Massachusetts law about civil procedure

A compilation of laws, cases, and web sources on civil procedure law by the Trial Court Law Libraries.

Table of Contents

Court rules

Selected cases

Roch v. Mollica, 481 Mass. 164 (2018)
Transient jurisdiction. "Massachusetts courts have personal jurisdiction over nonresident individuals who are served with process while intentionally, knowingly, and voluntarily in Massachusetts."


Web sources

About Service of Process, Mass. Secretary of State
Describes how to serve foreign corporations.

Appeals Court Frequently Asked Questions, Mass. Appeals Court
In a question and answer format, provides essential information on how to file an appeal in both civil and criminal cases. Covers everything from the notice of appeal to how long to expect to wait for a decision. 

Checklist for Preparation of Brief and Appendix, Mass. Appeals Court
Lists all necessary components, with references to court rules for each.

Checklist for Preparation of E-Briefs, Mass. Appeals Court
Lists all necessary components, with references to court rules for each.

Featured Practice Tips from the Superior Court Bench, MCLE 
A series of short video briefings offering practical and sage advice from more than 40 active and alumni members of the Massachusetts Superior Court

Federal Practice Manual for Legal Aid Attorneys, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, 2015.
"[C]overs all stages of federal litigation, from drafting and filing the complaint to trial practice and limitations on relief. This popular resource, available free of charge online, includes relevant recent case law and legal developments."

How to sue someone in the digital age when you don't know where they live, Alan Pransky, 2015.
Provides helpful information on how to locate and serve a person when you don't know where they live.

How to win your personal injury claim, Nolo, 2018
Not specific to Massachusetts. Includes information on filing your claim, insurance coverage, how much is your claim worth, settlement and more. Requires library card for access.

Massachusetts Appeals Court Help Center
Includes: Guide to Appeals, Entry of an Appeal, Direct Appellate Review, Further Appellate Review, Motion Practice, Single Justice Practice, Interlocutory Petitions, Motions to Stay Pursuant to RAP 6, Format for Briefs & Appendices, Oral Arguments, Moffett Filings, Impoundment Procedures, Pilot Project - Docketing Statement.

Nolo's Deposition Handbook, Nolo, 2018
Includes information on being deposed, taking and defending depositions, state discovery rules, sample forms and more. Requires library card for access.

Representing Yourself in a Civil Case: Things to Consider When Going to Court, Mass. Trial Court
This book is for people who are considering representing themselves in a civil case in a Massachusetts trial court. It is intended to provide an overview of the court process in a civil case and direct you to resources.

Step by Step: A Simple Guide to Filing a Civil Action in the United States District Court - District of Massachusetts, US District Court, Mass, 2017
As the title suggests, this guide is both step-by-step and simple. Includes an explanation of the terminology and chronology of a civil suit, as well as procedural directions and forms that can be filled out online and printed

Supreme Judicial Court Style Manual, SJC Office of the Reporter of Decisions, 2016-2017
The manual may be useful to those preparing appellate briefs

Print sources



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: July 2, 2019