Clerk's Guide - Motion Practice
Motions filed after panel assignment must be filed as a PDF e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org unless a paper copy is accompanied by a motion to waive the applicable Appeals Court standing order, supported by good cause. A case is considered assigned to a panel only after briefing is complete and a notice of oral argument or assignment to a panel has been sent to the parties. If a PDF is filed, there is no need to mail the court a paper copy.
A statement of the required form of motions is found in Rule 20(b) of the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Motions must be served and filed in accordance with Rule 13. Upon agreement of the parties, motions filed electronically after panel assignment in accordance with the applicable standing order are deemed compliant with Rule 13(c).
Motions are referred for disposition to a single justice, or if the appeal has been argued or placed on a non-argument list, the motion is referred to the panel assigned to decide the appeal.
Appeals Court Policy On Motions to Enlarge Time
The Appeals Court will allow motions for enlargements of time to file briefs prescribed by Mass.R.A.P. 19 (a) when the motion is supported by an affidavit establishing good cause and the enlargment requested is no more than 120 days from the initial due date of the brief. Motions to enlarge the time to file a brief should be filed in the Clerk's Office no less than one week before the brief's due date to permit sufficient time for processing. Please note that neither need for review of brief by a CPCS mentor nor the mere assent by opposing counsel constitute good cause.
Motions To Order Additional or Corrected Transcript(s) and Stay Appellate Proceedings
1. After a case has been entered and assigned a docket number in the Massachusetts Appeals Court, a party may file a motion for additional or corrected transcripts by completing and filing the forms included in this PDF, pursuant to the following instructions.
2. This PDF contains the following pages:
a. "Informational Form";
b. "Motion to Order Additional Transcript(s) and Stay Appellate Proceedings";
c. "Certificate of Service", provided on the same page as the motion form; and
d. The proposed "Order" of the Appeals Court.
3. The informational form contains several data fields, each of which must be completed. Data entered on the informational form will automatically populate some of the fields on the remaining pages of this PDF, including the proposed order on page 4. Therefore, please complete the informational form before continuing to the remaining pages.
If inadequate space has been provided for the information requested, please provide the additional information on an attachment.
4. The motion, informational form, and certificate of service may be signed electronically. The proper format for an electronic signature is "/s/" followed by the name of the attorney or self-represented litigant. E.g. "/s/ John Doe." Upon agreement by counsel, service by electronic mail will be deemed in compliance with Mass. R.A.P. 13(c).
5. The motion shall be filed by saving all of the completed forms as a single PDF, and e-mailing the pdf to email@example.com. The "subject" line of the e-mail shall be the same as the file name of the pdf copy. This file name shall consist of:
a. An abbreviated docket number, e.g. 11P0023 (i.e., a two digit year followed, without a space, by "P" followed, again without a space, by the last four digits of the docket number);
b. Followed by a hyphen;
c. Followed by a description of the file containing no more than 56 characters, indicating what it is and the party who filed it, e.g, "Motion for Additional Transcript Jones.pdf".
For example: "11P0023-Motion for Additional Transcript Jones". If inadequate space has been provided for the information requested, please provide the additional information on an attachment.
6. After the motion is filed and reviewed by the Appeals Court, the court will enter an order, notify the parties, and notify the trial court when applicable.
Motions for procedural orders may be acted upon without awaiting a response, Rule 15(b). If an opposition is received after a motion has been acted upon, the opposition is treated as a motion for reconsideration.
If a motion, such as a motion to strike, is referred to the panel assigned to decide the appeal, there will not be action on that motion until the appeal is decided.
Stipulations of dismissal are governed by Rule 29, which is specific in its requirements. The dismissal must be with prejudice and without costs to any party.
In civil cases, only the appellant has the right to file an appendix, Rule 18(a). If an appellee wishes to supplement the appendix on file, a motion for leave to file a supplemental appendix must be filed supported by an affidavit of counsel that the documents sought to be included are part of the record below.
Motions for attorney's fees and costs are governed by Rule 26.
A party must affirmatively request attorney's fees in its brief, see Yorke Management v. Castro, 406 Mass 17 (1989) and Fabre v. Walton, 441 Mass. 9 (2004).