Trial Court Officer Examination Information

This guide includes information about the Trial Court Officer position and the Trial Court Officer entrance exam. Below you will find information about the exam process, schedule, and registration. In compliance with state law, to be eligible for Trial Court Officer positions, candidates must pass the Court Officer exam.

Table of Contents

Examination Information

The December 2023 Court Officer exam window is now closed. Please check back periodically for updates.  

Exam Description

State law requires the passing of this exam to be eligible to apply for Court Officer positions. Individuals who do not take and pass this exam will be ineligible for Court Officer positions until another Court Officer exam is offered. Registrants must pay a $100 examination fee to sit for the exam.

Prior exams are no longer valid.

Individuals who pass this exam will receive information regarding the next steps in the hiring process for the Court Officer positions.  Passing the Court Officer Examination alone does not guarantee that you will receive an interview.  Persons who apply to a Court Officer job posting, after passing a Court Officer entrance examination must also meet the eligibility requirements for this job to be considered for appointment. Exam registrants should also be aware that due to the anticipated large volume of qualified candidates, job applicants selected for an interview typically exceed the minimum requirements.

Examples of Essential Duties

Please review the examples of essential duties and the related minimum requirements for this position before you consider registering for the Court Officer Examination.

A Court Officer is responsible for providing security through, in and around court premises, protecting judges, jurors, witnesses, prisoners, court personnel, and the public who use Massachusetts Trial Court buildings and facilities. A Court Officer is responsible for the care, custody, and control of all prisoners and persons taken into custody and held at a court facility, including subduing and/or apprehending escaping prisoners and providing first response in other emergency situations.

A Court Officer provides a visual security presence at court entrances/security screening stations and throughout the building; screens persons who wish to enter court buildings for weapons and other items of contraband; operates metal detectors and x-ray machines to perform the screening functions; monitors CCTV cameras to ensure safety of the public, court employees and prisoners; protects and safeguards courtrooms, grounds, buildings, employees, jurors, the public, and visitors on the courthouse premises as a member of an integrated statewide security team.

A Court Officer identifies and addresses all security concerns, including promptly dealing with disturbances, exercising arrest powers if warranted, responding to, and managing medical emergencies, producing incident reports, and maintaining logs and records to ensure courthouse safety and security.

A Court Officer takes appropriate action in disruptive situations in all areas of the courthouse, including for assaultive behavior where persons may be armed or otherwise pose a danger. A Court Officer documents, secures, and returns prisoner property in accordance with Security Department policies and procedures; enforces all appropriate judicial orders, and enforces all laws and ordinances as appropriate. A Court Officer locates trial participants, informs participants of the court’s action, transports papers within the courthouse, notifies the judge that the session is ready to proceed, and announces the opening and closing of court sessions.

For more information on the Security department and becoming a Trial Court Officer visit:

Working Conditions

Court Officers work in courthouses or other court facilities, may work varied shifts; are at risk of being subjected to verbal and/or physical harm from prisoners, other custodial, or the public; may be required to interact with people who are under physical and/or emotional stress; may at times work alone in an isolated area; must stand and walk for prolonged periods of time, climb stairs and engage in physical work such as lifting objects from the ground or tables; are expected to quickly respond and intervene in physical encounters and emergency situations; determine and exercise appropriate levels of physical force to subdue uncooperative or hostile persons using properly trained tactical techniques; and must be able to travel within the Commonwealth for job-related purposes.

Minimum Requirements

In addition to passing the examination, individuals must apply to a Trial Court job posting at when posted (after the exam) and satisfy the following minimum requirements in order to be considered for appointment as a Court Officer:

A High School diploma or equivalent and at least two (2) years of experience in security, law enforcement, corrections, the military, loss prevention, emergency medical services, or direct care social services. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation may substitute for required work experience.

Other Requirements After Passing the Examination and Prior to an Appointment

Physical Abilities Test (PAT) – Candidates must demonstrate their ability to meet physical abilities standards. Candidates that pass the written exam and meet the minimum position requirements may be invited to attend a session for the PAT. Not all candidates will be invited to a PAT at the same time due to the anticipated large volume of applicants.

Structured Oral Interview – Candidates must pass a Structure Oral Interview.

Psychological Assessment – Candidates may be asked to undergo a psychological assessment.

Consent to Criminal Record Check - Interviewed candidates selected for appointment will be required to complete the Consent to Criminal Record Check Form. Trial Court Policy (Section 4.100) may prohibit the employment of individuals with a felony conviction or a misdemeanor conviction resulting in incarceration if the end date of such incarceration is within the five-year period immediately preceding the date of application of employment. A Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check involving other offenses will not automatically disqualify the final candidate(s). Determinations of suitability based on CORI checks will be made consistent with this policy and any applicable law or regulations.

Medical - As a condition of employment, an applicant for Court Officer will be required to pass a medical examination that includes a drug screening.

Background Investigation – Candidates will be subjected to a background investigation.

Federal I9 Form for Employment Eligibility - Pursuant to the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, after an offer of employment is made, selected candidates for appointment are required to complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) and submit specific document(s) that establish identity and verify the right to work in the United States.

Massachusetts Residency Requirement - Pursuant to G.L. c. 478, sec. 328 of the Acts of 1978, no person who is not a resident of the Commonwealth shall serve as an officer in or an employee of the Judicial Branch; provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to those persons serving as officers in or employees of the Judicial Branch prior to the effective date of c. 478, sec. 328.

Training - Candidates must satisfactorily complete the Court Officer Training Academy and are subject to a probationary period.

Examination Overview

Examination Date: December 11 – December 22, 2023
Registration Window: October 16, 2023 - November 21, 2023
Examination Fee: $100

Note: An orientation and preparation guide will be available immediately in the I/O Solutions portal to all confirmed exam registrants at no additional cost.

Examination Location: Exams will be administered virtually through the I/O Solutions (IOS) @Home testing service. Test sessions will run December 11 through December 22, 2023, Monday through Friday. Each of these days, there will be an option to test in the morning, at 9:30 a.m. EST, or afternoon, at 2:00 p.m. EST.

You will receive a registration email from the week of November 27, 2023. This email will contain specific requirements for the @Home testing process, instructions to set up for your test, and a link to register for your preferred testing time.

If you have any questions or technical issues during the virtual testing process, you should contact

Registration: All registrations must be received by the posted deadlines and accompanied by an examination-processing fee. You will receive a confirmation email when you have completed the process. Your registration is not complete until you have received a confirmation email. All additional information about the examination will be provided to you by email. Please check the email address you registered with regularly for up-to-date information about the upcoming examination.

Your examination processing fee of $100 must be paid by 11:59 p.m. on November 21, 2023, for standard registration. If you have not registered and paid for the examination on or before November 21, 2023, your registration will not be processed or accepted, and you will not be eligible to take the examination. CCandidates who have successfully registered will receive an email from the week of November 27th, 2023 with specific instructions on how to register for their @home test session. An orientation and preparation guide will also be available online to all confirmed registrants at no additional cost.

Fee Waiver: The examination fee may be waived for registrants receiving certain state or federal public assistance, or unemployment insurance. A link to the Fee Waiver Form is available at You must follow the instructions on the Fee Waiver Form regarding proper submission of the Form and supporting documentation. All Fee Waiver forms must be either scanned and emailed to on or before November 19, 2023. Late Fee Waiver Forms will not be accepted.

Reasonable Exam Accommodations: If you would like to request a reasonable accommodation for the examination due to a documented impairment, you must successfully register for the exam online and then complete an Exam Accommodation Form. A link to the Exam Accommodation Form is available at You must also submit a letter of support from a qualified professional detailing what type of reasonable accommodation you are requesting at the examination site. You must follow the instructions on the Exam Accommodation Form regarding proper submission of the form and supporting documentation.

All Exam Accommodation Forms and supporting documentation must be emailed to on or before November 19, 2023. Late Exam Accommodation Forms will not be accepted. Without such letter by November 19, 2023, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to grant your accommodation. This information is requested only to provide reasonable accommodation for examinations and will not be used for any other purposes.

Current Military Personnel: All military personnel who, in connection with current service, have military orders that indicate their unavailability due to military service on the examination date, must register for the examination, pay the processing fee, and request a makeup examination in writing, with a copy of your military orders attached.

Military related requests must be emailed to: by November 19, 2023.

Please provide with your request an email address, daytime base phone number and/or name and phone number of a friend or family member with whom you have regular contact and entrust with your personal communication. Note: Only candidates who have registered and have submitted the examination-processing fee or Fee Waiver Form for this examination by the registration deadline will qualify for a military make up examination.

No Makeup Examination: Except for current military personnel as described above, no candidate has a right to a makeup examination due to personal or professional conflicts on the testing date. Candidates are advised to consider this policy BEFORE applying for the examination. If you have registered and subsequently encounter a personal emergency or unanticipated hardship, you may request a makeup examination by filing a written request with verifiable documentation to:

Note: Previously scheduled vacation plans will not qualify as a personal emergency, unanticipated hardship, or grounds for a makeup examination. 

Makeup examination requests must be received no later than 7 calendar days after the scheduled examination date. The Trial Court reserves the right to approve or deny your request and may require an additional examination processing fee upon approval of your request.

Identification at the time of Examination: Registrants must present current and valid photo identification with signature (e.g., driver’s license, passport, military ID ).

Change of Personal Information:  Registrants are responsible for maintaining accurate contact information (e.g., address, email, phone number) with the Trial Court. Failure to keep your records up-to-date and to email them to may jeopardize opportunities for employment.

Refunds: There will be NO REFUND of the examination processing fee unless the examination is cancelled by the Trial Court.

During the Trial Court review process or during the life of this candidate pool, candidates must make original supporting documentation available should the issue of authenticity arise with any submitted document copies.

Contact Information:

The Office of the Court Management is managing the examination process for this job. For more details or questions regarding this process please contact:

Office of Court Management

Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, except holidays.


Telephone Number: 617-742-8575

Examination Registration and Payment Information

The December 2023 Court Officer registration is now closed.

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