Clerk Magistrate Hearing
If you receive a civil motor vehicle citation issued by the local or state police in Massachusetts for a moving violation that occurs within the communities covered by a court of the Boston Municipal Court Department, and you want a hearing with that court, then you as the violator must check off the correct box marked “appeal request” on the reverse side of the citation and mail it to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Once the RMV receives your request, they will send you a letter acknowledging your request for a hearing along with instructions to pay a fee of $25.00.
The RMV will forward to the court the necessary documents. The court will send the violator a notice of hearing including the offense, and the address, date and time of the hearing before the Clerk Magistrate. At the scheduled hearing, the Clerk Magistrate will decide whether enough evidence exists to find the violator responsible for the violation and also determine the amount of the assessment (fine). If the violator fails to appear at the hearing on the scheduled date, he/she will lose his/her right to be heard.
Appeal of the Clerk Magistrate’s Decision
On the day of the Clerk Magistrate’s decision, if either side is not satisfied with the decision, then either side may request a hearing before a judge. This request to appeal must be announced immediately following the decision of the Clerk Magistrate and before the end of the hearing. Once a non-refundable appeal fee of $50.00 is paid to the court, an appeal hearing date convenient for both sides will be scheduled.
At the hearing before the judge, the police officer or trooper who issued the citation must be present, and the judge will decide anew whether enough evidence exists to find the violator responsible for the violation and also determine the amount of the assessment (fine).
The court does not accept payments for civil motor vehicle violations. If you are found responsible for the violation and assessed a fine, you are required to pay the amount ordered by check or money order payable to MASSDOT. Payments must be made within 20 days after the court’s decision. All payments must be sent to the MASSDOT Citation Processing Center, P.O. Box 55890, Boston, MA 02205-5890.