Respond to a building code or fire code infraction ticket

Did you receive a ticket for a building or fire code infraction? Find out how to respond to it.
You must pay the ticket or request a hearing within 21 days.

District, Housing, and Boston Municipal Courts

The Details

What you need

If you receive a building or fire code infraction ticket, you have 21 days to pay it. Otherwise, you need to request a hearing within 21 days. 

  • If the citation was locally-issued — Request a hearing from the city or town.
  • If the citation was state-issued — Request a hearing from the Housing Court Clerk-Magistrate. If there is no housing court for your community, the request for a hearing should go to the district court.

How to respond

If you request a hearing, you'll need to attend in person. The hearing by the municipal hearing officer or clerk-magistrate is informal and the formal rules of evidence don't apply. 

Next steps

If you want to appeal a decision

If you request a hearing and are unhappy with the result, you may appeal the decision within 10 days.

  • If the citation was locally-issued — Appeal to the Housing Court Clerk-Magistrate. If there isn't a housing court for your community, appeal to the district court. 
  • If the citation was state-issued — Appeal to a single justice of the court.

More info

If you don’t pay the fine or attend a hearing, the enforcing agency will file a criminal complaint application, and the clerk-magistrate will conduct a show cause hearing. The fact that you didn’t pay the fine or attend a hearing will be considered prima facie evidence of your guilt.

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