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A Civil Action Cover Sheet must be filed in each civil case entered into Superior Court. Its purpose is to assist the Clerk’s office by providing basic contact information for the parties, as well as:
(1) the category of case (e.g., contract/business cases, equitable remedies, torts, real property, administrative civil actions, as listed and further broken down on the 2nd page of the form), and
(2) the Time Standards Track (e.g., A, F, X) to which the case should be assigned, which is initially determined by the case category selected by the plaintiff. The plaintiff must also declare whether a jury trial has been claimed. There is a sample designation of code, type of action, track and jury claim disclosure on the 2nd page of the form.
(3) The plaintiff must provide a statement of damages pursuant to General Laws Chapter 212, section 3A to establish plaintiff’s right to be heard in Superior Court in a civil case for money damages, and
(4) list related cases pending in Superior Court.
(5) If an attorney represents the plaintiff, the attorney must certify that s/he has complied with requirements to discuss court-connected dispute resolution with the plaintiff, pursuant to Rule 5 of the Supreme Judicial Court Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution contained in Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:18.
Regarding Superior Court’s jurisdiction over civil cases for money damages, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 212, section 3 states:
The actions may proceed in the court only if there is no reasonable likelihood that recovery by the plaintiff will be less than or equal to $25,000, or an amount ordered from time to time by the supreme judicial court. Where multiple damages are allowed by law, the amount of single damages claimed shall control.
The front of the form must be filled out by the plaintiff or plaintiff’s attorney; the back of the form contains information to help the plaintiff fill out the front of the form. Civil Action Cover Sheets are also available in the Superior Court’s Civil Clerk’s Office. In almost all cases, they must be filed with the Complaint:
The Clerk-Magistrate, however, is authorized to accept for filing a Complaint without a Civil Action Cover Sheet submitted therewith if the Clerk-Magistrate is satisfied by representation of the offering counsel or pro se party, by averments, in the Complaint, or otherwise, that the Statute of Limitations will run before the filing of the Civil Action Cover Sheet can be accomplished. In such event, the Civil Action Cover Sheet shall be filed within ten (10) days thereafter.
Superior Court Standing Order 1-83, paragraph 3.
Written By: Sharon at Middlesex