This Standing Order is promulgated by the Chief Justice of the Trial court pursuant to G.L. c. 211B, Section 9 and stands effective October 3, 2016.
This Order shall apply to the Superior Court, District Court, Boston Municipal Court and Juvenile Court Departments.
This Order sets forth requirements regarding communication among the above-named departments of the Trial Court when an individual who is the subject of a probation order in one of these departments is charged with a new offense in another of these departments. Its purpose is to ensure that this required interdepartmental communication relating to the commencement of probation violation proceedings as a result of alleged new criminal behavior by a probationer, and the potential custody and transport of that probationer between different court departments, occur in a timely, informed and efficient manner. This Order does not apply to an individual who is the subject of a probation order issued prior to a trial or the formal submission and acceptance of a plea of guilty or an admission to sufficient facts, as provided in G.L. c. 276, § 87 (“pretrial probation”).
3. Definition of Terms
As used in this Order, the terms below shall have the following meanings:
“Criminal:” includes delinquency or youthful offender.
“Criminal Court:” a court division of the Boston Municipal, District, or Juvenile Court or the Superior Court.
The terms used in this Order and the form promulgated by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court pursuant to Section 9 have been defined to include terminology associated with juvenile cases and proceedings and the Juvenile Court. They have been defined in this manner for the purposes of convenience and ease of reading and are applicable to this Order and form only. The terms as appearing in this Order and form do not change the meaning of the terminology used in adult and juvenile proceedings as defined and set forth by case law and statutes. Other than for the purposes of this Order and form, adult and juvenile terms are not interchangeable.
4. Intra-Departmental Communications
This Order does not apply to intra-departmental communications, transport of probationers, or use of the warrant management system, which may be the subject of rules or standing orders issued by and applicable within individual court departments.
5. Information to be Sent from the Criminal Court; Custody of Probationer
When an individual appears on a new criminal charge before a criminal court, and that individual is the subject of a probation order issued by a court in a different department of the Trial Court, the probation department of the criminal court shall transmit to the probation department of the court having responsibility for the supervision of the probationer (the “probation court”) information and requests for information, including information regarding the possible service of a notice of violation on, and transport of, the probationer. This transmission shall be made by means of the form referred to in Section 9, below.
The transmission from the criminal court shall be sent electronically and promptly, to the probation officer in the probation court listed as the probation officer on duty in the probation court or, if there is no probation officer on duty, to the Chief Probation Officer of the probation court. The transmission shall be sent while the probationer is at the criminal court. When necessary, the criminal court may order the probationer held in custody until the procedures required by this Order are completed.
6. Information to be Returned by the Probation Court; Time Limit
The probation department of the probation court shall respond electronically, to the probation officer who transmitted the request for information from the criminal court. The response shall include information regarding service of a notice of violation on, and transport of, the probationer. This response shall be transmitted within two hours or within such time limit as extended, as provided in Section 7, such time limit to be measured from the time indicated on the transmission, and shall be set forth on the form referred to in Section 9, below.
If the probation department is requesting that the probationer be transported, the probation department shall request the issuance of an arrest warrant for a violation of probation (“warrant”) from a judge in the probation court. If the judge issues such warrant, the clerk’s office shall enter it promptly into the Warrant Management System and the probation department shall provide the criminal court with a notice of violation that cites the violation(s).
If the probation department is not requesting that the probationer be transported and is requesting that the probationer be served with a notice of violation, the probation department shall provide the probation department of the criminal court with a notice of violation that cites the violation(s) and indicates the date and time of the probationer’s required appearance in the probation court.
7. Action by the Criminal Court
The criminal court shall await receipt of the information from the probation court for a period of two hours measured from the time of the transmission of the request for that information. This two-hour time limit may be extended by the criminal court.
Upon the timely receipt of the required information from the probation court and, if the probation court has issued a warrant, the criminal court shall serve on the probationer, in hand, a notice of violation on behalf of the probation court and shall either order transport of the probationer on such warrant or defer transport on the warrant until the termination of any custody ordered by the criminal court judge in the new criminal case. In the event that no warrant has been issued by the probation court, and the probation department has provided a notice of violation to the probation department of the criminal court, the criminal court shall serve such notice on the probationer, in hand, on behalf of the probation court.
If the probation department of the probation court does not provide the required information or a notice of violation to the probation department of the criminal court in the manner set forth in Section 6, the criminal court need not take any further action regarding the probation matter. In such instances, the probation department of the criminal court shall make an appropriate entry into its records.
8. Action by the Probation Court
Upon delivery of the probationer into the custody of the probation court on the warrant, and not withstanding any provision of this Order, the form promulgated pursuant to section 9, or the reason for the warrant as it may appear in the Warrant Management System, the probation court shall proceed on the violation of probation matter in accordance with applicable law and respective departmental rule or standing order.
9. Form to be Promulgated by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court
The transmittal of information between courts as required by this Order shall proceed by means of a form promulgated by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court. This form shall include such specific information requirements, data elements and attachments as the Chief Justice may deem appropriate, provided that nothing in this Order shall be construed to prohibit the use of telephone communication to supplement the use of such form and to achieve its purpose.
10. Probation Department Procedures and Record Keeping
Implementation of this Order by the Massachusetts Probation Service, including record keeping requirements, shall be as set forth in such instructions and regulations consistent with the provisions of this Order as may be deemed appropriate by the Commissioner of Probation.
August 18, 2016, effective October 3, 2016.