Remote/virtual court services

Find helpful information on remote Trial Court services like remote hearings and virtual registries.

Table of Contents

Overview of remote/virtual court services

This video provides an overview of remote/virtual court services available during COVID-19.

 

You can also watch this video in Portuguese and Spanish.

Guide to remote hearings

Because of COVID-19, many court hearings are now remote. That means some or all of the people participate by video or phone. Please watch the video below and read the Guide to virtual hearings to learn how to prepare for a remote hearing. 


For more information on remote hearings, see the Massachusetts Bar Association's informational video on how remote hearings work.

Housing Court virtual front counter

Each Housing Court Clerk's Office and Housing Specialist Department provides a virtual front counter where court staff will be able to answer questions, help court users virtually, and provide information on available court resources. Court users can receive "face-to-face" help from court staff without being physically present at a courthouse. Please see the schedule and access information for each division's virtual counters below.

Clerk’s Office virtual front counters:

Housing Specialist Department virtual front counters:

Guided interview for an emergency Civil Complaint form

This guided interview creates an emergency Civil Complaint form. Once you complete it, you can email it directly to your court location.

Land Court virtual recorder's office

Court users can get virtual “face-to-face” front counter help from Land Court Recorder’s Office staff while staying safe in their own homes or offices. The Land Court Virtual Recorder’s Office will be available from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (except on legal holidays).

The Virtual Recorder’s Office uses Zoom to hold video conferences. Court users can connect and conduct business directly with Recorder’s Office staff online by clicking the following link: Virtual Recorder’s Office

To learn more, please see the page Land Court Virtual Recorder's Office.

Middlesex Juvenile Court virtual counter

At this time, the Juvenile Court has one virtual counter for cases that have been filed or will be filed at any location in Middlesex County: Lowell, Cambridge, Framingham or Waltham. Court users can get “face-to-face” virtual help from court staff while staying safe in their own homes.

To learn more, please see Middlesex Juvenile Court Virtual Front Counter.

Probate & Family Court virtual registries

Superior Court protocols and tips for remote hearings

West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court virtual clerk's office

Beginning February 16, 2021, the West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department Clerk’s Office will offer virtual “face-to-face” front counter help while you stay safe in your own home or office. 

Virtual clerk’s office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 12 noon and 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

To learn more, please see West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department virtual clerk's office.

Trial Court Zoom Rooms

To make sure that access to technology doesn’t prevent access to justice, the Trial Court is setting up computer stations in select courthouses for users to participate in Zoom videoconferencing. For more information, please see the page Trial Court Zoom Rooms

Accessing Court Service Centers and Law Libraries remotely

This video provides an overview on how to access Trial Court Law Libraries and Court Service Centers remotely. 

 

Court Service Center remote services

Court Service Center locations are closed to the public until further notice due to COVID-19, but remote services are available for emergency cases via Zoom Meetings.

The types of cases that the Court Service Centers are helping with are:

  • 209A Abuse Prevention Orders (restraining orders)
  • 258E Harassment Prevention Orders
  • Section 12 or 35 mental health commitments
  • Emergency Guardianship of an Incapacitated Person
  • Emergency Guardianship of Minor
  • Emergency Probate and Family Court filings relating to custody/parenting time/child support 
  • Emergency Modifications of Child Support (varies by county)
  • Housing Temporary Restraining Orders
  • Housing motions to vacate default entered since March 1, 2020
  • Housing motions to vacate a dismissal for failure to appear entered since March 1, 2020
  • Housing motions to stay an execution for an eviction

If you are facing any of these issues, you can join the daily Zoom Meeting to get help with legal information, court forms, and referrals to legal and community-based organizations. Before you call, please review what information you will need to receive assistance.

You can join a Court Service Center through Zoom:

Court Service Centers are available from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday. After 12:00 p.m., if you have questions about your current court case or want to start a new case, please call the Trial Court Help Line or contact your local court.

Law Library remote services

The Trial Court Law Libraries are closed to the public, but continue to provide services remotely during COVID-19.  

 All virtual services (email, chat, phone, text) and remote research access continue to be available. Please contact the library in your area to verify the availability of services.

Trial Court Help Line

The Trial Court has created a Help Line that the public can call to ask general questions about their civil and criminal cases and help them navigate the court system. The Help Line will be staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can reach the helpline by calling 833-91COURT (912-6878). Learn more about how to Get general court information through the Trial Court Help Line

Last updated: March 24, 2021
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