About the District Court
The District Court Department hears a wide range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental health, and other types of cases. District Court criminal jurisdiction extends to all felonies punishable by a sentence up to 5 years, and many other specific felonies with greater potential penalties, all misdemeanors, and all violations of city and town ordinances and by-laws. In civil matters, the District Court hears cases in which the damages are not likely to be more than $50,000, and small claims cases up to $7,000. The district court is located in 62 courts across the Commonwealth.
As the gateway to justice in Massachusetts, the District Court is dedicated to the administration of justice in a fair, impartial and timely manner in accordance with the rule of law. In fulfilling this role, the District Court shall provide the communities it serves with an environment that is safe, accessible and respectful to all. The District Court shall conduct its business with integrity, competence and a commitment to excellence in order to promote public trust and confidence in the judicial system.
Guide to remote hearings
Because of COVID-19, many District Court hearings are now remote. That means some or all of the people participate by video or phone. Please see Guide to remote hearings to learn how to prepare for a remote hearing.