This page, Housing Court Resources, is offered by

Guide 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.

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, as soon as you receive your notice please contact the respective divisional Clerk's office below:

  • Central Housing Clerk’s Office (508) 831-2050
  • Eastern Housing Clerk’s Office (617) 788-8485
  • Metro South Housing Clerk’s Office (508) 894-4170
  • Northeast Housing Clerk’s Office (978) 689-7833
  • Southeast Housing Clerk’s Office (508) 677-1505
  • Western Housing Clerk’s Office (413) 788-7838

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 through the court’s e-filing website efilema.com

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

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 to reach a settlement. The housing specialists can provide information and referrals to resources that are available in your local community. To contact the HSD, please see their respective divisional numbers below:

  • 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) 788-7838

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:

  • Central Housing Court Lawyer of the Day
    • Community Legal Aid, (508) 752-3718
    • Metro West Legal Services, (508) 620-1830
    • Lawyers Referral Service, (508) 752-1311
  • Eastern Housing Court Lawyer of the Day
    • The Volunteers Lawyer Project, (617) 603-1700
  • 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, (781) 254-1265
    • Salem, (978) 500-5790
    • Woburn, (781) 322-9119 ext 146 or press 4
  • 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 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

Connecting to Zoom

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

Smartphone:

  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

Computer:

  1. Go to https://zoom.us
  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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