Clerk's Guide - Full Bench Motions Procedure
A statement of the required form of motions is found in Rule 20 of the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Motions must be filed and served in accordance with Rule 13.
The content of motions is discussed in Rule 15.
Motions may be referred for disposition to a single justice, from which an appeal may be taken and briefed. Or motions may be referred to the Justices who may hear argument, if the issue is briefed, at the time the case in chief is argued. Generally the Clerk's Office will wait ten days for a response or opposition to any motion filed, before referring the matter to the justices on the papers: motions are not argued before the full bench unless so directed by the justices.
Motions to Strike. Motions to strike are referred to the panel that hears the case. Correctable defects in form or timing of filings are generally not dispositive of cases pending on appeal and motions to strike on those bases are not favored.
Motions to Dismiss. Motions to dismiss are referred to the Justices, who may hear argument, if the issue is briefed, at the time the case in chief is argued.
Dismissal. Dismissal of a case on appeal -- upon agreement or settlement, by reason of mootness, or other disposition -- is governed by Rule 29, which is specific in its requirements.
Motions to Impound. Motions to impound filed in the first instance in this court are not favored. See S.J.C. Rule 1:15. Impoundment Procedure, and Trial Court Rule VIII.
Motions for New Trial in First Degree Murder Appeals. If, while the appeal is pending but before argument, the defendant wishes to file a motion for a new trial, it should be filed in the Clerk's Office, whereupon it will be remanded to the trial court for hearing or other appropriate proceedings. See Rule 19(d)(2).
If the defendant files a motion for new trial in the trial court after plenary review under G.L. c. 278, § 33E, the propriety of an appeal from an adverse ruling is subject to the gatekeeper function of the single justice.
Motions for Attorney's Fees and Costs. Requests for costs are governed by Rule 26 of the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure.
A party must affirmatively request attorney's fees in its brief, see Yorke Mgt. v. Castro, 406 Mass. 17 (1989) and Fabre v. Walton, 441 Mass. 9 (2004).