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SJC Clerk's Office for the County of Suffolk FAQs During the COVID-19 Crisis

Frequently Asked Questions during the COVID-19 health crisis related to matters before the SJC Clerk's Office for the County of Suffolk.

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Q: Is the Single Justice Clerk's Office open?

A: Yes, the Clerk's Office is open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday to docket and process any filings, including any new petitions, complaints and applications. You may contact Clerk Doyle's Office's main number at (617) 557-1100, or reach one of the assistant clerks here: SJC County of Suffolk Clerk's Office contact information.

All new cases being submitted electronically for the Single Justice Session must be emailed to: newsjcsinglejusticecase@jud.state.ma.us. Please do not email new cases directly to an assistant clerk.

Also, please be certain to insert the name of the case in the subject line of any email, and submit all attachments in PDF format.

Single Justice Matters

Q: May I submit sealed documents via e-mail?

A: No. You may send sealed documents via mail. You may also send it by fax, directed to an assistant clerk, at (617) 557-1117.

Q: If I file a new petition/complaint/application and characterize it as an "emergency," when can I expect a ruling?

A: The Clerk's Office works expeditiously to prioritize, docket and process emergency filings as soon as possible for consideration by the Single Justice.  Please note, however, that the nature of the emergency must be explained in the pleading, and the Clerk's Office will determine whether the proffered explanation sufficiently sets forth credible emergency circumstances warranting prioritization over existing cases and expedited processing.

Q: Are wet signatures required on the pleadings?

A:  No, electronic signatures are acceptable. The electronic signature can take the form of either a scan of the attorney's or self-represented party's handwritten signature, an electronically inserted image intended to substitute for a signature, or a "/s/ name of signatory" block.  See Supreme Judicial Court Order authorizing use of electronic signatures by attorneys and self-represented litigants. 

Q: How do I pay the $315 filing fee?

A: The $315 filing fee check, made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, should be mailed to the Clerk's Office the same day you email your pleadings to an assistant clerk or mail your pleadings to the Clerk's Office.

Q: Can I file an Affidavit of Indigency by email?

A:  No. Affidavits of Indigency pursuant to G.L. c. 261, §27A-G or c. 261, §29 are impounded documents. Self-represented litigants must mail these document to the Clerk's Office.

Q: Is the single justice holding hearings and if so, how?

A: Yes, hearings before the single justice are being held as needed and may be conducted in person, by telephone, or by videoconference, at the discretion of the single justice.

Q: Can I speak to an assistant clerk if I still have questions?

A: Yes, an assistant clerk is in the office Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and is available to speak via telephone or in person if you have additional questions. Further, all assistant clerks are monitoring their voice mail messages and email communications and are available to respond to any inquiries. [SJC County of Suffolk Clerk's Office contact information]

Bar Docket

Q: How are filings and responsive pleadings to be submitted for Bar Docket matters?

A: They must all be filed through our e-filing system. Instructions on using the e-filing system can be found here: Electronic filing of Bar Docket Cases.

Q: Are there new registration matters (SJC Rule 4:02) appearing on the Bar Docket during this emergency period?

A: With the Board of Bar Overseers, Office of Bar Counsel and the SJC Clerk's Office working remotely or on skeleton staffing, the next new motions for suspension for non-compliance with registration requirements will not be filed with the court until approximately May 15, 2020. 

As to reinstatements of attorneys who have been suspended for their non-compliance, the BBO is processing the required paper work as usual.  However, with the reduced staffing in effect, reinstatement requests may be delayed in being filed in the Clerk's Office.  

Q: Is the Board of Bar Overseers holding hearings?

A: On April 21, 2020, the chair of the Board of Bar Overseers issued an order extending its order of March 16, 2020.  Pursuant to the orders, all evidentiary hearings that were scheduled between the date of the order and May 31, 2020 are cancelled. The board will consider hearings scheduled to take place after May 31 in due course. Updates will be posted on the Board’s web site.  The Board chair also ordered that all in-person prehearing conferences between March 16-May 31, 2020 are cancelled. The Hearing Committee chair, in consultation with the parties and counsel, may convert in-person conferences to telephone or remote conferences.  Prehearings that already are scheduled to take place telephonically or remotely will remain as scheduled.

Attorney Services

Q: Is the attorney services department open? 

A: Yes. You can either call 617-557-1050 or email at sjcattorneyservices@jud.state.ma.us. Staff are in the office from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday.

Formal Admission Ceremonies

Q: What about individuals who have been reported qualified for Admission by Motion or for Admission by Transfer?

A: Those petitioners who have been reported qualified for Admission by Motion or by Transfer will receive an admission packet, including detailed instructions, via US mail.

Certificates of Good Standing and Other Attorney Services

Q: Can I get a Certificate of Admission and Good Standing? 

A: Yes, we now have an online ordering and payment portal which can be found at Certificate of Admission and Good Standing

Q: Can I get a certified copy of my Petition for Admission? 

A: Yes, we now have an online ordering and payment portal which can be found at Certified Copy of Petition for Admission to Massachusetts Bar.

Q: Can I get licensed as either a Student Practitioner or Foreign Practitioner? 

A: Yes. You can mail or email the forms to the Clerk's office. Information regarding Student Practitioners can be found here: Student Practitioners. Information regarding Foreign Practitioners can be found here: Foreign Practitioners and Foreign Legal Consultants.

Last updated: July 23, 2021