The first justice or designee of the court holding a jury trial session shall be responsible for ordering jury-trial ready cases to be scheduled for trial once jury trial dates become available. Once the inventory has been completed, and once trial dates become available1, the judge assigned to set trial dates in the court holding a jury trial session shall schedule jury-trial ready cases for trial according to the following priorities:
A. Case where a defendants is in custody pursuant to G.L. c. 276, §§ 58A and 58B2;
B. Cases that must be expedited pursuant to G.L. c. 278, § 16F3;
C. All other custody cases4;
D. Defendants whose pretrial liberty is reasonably believed to present unusual risks5;
E. Cases in which there is an alleged victim and the defendant is charged with an offense under G.L. c. 209A or 265, and cases in which the defendant is charged with an offense under G.L. c. 90 that is alleged to have caused death or serious bodily injury;
F. All other criminal cases.
To determine the priority within these categories, the following factors should be considered:
i. The seriousness of the offense charged;
ii. Whether and for how long the defendant has been in custody;
iii. The age of the case;
iv. Whether and when a trial of the case has begun and concluded with a mistrial;
v. Whether a child, elderly person, or a person whose health or medical condition warrants special consideration is an alleged victim or necessary witness;
vi. Whether any alleged victim or necessary witness is expected to become unavailable due to illness, military deployment, or other unavoidable reason;
vii. If the defendant is not in custody, whether the defendant is subject to pre-trial conditions that impose substantial constraints on the defendant’s liberty;
viii. The length of the trial.
If presented with compelling, significant circumstances, the judge assigned to set trial dates may, in their discretion, schedule a case for a jury trial that may not otherwise be prioritized for trial.
A forthcoming District Court standing order will be issued to separately identify the inventory and prioritization process for civil jury trials.
This Order will remain in effect until a subsequent order issues rescinding this Order. Any other deviation from this Order must be sought from the Chief Justice of the District Court.