(a). Motion and Appearance in Pending Civil or Criminal Cases. An interested nonparty who seeks, pursuant to URIP Rules 2, 3, 5, or 10, to request, oppose, modify, or terminate an order of impoundment pertaining to the case record of a pending civil or criminal case shall file a motion for such relief with the court and shall serve the motion in accordance with URIP Rule 4 and subsection (c) of this rule. Such a motion shall (i) specify the relief requested, (ii) specify the grounds therefor, (iii) be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth the nature of the movant’s interest in the matter of impoundment and any facts on which the motion relies, and (iv) be accompanied by a notice of appearance for the limited purpose of participating in the impoundment proceeding, but without making the person a party to the case for other purposes. Proceedings on the motion shall be in accordance with the procedures described in URIP Rules 2, 3, 5, or 10, as applicable. 

(b). Cases in Which a Final Disposition Has Entered. An interested nonparty who seeks, pursuant to URIP Rules 2, 3, 5, or 10, to request, oppose, modify, or terminate an order of impoundment pertaining to the case record of a prior civil or criminal case in which a final disposition has been entered shall file a separate civil action in the court where the prior action commenced, specifying the relief sought. The civil action shall name, as defendants, the clerk of court in his or her official capacity and (1) if the prior case was a civil case, all parties to the prior case, or (2) if the prior case was a criminal case, the defendant(s) in the prior case, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Office of the District Attorney of the county where the case commenced. 

(c). Service on the Office of the Attorney General by Interested Nonparty in Criminal Cases. The interested nonparty movant shall serve notice on the Office of the Attorney General, in addition to the parties to the case, of any motion filed in any court to obtain access to impounded documents in a criminal case in accordance with the provisions of URIP Rule 4(d)

As amended April 24, 2015, effective October 1, 2015.

Committee Notes 

This rule sets forth the procedure by which an interested nonparty may file a motion to request, oppose, modify, or terminate an order of impoundment. Pursuant to URIP Rule 1, an “interested nonparty” is defined as: 

[A] person who is not or was not a party to the underlying matter in which an impoundment issue has arisen, but who nevertheless expresses to the court (through a motion, an appearance limited to impoundment, pleading, or otherwise) an interest in the impoundment proceeding, or who has been named by the court as a person who shall receive notice. 

Motion for Relief in Pending Civil or Criminal Cases 

Under URIP Rule 6(a), an interested nonparty who seeks to request, oppose, modify, or terminate an order of impoundment, pursuant to URIP Rules 2, 3, 5, or 10, in an ongoing case may file a motion for such relief, accompanied by a notice of appearance for the limited purpose of participating in the impoundment proceeding. 

Motion for Relief in Cases in Which a Final Disposition Has Been Entered 

Under URIP Rule 6(b), an interested nonparty who seeks to request, oppose, modify, or terminate an order of impoundment, pursuant to URIP Rules 2, 3, 5, or 10,  in a criminal or civil case that is closed following the entry of a final disposition must file a separate civil action in the court where the impoundment order entered. A motion to intervene in the closed case may not be filed. See In re Globe Newspaper Co., Inc. , 461 Mass. 113, 125 n.5 (2011); Republican Co. v. Appeals Court , 442 Mass. 218, 227 n.14 (2004); Ottaway Newspapers, Inc. v. Appeals Court , 372 Mass. 539, 551 (1977). For cases that are civil in nature, the separate civil action shall name the clerk of court in his or her official capacity, as well as the parties. For cases that are criminal in nature, the separate civil action shall name the clerk of court in his or her official capacity, the Attorney General, the district attorney, and the defendant. See In re Globe Newspaper Co., Inc. , 461 Mass. 113, 125 n.5 (2011); Commonwealth v. Silva , 448 Mass. 701, 705-706 (2007); Republican Co. v. Appeals Court , 442 Mass. 218, 227 n.14 (2004); Ottaway Newspapers, Inc. v. Appeals Court , 372 Mass. 539, 551 (1977). See also New England Internet Café, LLC v. Clerk of the Superior Court for Criminal Business in Suffolk County , 462 Mass. 76, 91 (2012) (café owners brought civil action against the court clerk and Attorney General, with an emergency motion to modify or terminate impoundment order). 

Definition of “Final Disposition” 

Under URIP Rule 6(b), a civil or criminal proceeding shall be deemed to have reached its final disposition when (i) a final judgment, sentence, decree, or order of dismissal has entered as to all claims, counts, and parties, (ii) any timely post-judgment motions have been disposed, and (iii) any appeal has been concluded and the rescript entered. For purposes of this rule, a criminal case has reached its final disposition when the preceding criteria are met, even if the defendant remains sentenced on the offense and where the defendant has a right to file a motion for new trial at any time. 

Motion to Modify or Terminate 

If an impoundment order enters prior to an interested nonparty receiving notice or filing a motion to be heard under URIP Rule 6(a), the interested nonparty may move to modify or terminate the order of impoundment under URIP Rule 10

Notice to Attorney General 

In criminal cases, “the Attorney General must receive notice of, and an opportunity to be heard on, any motion filed in any court by a nonparty to obtain access to impounded documents.” Commonwealth v. Silva , 448 Mass. 701, 705-706 (2007). See URIP Rule 4(d). “Such notice should clearly specify that notice is being given as required by law and that the Attorney General has the right to be heard.” Id. at 706 n.7. See URIP Rule 4(d).

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