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News Notice inviting comment on proposed amendments to Superior Court Rule 9A, Civil Motions, and Rule 9C, Settlement of Discovery Disputes

The deadline for submitting comments is February 15, 2018.
12/20/2017
  • Superior Court

The Superior Court Rules Committee is soliciting comments on proposed amendments to Rule 9A, Civil Motions, and Rule 9C, Settlement of Discovery Disputes.

The amendments to Rule 9A are intended to simplify the rule and reorganize it for ease of use. Among the changes are requiring the parties to confer with the other side before filing emergency motions or filing dispositive motions (consistent with proposed amendments to Rule 9C, see below); requiring moving parties to notify third parties of any motion to add them as defendants or affecting their rights; changing the standards and procedures for determining whether to hold a hearing on a motion; allowing parties to consent to electronic service; and eliminating replies to motions to strike or to cross-motions. The amendments also streamline summary judgment procedures by limiting the 9A(b)(5) statement of material facts to 20 pages and to information material to summary judgment (background information may be included in the 20-page memorandum in support of the motion); and eliminating the opposing statement of material facts (but allowing opposing facts in the memorandum), except in cross-motions for summary judgment.

The amendments to Rule 9C require the parties to confer before filing dispositive motions to narrow areas of disagreement to the fullest extent. Concerning motions under Mass. R. Civ. P. 12, the parties must make a good-faith effort to narrow areas of disagreement that may be resolved through amendment of the pleading, curative action in respect to defective service, or other means related to the subject of the motion to dismiss. Concerning motions under Mass. R. Civ. P. 56 or 41(b)(2)(second sentence), the parties must discuss whether the moving party should refrain from making any motion qualifying for decision without a hearing under Superior Court Rule 9A(b)(vi) and make a good-faith effort to narrow areas of disagreement that may be resolved through amendment of the pleading, a stipulated dismissal of specified claims or parties, or otherwise.

Comments should be sent to alex.philipson@jud.state.ma.us, or to Alex G. Philipson, Administrative Attorney, Massachusetts Superior Court, Three Pemberton Square, 13th Floor, Boston, MA 02108.

The deadline for submitting comments is February 15, 2018.

A copy of the proposed amendments:

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Superior Court 

The Superior Court Department is a statewide court that handles both criminal and civil actions.

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