District/Municipal Courts Rules for Appellate Division Appeals

District/Municipal Courts Rules for Appellate Division Appeals  Rule 1: Scope of Rules: Definitions

Effective Date: 07/01/1994

Table of Contents

(a) Scope of Rules

These rules govern the procedures for appeals to the Appellate Division of the District Court and the Appellate Division of the Boston Municipal Court, as the case may be, of issues of law in civil actions, as provided by law.

(b) Rules Not to Affect Jurisdiction

These rules shall not be construed to extend or limit the jurisdiction of the Appellate Division as established by G.L. c. 231, ss. 108-110 .

(c) Definitions

As used in these rules:

"appeal" means an appeal to the Appellate Division.

"Appellate Division" means the panel of judges appointed to exercise jurisdiction in accordance with G.L. c. 231, s. 108.

"civil action" means all District Court tort, contract and statutory actions seeking money damages or equitable relief, in which appeal to the Appellate Division is authorized by law.

"clerk" means the clerk-magistrate, or an assistant clerk, of the trial court in which the proceeding was heard.

"first class mail" means use of fist class mail, postage prepaid, whether certified or uncertified.

"presiding justice" means a justice of the Appellate Division designated pursuant to G.L. c. 231, s. 108 .

"trial court" means the judge or court whose judgment, ruling, finding or decision is the subject of an appeal.

(d) Construction

Words or phrases importing the singular number may extend and be applied to several persons or things, and words importing the plural number may include the singular. Any reference to counsel in these rules shall be deemed to apply to unrepresented parties. References to the District Court shall be deemed to include the Boston Municipal Court, except otherwise noted.


These rules provide three procedural options for appeal to the Appellate Division. These three options replace the cumbersome and complicated process of requesting, preparing and filing a draft report, and then seeking to have the court settle the report in final form for the Appellate Division. The first two options provide simplified and inexpensive means of framing the legal issues for Appellate Division review. The third option provides a more formal and detailed means of appeal, based on a transcript of the proceedings, with the transcript usually based on the electronic recording of the proceedings. This third option may be chosen at the outset, or only when one or both of the other procedures fails. It is based on the Mass. R. A. P and adheres to those rules as closely as is feasible. Differences from the Mass. R. A. P, if any, are discussed in the commentary to each of the following rules.


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