Log in links for this page

Appeals Court Administrative Order 21-1

Appeals Court’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

This Administrative Order details the Appeals Court’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and contains information about the Court’s operations pursuant to the Supreme Judicial Court’s Seventh Updated Order Regarding Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Created by the COVID–19 Pandemic, effective July 12, 2021, and the Supreme Judicial Court’s Fourth Order Regarding Access to State Courthouses & Court Facilities, effective July 12, 2021. This Administrative Order rescinds and supersedes the Appeals Court Administrative Orders 20-2 and 20-4.  Persons with business with the Appeals Court are encouraged to check the Appeals Court’s website (https://www.mass.gov/orgs/appeals-court) for the most current updates and any announcements concerning the Appeals Court.  

II. Court business

The Appeals Court is conducting all business in all emergency and nonemergency matters.  This includes, and is not limited to, accepting filings in panel and single justice cases, scheduling and hearing oral arguments before panels of justices and the single justice, and issuing orders, decisions, opinions, and rescripts.

III. Oral arguments

The Appeals Court will resume in-person oral arguments before panels of justices and the single justice in September 2021. Consistent with the Supreme Judicial Court’s orders, the Appeals Court may order a hearing to be conducted virtually, i.e., by videoconference or telephone. Further updates and the most current information about the Appeals Court’s oral argument sessions will be made available on the Appeals Court’s website and orders will be entered in individual cases.

IV. Clerk's Office

The Clerk’s Office is open to the public for telephonic, virtual, and in-person business.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clerk’s Office continues to endeavor to conduct business virtually to the extent possible.  Before making an in-person visit to the Clerk’s Office, all persons are encouraged to call or email the office for assistance without the need for coming to the courthouse. The Clerk’s Office personnel will make every effort to provide assistance (including accepting filings and fulfilling records requests) in a manner that eliminates the need for persons to visit the John Adams Courthouse.  All visitors to the John Adams Courthouse must comply with any orders of the Supreme Judicial Court regarding health and safety protocols regarding public access to state courthouses and court facilities.  

V. Contact information

1.  Telephone. The Clerk’s Office may be contacted during business hours at 617-921-4443 or 617-725-8106.  Before contacting the Clerk’s Office, please first consult the Appeals Court’s website (https://www.mass.gov/orgs/appeals-court) for general procedural information, educational pages, and links to legal resources or the Appellate Courts' website (ma-appellatecourts.org) for information about pending cases and argument/hearing schedules.

2.  Email. The Clerk’s Office may be reached at MacClerkMatter@Jud.State.Ma.Us  Please include a detailed message, any relevant docket numbers, and your contact information.

VI. Filing

1.  Electronic Filing.  All documents in all cases may be electronically filed at eFileMA.com and are required by M.A.C. Rule 13.0 to be electronically filed in many instances.

2.  Email.  The Clerk’s Office has discretion to permit email filing and will permit email filing in exigent circumstances and where electronic filing through eFileMA.com is not practicable.

3.  Mail.  Electronic filing is preferred. Filings not required or able to be electronically filed may be made by first-class mail or its equivalent, addressed to: 

Appeals Court Clerk’s Office
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square, Room 1200
Boston, MA 02108

4.  Drop-box at John Adams Courthouse.  A drop-box is located at the entryway of the John Adams Courthouse for the benefit of any persons who wish to hand-deliver documents for filing with the Appeals Court without entering the Clerk’s Office. The drop-box is monitored regularly by court personnel and filings processed in accordance with the Appeals Court’s ordinary procedures. 

VII. Civil Appeals Clinic

The Civil Appeals Clinic no longer operates in person at the John Adams Courthouse.  For the latest information, visit https://vlpnet.org/civil-appeals-clinic/ or https://www.mass.gov/service-details/civil-appeals-clinic.  


Entered: August 1, 2021

Additional Resources



Clerk's Office (617) 921-4443
Judges' Lobby (617) 725-8085
Human Resources Department (617) 994-4155
Oral Argument Postponement or Cancellation Updates Line (617) 725-8114


John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square, Room 1200
Boston, MA 02108
Date published: July 29, 2021

Help Us Improve Mass.gov with your feedback