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News Notice of Recent Changes to Superior Court Rules and Standing Orders, Rules 9A, 9C and 47.

Effective November 1, 2018
8/01/2018
  • Superior Court

The Superior Court has amended Superior Court Rule 9A. The amendments are intended to simplify the rule and reorganize it for ease of use, including, among other things:

  • requiring the parties to confer before filing emergency motions or dispositive motions (consistent with amendments to Rule 9C);
  • 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;
  • clarifying the provision regarding reply memoranda and oppositions to motions to strike and cross-motions;
  • for summary judgment motions, 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);
  • for summary judgment motions, barring opposing parties from asserting additional facts in the statement of material facts (but allowing additional facts in the memorandum), except in cross-motions for summary judgment..

The Superior Court has amended Superior Court Rule 9C. The amendments require the parties to confer before serving dispositive motions as well as discovery motions, to narrow areas of disagreement to the fullest extent. Among the changes are these: 

  • Rule 12 motions: 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;
  • Rule 56 or 41(b)(2)(second sentence) motions: 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) (summary judgment motions that are repetitive; partial summary judgment motions that are unhelpful; or summary judgment motions where a genuine dispute of material fact is obvious on the papers) 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.

The amendments to Rules 9A and 9C are effective as to all motions served on or after November 1, 2018.

The Superior Court has amended Superior Court Rule 47. The amendment brings Rule 47 into conformity with G. L. c. 106, § 3–309(b). A new paragraph has been added, which addresses the circumstance when a person seeks to enforce a lost or stolen negotiable instrument -- the new language requires the claimant to provide proof in writing that the person obligated to pay the instrument is adequately protected against loss that might occur by reason of a claim by another person to enforce the instrument, as required by the statute.

The amendment to Rule 47, conforming the rule to G. L. c. 106, § 3-309(b), shall be effective as to judgments entered on or after November 1, 2018.  

Superior Court 

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

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