Who we serve
The Appeals Court is a court of general appellate jurisdiction, which means that the justices review decisions that the trial judges from the several Departments of the Trial Court have already made in many different kinds of cases. The Appeals Court also has jurisdiction over appeals from final decisions of three State agencies: the Appellate Tax Board, the Industrial Accident Board and the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board. The Appeals Court consists of a chief justice and twenty-four associate justices.
- Announcement Concerning Special Away Sittings - learn about special away sittings of the Appeals Court scheduled to be held at the University of Massachusetts School of Law in Dartmouth on Friday, September 7, and at the University of Massachusetts in Boston on Friday, September 14.
- Announcement Concerning Electronic Filing Changes - read about the expansion of the Appeals Court's electronic filing program to include the electronic filing of impounded documents (effective immediately) and future rule changes regarding electronic filing (effective September 1, 2018).
- Staggered Start Times for Oral Argument - following a successful pilot program, the Appeals Court is pleased to announce staggered start times for oral argument for all panel sittings of the Appeals Court. For more information about what time parties should arrive for oral argument, click here.
- Civil Appeals Clinic - Free assistance with appeals and the appeals process is available to qualifying, low-income persons at the Civil Appeals Clinic at the Appeals Court Clerk's Office. Clinic hours are Wednesdays, 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- Housing Appeals Guide - A guide explaining the process of getting an appeal from the trial court into the Appeals Court.
- Amicus Briefs - The Appeals Court is not currently soliciting amicus briefs.
- Reduced Number of Copies of Brief and Appendix Required - The Appeals Court is reducing the number of copies of the brief and record appendix that must be filed: only 4 copies each of the brief and record appendix need be filed with the Clerk with 2 copies served on counsel for each party separately represented, and only 2 copies of each exhibit volume and 1 copy of each transcript need be filed with the Clerk with 1 copy of each served on counsel for each party separately represented.
- Appeals Court Standing Order Concerning Docketing Statements for All Appeals (Civil and Criminal) - Docketing statements must be filed in all cases other than appeals by self-represented inmates. You can download and fill out the forms here (Civil and Criminal).
Key Procedural Information
- Appeals Court Help Center - Visit the Appeals Court Help Center for a collection of guides, informational pages, and other resources providing information about how the appeals process works.
- Appeals Court Frequent Appellate Process Questions - Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about the appeals process.
- Electronic Filing at the Appeals Court - See this page for instructions, guidance, and updates regarding electronic filing at the Appeals Court.
Key Legal Resources
- Appellate Opinion Portal - The Appellate Opinion Portal is maintained by the Office of the Reporter of Decisions and contains links to view both recent decisions and the archives of Massachusetts published opinions and unpublished decisions.
- Appeals Court Rules and Standing Orders
- Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure
- Massachusetts Rules of Electronic Filing