Future Effective Date
Rules of Appellate Procedure

Effective March 1, 2019

Rules of Appellate Procedure Appellate Procedure Rule 25: Damages for frivolous appeal in civil cases

Effective Date: 03/01/2019
Updates: Amended December 22, 1978, effective January 15, 1979 Amended May 15, 1979, effective July 1, 1979

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Rule 25

If an appellate court determines that an appeal in a civil case is frivolous, it may award just damages and single or double costs to the appellee, and such interest on the amount of the judgment as may be allowed by law. The appellate court shall calculate the amount of any award after a separately filed motion or notice from the court and reasonable opportunity to respond.

Reporter’s notes

(2019)

The title of Rule 25 was revised by replacing the word “Delay” with “Frivolous” to more accurately describe the topic addressed by the rule. Additionally, the substance of the free-standing parenthetical subtitle “(Applicable to Civil Cases)” indicating the rule applies only in civil cases was moved to the title of the rule and expressly referenced in the body of the rule to improve clarity. The final sentence was added to reflect existing practice of the appellate courts, and is similar to Fed. R. App. P. 38.

With regard to the preparation of the 2019 Reporter’s Notes to this Rule, see the first paragraph of the 2019 Reporter’s Notes to Rule 1. For an overview of the 2019 amendments to the Rules and a summary of the global amendments to the Rules, see 2019 Reporter’s Notes to Rule 1, sections I. and II.

(1979)

Rule 25 is limited to civil cases.

(1973)

Appellate Rule 25, taken from F.R.A.P. 38, allows the court to award damages and appropriate costs if it determines that an appeal was taken frivolously. See Oscar Gruss & Son v. Lumberman’s Mutual Casualty Co., 422 F.2d 1278, 1283-1284 (2d Cir.1970). This is new to Massachusetts practice.

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Updates: Amended December 22, 1978, effective January 15, 1979 Amended May 15, 1979, effective July 1, 1979

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