(G. L. c. 221, § 27 , as amended)
(1) The records of the Supreme Judicial Court, of the Appeals Court, and of the Superior Court Department in the several counties shall consist of the docket, the files, any extended record, which shall have been made at the promulgation of these rules, and whatever other specific records may be required by special statutes, and no others.
(2) There shall be two dockets in the Supreme Judicial Court: a full court docket and a single justice docket. The single justice docket shall be kept by the clerk in each county.
(3) There shall be two dockets in the Superior Court Department: a civil action docket and a criminal docket.
(4) The dockets are records wherein the clerk shall register, by its title, every action, suit or proceeding, civil and criminal, commenced in, or transferred or appealed to, the court whereof he is clerk, according to the date of its actual entry. He shall note therein, according to the date thereof, the filing or return of any paper or process, the making of any order, rule, or other direction in or concerning such action, suit or proceeding, civil and criminal, the verdict or finding, the allowance of exceptions, and the entry of final judgment, final decree or order.
(5) The criminal docket shall be kept in the form heretofore in common usage, being substantially as provided in paragraph (4) hereof.
(6) The files are all papers and processes filed with or by the clerk of the court in any action, suit or proceeding therein, or before the justice thereof, including executions, with their returns. So far as reasonably practicable, they shall comply with S.J.C. Rule 1:08 in size and in other respects therein stated. All such papers and processes shall be numbered consecutively in each case as entered.
(7) Resort may be had to the docket, files, and any extended record, or full extended record, which has been made at the time of the promulgation of these rules, but the full extended record, where one has been made, shall control.
(8) The docket shall be kept either by the loose-leaf system or by a computer based record keeping system. Under the loose-leaf system the record shall be kept in typewriting, or partly in typewriting and partly in print, except as otherwise ordered by the court. Typewriter ribbons of permanent character shall be used. Those authorized for use on public records shall be regarded as sufficient under this rule, unless otherwise ordered by the court. The leaves of both docket and record when completed shall be strongly bound in volumes of appropriate size. Under the computer based record keeping system upon the completion of each case a printed paper copy of the docket shall be produced to provide a permanent record of the docket. The printed paper copy of the docket shall be strongly bound in volumes of appropriate size.
(9) Immediately after the final disposition of each action, suit or proceeding, complaint or indictment, papers constituting the files shall be assembled, collated, and arranged in order as theretofore numbered, and thereafter shall be kept in such order, except that executions may for greater safety be kept in a more secure place.
(10) The docket, files, and such extended and full extended records which shall have been made at the time of the promulgation of these rules, are to be kept in the clerk's office or in the custody of the clerk, and he is to be strictly responsible for them. They shall not be taken from his custody except in cases authorized by statute, by rule of court, for the preparation of the record for the full court, or for use by a justice of the court; but the parties may at all times have copies.
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