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Standing Order

Land Court Rules Land Court Standing Order 2-18: Initial limited electronic filing project

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Table of Contents

I. Authority

This Standing Order 2-18 is promulgated by the Chief Justice of the Land Court Department pursuant to the provisions of G. L. c. 211B, § 10 and G. L. c. 185, § 1, and in compliance with the Order Re: Electronic Filing Pilot Projects issued by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effective February 25, 2015.

II. Purpose and applicability

To advance efficiency in the Massachusetts courts and better serve the public and the bar, the Supreme Judicial Court has authorized electronic filing pilot projects for the trial and appellate courts. By this Standing Order 2-18, the Land Court Department hereby permits electronic filing and (where designated) electronic service of court documents for specified case types and matters (the “Pilot Project”).

Effective September 1, 2018, the Supreme Judicial Court adopted SJC Rule 1:25 Massachusetts Rules of Electronic Filing (the “eFiling Rules”). For the duration of the Pilot Project, these Electronic Filing Rules shall govern the general procedures of electronic filing and electronic service of court documents in designated matters commenced after the effective date of this Standing Order, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in any rule of court or other standing order. All terms used in this Standing Order shall have the meanings defined in the eFiling Rules.

Except insofar as the eFiling Rules effective September 1, 2018 supersede the "Interim Massachusetts Electronic Filing Rules," previously adopted on February 25, 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court's Order regarding Electronic Filing Pilot Projects shall govern the conduct of the Pilot Project. This is an initial limited Standing Order to establish the parameters of the Pilot Project, and may be amended and revised by this Department as necessary during the course of the Pilot Project.

III. Scope of the pilot project

A.    Servicemembers Case Pilot Project

The Servicemembers case type (cases brought pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act as set forth in 50 U.S.C. § 3901 (et seq.) and Chapter 57 of the Acts of 1943, as    amended) is specifically designated for electronic filing and electronic service of court documents in this Pilot Project.

Any user registered with the Electronic Filing Service Provider may participate in the Pilot Project for Servicemembers cases.

B.    Tax Lien Case Pilot Project

The Tax Lien case type (cases brought pursuant to G. L.  c. 60, § 65) is specifically designated for electronic filing of court documents in this Pilot Project.

During the initial stages of the Pilot Project, the Land Court Recorder’s Office will designate a limited number of Pilot Project participants, who shall be given training and access to the Provider’s electronic filing system, and shall participate in the Pilot Project as properly registered Users in compliance with the eFiling Rules.  As the Pilot Project proceeds, additional Pilot Project participants will be approved by the Land Court Recorder’s Office to participate without further amendment of this Standing Order.  

IV. Additional provisions

A. Limited assistance representation

For purposes of the Pilot Project, Trial Court Rule XVI: Uniform Rule on Limited Assistance Representation is hereby incorporated by reference where applicable. Where there are no filing codes that correspond to Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) in the electronic filing system, an attorney must enter the term “LAR” into either the Filing Description field or the Filing Comment field when electronically filing an LAR Notice of Appearance or LAR Notice of Withdrawal of Appearance.

B. Electronic signatures

In accordance with Rules 13 and 14 of the Electronic Filing Rules, filed documents, orders, and judgments in cases within the scope of this Pilot Project may be signed electronically. Electronic signatures have the force of conventional signatures. In addition, a digital stamp of the Land Court Recorder shall be accepted for the issuance of all court documents and to certify an electronic copy of any document associated with this Pilot Project.

C. Duration

The Pilot Project described herein shall continue until further order of the Court, and this Standing Order 2-18 may be superseded or amended,  in writing, at any time during the duration of the pilot.

Adopted November 26, 2018, effective December 17, 2018; amended effective December 16, 2019 and June 21, 2021.
 

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