The Massachusetts court system consists of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, the Executive Office of the Trial Court, the seven Trial Court departments, the Office of the Commissioner of Probation, and the Office of Jury Commissioner. Court System Organization Chart
The Governor, with the consent of the elected Governor's Council, appoints all Massachusetts judges. Judges hold office until the mandatory retirement age of seventy.
Supreme Judicial Court
The Supreme Judicial Court operates under the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. The Court consists of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. The seven Justices hear appeals on a broad range of criminal and civil cases. Read more
Executive Office of the Trial Court
The Executive Office of the Trial Court was formed to facilitate communication and enable joint leadership of the Trial Court.
The Executive Office of the Trial Court is comprised of the Chief Justice of the Trial Court and the Court Administrator. Read more
Office of Jury Commissioner
This office oversees the selection and management of all jurors in the Commonwealth until they appear at the courthouse. The office is responsible for the daily supervision of the nation's first one-day/one-trial jury system, in which jurors complete service in one day or serve for the duration of a single trial. Read more
Overview of the Trial Process
The Massachusetts court cases commence in one of the seven trial court departments (Superior Court, District Court, Boston Municipal Court, Housing Court, Juvenile Court, Land Court, and Probate and Family Court), and are first decided there. Read more
The Appeals Court receives cases from all of the Trial Court departments and from three State agencies. The Court considers all types of civil cases and all types of criminal cases except first degree murder appeals, which go directly to the Supreme Judicial Court. Read more
The Massachusetts Trial Court is composed of seven court departments with unique jurisdictions and responsibilities.
The Trial Court is committed to fair and impartial administration of justice; protection of constitutional and statutory rights and liberties;equal access to justice for all in a safe and dignified environment. Read more
Office of the Commissioner of Probation
This office supervises the Massachusetts Probation Service, which assists in the delivery of justice through investigations, community supervision of offenders, diversion of appropriate offenders from institutional sentences, reduction in crime, mediations, service to victims, and other service functions. Read more
Overview of the Appellate Process
An appeal is available if a party is dissatisfied with the outcome at the trial level. Our court system provides every litigant - except for the government in criminal cases - with the right to have the trial court proceedings reviewed by an appellate court. Read more