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.
Appeals Court to Hold Special Sittings in April. As part of a continuing effort to broaden public awareness, understanding, and accessibility of the Massachusetts court system, the Appeals Court will hold special sittings on April 1, 2020 at Western New England University School of Law and on April 7, 2020, at Suffolk University Law School. For further information, see here.
"The Review" newsletter, Winter 2020. "The Review" is the quarterly newsletter of the Appeals Court. Click here for the latest edition, Winter 2020 (vol. 2, issue 1). Prior issues are also available: Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Summer 2019, and Fall 2019.
Invitation to Comment on Proposed Rule Adoption. The Appeals Court invites public comments on proposed adoption of "Appeals Court Rule 32.0, Access to Electronic Case Information and Court Records." Comments should be directed to AppellateRules@jud.state.ma.us, by February 28, 2020. For further information, see 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.
Updated Docketing Statements. The docketing statement forms have been updated to include new case natures and to eliminate conversion issues that some filers encountered. Please download and replace these forms in your library for future filings. The forms page is available here.
Expanded Business Hours - Effective Tuesday, September 3, 2019, the Clerk's Office will be open for business from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Register for the Appeals Court Listserv - click here to register for the Appeals Court listserv to receive updates from the Appeals Court and the Appeals Court's quarterly newsletter, The Review.
- Guide to Creating PDFs with Bookmarks and Internal Links. Although not required, the Appeals Court encourages all e-filed briefs and record appendices to contain bookmarks and internal links. The Appeals Court has posted a guide that explains the benefits of these features and how to add them to a brief and record appendix. The guide is available here.
- Announcement of Greater Access to Oral Argument Recordings - Beginning with appeals argued in January 2019, recordings of oral argument will be available on the appellate courts' website. To read the announcement and learn how to access oral argument recordings online, click here.
- Announcement of New Court Administrator - Chief Justice Mark Green recently announced the selection of Attorney Gina L. DeRossi to serve as the Court Administrator for the Appeals Court. Read the entire press release here.
- 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.
- Amicus Briefs - The Appeals Court is currently soliciting amicus briefs. Click here to view amicus invitations.
- 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