The Interim Massachusetts Electronic Filing Rules for Pilot Courts were prepared in 2014 by the Joint Appellate-Trial Courts Working Group on Electronic Filing. The interim rules established general electronic filing procedures for multiple pilot programs to be operated by different courts. The Supreme Judicial Court approved the interim rules, effective February 25, 2015. Pursuant to Interim Rule 1(a), each pilot court was responsible for promulgating an order governing its particular pilot and procedures. Together, the interim rules and the pilot courts’ orders provided the necessary procedural guidance for the courts and public.
The pilot courts incrementally launched separate pilot programs in late-2015 and early-2016 at six locations. Each pilot used the same third-party electronic filing “provider,” Tyler Technologies, Inc. The courts reviewed the initial pilots and determined the electronic filing program was running successfully. Accordingly, the courts determined that electronic filing in Massachusetts is ready for expansion to additional courts, locations, case types, and documents.
It is necessary to amend the interim rules because the initial pilot phase has concluded and the programs continue to operate and are expanding to additional locations, court departments, and case types. The proposed amendments reflect both the intent to expand electronic filing statewide and the experience of the initial pilot courts. Please note that the rules as amended are designed to employ the processes and terminology used in the program as provided by Tyler Technologies, Inc. Careful attention has been given to pair the rules with the technical capacities of the Massachusetts courts, Tyler Technologies, and the anticipated users — Massachusetts attorneys, self-represented litigants, and court personnel.
Comments should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to Joseph Stanton, Clerk of the Appeals Court, One Pemberton Square, Room 1200, Boston, MA 02108, on or before May 31, 2017.