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Temporary changes to service of process, signatures, depositions, oaths and affirmations during COVID-19

The courts have changed requirements for service of documents, signatures, depositions, oaths & affirmations to help maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Table of Contents

Email service of documents

In cases governed by Rule 5(b) of the Mass. Rules of Civil Procedure and Mass. Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure, documents may be served by email upon an attorney of record, or upon a self-represented party if the self-represented party consents in writing. 

Electronic signatures

Attorneys or self-represented parties may electronically sign documents, unless the court specifically orders otherwise. 

Judges and clerks may electronically sign court orders, judgments, and notifications. 

Remote depositions

Deposition testimony may be taken and oaths administered via audio-visual technology. 

Depositions in civil cases can be taken remotely without agreement of the parties or court approval. 

Oaths & affirmations

Oaths and affirmations by witnesses may be administered remotely by telephone, videoconference, or comparable means, in any virtual proceeding conducted by the courts of the Commonwealth, except where it would be inconsistent with constitutional or statutory requirements. 

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