If you receive a notice of a default judgment
If you receive a notice of default judgment in the mail and want to challenge the default judgment, you should immediately come to the Housing Court and file a motion to remove the default and serve a copy on your landlord or their attorney. Include an explanation of your side of the case and why you weren’t in court on the trial date.
If you want to appeal
You only have 10 days to appeal an eviction, so it’s important to act quickly. MassLegalHelp has helpful information and forms on appealing your eviction if you choose to do so.
If the judge grants a stay of execution
A "stay of execution" means that the court has postponed the eviction. When a tenant is evicted for reasons that were not the tenant's fault, a judge may grant a stay of execution for up to 6 months. If the tenant is disabled or over 60, the stay can be up to 12 months.
If there is a stay of execution, then your landlord will need to wait until that postponement period has ended before starting the process of moving you out.
If the landlord gets an execution
The "execution" is the document that authorizes the actual eviction. If the court finds in favor of the landlord, you will have 10 days from the date that the clerk’s office enters judgment to file an appeal. If the judgment didn’t include a stay of the execution, on the 11th day, the landlord can request one.
You’ll receive 48 hours written notice of the date and time the constable or sheriff will move you as well as the name and address of the storage facility where your belongings will be stored.
The constable will store the property in a licensed storage facility. That facility must keep your belongings for at least 6 months. Whatever licensed storage facility accepts your property will have an automatic lien on it for reasonable storage fees and expenses of removing it to the place of storage. The landlord will pay the moving expenses and 3 months storage fees in advance. The landlord (and the storage facility) can then charge the tenant for the moving and storage costs. If you, as the owner of the personal property, are present when the officer removes it, you may claim it to prevent the belongings from being removed to the storage facility.
Issues after paying the judgment
I was the defendant in a court case and there was a judgment against me for money. I paid the judgment, but it still shows up as a debt on my housing and credit histories. Is there anything I can do to prove to a future landlord or creditor that I no longer owe the judgment?
Yes. You can ask the other side to sign and file with the court a satisfaction of judgment form. If they won’t do this, you can file a motion with the court to ask the judge or clerk to find that the judgment has been paid.