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Housing Court Resources

This information is available to both the landlord and tenant's benefits.

Table of Contents

Your court case

If you filed the case, you are the Plaintiff. If the case was filed against you, you are the Defendant and you can file an answer, which is a written response stating the reason(s) why the Court should find in your favor and may also include claims you have against the Plaintiff. Whether you are the Plaintiff or the Defendant, every time you file a document with the Court you must make sure the other side gets a copy.

To look up your case file online, please visit Massachusetts Trial Court Electronic Case Access

If you have trouble participating in a virtual conference or need a free Interpreter or Reasonable Accommodations, please contact the respective divisional Clerk's office as soon as you receive notice of your court event. If you would like to see a copy of the court’s scheduled cases, or daily list, please see the appropriate Clerk’s office page below:

eFiling your documents with the court

Online Court Forms can be downloaded from Housing Court forms

To file any forms, documents, or evidence, you can mail it to the court or file it electronically.

If you need assistance drafting and filing court forms, please see the Court Service Center section below. If you have questions on the e-filing process please visit eFiling in the Housing Court

At all stages of the cases both parties must follow all court rules. To look up court rules go to Trial Court Rule I: Uniform Summary Process Rules

Emergency Rental & Mortgage Assistance

If you are a party to a residential summary process (eviction) case based only on the non-payment of rent, certain protections may apply to you under the law. St. 2023, c. 28. Specifically, a residential summary process (eviction) case may be continued (delayed) if:

  1. the residential summary process (eviction) case is based only on non-payment of rent;
  2. the non-payment of rent was due to a financial hardship; and
  3. a tenant proves, to the satisfaction of the court, a pending application for short-term emergency rental assistance.

In addition, if the three (3) requirements above are met, the court must issue a stay of execution on a judgment for possession (pause a move-out order after a judgment for the landlord).  The court must also not enter a judgment or issue an execution (a move-out order) before the emergency rental assistance application has been approved or denied.

Renters and Homeowners who are struggling to make housing payments are encouraged to apply for emergency assistance. You may be eligible for assistance to pay overdue or upcoming rent, mortgage payments, or moving costs (First, Last, Security Deposit).

Any income-eligible individuals and families affected by COVID-19 or who are struggling to make housing payments, may apply.

You can apply for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and/or the Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program by applying at any one of the 11 regional housing agencies.

APPY IMMEDIATELY. Due to unprecedented need during COVID-19, application processing can take several weeks and funds are not guaranteed.

Attention Renters, Homeowners, and Landlords: To find information about available financial assistance or to find the regional administering agency for your city or town go to Resources for Renters, Homeowners, and Landlords or call 211 for assistance. 

Housing Specialist Department

Housing specialists (HSD) are employees of the court who serve as mediators for cases that are filed in the Housing Court. They provide information about Massachusetts housing laws to the public and assist parties in reaching a settlement. HSD can also provide information and referrals to resources that are available in your local community. To contact HSD, please see their respective divisional numbers below. To learn more about the mediation process, please visit the About mediation page.

  • Central Housing Specialist Department (508) 831-2050
  • Eastern Housing Specialist Department (617) 788-6233
  • Metro South Housing Specialist Department (508) 894-4170
  • Northeast Housing Specialist Department (978) 689-7833 ext. 502-1068
  • Southeast Housing Specialist Department (508) 677-1505 or (508) 994-0156
  • Western Housing Specialist Department (413) 748-7838

Virtual counters

You are able to contact the court virtually using the Zoom application. The courthouse has a virtual counter where you can connect with court personnel to get information about your case. The virtual counters are available Monday through Friday, from 1:00PM to 4:15PM. Please visit the Housing Court virtual front counter for access. 

Court Service Center

Court Service Centers (CSC) help people navigate the court system. Centers are available to all court users without lawyers, and there are no income or immigration status requirements. All of the services in the Court Service Centers are free. You can join the Court Service Center Meeting:

This link is available from 9:00AM to 12:00PM from Monday through Friday. After 12:00PM, the CSC team members return calls, assist court users via appointment and respond to emergency referrals made by court departments.

Lawyer for the Day Program

A Lawyer for the Day Program (“LDP”) is a program in which volunteer attorneys are available to provide free legal advice to assist unrepresented Landlords, and Tenants. To contact the LDP, please see their respective divisional numbers below. To view their schedules, please visit the Court’s Location page for more information.

  • Central Housing Court Lawyer of the Day
    • Community Legal Aid, (855) 252-5342
    • Metro West Legal Services, (508) 620-1830
    • Lawyers Referral Service, (508) 752-1311
  • Eastern Housing Court Lawyer of the Day 
    • Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) for Tenants and Landlords, (617) 603-1700
    • Greater Boston Legal Services, (617) 603-1807
    • De Novo - Center for Justice & Healing, (617) 661-1010
    • Justice Bridge Legal Center, (617) 860-3414
    • Legal Services: Harvard Law School, (617) 390-2535
  • Metro-South Housing Court Lawyer of the Day 
    • Greater Boston, (617) 371-1234
    • South Coastal Legal Services, (508) 586-2110
    • Metro West Legal Services, (508) 620-1830
  • Northeast Housing Court Lawyer of the Day 
    • Lawrence/Lowell/Lynn, (978) 458-1465
    • Woburn, (781) 322-9119 ext 146 or press 4
    • Salem, (978) 500-5790
  • Southeast Housing Court Lawyer of the Day
    • Lawyer for the Day program is available from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on:
    • South Coastal County Legal Services, (800) 244-9023
    • Justice Bridge, (508) 449-9296 or (617) 860-3414
  • Western Housing Court Lawyer of the Day
    • Community Legal Aid (Tenants only), (855) 252-5342
    • Hampden County Bar Association (Landlords only), (413) 733-6500

Limited Assistance Representation

Some courts allow people to have a lawyer to help a part or a portion of your case, rather than the whole case. This is called limited assistance representation (LAR). LAR attorneys can draft documents or represent you in court at one or more hearings. More information can be found at Limited Assistance Representation information for the public

Tenancy Preservation Program

The Tenancy Preservation Program (TPP) is a program that works with tenants, including families with children, facing eviction as a result of behavior related to a disability. TPP function as a neutral party and works with the property owner and tenant to determine whether the disability can be reasonably accommodated, and the tenancy preserved. To learn more about TPP, visit the Tenancy Preservation Program page. To contact the TPP, please see their respective divisional numbers below:

  • Central Housing Court Tenancy Preservation Program (508) 438-5656
  • Eastern Housing Court Tenancy Preservation Program (617) 788-6211
  • Metro South Housing Court Tenancy Preservation Program
    • Plymouth County, (508) 930-5951
    • Norfolk County, (774) 257-0354
  • Northeast Housing Court Tenancy Preservation Program (978) 790-0519
  • Southeast Housing Court Tenancy Preservation Program
    • Barnstable, (508) 994-9233
    • New Bedford, (508) 942-0369
    • Taunton, (781) 267-3594
    • Fall River, (508) 208-5906
    • Plymouth, (508) 930-5667
  • Western Housing Court Tenancy Preservation Program
    • (413) 734-5376
    • Berkshire County, (413) 443-7138 ext. 218

Current Housing Court Standing Orders

A standing order is an order that applies to all pending cases in the court. A Standing Order will stay in place until it is withdrawn, or a new order replaces it. To view the currently applicable Standing Orders in Housing Court, see the Massachusetts Housing Court Standing Orders page.

Call of the List Speech

The Housing Court Call of the List speech is typically made at the commencement of most Summary Process Housing Court sessions and contains general information about the court processes and the resources available to litigants during the day of their trial. Please visit the Housing Court Call of the List Speech page to view the video.

eReminder Court Date Notification System

Parties may now sign up to receive text-message reminders of their court event(s) scheduled in a specific Housing Court case.  Such reminders will be sent to their cell phone 4 days before, and 1 day before, their scheduled court event(s). This service is offered by the Court as a courtesy only and should not be the only means relied upon for notice or reminder of an upcoming court event or appearance. To sign up for text message reminders, please sign up for Civil Court Date Text Reminders.

Connecting to Zoom

You can connect to your Hearing through the Zoom app. Zoom is available both by computer and by phone.


  1. Go to your app store
  2. Look for “Zoom Cloud Meetings”
  3. Click Download
  4. Create an account
  5. Click Join Meeting
  6. Enter Meeting ID
  7. Enter Passcode


  1. Go to Zoom's website
  2. Click Join Meeting
  3. Enter Meeting ID
  4. Enter Passcode

Land line/Telephone

  1. Contact the Court and notify court staff that you do not have access to Zoom. The Court will provide you with information and a phone number to call.
  2. If the Court notice provide a phone number for your hearing, call the number and enter the Meeting ID and Password provided.

Tips on using Zoom and preparing for your virtual hearing can be found at Guide to remote hearings

Additional Resources   for Connecting to Zoom

Image credits:  George Headley

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