If you are appealing a trial court’s decision in a civil case, you must pay a fee to the Appeals Court within ten days of receiving the notice from the trial court clerk in order to have your case entered into the court’s docket. The docket fee is $300 per appealing party. Thus, if you and your spouse are both appealing, the fee is $600. The Appeals Court will accept payment in cash, check or money order. Any bank check or money order is made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You may pay in person or mail your payment. If you mail your payment, it must be received within the ten day deadline.
If you are not able to pay the docketing fee because you are indigent you may file a Motion to Waive the docket fee along with an affidavit of indigency. The affidavit is available online or you may come to the Clerk's Office to fill out the Motion to Waive and the affidavit.
It is very important that your payment (or your Motion to Waive with affidavit of indigency attached) is received in the Clerk's Office within ten days following your receipt of the record assembly notice. Failure to docket your appeal within the ten-day deadline will require the filing of a motion, with additional filing fee required, asking a single justice of the Appeals Court to permit your appeal to be docketed late.
Criminal appeals are entered automatically on to the court’s docket and no fee is due.
After you docket your appeal, or after it is automatically entered, the Appeals Court Clerk's Office will send each party a Notice of Entry with an Appeals Court docket number. This number will not be the same as your trial court docket number. You will be required to include this docket number on each document filed with the Appeals Court. If you call the Clerk's Office with questions about your case, you will be asked to provide this docket number.
The Notice of Entry includes important information about how your case will proceed in the Appeals Court. Read it carefully. Review the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure (Mass.R.A.P.), which will govern the progress of your case in the Appeals Court.
Entry of Petitions in the Single Justice Session
Depending on which statute governs, some filings to the single justice require a $315 fee or a motion to waive the fee, and others do not require a fee.
Review the procedures for Single Justice Practice in the Appeals Court .