Effective 7/9/2014

Welcome to the Massachusetts Judiciary website. Your privacy is one of our top priorities. As you navigate the website, you may see links that, when clicked, will take you to websites external to the Massachusetts Judiciary. These websites, including those operated by other governmental entities, have individual privacy policies tailored to the interactions available through each site. We strongly suggest that you read the privacy policies for each website that you visit, and any external site that you visit through a link appearing at this site.

In particular, please note that although some of the social media pages used by the Massachusetts Judicial Branch might appear to be part of the Mass.Gov Portal or at a web page under control of the Mass.Gov Portal, some of these sites are actually hosted by a third party provider. Thus when visiting these third party social media sites, you are subject to different privacy policies and terms of service. Please review the Massachusetts Judiciary's Social Media Policy to review more detailed information on how the Massachusetts Judiciary Website uses specific social media sites and for links to the relevant terms of service and privacy policies for those sites. We strongly suggest that you read the site policies, including the privacy policies, for each Commonwealth website that you visit and any external site that you visit through a link appearing at the Massachusetts Judiciary Website.

A Privacy Partnership: Your privacy with respect to the use of the Massachusetts Judiciary website results from a partnership between the Massachusetts Judiciary and you, the user. At this website, we attempt to protect your privacy to the maximum extent possible. However, we cannot ensure absolute privacy. This policy informs you of the information that we collect from you at this site, what we do with it and to whom it may be disseminated. Based on this information, you can make an informed decision about your use of this site. You can maximize the benefits of your privacy partnership with the Massachusetts Judiciary by making informed decisions about whether to share personally identifiable information with us through this site.

Personally Identifiable Information: We use the term "personally identifiable information" to mean any information that could reasonably be used to identify you, including but not limited to your name, address, e-mail address, Social Security number or any combination of information that could be used to identify you.

Information Voluntarily Provided by You: This site may collect voluntary information from you by means of surveys, any e-mails sent to the Massachusetts Judiciary Website and comments posted on pages hosted by the Mass.Gov Portal (such as blogs or wikis), or through online forms submitted through the website. All such information, including comments and e-mails sent by you to this site, may contain personally identifiable information.

While the Massachusetts Judiciary Website is intended as a medium for disseminating information from the Massachusetts Judicial Branch, if you need to contact a court that is part of the Massachusetts Judiciary Website, you should use the contact information for that court posted on the website.

Information Automatically Collected and Stored by this Site: This website employs the use of "Persistent Cookies." The purpose of these Persistent Cookies is to collect and aggregate data regarding the site's visitor activity in order for the Massachusetts Website Administrators to continuously evaluate and improve its website services. You may elect to disable the Persistent Cookies. Please be advised that disabling the Persistent Cookies may affect your ability to view or interact with this website.

This site does collect and store your "Internet Protocol ('IP') address," (which does not identify you as an individual) indefinitely, as well as information about the date and time of your visit, whether a file you have requested exists, and how many "bytes" of information were transmitted to you over the Web from this site. We use your IP address to assess the frequency of visits to this site and the popularity of its various pages and functions. We will not attempt to match any personally identifiable information that you provide to us with your IP address, unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that doing so would provide information that is relevant and material to a criminal investigation. The one exception is that when you fill out information in a form on the Massachusetts Judiciary Website, we do receive your IP address along with this submission. We do not use this form-related IP address information unless it may be relevant and material to a criminal investigation.

Usage Data and Known Persistent Cookies:

The Mass.Gov Portal uses (or may use) the following tools (each a “Tool” and collectively, the “Tools”):

Tool Name:               Google Analytics™

Purpose:                    Collect information about use of the Mass.Gov Portal

Data Collected:          Google Analytics collects information such as how often users visit the Mass.Gov Portal, what pages they visit when they do so, and what other sites they used prior to coming to the Mass.Gov Portal.

Privacy Policy:       http://www.google.com/privacypolicy.html

Terms of Use:          http://www.google.com/analytics/tos.html

Express Opt Out:    N/A
Special Notes:          N/A

Tool Name:       ForeSee™ provided by ForeSee Results

Purpose:                      ForeSee is a survey tool that collects voluntary information from you through surveys posted at the Mass.Gov Portal.

Data Collected:         Surveys may collect personally identifiable information you voluntarily submit, such as name, e-mail address or phone number, so that we may contact you for follow up to your question, concern or recommendation.

Privacy Policy:         http://www.foreseeresults.com

Terms of Use:            http://www.foreseeresults.com

Express Opt Out:    You can opt out of ForeSee collecting information via the survey by declining to participate in the survey when the invitation pops up on the Mass.Gov Portal. If you do opt out of completing the survey or you have completed a survey, ForeSee uses a persistent cookie so that it does not offer the survey to you again when you revisit the Mass.Gov Portal.

Tool Name:              Twitter™ widget

Purpose:                   Display various  Twitter feeds on the Mass.Gov Portal

Data Collected:       The Twitter widget uses Twitter’s persistent cookie(s) to allow you to retweet from and access other Twitter functions related to your account.  Twitter accesses this cookie on every page where the Twitter widget is displayed.  This could allow Twitter to determine which websites you have visited.

Privacy Policy:       http://twitter.com/privacy

Terms of Use:          http://twitter.com/tos

Express Opt Out:    1) https://support.twitter.com/articles/20169421
                                  2) You are not required to log in to your Twitter account (if you have one) to use the Mass.Gov Portal.

Special Notes:          Twitter may personalize your user experience on Twitter based on what pages you have visited that contain a Twitter widget.

Tool Name:              Facebook™ “Like” widget

Purpose:                   Allows user to “Like” a web page and also displays whether user has already “Liked” the web page.

Data Collected:       The Facebook widget uses Facebook’s persistent cookie(s) to determine whether you have “Liked” a page. Facebook accesses this cookie on every page where the Facebook “Like” widget is displayed.  This could allow Facebook to determine which websites you have visited.

Privacy Policy:       http://www.facebook.com/help/186325668085084/ and http://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/

Terms of Use:          http://www.facebook.com/policies/

Express Opt Out:    You are not required to log in to your Facebook account (if you have one) to use the Mass.Gov Portal

Additional General Information Related to Tools:   We use the information we get from the Tools only to improve the Offerings. The Tools may also collect data such as browser information, operating system, and page views through the implementation of session cookies or persistent cookies. Except as set forth in this privacy policy, we do not combine the information collected through the use of any Tool with personally identifiable information. Although each of the Tools plants a persistent cookie on your web browser to identify you as a unique user the next time you visit the Mass.Gov Portal, the cookie cannot be used by anyone but Mass.Gov and/or the software publisher of the respective Tool (the “Software Publisher”). The Software Publisher’s ability to use and share information collected by the Software Publisher about your visits to the Mass.Gov Portal is restricted by the Software Publisher’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, links to which have been provided above. You may prevent the Tools from using persistent cookies by disabling cookies on your browser. Some of the Tools permit you to opt-out of the Tool by allowing that Tool to plant a persistent cookie on your web browser indicating that you have opted out. If you disable cookies on your browser or use a different browser, different computer, different user account, etc., you will need to opt-out again. If you allow persistent cookies in your web browser, Software Publishers have the technical ability to track your activity, even if you change your IP address, so long as you are using the web browser where the persistent cookie was planted. You should refer to the Software Publisher’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use to determine whether they do, in fact, track you via the persistent cookie.

Links to Social Media Sites:  Certain links on Mass.Gov/courts (whether integrated with Tools or otherwise) facilitate interaction with third-party social media sites.   Accessing third-party social media functions (whether through a Tool or otherwise) may require you to log in to your social media provider, and that social media provider may plant a persistent cookie on your web browser to keep you logged in. Any interaction with any such social media provider (whether through a Tool or otherwise) is subject to such social media provider’s site policies, and such provider may plant one or more additional persistent cookies on your web browser as a result of your interaction with it.

Online Forms on Mass.Gov:  Online forms may be provided by a third party service Formstack. When you use this service, your form submission is securely made to Formstack and stored there. Form submissions are then transmitted to state government staff. State government staff will delete form submissions from Formstack when there is no longer any administrative need to retain them there. Formstack only uses your form submissions for internal purposes and the data is considered private. Formstack will not distribute or sell your information to a 3rd party unless required by law or a valid government request. Formstack may also share information if it is acquired by or merged with another company. Please see the Formstack privacy policy at http://www.formstack.com/privacy.

Dissemination of Your Personally Identifiable Information: We do not sell any personally identifiable information collected through this website or submitted to the Massachusetts Judiciary in conjunction with using functions on the website, and there is no direct or online public access to the information. However, once you voluntarily submit personally identifiable information to us related to your use of the website, its dissemination is governed by the Supreme Judicial Court Order Regarding the Protection of Personal Information and other applicable laws and regulations.

In addition, the information that you voluntarily submit will be disclosed only to the Massachusetts Judiciary and Commonwealth employees or officials, or those under contract with the Commonwealth, with a "need to know" for purposes of fulfilling their job responsibilities. The information will be used for such purposes as:  answering your questions; responding to any requests for assistance; generating summary statistics about usage; aiding in the planning, design and development of the Massachusetts Judiciary website; and fulfilling the court's legal obligations.

We will collect and aggregate the information you provide through surveys and through the website's collection of non-personally identifying analytics data for the purposes of market research to improve this website by making it more responsive to customer needs. Where appropriate, we may provide the information you submitted voluntarily through an e-mail to the person or company that is the subject of your inquiry, or to a government agency responsible for the matters referred to in your communication.

Security:  Because information sent to the Massachusetts Judiciary is not encrypted, you should not send messages containing information that you consider highly sensitive to this website. We use standard security measures to ensure that information provided by you, including your personally identifiable information, is not lost, misused, altered, or unintentionally destroyed. We also use software to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits.

Policy Changes: We will post substantive changes to this policy at least 30 days before they take effect. Any information we collect under the current privacy policy will remain subject to the terms of this policy. After any changes take effect, all new information we collect, if any, will be subject to the new policy.

Contact Information:  For questions about your privacy while using this website, please contact website.inquiries@jud.state.ma.us.


"Cookies" are files that a website can place on your computer. A cookie file contains unique information that a website can use to track such things as your password, lists of Web pages you have visited, and the date when you last looked at a specific Web page, or to identify your session at a particular website. A cookie file allows the website to recognize you as you click through pages on the site and when you later revisit the site. A website can use cookies to "remember" your preferences, and to record your browsing behavior on the Web.

Although you can prevent websites from placing cookies on your computer by using your browser's preference menu, disabling cookies may affect your ability to view or interact with some websites.

An "Internet Protocol Address" or "IP Address" is a series of numbers that identifies each computer and machine connected to the Internet. An IP address enables a server on a computer network to send you the file that you have requested on the Internet. The IP address disclosed to us may identify the computer from which you are accessing the Internet, or a server owned by your Internet Service Provider. Because it is machine-specific, rather than person-specific, an IP address is not, in and of itself, personally identifiable information.

Social Media. A social media website is a website or a social media application that is usually maintained by an individual and has regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. A social media identity is a specific user identity that has been registered on a third party social media site and is associated with the Agency. Government social media sites or identities typically provide forums for commentary or news on topics related to the government agency that hosts the social media site or has secured the social media identity. A typical social media site (whether hosted by the Agency or a third party) combines text, images, and links to other websites including blogs, wikis, and other media related to the topic and enables readers to leave comments in an interactive format.

“Weblog” or “Blog”. A weblog or blog is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Government blogs typically provide commentary and news on topics related to the government agency hosting the blog. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to the topic, and enables readers to leave comments in an interactive format.

“Wiki”. A wiki is a website that uses collaboration software to enable the creation of a number of interlinked web pages. Many authors can contribute to the website and upload content to the site. Government wikis typically provide a venue for commentary and discussion regarding topics related to the government agency hosting the wiki. A typical wiki combines text, images, and links to other web pages outside the wiki also related to the topic, and enables readers to leave comments in an interactive format.