Guide 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

Registration & examination overview

Registration closed 
  • Opening Registration Date: January 22, 2019
  • Last Day of Registration: April 22, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. 

Note: An orientation and preparation guide will be provided to all confirmed exam registrants several weeks prior to testing at no additional cost.

Examination
  • Examination Date: June 1, 2019* (start time to be determined) 
  • Examination Location: 

Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC)
415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210

Individuals who passed the previous Court Officer Entrance Exams in July 2014, October 2015 and 2017 do not have to take this exam; Individuals who passed the previous exams remain eligible to be considered for Court Officer positions and will be subject to the Physical Fitness Assessment and other hiring requirements as set forth in this announcement and in accordance with Trial Court policy.

*Depending on the number of candidates registering for the exam, the Trial Court reserves the right to offer the exam on additional dates and/or at alternative locations if necessary. Registrants would be notified by email should this occur.

Fees

Examination Fee: $100

Exam description

This examination is being held to comply with state law which requires the passing of this exam in order to be eligible to apply for Court Officer positions. Individuals who do not take and pass this examination, or the exams administered in July 2014, October 2015 and 2017 will be ineligible for Court Officer positions until another court officer examination is offered in the future. Exam registrants must pay a $100 examination fee to sit for the examination.

Those individuals that 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 in order 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.

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

Court Officer job description

Examples of essential duties

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 court house safety and security.

A Court Officer takes appropriate action in disruptive situations in all areas of the court house, 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 the Trial Court Security Department.

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 custodials, 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 Jobs with the Court System 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 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 exam & 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. We anticipate that PAT’s will begin to be scheduled in December 2017. Candidates should prepare for the PAT by utilizing the physical training guidelines in the Court Officer Wellness Guide which can be found at Massachusetts Trial Court Security Department Health & Wellness Guide.
  • 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 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 may 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.

Additional Resources for Other requirements after passing the exam & prior to an appointment

Examination details

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 April 22, 2019 for standard registration. If you have not registered and paid for the examination on or before April 22, 2019, your registration will not be processed or accepted, and you will not be eligible to take the examination. Persons who have successfully registered will later receive an email notification that includes important information about the date, time, exact location, and other general information for their examination. An orientation and preparation guide will also be emailed to all confirmed registrants at no additional cost several weeks prior to the examination.

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 the Trial Court Employment Webpage Jobs with the Court System. 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 exams@jud.state.ma.us or faxed to Trial Court Exams at (617) 742-0968 on or before April 22, 2019. 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 the Trial Court Employment Webpage Jobs with the Court System. 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 either scanned and emailed to exams@jud.state.ma.us or faxed to Trial Court Exams at (617) 742-0968 on or before April 22, 2019. Late Exam Accommodation Forms will not be accepted. Without such letter by April 22, 2019, 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 mailed to:

Office of Court Management
2 Center Plaza, Room 540
Boston, MA  02108
ATTN:  Test Administration - Court Officer

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: With the exception of 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:

Office of Court Management
2 Center Plaza, Room 540
Boston, MA  02108
ATTN:  Test Administration - Court Officer

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 Examination Site: At the examination site, 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 exams@jud.state.ma.us 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.

Additional Resources for Examination details

Examination 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.
  • Email: exams@jud.state.ma.us
  • Telephone Number: (617) 742-8575

Examination payment information

To register and make your registration payment for the examination, please click this link: Court Officer Exam Registration

This link will direct you to I/O Solutions, the testing vender, who will be processing payment on behalf of the Massachusetts Trial Court. Detailed instructions regarding payment will be provided in the “Purchasing Information” section on the I/O Solutions website.

All registrations must be received by the posted deadline and accompanied by an examination processing fee. You will receive a confirmation email when you have completed the process (be sure to check your junk email folder).  

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. If you do not see any emails, be sure to check your junk mail.

Key Actions for Examination payment information

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