction of records or papers of county commissioners in the custody of any of the clerks of the courts acting in the capacity of clerk of the county commissioners such disposal or destruction shall be subject to the joint supervision of the superior court and of the chairman of the county commissioners for the county.
Any papers or records which have been filed or deposited in any court of the commonwealth may be moved to places of storage approved by the supreme judicial court. Said court may by rule or order designate persons employed at such places to be authorized custodians of all papers and records so moved. All costs related to the moving and storage of such papers or records shall be borne by the commonwealth.
Chapter 221: Section 28. Records; duty of clerk to exhibit Section 28. The clerks of the courts in the several counties and of the supreme judicial and superior courts in Suffolk county shall at the first sitting in each year of the supreme judicial court in their counties exhibit their latest books of records to a justice of the court, who shall cause errors and defects therein to be corrected.
Chapter 221: Section 29. Records; duty of justices to inspect Section 29. The justices of the several courts shall inspect the doings of the clerks from time to time, and shall see that the records are made up seasonably and kept in good order; and if the records are left incomplete for more than six consecutive months, such neglect unless caused by illness or casualty shall be adjudged a forfeiture of the bond of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 3. Election of clerks; term Section 3. There shall be a clerk for the supreme judicial court for the county of Suffolk, and two clerks for the superior court of said county, one for civil and one for criminal business; and in each of the other counties a clerk of the courts who shall act as clerk of the supreme judicial court, of the superior court and of the county commissioners. All of said officers shall hold office for six years beginning with the first Wednesday of January following their election and until their successors are qualified.
Chapter 221: Section 30. Forfeiture of bond Section 30. If any neglect causes a forfeiture of the bond of a clerk or assistant clerk, the justices shall forthwith give written notice thereof to the treasurer having custody thereof, who shall thereupon cause suit to be brought thereon. The amount recovered in such suit shall be applied to the expense of making up the deficient records under the direction of the court in whose records the deficiency exists, and the surplus, if any, shall be carried into the account of such treasurer.
Chapter 221: Section 31. Misconduct in office; liability Section 31. The two preceding sections shall not exempt a clerk or assistant clerk from an action for any other breach of the condition of his bond or from his liability in any other way or to any party for neglect or misconduct in his office.
Chapter 221: Section 32. Fees; duty of clerks to account Section 32. The clerks of the courts in the several counties, and of the supreme judicial court and superior court department for Suffolk county, shall keep cash books, which shall be the property of the commonwealth and shall be and remain a part of the records of the courts, in which they shall keep accounts of all fees received by them for their official acts and services, including fees for copies which they are not required by law to furnish, fees and money in proceedings relative to naturalization or for naturalization certificates, and all fees and money of whatever description or character received by them, or by any assistant or other person in their offices or employment, for any acts done or services rendered in connection with their said offices, and shall on or before the tenth day of each month pay over to the state treasurer all fees received during the preceding calendar month, and shall render therewith a sworn account thereof; provided, that said clerks shall account for and pay over to the United States bureau of naturalization in accordance with the federal laws as to naturalization such part of any moneys received by them under or by authority of such laws as they are required thereby to account for and pay over.
Chapter 221: Section 33. Assistant clerk; duties Section 33. Each assistant clerk shall under the direction of the clerk perform any of the duties of the clerk and shall pay over to him all fees and amounts received as such assistant. In the absence or upon the resignation, death or removal of the clerk, the assistant clerk shall perform his duties under the direction of the court until he returns or until a new clerk has qualified, and upon the death, removal or resignation of the clerk, the assistant clerk shall account with, and pay over the money in his hands to, the officer to whom the clerk is by law required to account.
Chapter 221: Section 34. Repealed, 1931, 426, Sec. 291 Chapter 221: Section 34A. Establishment; purpose; membership; term Section 34A. There shall be a judicial council for the continuous study of the organization, rules and methods of procedure and practice of the judicial system of the commonwealth, the work accomplished, and the results produced by that system and its various parts. Said council shall be composed of the chief justice of the supreme judicial court or some other justice or former justice of that court appointed from time to time by him; the chief justice of the appeals court or some other justice or former justice of that court appointed from time to time by him; the administrative justice for each department of the trial court or some other justice or former justice appointed to said department, or division thereof as the case may be, or to a predecessor court of said department or division, appointed from time to time by said administrative justice; and not more than four members of the bar all to be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the executive council. The appointments by the governor shall be for such periods, not exceeding four years, as he shall determine.
Chapter 221: Section 34B. Reports to governor; rules of practice and procedure Section 34B. The judicial council shall report annually on or before December first to the governor upon the work of the various branches of the judicial system. Said council may also from time to time submit for the consideration of the justices of the various courts such suggestions in regard to rules of practice and procedure as it may deem advisable.
Chapter 221: Section 34C. Compensation; clerical expenses Section 34C. No member of said council, except as hereinafter provided, shall receive any compensation for his services, but said council and the several members thereof shall be allowed from the state treasury out of any appropriation made for the purpose such expenses for clerical and other services, travel and incidentals as the governor and council shall approve. The secretary of said council, whether or not a member thereof, shall receive from the commonwealth a salary of ten thousand dollars.
Chapter 221: Section 34D. Repealed, 1983, 673, Sec. 3 Chapter 221: Section 34E. Members, terms; executive director; legal advisors; volunteer legal assistance program; information program; procedures; funds Section 34E. The justices of the supreme judicial court shall appoint a mental health legal advisors committee consisting of fourteen attorneys, four of whom shall hold office for a term of four years, four for a term of three years, three for a term of two years and three for a term of one year. Upon completion of each such term of a member of said committee, his successor shall be appointed for a term of four years. The unexpired portion of any term which becomes vacant shall be filled by the justices of the supreme judicial court. Members of said committee may be removed by the justices of the supreme judicial court. No member of the committee shall receive any compensation for his services, but each member shall be reimbursed for actual traveling expenses incurred by him in attending the committee meetings. The membership of the committee shall contain a practicing attorney or attorneys from each of the mental health regions of the Commonwealth. The committee shall annually appoint and may at any time remove an executive director who shall be compensated from funds available therefor.
Any practicing member of the bar of the commonwealth who wishes to serve as a mental health legal advisor shall submit his name, office address and telephone number to the committee, which shall compile a list of all such names submitted, dividing the names into groups of lawyers practicing within each of the mental health regions of the commonwealth. Said list shall be updated quarterly. Said list of mental health legal advisors shall be circulated by the committee to the district courts and municipal courts of the commonwealth and to the department of mental health. The committee shall annually establish and approve a fee schedule for such services as shall be performed by the mental health legal advisors and said mental health legal advisors shall upon certificate of the judge appointing him be compensated in accordance therewith for services performed for an indigent patient.
It shall be the duty of the committee to develop a program of volunteer legal assistance. Such program shall utilize the participation of attorneys, professional and nonprofessional aides and all other groups who offer their services on a voluntary basis, to assist and advise indigent patients and residents in Bridgewater state hospital and all other mental health and retardation facilities of the commonwealth concerning their legal rights. Said volunteers may, subject to the approval of the committee, interview and examine all pertinent records of any such patient or resident. In addition, the committee shall appoint such clerical or other nonprofessional staff assistants as may be necessary to carry out the duties of the committee.
It shall be the duty of the committee to conduct a continuing program of information with regard to the legal rights of patients and residents at all mental health and retardation facilities in the commonwealth, which information shall be circulated to said patients and residents and their relatives, to the employees of the department of mental health, the members of the bar of the commonwealth and to anyone requesting such information. In addition, such information shall be made available to the public at large.
Upon petition of an indigent patient or resident in Bridgewater state hospital or any other mental health or retardation facility, private or public, or the legal guardian or a relative or a friend of such patient or resident, to any district or municipal court of the commonwealth, such court shall appoint from the list circulated of mental health legal advisors, a lawyer, practicing in the same or an adjoining mental health region as that in which the court is situated, to advise such patient of his legal rights and to represent such patient.
A mental health legal advisor so appointed may examine all records pertaining to such patient or resident, including the records of the department of mental health and the department of correction or any other agency of the government of the commonwealth or any other institution operated by the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof or any hospital situated in the commonwealth. In addition, such advisor may make all necessary inquiries as he deems proper for the carrying out of his duties.
A mental health legal advisor shall be compensated for legal services performed for an indigent patient by the mental health legal advisor’s committee in accordance with the fee schedule established by the mental health legal advisors committee as provided for herein.
The committee shall be eligible for federal funds and may accept gifts, grants or contributions from any source and may expend the same, for the purpose of compensating said mental health legal advisors.
Chapter 221: Section 35. Appointment; statements of financial interest Section 35. There shall be a board of bar examiners consisting of five persons, at least four of whom shall be residents of different counties, one of whom shall annually be appointed by the justices of the supreme judicial court for a term of five years from October first in the year of his appointment, and who may be removed by them. Such justices may fill vacancies.
The supreme judicial court shall require the members of the board of bar examiners to file statements of financial interest. Such statements so filed shall be confidential.
Chapter 221: Section 36. Examinations for admission to bar; eligibility; board expenses Section 36. Said board may, subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court, make rules with reference to examinations for admission to the bar and the qualifications of applicants therefor, and determine the time and place of such examinations, and conduct the same; provided, that any applicant for admission to the bar who is a graduate of a college or who has complied with the entrance requirements of a college, or who has fulfilled for two years the requirements of a day or evening high school or of a school of equal grade, shall not be required to take any examination as to his general education; and provided, further, that no applicant for an examination for admission to the bar shall be restricted as to the number of times he may take such an examination. The expenses of said board, as certified by its chairman and approved by a justice of the supreme judicial court, shall be paid by the commonwealth, together with such compensation to each member as the justices of the supreme judicial court approve.
Chapter 221: Section 36A. Admission to the bar; educational requirements of World War II veterans Section 36A. No rule requiring that an applicant for admission to the bar shall have completed any college work shall apply to any person who served in the armed forces of the United States during World War II.
Chapter 221: Section 37. Petition for examination for admission to the bar; fees Section 37. A citizen of the United States, if over eighteen, may file a petition in the supreme judicial court or superior court to be examined for admission as an attorney at law. Unless the court otherwise orders, the clerk of such court shall refer the petition to the board of bar examiners to ascertain his acquirements and qualifications. If the board reports that the petitioner is of good moral character and sufficient acquirements and qualifications and recommends his admission, he shall be admitted unless the court otherwise determines, and thereafter may practice in all the courts of the commonwealth. A petitioner to be examined for admission shall pay to the clerk of the court in which his petition is filed a fee of $800 upon the entry of his petition and a further fee of $800 upon the entry of any subsequent petition. A member of the bar of any other state who applies to be admitted without examination shall pay to the clerk of the court in which his petition is filed a fee of $1,000. Any person who requests to have their bar examination scores transferred to another jurisdiction shall pay a fee of $25 for each transfer. If the board determines to allow petitioners for examination to use approved computers in connection with any portion of the examination, petitioners who use such computers shall pay a fee of $75 for such use; provided, that such a fee shall not be assessed against any petitioner who is granted permission to use such a computer by reason of any physical or mental impairment or other disability that substantially and mentally limits the individual’s ability to complete the bar examination. A member of the bar of any other state who applies to be admitted without examination shall pay to the clerk of the court in which his petition is filed a fee of $700. Such fees shall be paid over to the commonwealth.
Chapter 221: Section 38. Oath of office Section 38. Whoever is admitted as an attorney shall in open court take and subscribe the oaths to support the constitution of the United States and of the commonwealth; and the following oath of office shall be administered to and subscribed by him:I (repeat the name) solemnly swear that I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any false, groundless or unlawful suit, nor give aid or consent to the same; I will delay no man for lucre or malice; but I will conduct myself in the office of an attorney within the courts according to the best of my knowledge and discretion, and with all good fidelity as well to the courts as my clients. So help me God.
Chapter 221: Section 38A. Aliens; petitions and examinations Section 38A. Every alien who has made the primary declaration to become a citizen of the United States under the federal naturalization laws shall, upon otherwise complying with section thirty-seven, be permitted to file a petition in the supreme judicial or superior court to be examined for admission as an attorney at law, and to take the examinations held under said section; provided, that upon passing such examinations and otherwise meeting the requirements for admission as set forth in said section, the board of bar examiners shall not recommend his admission until satisfied that the applicant has become a citizen of the United States. No alien who claimed exemption during the world war on the ground of being an alien shall be entitled to the benefits of this section.
Chapter 221: Section 39. Attorneys from sister states; conditions for admissions Section 39. A citizen of the United States, whether man or woman, who has been admitted as an attorney or counsellor of the highest judicial court of any state, district, territory or country of which he was an inhabitant may, upon petition to the supreme judicial or the superior court be admitted to practice in all the courts of the commonwealth upon the production of satisfactory evidence of his good moral character and professional qualifications.
Chapter 221: Section 4. First assistant clerks; appointment Section 4. The justices of the supreme judicial court shall appoint for a term of three years from the date of their appointment, and may remove, first assistant clerks of courts for the counties of: Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Hampden, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Worcester and in Suffolk, a first assistant clerk of the supreme judicial court.
First assistant clerks of courts except in Suffolk county shall act as assistant clerks of the supreme judicial court, the superior court department and the county commissioners.
Chapter 221: Section 40. Removal; grounds; expenses Section 40. An attorney may be removed by the supreme judicial or superior court for deceit, malpractice or other gross misconduct, and shall also be liable in damages to the person injured thereby, and to such other punishment as may be provided by law. Whenever a petition is filed for the removal of an attorney, the proceedings thereafter shall be conducted by an attorney to be designated by the court. The expenses of the inquiry and proceedings in either court shall be paid as in criminal prosecutions in the superior court.
Chapter 221: Section 41. Unauthorized practice of law; solicitation of business; penalty Section 41. Whoever has been so removed and continues thereafter to practice law or to receive any fee for his services as an attorney at law rendered after such removal, or who holds himself out, or who represents or advertises himself as an attorney or counsellor at law, or whoever, not having been lawfully admitted to practice as an attorney at law, represents himself to be an attorney or counsellor at law, or to be lawfully qualified to practice in the courts of the commonwealth, by means of a sign, business card, letter head or otherwise, or holds himself out or represents or advertises himself as having authority or power in behalf of persons who have claims for damages to procure settlements of such claims for damages either to person or property, or whoever, not being an attorney at law, solicits or procures from any such person or his representative, either for himself or another, the management or control of any such claim, or authority to adjust or bring suit to recover for the same, or solicits for himself or another from a person accused of crime or his representative the right to defend the accused person, shall be punished for a first offence by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, and for a subsequent offence by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.
Chapter 221: Section 42. Standing of attorneys; records Section 42. The clerk of the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county shall cause to be made, and shall keep, a complete record in suitable form of all persons who are, or ever have been, or hereafter become, attorneys at law in this commonwealth, and of the suspension, removal or disbarment of such as have been or hereafter shall be suspended, removed or disbarred. Clerks of courts and other persons in whose custody there may be any record of an admission to the bar of an attorney at law, any record of a petition for suspension or removal therefrom, or of a judgment or decree of suspension or removal from practice of any attorney at law, shall within one month after the date of such record report the same to the clerk of the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county. The record of said clerk relative to an admission to the bar, or a suspension or removal therefrom, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts recorded. A certificate thereof signed by the clerk or assistant clerk shall be admissible as evidence of such record.
Chapter 221: Section 43. Claims for damages; solicitation prohibited Section 43. No attorney at law shall, through any runner, agent or person, hereinafter called a runner, who is employed by him solicit a person to employ him, nor shall any such runner solicit a person to employ such attorney, to present a claim for damages, or to prosecute an action for the enforcement thereof, and no attorney at law or runner shall directly or indirectly give or promise any person any money, fee, commission, profitable employment or other personal advantage in consideration of his employing such attorney on behalf of a person having a claim for damages, or of his soliciting or procuring the person who has such claim to employ such attorney to present such claim or to prosecute an action for the enforcement thereof. No attorney at law shall appear in any action or suit for the enforcement of a claim in connection with which he has violated this section. A district court, upon complaint alleging violation of any provision of this section by any runner who resides or has a place of business within its judicial district, may issue an order of notice to the person complained of to show cause why he should not be ordered to desist and refrain from violation of any such provision on penalty of contempt.
Chapter 221: Section 44. Disqualification for violation of Sec. 43 Section 44. If it appears to the satisfaction of the court that an attorney whose appearance has been entered in any suit has in connection therewith violated the preceding section, such attorney may in the discretion of the court be disqualified from further acting in said suit, and the court may make an order for continuance, or for another and speedy trial, or such other order for the protection of the interests of the parties, as justice may require, and may deny the right to collect costs wholly or in part to any party to the suit.
Chapter 221: Section 44A. Employees of hospitals or other medical institutions; communication with attorney concerning personal injury cases Section 44A. No person in the employ of, or in any capacity attached to or connected with, any hospital, infirmary or other institution, public or private, which receives patients for medical or surgical treatment, shall communicate, directly or indirectly, with any attorney at law, or any person representing such attorney, for the purpose of enabling such attorney, or any associate or employee of such attorney, to solicit employment to present a claim for damages or prosecute an action for the enforcement thereof, on behalf of any patient in any such institution. No such person in the employ of any hospital shall negotiate or attempt to negotiate the settlement of any such claim. A district court, upon complaint alleging violation of any provision of this section by any person employed by, or attached to, or connected with, any such hospital, infirmary or other institution situated within its judicial district, may issue an order of notice to the person complained of to show cause why he should not be ordered to desist and refrain from violation of any such provision on penalty of contempt.
Chapter 221: Section 44B. Copies of Sec. 44A; furnishing to hospitals; posting Section 44B. The superintendent or other person in immediate charge of each hospital, infirmary or institution referred to in section forty-four A shall cause to be posted and kept posted in a conspicuous place therein printed copies of said section. Printed copies of said section shall, on application therefor, be furnished to each such hospital, infirmary and institution by the department of public health at a price to be determined by the commission on administration and finance. Any such superintendent or other person who violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.
Chapter 221: Section 45. Sheriffs, deputy sheriffs and constables; practice of law prohibited Section 45. A sheriff, deputy sheriff or constable who appears in court as attorney for any party to a suit, or draws, makes or fills up a writ, declaration, plea or process for such party, or, with intent to procure himself to be employed in the collection of a demand, or in any manner to make gain or profit therefrom, advises, counsels or encourages a person, directly or indirectly, to commence a suit or process shall forfeit fifty dollars.
Chapter 221: Section 46. Practice of law by corporations; prohibition; exception Section 46. No corporation or association shall practice or appear as an attorney for any person other than itself in any court in the commonwealth or before any judicial body or hold itself out to the public or advertise as being entitled to practice law, and no corporation or association shall draw agreements, or other legal documents not relating to its lawful business, or draw wills, or give legal advice in matters not relating to its lawful business, or practice law, or hold itself out in any manner as being entitled to do any of the foregoing acts, by or through any person orally or by advertisement, letter or circular; provided, that nothing herein shall prohibit a corporation or association from employing an attorney in regard to its own affairs or in any litigation to which it is or may be a party or the insurer of a party. Any corporation or association violating this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars; and every officer, agent or employee of any such corporation or association who, on behalf of the same, directly or indirectly, engages in any of the acts herein prohibited, or assists such corporation or association to do such prohibited acts, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to a professional corporation organized to practice law under chapter one hundred and fifty-six A or to a limited liability company, whether domestic or foreign, or a general partnership, including a registered limited liability partnership registered pursuant to the laws of any state, the partners or professional employees of which company or partnership who practice law in the commonwealth do so in accordance with the requirements of the supreme judicial court.
Chapter 221: Section 46A. Practice of law; persons authorized Section 46A. No individual, other than a member, in good standing, of the bar of this commonwealth shall practice law, or, by word, sign, letter, advertisement or otherwise, hold himself out as authorized, entitled, competent, qualified or able to practice law; provided, that a member of the bar, in good standing, of any other state may appear, by permission of the court, as attorney or counselor, in any case pending therein, if such other state grants like privileges to members of the bar, in good standing, of this commonwealth.
Chapter 221: Section 46B. Jurisdiction to restrain violation of Sec. 46, 46A or 46C Section 46B. The supreme judicial court and the superior court shall have concurrent jurisdiction in equity, upon petition of any bar association within the commonwealth, or of three or more members of the bar of the commonwealth, or of the attorney general, or of the district attorney within his district, to restrain violations of section forty-six, forty-six A or forty-six C.
Chapter 221: Section 46C. Furnishing services to debtor in debt pooling plan; unauthorized practice of law Section 46C. The furnishing of advice or services for and in behalf of a debtor in connection with any debt pooling plan, whereby such debtor deposits any funds for the purposes of making pro rata payments or other distributions to his creditors, shall be deemed to be the practice of law within the provisions of sections forty-six and forty-six A. Any person who, not being a member of the bar of the commonwealth, furnishes or offers to furnish any such advice or services, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months or both.
Chapter 221: Section 46D. Credit counseling corporations, applicability of Secs. 46 to 46C Section 46D. The provisions of sections forty-six, forty-six A, forty-six B and forty-six C shall not apply to a corporation, or its agents, which has been organized under the provisions of chapter one hundred and eighty for the purpose of providing credit counseling.
Chapter 221: Section 47. Repealed, 1935, 346, Sec. 3 Chapter 221: Section 48. Prosecution or defense of own suits; restriction Section 48. Parties may manage, prosecute or defend their own suits personally, or by such attorneys as they may engage; but not more than two persons for each party shall, without permission of the court, be allowed to manage any case therein.
Chapter 221: Section 49. Repealed, 1935, 346, Sec. 3 Chapter 221: Section 5. Assistant clerks; appointment Section 5. In addition to the assistant clerks provided for in section four, the clerks of the courts for the following counties may, subject to the approval of the chief justice for administration and management as to compliance with personnel standards promulgated pursuant to section 8 of chapter 211B, appoint assistant clerks with the same powers and duties. Said appointments shall be as follows:Barnstable, 2 assistant clerksBristol, 9 assistant clerksEssex, 11 assistant clerksHampden, 10 assistant clerksNantucket, 1 assistant clerkNorfolk, 11 assistant clerksMiddlesex, 26 assistant clerksPlymouth, 6 assistant clerksWorcester, 11 assistant clerksSuffolk, (a) superior court department, by the clerk of the superior court department for criminal business, 22 assistants; (b) superior court department, by the clerk of the superior court department for civil business, 26 assistants; (c) supreme judicial court, by the clerk of the supreme judicial court for said county, a second assistant clerk, designated from his office force and a third assistant clerk, designated from his office force.
Chapter 221: Section 50. Attorney’s lien for fees; enforcement Section 50. From the authorized commencement of an action, counterclaim or other proceeding in any court, or appearance in any proceeding before any state or federal department, board or commission, the attorney who appears for a client in such proceeding shall have a lien for his reasonable fees and expenses upon his client’s cause of action, counterclaim or claim, upon the judgment, decree or other order in his client’s favor entered or made in such proceeding, and upon the proceeds derived therefrom. Upon request of the client or of the attorney, the court in which the proceeding is pending or, if the proceeding is not pending in a court, the superior court, may determine and enforce the lien; provided, that the provisions of this sentence shall not apply to any case where the method of the determination of attorneys’ fees is otherwise expressly provided by statute.
Chapter 221: Section 50A. Discharge of state or political subdivision from liability for attorney’s lien Section 50A. Payment by the commonwealth or by any political subdivision thereof to a client in full or in settlement of any claim, counterclaim, cause of action, judgment, execution, order or decree shall discharge the commonwealth or such political subdivision from all liability on account of any attorney’s liens thereon or on the proceeds derived therefrom unless the state treasurer or the treasurer of such political subdivision, as the case may be, has received written notice from an attorney having a lien under section fifty that he claims such lien.
Chapter 221: Section 50B. Claims; summary determination Section 50B. The court shall determine all claims in a summary manner, but without abridging the right of trial by jury as guaranteed by the constitution.
Chapter 221: Section 51. Failure to pay client’s money; penalty Section 51. An attorney at law who unreasonably neglects to pay over money collected by him for and in behalf of a client, when demanded by the client, shall forfeit to such client five times the lawful interest of the money from the time of the demand.
Chapter 221: Section 52. Disqualification of attorney to act in suits previously decided by him Section 52. No person shall be employed or allowed to appear as attorney before a court in any proceeding, civil or criminal, which shall have been previously determined before him as a judge of any court or as a trial justice.
Chapter 221: Section 53. Masters in chancery Section 53. The governor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall, as vacancies occur, appoint masters in chancery, who may act throughout the commonwealth, so that the number thereof in the several counties shall be twelve in Suffolk, eleven in Essex, eleven in Middlesex, seven in Worcester, six in Norfolk, six in Plymouth, six in Hampden, and not more than five in any other county. They shall be sworn, and shall hold their offices for five years.
Chapter 221: Section 54. Completion of business on expiration of commission Section 54. A master may complete any unfinished proceedings and processes pending before him or commenced under his direction notwithstanding the expiration of his commission.
Chapter 221: Section 55. Compensation of masters, etc. Section 55. The supreme judicial court, the superior court or the probate court shall award reasonable compensation to commissioners, assessors, referees, masters in chancery and special masters, for duties performed under the direction of said court, and to arbitrators appointed under chapter two hundred and fifty-one upon whose awards judgment is entered, which shall be paid by the commonwealth.
Chapter 221: Section 56. Repealed, 1975, 377, Sec. 17 Chapter 221: Section 57. Masters; appointment Section 57. When a civil action is at issue and is not governed by chapter two hundred and twenty-one B or by the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure or by any extensions thereof to domestic relations actions, the justice of the probate and family court division may appoint one or more masters to hear the parties, examine their vouchers and evidence, state accounts and report upon such matters therein as may be ordered by the court. The report shall be prima facie evidence upon such matters as are expressly referred to such masters.
Chapter 221: Section 58. Masters; hearings; reports; judgment Section 58. Masters shall give notice to the parties of the time and place appointed for their meeting, and may adjourn from time to time as may be necessary, subject, however, to any general or special order of the court. If there is more than one master, all shall meet and hear the cause, but a report may be made by a majority. If either party neglects to appear at the time appointed for such hearing, or at any adjournment thereof, without just cause, or if at any such hearing either party refuses to produce in good faith the testimony relied on by him, the masters may close the hearings and make a report recommending that judgment be entered for the adverse party. Judgment shall be entered accordingly after the expiration of ten days from the filing of the report, unless the court, for cause shown, otherwise orders. In all matters pertaining to the time, place and manner of conducting their hearings, masters shall be subject to any general or special order of the court by which they were appointed.
Chapter 221: Section 59. Auditors; discharge by court Section 59. The court may for cause discharge the auditors and appoint others and may recommit the report for revision or further examination to the same or to other auditors.
Chapter 221: Section 5A. Assistant and first assistant clerks; practice of law Section 5A. The assistant clerks appointed under the provisions of sections four and five of this chapter shall devote their entire time during business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
Chapter 221: Section 6. Repealed, 1978, 478, Sec. 234 Chapter 221: Section 60. Repealed, 1932, 40, Sec. 2 Chapter 221: Section 61. Masters; compensation and travel expenses Section 61. The court shall award reasonable compensation and allow actual expenses of travel in attending hearings, if said expenses be approved by the court as reasonable, to masters, and the same shall be paid by the commonwealth if they are appointed by the supreme judicial court, the superior court department or the probate and family court department. If they are appointed by any other department, the compensation awarded and expenses of travel allowed may be paid by either party and taxes in his bill or costs if he prevails; but the plaintiff shall be liable for such payment, and the court may make all orders and decrees, and issue process to enforce the same. No allowance for the expenses of travel shall be allowed by the court, unless the master shall file a true and correct account of such expenses, signed and sworn to by him.
Chapter 221: Section 62. Reports of masters Section 62. Masters appointed by the probate and family court department shall file their final report in the office of the register of the court by which they are appointed within ninety days after the hearing before them has been closed or within such time as the court may allow, and, in default thereof, shall not be entitled to any fees, except as provided in section sixty-two A.
Chapter 221: Section 62A. Masters; death or incapacity; compensation Section 62A. If a master appointed by the probate and family court department becomes incapacitated or dies without having filed his final report the court may award him or his estate reasonable compensation, payable by the commonwealth, upon a finding that he actually performed services which would entitle him to the compensation awarded had he filed a report as provided in section sixty-two; provided, that all his records and memoranda, or copies thereof, in the case in which compensation is sought, are filed with the register of the court.
Chapter 221: Section 62B. Clerks of courts as magistrates Section 62B. Clerks of court for the several counties, the clerk of the superior court for criminal business in Suffolk county, the clerk of the superior court for civil business in Suffolk county, clerks of the housing courts, registers of the probate courts, clerks of district courts, clerks of juvenile courts, and clerks of the Boston municipal court department; shall hereafter also have the title of magistrate for their particular department, or division as the case may be, of the trial court.
Magistrates herein provided shall continue to have and exercise all the powers, duties and responsibilities of clerks and registers and shall also have those provided for in section sixty-two C.
An assistant clerk, temporary clerk, temporary assistant clerk, or assistant register, shall also have and exercise the powers, duties and responsibilities of magistrate, subject to specific authorization by the clerk, or register, and specific approval of such authorization by the first justice of the division wherein he serves, or in the case of the superior court department or Boston municipal court department by the administrative justice therefor. Said first justice or administrative justice may place such restrictions on such authorization as is conducive to the effective administration of justice.
Chapter 221: Section 62C. Magistrates; powers and duties Section 62C. A magistrate designated under the previous section, in addition to his powers and duties as clerk, may:(a) grant such continuances as are agreed upon by all parties to any proceeding and as may be allowed by rule of court;(b) hear and rule on any uncontested non-evidentiary motion as may be allowed by rule of court;(c) call such pre-trial conferences as are deemed expedient for the purpose of ascertaining the trial readiness of parties to an action and of establishing a date for trial;(d) mediate actions under section twenty-two of chapter two hundred and eighteen;(e) receive citations and hold hearings pursuant to subsection A of section three of chapter ninety C.
(f) receive petitions and review orders pursuant to section one hundred and fifty-seven of chapter one hundred and forty;(g) hold preliminary hearings to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that a probationer has violated the terms of his probation.
(h) set bail on arraignments during the normal court day, when a justice is unavailable.
The powers of magistrates as provided herein shall be exercised as allowed by rule of court promulgated by the administrative justice of the appropriate department and approved by the supreme judicial court.
Chapter 221: Section 63. Appointment; tenure Section 63. There shall be a reporter of decisions of the supreme judicial court. He shall be appointed by the justices of the supreme judicial court, and hold office at their pleasure.
Chapter 221: Section 64. Preparation of reports; time of publication Section 64. He shall attend the law sittings of the court unless excused therefrom by the chief justice, make true reports of decisions upon all questions of law argued by counsel, prepare them for publication with suitable head notes, tables of cases and indexes, furnish them to the publisher, and superintend the correction, proof reading and publication thereof. He shall in his discretion report the several cases more or less at large according to their relative importance, so as not unnecessarily to increase the size or number of the volumes of reports. The reports of all decisions argued and determined before September first in each year shall be published within ninety days thereafter.
Chapter 221: Section 64A. Printing and sale of reports of decisions of supreme judicial and appeals courts; advertisement for bids; award and execution of contracts; performance bond Section 64A. The reporter shall from time to time advertise for bids for the execution of the printing and binding, and provide for the sale to the public at such price as he may fix, of the reports of decisions of the supreme judicial court and the appeals court and of reprints of volumes thereof previously published. Such contracts for printing and binding and for sale to the public shall cover such volumes as the reporter shall determine. The reporter shall take into consideration the circumstances and facilities of the several bidders for such contracts as well as the terms offered; may reject any bids received; shall award the contracts to such bidders as in his judgment the interests of the commonwealth may require; and shall execute the contracts in the name and behalf of the commonwealth. The reporter may from time to time negotiate for, and execute in the name and behalf of the commonwealth, contracts for the printing and sale to the public during such periods of time and at such prices as he may fix, of advance copies of opinions of said courts filed with him. Contracts under this section may be awarded by the reporter singly or in a group or groups. A surety company bond, or securities satisfactory to the reporter, in an amount fixed by him, which shall not be less than ten thousand dollars, shall be furnished by anyone to whom any single contract or group of contracts is awarded under authority of this section, to secure faithful performance thereof.
Chapter 221: Section 65. Style of reports Section 65. The volumes of reports shall be styled “Massachusetts Reports”, and the name of the reporter shall not be added thereto.
Chapter 221: Section 66. Opinions; duration and manner of keeping Section 66. The commonwealth shall provide a safe and convenient place in Boston where the reporter shall keep the written opinions of the court in all law cases argued in the several counties until their publication in the reports, and his dockets and copies of papers in such cases, and where he shall afford due facilities for their examination.
Chapter 221: Section 67. Deputy reporter Section 67. If the reporter is prevented from attending at a sitting, he shall depute a suitable person to attend for him and take notes of the decisions; or the court may appoint a person to act for him until he resumes the performance of his duties, or until another is appointed.
Chapter 221: Section 68. Compensation of reporter Section 68. The reporter shall receive from the commonwealth a salary to be fixed by the chief justice of the supreme judicial court, with the approval of the governor and council, and shall be allowed by the commonwealth for clerical and incidental expenses of his office such sums as shall be appropriated therefor. These amounts shall be in full compensation for his services and said expenses. All fees received by him for copies of opinions, rescripts and other papers shall be paid by him quarterly to the commonwealth, with a detailed statement thereof.
Chapter 221: Section 69. Number; compensation for attendance Section 69. Not more than four deputy sheriffs or court officers shall receive compensation for attendance upon any civil sitting of the supreme judicial court or a sitting of the superior court for civil business or for both civil and criminal business unless in the supreme judicial court the presiding justice and in the superior court the presiding justice or the district attorney in writing request the chief justice for administration and management to procure the attendance for the whole or a portion of such sitting of an additional number. Not more than six deputy sheriffs, court officers or constables shall receive compensation for attendance upon any criminal sitting of the superior court for criminal business unless the district attorney in writing requests the chief justice for administration and management to procure the attendance for the whole or a portion of such sitting of an additional number. Not more than eight deputy sheriffs or court officers shall receive compensation for attendance upon any sitting of the appeals court unless the presiding justice in writing requests the chief justice for administration and management to procure the attendance for a whole or a portion of such sitting of an additional number.
The chief justice for administration and management shall appoint the court officers for attendance upon the sessions of the supreme judicial court and the appeals court.
Chapter 221: Section 6A. Superior court for county of Middlesex; equity clerk Section 6A. The justices of the superior court may designate, for a term of three years from the date of such designation, one of the assistant clerks for the county of Middlesex, appointed under section five, to perform, under the direction of the clerk of the courts for the county of Middlesex, the duties of clerk pertaining to actions in which equitable relief is sought in said court, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section four or section five, as the case may be, a sum equivalent to five per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6B. Superior court for county of Essex; equity clerk Section 6B. The justices of the superior court may designate, for a term of three years from the date of such designation, one of the assistant clerks for the county of Essex, appointed under section five, to perform, under the direction of the clerk of the courts for the county of Essex, the duties of clerk pertaining to actions in which equitable relief is sought in said court, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section four, a sum equivalent to five per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6C. Superior court for county of Essex; criminal proceedings clerk Section 6C. The justices of the superior court may designate, for a term of three years from the date of such designation, one of the assistant clerks for the county of Essex, appointed under section five, to perform, under the direction of the clerk of the courts for the county of Essex, the duties of clerk pertaining to the criminal proceedings in said court, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section four, a sum equivalent to ten per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6D. Superior court for county of Norfolk; criminal proceedings clerk Section 6D. The clerk of the courts for the county of Norfolk may designate, subject to removal by the court or by the clerk, one of the assistant clerks for said county, appointed under section five, to perform, under the direction of said clerk, the duties of clerk pertaining to the criminal proceedings in said court, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section five, a sum equivalent to ten per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6E. Superior court for county of Worcester; equity proceedings clerk Section 6E. The justices of the superior court may designate, for a term of three years from the date of such designation, one of the assistant clerks for the county of Worcester, appointed under section five, to perform, under the direction of the clerk of the courts for the county of Worcester, the duties of clerk pertaining to the equity proceedings in said court, and such other duties as the clerk shall determine, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section four, a sum equivalent to five per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6F. Superior court for county of Worcester; criminal proceedings clerk Section 6F. The justices of the superior court may designate, for a term of three years from the date of such designation, one of the assistant clerks for the county of Worcester, appointed under section five, to perform, under the direction of the clerk of the courts for the county of Worcester, the duties of clerk pertaining to the criminal proceedings in said court, and such other duties as the clerk shall determine, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section four, a sum equivalent to ten per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6G. Superior court for county of Middlesex; criminal proceedings clerk Section 6G. The justices of the superior court may designate, for a term of three years from the date of such designation, one of the assistant clerks for the county of Middlesex, appointed under section five, to perform, under the direction of the clerk of the courts for the county of Middlesex, the duties of clerk pertaining to the criminal proceedings in said court, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section four, a sum equivalent to ten per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6H. Repealed, 1975, 50 Chapter 221: Section 6I. Superior court for county of Plymouth; equity proceedings clerk Section 6I. The justices of the superior court may designate for a term of three years from the date of such designation, one of the assistant clerks for the county of Plymouth, to perform, under the direction of the clerk of courts for the county of Plymouth, the duties of clerk pertaining to the equity proceedings of said court, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk, a sum equivalent to five per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6J. Superior court for county of Plymouth; criminal proceedings clerk Section 6J. The justices of the superior court may designate, for a term of three years from the date of such designation, one of the assistant clerks for the county of Plymouth, appointed under section five, to perform, under the direction of the clerk of the courts for the county of Plymouth, the duties of clerk pertaining to the criminal proceedings in said court, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section five, a sum equivalent to ten per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6K. Superior court for county of Hampden; equity proceedings clerk Section 6K. The justices of the superior court may designate, for a term of three years from the date of such designation, one of the assistant clerks for the county of Hampden, appointed under section five, to perform under the direction of the clerk of courts for the county of Hampden, the duties of clerk pertaining to the equity proceedings in said court, and such other duties as the clerk shall determine, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section four, a sum equivalent to five per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6L. Superior court for county of Hampden; criminal proceedings clerk Section 6L. The justices of the superior court may designate, for a term of three years from the date of such designation, one of the assistant clerks for the county of Hampden, appointed under section five, to perform, under the direction of the clerk of courts for the county of Hampden, the duties of the clerk pertaining to the criminal proceedings in said court, and such other duties as the clerk shall determine, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section four, a sum equivalent to ten per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6M. Superior court for county of Bristol; criminal proceedings clerk Section 6M. The clerk of the courts for the county of Bristol may designate, subject to removal by the court or by the clerk, one of the assistant clerks for said county, appointed under section five, to perform, under the direction of said clerk, the duties of clerk pertaining to the criminal proceedings in said court, who shall receive from said county, in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk under section five, a sum equivalent to ten per cent of the salary of the clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 6N. Superior court for county of Bristol; civil proceedings clerk Section 6N. The clerk of the courts for the county of Bristol may designate, subject to removal by the court or by the clerk, one of the assistant clerks for said county to perform, under the direction of said clerk, the duties of clerk pertaining to the civil proceedings in said court. The assistant clerk shall receive from the commonwealth a sum equivalent to 5 per cent of the salary of the clerk in addition to the salary paid to the assistant.
Chapter 221: Section 6O. Superior court for county of Bristol; equity proceedings clerk Section 6O. The clerk of the courts for the county of Bristol may designate, subject to removal by the court or by the clerk, one of the assistant clerks for said county to perform, under the direction of the clerk, the duties of clerk pertaining to the equity proceedings in said court. The assistant clerk shall receive from the commonwealth a sum equivalent to 5 per cent of the salary of the clerk in addition to the salary paid to him as an assistant clerk.
Chapter 221: Section 7. Deputy assistant clerks Section 7. The clerks of the courts of the several counties except Suffolk may designate such employees in their offices, as in their judgment may be necessary for the convenience of the public, as deputy assistant clerks of the courts, who shall have the same authority to administer oaths as the assistant clerks of the courts. Under the direction of the clerk, such of his duties as clerk of the county commissioners as he shall designate shall be performed by a deputy assistant clerk. The clerks of the courts may from time to time, as necessity or the public convenience requires, authorize in writing one or more deputy assistant clerks, designated as aforesaid, to act as assistant clerks of the courts and may in like manner invest them with such powers of assistant clerks as may be necessary for the purpose.
Chapter 221: Section 70. Appointment Section 70. Subject to appropriation, the chief justice for administration and management may appoint for attendance upon the several sessions of the trial court such officers as he deems necessary for the efficient operation of said court.
Chapter 221: Section 70A. Court officers; performance of police powers and duties Section 70A. Court officers and those authorized to act as court officers within the judicial branch may perform police duties and have police powers in or about the premises of the court or in the immediate vicinity thereof when so designated by the chief administrative justice.
Chapter 221: Section 71. Chief deputy sheriff for Suffolk, Middlesex and Hampden; chief court officer for Hampden, Norfolk and Worcester counties Section 71. The chief justice for administration and management shall designate a court officer to act as chief deputy sheriff for attendance on each superior court in Suffolk, Middlesex, and Hampden counties and one such court officer shall be designated to act as chief deputy sheriff for attendance on the appeals court in Suffolk county. In Hampden, Norfolk and Worcester counties the chief justice for administration and management may designate one court officer as chief court officer for attendance on the supreme judicial and superior courts. Such officers, under the orders of the chief justice for administration and management, in addition to their regular duties as court officers, shall supervise, direct and assign the officers of their respective courts.
Chapter 221: Section 71A. Assistant chief court officers in Suffolk county Section 71A. The chief administrative justice may designate three of the court officers of the superior court to act as assistant chief court officers for attendance on the superior court in Suffolk county. Such officers, in addition to their regular duties as court officers, shall perform such other duties as from time to time may be prescribed by the chief administrative justice. The chief administrative justice may designate one of the court officers of the appeals court to act as assistant chief court officer for attendance on the appeals court in Suffolk county.
Chapter 221: Section 72. Tenure; transfer or interchange in Suffolk county Section 72. Officers appointed as court officers to attend upon the sessions of the supreme judicial, appeals or superior court in any county, including chief deputies, assistant chief deputies and all chief court officers designated under section seventy-one, shall hold office during good behavior and until they are removed by the chief administrative justice, for cause. In Suffolk county, officers in attendance upon the supreme judicial court or upon the superior court may be interchanged or transferred from any of said courts to another by the chief administrative justice, with the approval in each instance, of the chief justice or the administrative justice of the court to which the transfer is proposed to be made.
Chapter 221: Section 73. Compensation in Suffolk county land court and probate court Section 73. The officer in attendance upon the land court in Suffolk County shall receive from the commonwealth in full for all services performed by him such salary as shall be fixed by the judges of said court. Each officer in attendance upon the probate court in said county shall receive in full for all services performed by him such salary as shall be fixed by the judges of said court.
Chapter 221: Section 73A. Repealed, 1945, 388, Sec. 2 Chapter 221: Section 73B. Compensation in Suffolk county supreme judicial court and appeals court Section 73B. Each officer in attendance upon the supreme judicial court in the county of Suffolk shall receive in full for all services performed by him such salary as shall be fixed by the justices of the supreme judicial court, which salary shall be paid by the commonwealth. Each officer in attendance upon the appeals court in the county of Suffolk shall receive in full for all services performed by him such salary as shall be fixed by the justices of the appeals court. Said salary shall be paid by the commonwealth.
Chapter 221: Section 74. Repealed, 1931, 301, Sec. 40 Chapter 221: Section 75. Deputy sheriffs and constables; compensation Section 75. The compensation of deputy sheriffs not on salary and of constables for attendance upon the supreme judicial, appeals, superior or probate court shall be paid by the commonwealth. The compensation of deputy sheriffs not on salary and of constables for attendance upon the sessions of the county commissioners, shall be paid by the respective counties.
Chapter 221: Section 76. Administrative assistant and messengers in Suffolk county; appointment; compensation; duties Section 76. The administrative assistant to the justices of the supreme judicial court in Suffolk county shall be appointed by the justices of said court. Said administrative assistant shall be paid by the commonwealth such sum as shall be determined by the justices of said court. The messenger to the justices of the appeals court shall be appointed by the justices of said court and shall also act as clerical assistant of said justices. His salary shall be established by the justices of said court. The messenger of the superior court in said county shall be appointed by the justices of said court and shall also act as clerical assistant of the justices of said court. His salary shall be established by the justices of said court and shall be paid by the commonwealth.
Chapter 221: Section 76A. Superior court in Suffolk county; assistant messenger Section 76A. The justices of the superior court may appoint an assistant messenger of said court sitting in and for the county of Suffolk. His salary shall be established by said justices and shall be paid by the commonwealth.
Chapter 221: Section 77. Premiums on official bonds; payment Section 77. Premiums on bonds of court officers and deputy sheriffs in attendance on the supreme judicial, appeals or superior court in Suffolk county and on the courts in Bristol, Hampden, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester counties shall be paid by the commonwealth.
Chapter 221: Section 78. Supreme judicial court in Suffolk county; service of venires; bond Section 78. Any officer in attendance upon the supreme judicial court in Suffolk county under section seventy-three, including the messenger of the justices of said court, may be designated by the justices to serve venires for jurors and the processes of said court, and when so designated shall have the authority of constables for said purposes, and shall be paid by the commonwealth his actual expenses necessarily incurred in making such services. He shall first give to the commonwealth a bond with sufficient sureties in the sum of fifteen hundred dollars for the faithful performance of his duties.
Chapter 221: Section 79. Witnesses; summoning in Suffolk and Worcester; expenses Section 79. Officers in attendance upon the sessions of the superior court for criminal business in Suffolk county and the officers appointed for attendance on the sessions of the superior court for civil or criminal business in Worcester county shall summon witnesses on behalf of the commonwealth from any part of the commonwealth, but shall receive therefor no compensation in addition to their salaries except for expenses actually incurred and paid.
Chapter 221: Section 8. Temporary clerks Section 8. If by reason of illness or other cause the clerk of the courts in any county, or of the supreme judicial court in Suffolk county, is unable to perform his duties, and there is no assistant clerk or he also is unable to perform the duties of his office, the justices of the supreme judicial court may appoint a temporary clerk, who shall perform the duties of the office until the clerk or assistant clerk resumes his duties. The justices of the superior court may appoint a temporary clerk if a clerk and assistant clerk of that court in Suffolk county cannot perform the duties of the office. When after any such temporary appointment the clerk or assistant clerk resumes his duties, he shall make a record of that fact, with the date, under his signature, in the latest book of records in each of his courts.
Chapter 221: Section 80. Uniforms of court officers Section 80. Court officers receiving stated salaries and deputy sheriffs in attendance upon the supreme judicial, appeals or superior court in Suffolk, Middlesex, Bristol, Norfolk, Hampden and Worcester counties shall, while on duty in said courts, wear uniforms which shall be designated by the chief justice for administration and management and which shall be furnished at the expense of the commonwealth.
Chapter 221: Section 81. Double compensation prohibited Section 81. No deputy sheriff or constable receiving a salary from the county shall be designated to attend, for compensation by the day, upon the sessions of the supreme judicial or superior court, and no deputy sheriff or constable shall receive compensation for attendance upon the sessions of more than one court, or upon more than one session of the same court, on the same day.
Chapter 221: Section 82. Appointment in superior court Section 82. The justices of the superior court shall appoint from time to time such official stenographers and additional stenographers for the several counties as the business of the court may require. Official and additional stenographers shall be sworn officers of the court, removable at the pleasure of the justices, may be appointed for more than one county, and shall perform such services in the county or counties for which they are appointed or in any other county, as may be assigned them by the justices or by their authority. The title of court reporter may be used by or to designate any stenographer referred to in this chapter.
Chapter 221: Section 83. Temporary stenographers; fees Section 83. The presiding justice at any sitting, trial or hearing in the supreme judicial court or the superior court, in case no stenographer is assigned therefor or in case of the illness or absence of a stenographer assigned, may appoint one or more temporary stenographers, who shall be sworn, and shall during his or their service have the powers and duties of an official stenographer.
Upon motion of any party, at any sitting, trial or hearing in any department of the Trial Court, where no official stenographer is assigned or available, the presiding justice shall appoint and designate any certified shorthand reporter to serve as temporary official stenographer for purposes of said proceedings, provided that the attendance fee of such certified shorthand reporter shall be borne by the moving party or parties, and where more than one party joins in the motion, shall be paid in equal shares by the requesting parties. Fees for transcripts of the proceedings shall be charged and apportioned among the parties in accordance with the provisions of section eighty-eight. The motion requesting the appointment of a temporary official stenographer shall specifically identify the person whose appointment is requested and shall certify that said person is a certified shorthand reporter. The fees for attendance and copies of transcripts paid to any individual appointed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be taxable as costs in favor of the prevailing party or parties to the same extent, and in the same manner, as the fees of official stenographers.
Chapter 221: Section 84, 85. Repealed, 1927, 332, Sec. 3 Chapter 221: Section 86. Stenographer for grand jury; appointment; custody of notes Section 86. A justice of the superior court may, upon the request of the district attorney or, if the grand jury was convened upon the written request of the attorney general, upon the request of the attorney general, appoint a stenographer, who shall be sworn, and who shall take stenographic notes of such testimony given before the grand jury as he may direct, and shall provide him with a transcript fully written out of such part of said notes as he requires. Such notes or any transcripts thereof, other than such transcripts as may be required by said justice, shall be transmitted to the district attorney or the attorney general as the case may be, and he shall have the custody thereof. This section shall not authorize the taking of any statement or testimony of a grand juror.
Chapter 221: Section 87. Duties of stenographers; regulations Section 87. The justices of the superior court may make regulations not inconsistent with law relative to the assignments, duties and service of stenographers appointed for that court, and any other matters relative to such stenographers.
Chapter 221: Section 88. Furnishing transcripts of notes; fees Section 88. Upon request of the presiding justice or any party, the stenographer shall furnish a transcript of his notes, or any part thereof, taken at a trial or hearing, for which he shall be paid by the party requesting it at the rate of three dollars per page for the original and one dollar per page for each additional copy ordered at the same time. In the event that daily copy is ordered by the presiding justice or any party, the rate shall be four dollars and fifty cents per page for the original copy and one dollar and fifty cents per page for each additional copy. If transcript is ordered by the presiding justice or, in a criminal case, by the district attorney, payment therefor at the same rate shall be made by the commonwealth upon a voucher approved by him, and, in a criminal case, the charges of transcripts furnished to said justice and to the district attorney shall be taxed like other expenses.
Chapter 221: Section 89. Clerical assistants Section 89. The justices of the superior court from time to time may appoint one or more clerical assistants, removable at the pleasure of the justices, and fix their compensation, which shall be paid by the county, or the commonwealth, or by both in such proportion as the justices may determine. The justices may make regulations not inconsistent with law relative to the assignments, duties and service of such clerical assistants, and any other matters relative to them.
Chapter 221: Section 9. Temporary assistant clerks; manner of appointment Section 9. If an assistant clerk of the courts is unable to perform the duties of his office, a temporary assistant clerk may be appointed in the same manner as an assistant clerk and he shall perform the duties of that office until the assistant clerk resumes his duties.
Chapter 221: Section 90. Repealed, 1922, 228, Sec. 1 Chapter 221: Section 90A. Services rendered outside appointing county; compensation; statement Section 90A. When a salaried official stenographer renders service in a county other than the one for which he is appointed, the justice shall allow him his reasonable and actual expenses for transportation, food and lodging, to be paid by the commonwealth. At the conclusion of his assignment he shall send a statement of the dates when he rendered service in such county, attested by the clerk of the court, to the state treasurer.
Chapter 221: Section 91. Superior courts; compensation of stenographers Section 91. Official stenographers, and all additional and temporary stenographers, appointed by the justices of the superior court shall receive salaries which shall be established from time to time by said justices which shall be paid by the commonwealth. Such official stenographers and additional and temporary stenographers shall receive such reasonable and actual expenses for travel, food and lodging as the administrative justice may allow.
Chapter 221: Section 91A. Repealed, 1972, 492, Sec. 3 Chapter 221: Section 91B. Employment of stenographer by defendant; admissibility of transcripts of notes; application of section Section 91B. At any hearing or proceeding in connection with a criminal case, including a hearing on the issuance of a complaint, at which a court appointed stenographer is not present, the defendant or the person against whom such complaint is filed may have the proceedings taken by a stenographer provided at his own expense. The judge or other officer presiding at such hearing or proceeding shall provide a suitable place in which such stenographer may hear and take notes of all testimony, arguments and rulings. The transcripts of notes taken by stenographers provided under authority of this section shall be admissible in accordance with the provisions of section eighty of chapter two hundred and thirty-three, except that the provisions of this section shall not be applicable to grand jury proceedings.
Chapter 221: Section 91C. Appointment of stenographer in civil cases before auditor or master; admissibility of transcripts Section 91C. Any party to a civil proceeding assigned to trial before an auditor or master may, upon motion duly made to the court, have such proceedings recorded at his own expense. Such party shall include in his motion the name of the official stenographer to be designated by the court. Said official stenographer, after being duly sworn, may take notes of all testimony adduced before the auditor or master. The transcripts thereof, after certification by said stenographer, shall be admissible in evidence in any further trial or hearing of the matter as evidence of testimony given, whenever proof of such testimony is otherwise competent.
Chapter 221: Section 91D. Court reporters; practices; contracts Section 91D. (a) As used in this section, the following words and phrases unless the context otherwise requires, shall have the following meanings:“Court reporter”, a shorthand reporter or voice reporter engaged in the practice of court reporting.
“Practice of court reporting”, the making of a verbatim record of any Massachusetts trial, legislative public hearing, state agency public hearing, deposition, examination before trial, hearing or proceeding before any grand jury, referee, board, commission, master or arbitrator, or other testimony given under oath.
(b) Contracts entered into pursuant to the practice of court reporting, not related to a particular case or reporting incident, between a court reporter or any person with whom a court reporter has a principal and agency relationship and an attorney at law, party to an action, or party having a financial interest in an action shall be prohibited. An attorney shall not be prohibited from negotiating or bidding reasonable court reporting fees, equal to all parties, on a case by case basis. This section shall not apply to a contract entered into pursuant to the practice of court reporting for the courts or to other contracts with governmental entities.
A person aggrieved by a violation of this section shall be entitled to review in the superior court and shall be entitled to all legal and equitable relief within the jurisdiction of the court.
Chapter 221: Section 92. Appointment; compensation Section 92. The justices of the superior court may appoint such official interpreters as they may deem necessary for the sessions of the court. Such interpreters shall hold their positions at the pleasure of the court, shall be paid by the commonwealth, and shall render such additional service as any justice of the court requires. No official interpreter shall request or receive, directly or indirectly, any gratuity, bonus or fee, in connection with any case pending, or in course of preparation for presentation to said court; provided, that upon request of the district attorney such interpreter may, in the discretion of the court, receive additional compensation from the county for his services as an interpreter at such hours or times as the courts are not in session, which shall be paid under section twenty-four of chapter twelve.
This section shall not prevent the justices from employing other interpreters when the services of the official interpreters are not available. Such expenses incurred shall be paid by the commonwealth.
Chapter 221: Section 92A. Interpreters for the deaf or hearing-impaired; court proceedings; arrests; admissibility of evidence; fees and expenses; privileged communications Section 92A. In any proceeding in any court in which a deaf or hearing-impaired person is a party or a witness, or proceeding involves a juvenile whose parent, or parents, is deaf or hearing-impaired, or in any proceeding before an executive or legislative board, commission, agency, bureau committee or other body of the state or political subdivisions involving a hearing-impaired person, such court or body shall appoint a qualified interpreter to interpret the proceedings, unless such deaf or hearing-impaired person knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waives, in writing the appointment of such interpreter. Such waiver is subject to the written approval of counsel where such deaf or hearing-impaired person is being represented by counsel. In no event shall the failure of the deaf or hearing-impaired person to request an interpreter be deemed a waiver of such appointment.
Whenever a deaf or hearing-impaired person is arrested for an alleged violation of a criminal law, including a local ordinance, the arresting officer shall procure and arrange payment for a qualified interpreter to assist such person regarding any interrogation, warning, notification of rights, or taking of a statement. No answer, statement, or admission, written or oral, made by a deaf or hearing-impaired person in response to any question by a law enforcement officer or any prosecutor, in his official capacity, in any criminal proceeding may be used against such deaf or hearing-impaired person unless such statement was made or elicited through a qualified interpreter and was made knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently or, in the case of waiver of interpreter, unless the court makes a special finding that any statement made by such deaf or hearing-impaired person was made knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently. In any criminal proceeding wherein counsel has been appointed to represent an indigent defendant, the court shall also appoint a qualified interpreter for such defendant, whenever such defendant is deaf or hearing-impaired to assist in communication with counsel in all phases of the preparation and presentation of the case.
In all proceedings involving an interpreter under this section, no testimony shall be admitted as evidence until: (1) the interpreter is so situated as to assure effective communication between all persons having a substantial interest in the outcome of such proceedings,(2) the interpreter swears under oath, that he will provide a true and accurate interpretation of the proceedings to the best of his skill and judgment, and(3) the person conducting such proceedings determines, on the basis of testimony of the interpreter and the deaf or hearing-impaired person, that such interpreter is able in that particular proceeding, to communicate accurately with and translate information to and from such deaf or hearing-impaired person involved.
If, at any time during the proceeding, it is determined that the interpreter is no longer able to provide effective communication between the parties, the person conducting such proceeding shall appoint another qualified interpreter or an intermediary interpreter in accordance with the provisions of this section.
For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:—“Intermediary interpreter”, a person who, because of an intimate acquaintance with deaf or hearing-impaired persons who use mainly natural or unusual gestures for communicating, can act as a mediator between the hearing-impaired person and the qualified interpreter.
“Qualified interpreter”, a person skilled in sign language or oral interpretation and transliteration, has the ability to communicate accurately with a deaf or hearing-impaired person and is able to translate information to and from such hearing-impaired person, an interpreter shall be deemed qualified or intermediary as determined by the Office of Deafness, based upon the recommendations of the Massachusetts Registry of the Deaf, the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf and other appropriate agencies. Said office of deafness shall coordinate all requests for qualified interpreters and shall maintain a list of all such interpreters from which it shall fill such requests.
An interpreter appointed pursuant to this section or section sixty-nine of chapter two hundred and thirty-four A, shall be reimbursed a reasonable fee by the commonwealth for his services, pursuant to a fee schedule established and promulgated by the chief administrative judge. Said schedule shall be based upon recommendations of the commission for the deaf and hard of hearing, established pursuant to the provisions of section one hundred and ninety-two of chapter six, the Massachusetts Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf, and other appropriate agencies. Reimbursement for actual travel and ordinary living expenses shall be at the rates provided for employees of the commonwealth.
A client has a privilege to prevent a certified sign language interpreter from disclosing a confidential communication between one or more persons where the communication was facilitated by said interpreter. For purposes of this paragraph a client is a person rendered interpreting services by an interpreter; a communication is confidential if a client has a reasonable expectation or intent that it not be disclosed to persons other than those to whom such disclosure is made.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any department, board, commission, agency or licensing authority from employing a qualified interpreter, who is recommended by the office of deafness, on a full-time basis or under contract at a mutually agreed upon compensation rate.
JUDICIAL AND SUPERIOR COURTS Chapter 221: Section 93. Supreme judicial court; salaries of clerks Section 93. The salary of the clerk of the supreme judicial court for the commonwealth shall be 81.
57 per cent of the salary of the chief justice of the supreme judicial court and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salary of the first assistant clerk of said court shall be 89.
25 per cent of the salary of said clerk and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salary of the assistant clerks of the supreme judicial court for the commonwealth shall be 78.
27 per cent of the salary of said clerk and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The clerk of the supreme judicial court for the commonwealth may employ necessary clerical assistance and may expend for said purpose such sums as may be appropriated therefore, subject, however, to the approval of the chief justice.
Said clerk and assistant clerk shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.
JUDICIAL AND SUPERIOR COURTS Chapter 221: Section 94. Manner of payment; salaries of clerks and assistant clerks Section 94. Except as provided in section ninety-three and except as otherwise provided, the salaries of the clerks of the courts and their assistants and the clerk of the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county and his assistants, the clerk of the superior court department for criminal business in Suffolk county and his assistants, the clerk of the superior court department for civil business in Suffolk county and his assistants shall be paid by the commonwealth, and shall be as follows:SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT FOR SUFFOLK COUNTYThe salary of the clerk of the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county shall be 81.
57 per cent of the salary of the chief justice of the supreme judicial court and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salary of the first assistant clerk of the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county shall be 89.
25 per cent of the salary of said clerk and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salary of the assistant clerks of the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county shall be 78.
27 per cent of the salary of said clerk and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth.
The salaries of the clerks in the superior court shall be seventy-five and forty-seven hundredths percent of the salary of the chief justice of said department and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salaries of the first assistant clerks of the superior court division shall be eighty-three and one-half percent of the salaries of said clerks and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salaries of the assistant clerks in said department shall be seventy-seven percent of the salary of said clerks and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth.
JUDICIAL AND SUPERIOR COURTS Chapter 221: Section 94A. Repealed, 1949, 774, Sec. 4 JUDICIAL AND SUPERIOR COURTS Chapter 221: Section 95 to 98. Repealed, 1931, 301, Sec. 47 JUDICIAL AND SUPERIOR COURTS Chapter 221: Section 99. Traveling expenses Section 99. Clerks and assistant clerks of courts shall receive from the commonwealth their traveling expenses necessarily incurred when holding sessions of said courts outside of the cities or towns in which the clerks’ offices are established and any expenses actually incurred in transporting official papers between clerks’ offices for court purposes, upon an itemized statement of such expenses being certified to, and approved by, the administrative justice for the superior court department.
Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:—“Board”, the board of directors of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.
“Corporation”, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.
“Eligible client”, any indigent person who is a resident of the commonwealth.
“Fee generating case”, any matter which, if undertaken on behalf of an eligible client by an attorney in private practice, may reasonably be expected to result in payment of the fee of such attorney from an award to the client or by the opposing party.
“Fiscal year”, the twelve-month period beginning on July first and ending on June thirtieth.
“Fund”, the Legal Assistance Fund.
“Indigent person”, a person who receives public assistance under the Massachusetts Aid to Families with Dependent Children, general relief or veterans’ benefits programs or receives assistance under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, or the Medicaid Program, 42 USC 1396 to 1396(n), inclusive, or a person whose income, after taxes, is one hundred and twenty-five per cent or less of the current poverty threshold annually established by the United States Office of Management and Budget, or a person who is otherwise considered indigent due to hardship circumstances under standards established by the board.
“Local program”, a qualified legal services program serving clients in an area limited to certain counties, cities, or towns of the commonwealth.
“Qualified legal services program”, a nonprofit program which provides legal services in civil cases without charge to indigent persons and has a board of directors composed of both attorneys and consumers of legal services. Legal services programs which have been or are funded in whole or in part by the Legal Services Corporation established pursuant to 42 USC 2996 to 2996(l), inclusive, shall be presumed to be qualified legal services programs.
“Recipient”, a qualified legal services program receiving financial assistance under this chapter.
“Statewide program”, a qualified legal services program serving eligible clients, or providing support services to local programs throughout the commonwealth.
Section 10. The corporation shall annually submit a complete and detailed report of its activities within ninety days after the end of the fiscal year to the clerk of the house of representatives, to the clerk of the senate, and to the governor. The annual report shall include, but not be limited to, descriptions of all programs funded, an evaluation of the performance of each program, a summary of the public monies expended, and descriptions of the individuals served by such programs.
Section 11. The books and records of the corporation shall be subject to a biennial audit by the auditor of the commonwealth.
statements Section 12. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a fund, as defined in section one. The corporation shall establish procedures for the application by qualified legal services programs for financial assistance from funds received or from other sources for the purposes established in this chapter. The corporation shall determine if such applications comply with the provisions of this chapter and shall determine the amounts of financial assistance to be provided to the qualified legal services programs.
Application for such financial assistance shall be made by qualified legal services programs by July first of each year. The corporation shall determine the amount of financial assistance to be distributed and the recipients of such financial assistance by September first of each year and payment of such financial assistance shall be made by October first of each year. In its discretion, the corporation may allow a second round of applications to be completed by January first, the distribution of which shall be determined by March first and payment of which shall be made by April first of each year.
Every recipient of such financial assistance shall annually submit to the corporation a financial statement including an audit of such monies approved by a certified public accountant.
Section 2. There is hereby created a body politic and corporate to be known as the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation for the purpose of providing financial support for legal assistance programs that provide representation to persons financially unable to afford such assistance in proceedings or matters other than criminal proceedings or matters, except those proceedings or matters in which the commonwealth is required to provide representation. The corporation may, however, provide financial support for legal assistance programs that provide representation to complainants financially unable to afford such assistance in proceedings before the Massachusetts commission against discrimination. The corporation is hereby constituted a public instrumentality of the commonwealth and the exercise by the corporation of the powers conferred in this chapter shall be deemed and held to be the performance of an essential public function. The corporation is hereby placed under the supreme judicial court but shall not be subject to the supervision or control of said court or of any other board, bureau, department, or agency of the commonwealth except as specifically provided in this chapter.
Section 3. The corporation shall be governed and its corporate powers exercised by a board of directors consisting of eleven persons, one of whom shall be the chief administrative justice of the trial court, or his or her designee, and ten of whom shall be appointed by the justices of the supreme judicial court. The appointees of the justices of the supreme judicial court shall be as follows: three members shall be persons who at the time of their appointment are currently serving, or have served within the previous five years, as unpaid directors of qualified legal services programs, two members shall be eligible clients, two members shall be from nominations submitted by the president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, one member shall be from nominations submitted by the president of the Boston Bar Association, and two members shall be from nominations submitted by the County Bar Associations for the counties of Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth and Worcester, acting through their presidents and by a majority of those County Bar Association presidents, present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose by the president of the Massachusetts Bar Association. Appointees shall serve for a term of five years, provided that in making the initial appointments the court shall appoint the three persons who are current or former directors of qualified legal services programs to terms of one, two, and three years, respectively; the two persons who are nominated by the president of the Massachusetts Bar Association to terms of one and two years, respectively; the person who is nominated by the president of the Boston Bar Association to a term of three years; and the two persons who are nominated by the presidents of the County Bar Associations to terms of one and two years, respectively. Each member shall be supportive of the purposes of this chapter and have an interest in the delivery of quality legal services to the indigent. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of a member of the board shall be appointed in a like manner to the unexpired term of such member and shall be eligible for reappointment. Any member may be removed from his appointment by the court for cause. The members shall annually elect a member of the board to serve as chairman. Six members of the board shall constitute a quorum. The members shall not receive a salary but shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary travel expenses. The provisions of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight A shall apply to all directors, officers and employees of the corporation, except that the corporation may provide financial assistance to a qualifying legal service program in which a director may have an interest or involvement; provided, however, that such interest and involvement is disclosed in advance to the other members of the board and contemporaneously recorded in the minutes of the board; and provided, further, that no director having such an interest or involvement may participate in any particular matter, as defined in section one of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight A, relating to such organization.
Section 4. The board shall hire an executive director and establish his salary. The executive director shall be the chief administrative and operational officer of the corporation. The executive director shall attend meetings of the board and may, subject to the approval of the board, employ other employees, consultants, and agents, including legal counsel and advisors. Neither the corporation nor any of its officers, agents, employees, consultants, or advisors shall be subject to the provisions of sections nine A, forty-five, forty-six, and fifty-two of chapter thirty or the provisions of chapter thirty-one.
of directors; duties; bond Section 5. The directors shall annually elect one of their members as vice chairman and shall designate a secretary and treasurer who need not be members of the board. The secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of the corporation and shall be custodian of all books, documents, and papers filed with the corporation and its official seal. The secretary shall cause copies to be made of all minutes and other records and documents of the corporation and shall certify that such copies are true copies and all persons dealing with the corporation may rely on such certification.
All officers and employees of the corporation having access to its cash or negotiable securities shall give bond to the corporation, at its expense, in such amount and with such surety as the board may prescribe. The persons required to give bond may be included in one or more blanket or scheduled bonds.
Section 6. The corporation shall have the following powers:(a) to make, amend, and repeal by-laws, rules and regulations, for the management of its affairs;(b) to adopt an official seal;(c) to sue and be sued, in its own name, subject to the provisions of section eight;(d) to make contracts and execute all instruments necessary or convenient for the carrying on of its business;(e) to acquire, own, hold, dispose of and encumber personal property of any nature or any interest therein;(f) to enter into agreements or transactions with any federal, state or municipal agency or other institutions;(g) to appear in its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments or other agencies of federal, state or municipal government, subject to the provisions of section eight;(h) to appoint officers, employees, consultants, agents and advisors and prescribe their duties and fix compensation within the limits provided by law;(i) to procure insurance against any losses in connection with its property in such amounts, and from such insurers, as may be necessary or desirable;(j) to accept any and all donations, grants, appropriations, bequests, and devises, conditional or otherwise, of money, property, service, or other things of value which may be received from the commonwealth, the United States or any agency thereof, any other governmental agency, any institution, person, firm or corporation, public and private; to be held, used or applied for any or all the purposes specified in this act, in accordance with the terms and conditions of any such grant. Receipt of each such donation or grant shall be detailed in the annual report of the corporation. Such report shall include the identity of the donor or lender, the nature of the transaction and any conditions attaching thereto;(k) to accept and evaluate applications from qualified legal services programs and to determine the amount of financial assistance to be provided to such qualified legal services programs;(l) to prepare, publish and distribute, with or without charge, as the corporation may determine, such technical studies, reports, bulletins and other materials as it deems appropriate;(m) to exercise any other powers of a corporation organized under chapter one hundred and fifty-six B; and(n) to do any and all things necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
chapter provisions and rules, etc.
; attorney responsibilities; non-English speaking clients Section 7. The corporation shall have authority to insure the compliance of recipients and their employees with the provisions of this chapter and the rules, regulations, and guidelines promulgated pursuant to this chapter, and to terminate after a hearing financial support to a recipient which fails to comply. Any such action shall be in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A.
No question of whether representation is authorized under this chapter, or the rules, regulations or guidelines promulgated pursuant to this chapter, shall be considered in, or affect the final disposition of any proceeding in which a person is represented by a recipient or an employee of a recipient. A litigant in such a proceeding may refer such question to the corporation which shall review and dispose of a question promptly and take appropriate action.
If a recipient finds that any of its employees has violated or caused the recipient to violate the provisions of this chapter or the rules, regulations, and guidelines promulgated pursuant to this chapter, the recipient shall take appropriate remedial or disciplinary action.
The corporation shall not under any provision of this chapter interfere with any attorney in carrying out his professional responsibilities to his client as established in the canons of ethics and the code of professional responsibility adopted by the supreme judicial court.
The corporation shall ensure that activities under this chapter are carried out in a manner consistent with such professional responsibilities.
No attorney shall receive any compensation, either directly or indirectly, for the provision of legal assistance under this chapter unless such attorney is admitted or otherwise authorized by law, rule, or regulation to practice law or provide such assistance in the commonwealth.
The corporation shall insure that no employee of the corporation or of any recipient while carrying out legal assistance activities under this chapter, shall engage in, or encourage others to engage in, any public demonstration or picketing, boycott or the like. No such employee shall, at any time, engage in, or encourage others to engage in any of the following activities: any rioting or civil disturbance, any activity which is in violation of an outstanding injunction of any court of competent jurisdiction, any other illegal activity, or any intentional identification of the corporation or any recipient with any electoral or partisan political activity.
In areas where significant numbers of eligible clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, the corporation shall, to the extent feasible, ensure that their principal language is used in providing legal assistance to such clients under this chapter.
legislation; political activity; attorney compensation Section 8. The corporation shall not itself participate in litigation unless the corporation or a recipient of the corporation is a party, or a recipient is representing an eligible client in litigation in which the interpretation of this chapter or a regulation promulgated under this chapter is an issue, and shall not participate on behalf of any client other than itself; nor shall the corporation undertake to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by the general court or by the Congress of the United States except that personnel of the corporation may testify or make other appropriate communication when formally requested to do so by a legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof, or in connection with legislation or appropriations directly affecting the activities of the corporation.
Neither the corporation nor any recipient shall contribute or make available corporate funds or program personnel or equipment to any political party or association, or so contribute to the campaign of any candidate for public or party office.
No class action suit, class action appeal, or amicus curiae class action may be undertaken, directly or through others, by a staff attorney employed by a recipient except with the express approval of a project director of a recipient in accordance with policies established by the governing body of such recipient.
Attorneys employed by a recipient shall be appointed to provide legal assistance without reasonable compensation only when such appointment is made pursuant to a statute, rule, or practice applied generally to attorneys practicing in the court where the appointment is made.
Employees of the corporation or of recipients shall not at any time intentionally identify the corporation or the recipient with any partisan or nonpartisan political activity associated with a political party or association, or the campaign or any candidate for public or party office.
Section 9. The corporation shall, subject to appropriation or to the amount of monies available from the fund, or from funds made available from any other public or private source, provide financial assistance to both local and statewide programs. In each fiscal year at least eighty per cent of such financial assistance shall be distributed to local programs on a basis proportionate to the number of eligible clients within the service areas of such local programs. Up to twenty per cent of such assistance may be distributed to statewide programs.
In the distribution of such assistance the corporation shall insure the maintenance of the highest quality of service and professional standards, the preservation of attorney-client relationships, and the protection of the integrity of the adversary process from any impairment, and that recipients, consistent with goals established by the corporation, shall adopt procedures for determining and implementing priorities for the provision of such assistance, taking into account the relative needs of eligible clients for such assistance, including such outreach, training, and support services as may be necessary, including, particularly, the needs for service on the part of significant segments of the population of eligible clients with special difficulties of access to legal services or special legal problems, including elderly and handicapped individuals, and appropriate training and support services; and, in order to provide such assistance to such significant segments of the population of eligible clients; that attorneys employed full time in legal assistance activities supported in major part by the corporation refrain from any compensated outside practice of law, and any uncompensated outside practice of law except as authorized in guidelines promulgated by the corporation; and that no financial assistance distributed pursuant to this chapter shall be used to provide legal assistance with respect to any fee generating case, or to provide legal assistance with respect to any criminal proceeding or civil action arising out of or brought for the purpose of challenging the validity of a criminal conviction, or to provide services to persons who are not eligible clients; and that a substantial amount of financial assistance distributed pursuant to this chapter shall be provided, under standards established by the board, for compensation for legal services to indigent persons which are provided by attorneys who engage in the private practice of law.
Section 1. The provisions of this chapter are enacted to expedite the hearing of child support cases in compliance with Section 3 of Public Law 98-378 (Section 466 of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act) and shall take effect upon receipt of notice by the IV-D agency of the disapproval, termination, revocation or denial of extension of an exemption granted to the commonwealth by the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to applicable federal law and regulations.
Section 10. After review of the hearing officer’s decision in accordance with section seven or reconsideration under section eight, a party may claim an appeal to the appeals court from an order, decision, or judgment of the court. Such appeal must be claimed within thirty days of the order. The supreme judicial court shall promulgate appropriate rules governing such appeals.
recertification and removal Section 2. A committee of child support hearing officers shall certify as child support hearing officers members of the bar of the commonwealth who shall have practiced family law for a minimum period prescribed by the committee. Those certified shall participate in a training program prescribed by the committee, shall possess such other qualifications as the committee on child support hearing officers shall fix, and shall not be justices or clerk-magistrates of the trial court. The committee shall certify hearing officers eligibility for reappointment yearly. The performance of the hearing officer shall be subject to an annual review. Public notice of the review shall be given and members of the public may submit to the committee written comments relating to their performance. The committee shall adopt appropriate rules giving the hearing officers opportunity to respond to written comments concerning recertification. The hearing officer shall serve in the various divisions of the trial court departments, as appointed by the administrative justices of those departments and shall be removable by such administrative justices during their terms.
membership; terms; chairman Section 3. The committee on child support hearing officers shall be comprised of the chief administrative justice of the trial court, the administrative justices of the probate and family court department, the district court department, and the Boston municipal court department, or their designees. The committee shall also include the following appointees of the chief administrative justice: a representative of the agency designated under Title IV, Part D of the Social Security Act, a representative of the department of transitional assistance if it is not the designated IV-D agency, as set forth in chapter one hundred and nineteen A, a representative of a bar association, a district attorney, a representative of an agency funded by chapter two hundred and twenty-one A, a custodial parent who is not a member of the bar and a noncustodial parent who is not a member of the bar. The terms of such appointees shall be three years; provided, however, that the first representative of a bar association, the first district attorney and the first representative of an agency funded pursuant to chapter two hundred and twenty-one A who are appointed shall serve for one year and the first custodial parent and the first noncustodial parent who are appointed shall serve for two years. Thereafter, all appointees shall serve for a term of three years, so that terms shall be staggered. The chief administrative justice shall be chairman of the committee on child support hearing officers.
hearing officers Section 4. There are hereby established within the superior court department, the probate and family court department, district court department, and Boston municipal court department of the trial court procedures to expedite the hearing of all child support cases which shall include those portions of motions for temporary orders, motions or complaints for temporary modifications, agreements for modification, complaints under chapter two hundred and seven, two hundred and eight, two hundred and nine, or two hundred and nine C, petitions pursuant to chapter two hundred and nine D or other proceedings involving child support, or involving spousal support when there are children eligible for child support. Child support cases shall also include those portions of motions or complaints seeking to enforce a child or spousal support order described in the previous sentence including complaints for contempt, motions for suspension of income assignment, actions to enforce income assignments of other states, and such other cases as are given to the jurisdiction of child support hearing officers by other provisions of law. Child support cases shall not include instances when the superior court or the probate and family court is to enter a judgment or decree under chapter two hundred and seven or two hundred and eight. The power of the child support hearing officers shall be limited to child support cases, as defined above, and any other issue raised in a motion or complaint shall be heard by a justice of the appropriate court in a separate proceeding.
Section 5. The child support cases heard by the child support hearing officers shall be governed by rules promulgated by the Supreme Judicial Court. Such rules shall specify that the parties shall receive adequate notice and opportunity to be heard and present relevant evidence in all proceedings. Such rules shall establish all procedures for child support cases, including initiation of actions, conduct of proceedings before the hearing officers, and approval of hearing officers’ orders and judgments by justices of the trial court departments.
Section 6. Without the approval of any justice of any court, a child support hearing officer shall have the power to issue subpoenas for the appearance of witnesses; to put witnesses under oath; to call parties to proceedings and to examine parties and witnesses; to require parties to file financial statements signed under oath; to issue a capias upon the failure of a party to appear on proper notice; and to accept acknowledgments of paternity and order blood tests under chapter two hundred and nine C.
Section 7. A hearing officer shall have the power to make the following orders, notwithstanding the default of the party chargeable with support or his failure to appear personally, which shall be subject to review and approval by a justice of the court division in which he is sitting as described in this chapter: an order for support under chapter two hundred and seven, two hundred and eight, two hundred and nine, two hundred and nine C or two hundred and nine D; a judgment of contempt for failure to comply with an order to provide support, including an employer’s failure to comply with an order for income assignment, for failure to appear in response to a summons, or for any other reason; a stipulation for support or modification agreed to by the parties; an order establishing the amount of arrears or the rate at which arrears are to be paid off; an order suspending a judgment enforcing the income assignment order of another state or making an income assignment order based on the judgment of another state; and all actions to enforce judgments and orders available to the courts, including, but not limited to, orders for attachment of or lien against property, orders to post bond and security, and judgments of trustee process; and such other powers as may be given to masters by statute or rule.
Section 7A. Each order or judgment of a hearing officer described in section six shall be presented to a justice of the division in which he is sitting within twenty-four hours for review and approval. The justice shall examine the record and sign each order or judgment unless he makes written findings that the hearing officer committed an error of law, that the decision is not supported by substantial evidence, or that it constitutes an abuse of discretion.
Section 8. Within three business days of the hearing officer’s decision, any party may seek reconsideration of that decision to a justice of the division in which the decision was rendered. In such cases, it shall be the burden of the party seeking reconsideration to show cause that the order of the hearing officer should not stand. The reconsideration hearing may consist of the presentation of evidence and argument to the justice, who may alter the decision of the hearing officer only on written findings. Approval of the hearing officer’s decision under section seven shall not limit the right to reconsideration under this section.
Section 9. Orders or judgments of a hearing officer shall be effective immediately unless stayed by a justice. Orders or judgments of a hearing officer shall not be stayed except by a justice of the division in which it was rendered, and in the event of such a stay the justice shall make a superseding order or judgment within seven calendar days.
Section 1. For the purpose of this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:“Certified interpreter”, an interpreter who has been duly trained and certified under the direction of the coordinator of interpreter services pursuant to subsection (e) of section seven.
“Interpreter”, a person who is readily able to interpret written and spoken language simultaneously and consecutively from English to the language of the non-English speaker or from said language to English.
“Judge”, a judge or justice, or a clerk-magistrate when acting in a magisterial capacity, of a trial court department.
“Non-English speaker”, a person who cannot speak or understand, or has difficulty in speaking or understanding, the English language, because he uses only or primarily a spoken language other than English.
“Qualified interpreter”, a certified interpreter who has also passed the examination and been qualified for interpreting in the federal courts by the United States district court for the district of Massachusetts.
interpreters; reports Section 2. A non-English speaker, throughout a legal proceeding, shall have a right to the assistance of a qualified interpreter who shall be appointed by the judge, unless the judge finds that no qualified interpreter of the non-English speaker’s language is reasonably available, in which event the non-English speaker shall have the right to a certified interpreter, who shall be appointed by the judge. The court shall report to the coordinator of interpreter services every instance in which a qualified interpreter was found not to be reasonably available.
Section 3. (a) A waiver of the right to an interpreter by a non-English speaker shall be effective only when approved by a judge after said non-English speaker has consulted with counsel and had explained to him, through an interpreter, in open court by the judge the nature and effect of such waiver. The judge may approve a waiver only upon finding that it is knowingly and voluntarily made. If such waiver is approved, the judge shall ensure that a recitation of the procedure followed pursuant to this subsection is made part of the record.
(b) The failure of a non-English speaker to request an interpreter shall not be deemed a waiver of such right, and a non-English speaker may retract any waiver of his right to an interpreter at any stage of the proceeding and indicate his desire to be assisted by an interpreter.
communications Section 4. (a) Before beginning to interpret in any proceeding an interpreter shall swear or affirm that he will make true and impartial interpretation using his best skill and judgment in accordance with the standards prescribed by law and the ethics of the interpreter profession.
(b) In any proceeding, the judge may order all of the testimony of a non-English speaker and its interpretation to be electronically recorded for use in audio or visual verification of the official transcript of the proceedings.
(c) Disclosures made out of court by communications of a non-English speaker through an interpreter to another person shall be a privileged communication and said interpreter shall not disclose such communication without permission of said non-English speaker; provided, however, that such non-English speaker had a reasonable expectation or intent that such communication would not be so disclosed.
Section 5. Any of the following actions shall be good cause for a judge to remove an interpreter:(a) knowingly and willfully making false interpretation while serving in an official capacity;(b) knowingly and willfully disclosing confidential or privileged information obtained while serving in an official capacity;(c) failing to follow the standards prescribed by law and the ethics of the interpreter profession; or(d) being unable to interpret adequately, including where the interpreter self-reports such inability.
Section 6. Interpreters appointed pursuant to this chapter shall be reimbursed for actual expenses and compensated for their services. Adequate compensation for services shall be determined by a schedule of fees adopted by the committee pursuant to subsection (d) of section seven.
for trial court; coordinator of court interpreter services; appointment; duties Section 7. (a) There shall be a committee for the administration of interpreters for the trial court, which committee shall consist of the chief administrative justice of the trial court, who shall be the chairman of said committee, the administrative justice of the district court department and one other justice and one clerk-magistrate of said department appointed by said administrative justice, a justice and a clerk or an assistant clerk of the superior court department appointed by the administrative justice of said department, a judge of the probate and family court department appointed by the administrative judge of said department and one other justice, judge or clerk-magistrate appointed by the chief administrative justice of the trial court.
(b) Following the standards and procedures established by the chief administrative justice of the trial court, the committee shall advertise, screen applications, interview, select and appoint the coordinator of court interpreter services, who shall serve at the pleasure of said committee.
(c) There shall be within the office of the chief administrative justice a coordinator of court interpreter services for the trial court and such other professional and clerical personnel as may be necessary in the judgment of said coordinator and the committee.
(d) The coordinator or the committee shall propose standards and procedures for the training, professional conduct, certification, qualification and adequate compensation of certified and qualified interpreters. Notice of hearing on any such proposed standards or procedures shall be published in the Massachusetts Register as if they were administrative regulations to be adopted pursuant to section two of chapter thirty A; and the proposed standards or procedures shall be reproduced and distributed to organizations representing the interests of foreign language users, with notice of the public hearing date, which shall occur no sooner than sixty days thereafter. After due consideration of public comment at the public hearing or otherwise, the committee shall adopt final standards and procedures and cause the same to be published in the Massachusetts Register.
(e) The coordinator of court interpreter services shall administer the interpreter program in the trial court to insure that the purposes of this chapter are carried out. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing the coordinator shall specifically:(1) establish and conduct a training program for interpreters in which they shall be trained and examined on language proficiency, proper conduct in court, professional ethics and other matters deemed appropriate and after successfully completing the course shall be duly certified;(2) compile and maintain lists of persons who have been certified and qualified and periodically communicate this information to the several departments and divisions of the trial court;(3) after due notice and hearing, remove anyone from such a list for inadequate performance or other good cause as provided in section five;(4) facilitate the prompt payment of interpreters for services rendered; and(5) gather statistics, conduct studies and make reports of the results thereof and of the administration of the program generally.
Chapter 222: Section 1. Appointment and jurisdiction Section 1. Justices of the peace and notaries public shall be appointed, and their commissions shall be issued, for the commonwealth, and they shall have jurisdiction throughout the commonwealth when acting under the sole authority of such a commission. Unless otherwise expressly provided they may administer oaths or affirmations in all cases in which an oath or affirmation is required, and take acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments.
Chapter 222: Section 10. Destruction of notary’s records; penalty Section 10. Whoever knowingly destroys, defaces or conceals the records or official papers of a notary public shall forfeit not more than one thousand dollars and be liable for damages to any person injured thereby.
Chapter 222: Section 11. Acknowledgments by persons in armed forces or their dependents Section 11. Persons serving in or with the armed forces of the United States or their dependents, wherever located, may acknowledge any instrument, in the manner and form required by the laws of this commonwealth, before any commissioned officer in the active service of the armed forces of the United States with the rank of second lieutenant or higher in the army, air force or marine corps, or ensign or higher in the navy or United States coast guard. Any such instrument shall contain a statement that the person executing the instrument is serving in or with the armed forces of the United States or is a dependent of a person serving in or with the armed forces of the United States, and in either case the statement shall include the serial number of the person so serving. No such instrument shall be rendered invalid by the failure to state therein the place of execution or acknowledgment.
No authentication of the officer’s certificate of acknowledgment shall be required.
Instruments so acknowledged outside of the commonwealth, if otherwise in accordance with law, shall be received and may be used in evidence, or for any other purpose, in the same manner as if taken before a commissioner of the commonwealth appointed to take depositions in other states.
Chapter 222: Section 12. Exemptions from maintaining journal of notary transactions Section 12. Notwithstanding any general law, rule, regulation or order to the contrary, attorneys-at-law and counselors-at-law as well as paralegals, legal secretaries and other legal staff, who by virtue of their employment perform notary duties shall be exempt from maintaining a journal of their notary transactions.
Chapter 222: Section 2. Repealed, 1923, 164, Sec. 7 Chapter 222: Section 3. Appointment; returns; fees Section 3. The governor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall appoint commissioners to administer to public officers the oaths of office required by the constitution. Upon administering such oaths, the commissioners shall forthwith make return thereof, with the date of the same, to the state secretary. Neither the state secretary, nor any officer or employee in his department acting as such a commissioner, shall charge any fee for administering such an oath.
Chapter 222: Section 4. Appointment; term Section 4. The governor, with the advice and consent of the council, may appoint commissioners in the states, territories, districts and dependencies of the United States, and one or more commissioners in every foreign country, to hold office for three years from the date of their respective appointments.
Chapter 222: Section 5. Oath; seal Section 5. A person appointed commissioner in a state, territory, district or dependency of the United States shall, within three months after his appointment, take and subscribe an oath before a justice of the peace or other magistrate of the town or county where he resides, or before a clerk of a court of record within the state, territory, district or dependency where he resides, faithfully to perform the duties of his office, and shall cause an official seal to be prepared, upon which shall appear his name, the words “Commissioner for Massachusetts” and the name of the state, territory, district or dependency, and town or county where he resides. A person appointed commissioner in a foreign country shall, before performing any duty of his office, take and subscribe an oath before a judge or clerk of a court of record of the country where he resides or before an ambassador, minister or consul of the United States accredited to such country, faithfully to perform the duties of his office. In each case, a certificate of the commissioner’s oath of office and his signature and an impression of his official seal shall be forthwith transmitted to and filed in the office of the state secretary.
Chapter 222: Section 6. Powers and duties Section 6. A commissioner may, in his state, territory, district, dependency or country, administer oaths and take depositions, affidavits and acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments, to be used or recorded in this commonwealth, and the proof of such deeds, if the grantor refuses to acknowledge the same, all of which shall be certified by him under his official seal.
Chapter 222: Section 7. Instructions to commissioner Section 7. The state secretary shall prepare and forward to each commissioner appointed under section four, instructions and forms in conformity to law, and a copy of the three preceding sections.
Chapter 222: Section 8. Acknowledgment of instrument; printed or typed name; expiration date Section 8. A justice of the peace or notary public, when taking acknowledgment of any instrument provided by law to be recorded, shall print or type his name directly below his signature and affix thereto the date of the expiration of his commission in the following language: “My commission expires ___”. Failure to comply with this section shall not affect the validity of any instrument, or the record thereof.
Chapter 222: Section 8A. Duty to print name below signature on probate matters Section 8A. A justice of the peace, notary public or other person duly authorized, when taking an acknowledgment or administering an oath with relation to an instrument filed in a proceeding in the probate court shall print or type his name directly below his signature thereon. Failure to comply with this section shall not affect the validity of any instrument or the record thereof.
Chapter 222: Section 9. Acting as justice or notary after expiration of commission; penalty Section 9. Whoever presumes to act as a justice of the peace or notary public after the expiration of his commission, and after receiving notice of such expiration, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars.