A brief overview on the eFiling process for cases within the Housing Court Department.
eFiling in the Housing Court
Table of Contents
Overview of the eFiling Process
To initiate the filing process, the filer will need to register (e.g. provide contact information) and set up a payment account in Tyler. Next, the filer must input the case information (e.g. location: Housing Court Division, Category: Small Claims, Summary Process, Case Type: SP- Cause, No Cause, Foreclosure, Non-Payment). Then add a party type (e.g. required Parties like Plaintiff/Defendant or Petitioner/Respondent, Contact information, any additional parties other than required). After filling out the parties’ information, the filer must upload their documents and choose the appropriate filing codes. After uploading the documents for the case, the filer will need to submit payment. The final step is for the filer to review and verify the info prior to submission. Once submitted an envelope number will be assigned and the filer will receive notice if the envelope has been approved or rejected by the Housing Court.
News and Updates regarding eFiling
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium on evictions is no longer in effect as of August 26, 2021 as the result of a United States Supreme Court opinion. Certain protections in non-payment eviction cases remain in effect in Massachusetts. See St. 2020, c. 257, as amended by St. 2021, c. 20. The Trial Court is in the process of updating the relevant information found on Mass.gov. Resources about eviction are available online.
Please note that pursuant to Housing Court Standing Order 1-20, eFiling remains mandatory for all attorneys filing summary process and small claims actions in the Housing Court. While it is not mandatory for self-represented litigants to eFile in those cases, they are encouraged to do so. For all attorneys and self-represented litigants in the Housing Court, eFiling is permissible, and encouraged, in the civil case type.
For more information or questions regarding changes to the Housing Court operations due to COVID-19, please refer to the Housing Court’s page of Frequently Asked Questions, or contact the Clerk's Office of the appropriate division.
Who can eFile with the Housing Court?
Electronic filing can be done by anyone who has access to a computer and the internet. Individuals such as self-represented litigants and attorneys, businesses like legal aid services, state agencies, law firms, etc. Paper filing with the Housing Court will still be available, however effective January 27th, 2020, all attorneys are required to eFile (Summary Process and Small Claims Case Types) only.
Additional Resources for Who can eFile with the Housing Court?
Which Cases can be eFiled with the Housing Court?
Currently, Civil, Summary Process, Small Claims and Supplementary Process cases can be electronically filed with the Housing Court department.
While eFiling by all parties for all of these case types is welcome, eFiling is mandatory for attorneys only for Small Claims and Summary Process case types.
Criminal Cases are not yet available to eFile.
How to eFile with the Housing Court
In order to eFile with the Housing Court, the filer will need to register for an account on Tyler (www.efilema.com). After completing the registration portion, the filer will need to scan the required documents for filing either a Summary Process, Small Claims or Supplementary Process case. Please refer to the Guide on How to eFile at the Housing Court on what correspondences will need to be submitted in the entry package, in order for the envelope to be approved. Follow the guide for a step-by-step instruction on how to complete the entry package and submitting it to the Housing Court in Tyler.
Guided Interviews to assist with your filings
Below are two links to guided interviews that are currently intended to help a court user file a small claims action or an emergency civil complaint (seeking a temporary restraining order) in the Housing Court. Once a court user completes an interview, the program generates a document(s) by inputting the information provided by the user. Once generated, such document(s) may be electronically filed with the Housing Court. Please be advised that use of these tools does not guarantee the success of any action, and the tools are not a substitute for legal advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common reasons that an envelope may be rejected?
Some common reasons may include, but are not limited to, untimely filings, lack of jurisdiction (e.g. filed in the wrong division), and an incomplete submission. If rejected by the Court, the filer may refile the case after necessary corrections are made based on the reviewer’s comments.
What documents do I need to submit in order to be approved for a payment waiver?
If the filer chooses the waiver option for payment, then the Affidavit of Indigency must be included with the initial entry package. The Court reviewer will determine your eligibility for the waiver.
What method of payment can be used to eFile in Tyler?
Currently Tyler accepts eCheck and Credit Card; Discover, MasterCard and Visa. American Express is not yet available.
What are the current associated fees in Tyler?
Effective June 1, 2020, the eFile Provider Fee has been updated to $22.00 for each new eFiled case (a one-time charge, paid on the initial eFiled envelope). For any existing case, there will be no additional $6.00 eFile Fee applied for submitting an envelope.
The filer must continue to pay the standard Court Fee required for initiating the case with the Housing Court, as well as the Payment Service Fee on the eFiled submission ($0.25 per eCheck/ACH, or 2.89% for Credit Card).
When is the cut off time to submit an eFile envelope?
The cut off time to submit an eFile envelope is 11:59pm of each day.
What is the maximum size for a document that can be uploaded in to Tyler?
The maximum size is 25MB.
What type of files can I submit through Tyler?
Only flat PDFs can be uploaded through Tyler. For instructions on how to convert a fillable form, please see the Housing Court guide on how to convert a fillable form.
Submit Feedback on eFiling with the Housing Court
The Housing Court Department would like to hear from our eFiling users. Please complete our survey here: Submit Feedback on eFiling with the Housing Court. All responses will be received by the Administrative Office of the Housing Court and are confidential. The feedback you provide will help our Department improve eFiling for current and future case types.
- Affidavit for Cause as it relates to Chapter 65 of the Acts of 2020
- Step-by-Step Video Guide on eFiling in the Housing Court
- Guide on How to eFile at the Housing Court
- Housing Court Standing Order 1-20: Implementation of mandatory electronic filing for attorneys in summary process and small claims cases in the Housing Court Department