The Trial Court Bail Committee invites comments on proposed Trial Court Rules Governing Bail Magistrates and Bail Commissioners.  These rules are intended to replace the 2014 Superior Court Rules Governing Persons Authorized to Admit to Bail Out of Court and will govern all Clerks of Court, Clerk-Magistrates and Assistant Clerk-Magistrates who participate in the overnight bail process as well as Bail Commissioners.

The Rules Governing Bail Magistrates and Bail Commissioners, are similar to the 2014 rules issued by the Superior Court with some changes and additions:

  • Rule 5 establishes the terms of appointment and re-appointment of Bail Commissioners.   
  • Rule 12 now includes a paragraph reflecting the statutory requirements for arrests involving domestic abuse offenses.
  • Rule 23 contains specific language regarding releasing anyone that could be construed as a conflict of interest.  
  • Rules 25 and 28 address accounting for cash bails received over $10,000.
  • Rule 30 sets forth the description of the Trial Court Bail Committee, its authority and ability to impose discipline.
  • Rule 31 allows the State Bail Administrator to immediately suspend a Bail Magistrate or Bail Commissioner if circumstances justify.
  • Rule 32 sets forth the Clerk-Magistrate’s duties and responsibilities.

A copy of the proposed Trial Court Rules appears at the link below.  Comments should be sent by email to or regular mail direct to Catherine M. Coughlin, State Bail Administrator, Suffolk County Courthouse, Room 320, Three Pemberton Square, Boston, MA  02108 by Friday, January 27, 2017.

Proposed Trial Court Rules Governing Bail Magistrates and Bail Commissioners pdf format of Proposed-Rules Governing Bail Magistrates and Comm.