Rules of Appellate Procedure

Rules of Appellate Procedure Appellate Procedure Rule 30: Substitution of parties in civil cases

Effective Date: 03/01/2019
Updates: Amended May 15, 1979, effective July 1, 1979 Amended October 31, 2018, effective March 1, 2019, 481 Mass. 1601

This rule applies only to civil cases.

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Table of Contents

(a) Death of a party.

If a party dies after a notice of appeal is filed in the lower court or while a proceeding is pending in the appellate court, the personal representative of the deceased party may be substituted as a party on motion filed by the representative or by any party with the clerk of the appropriate court. The motion of a party shall be served upon the representative in accordance with the provisions of Rule 13. If the deceased party has no representative, any party may suggest the death on the record and proceedings shall then be had as the appellate court or a single justice may direct. If a party against whom an appeal may be taken dies after entry of a judgment or order in the lower court but before a notice of appeal is filed, an appellant may proceed as if death had not occurred. After the appeal is docketed, substitution shall be effected in the appellate court in accordance with this subdivision. If a party entitled to appeal shall die before filing a notice of appeal, the notice of appeal may be filed by the party’s personal representative, or, if the party has no personal representative, by the party’s attorney of record within the time prescribed by these rules. After the appeal is docketed, substitution shall be effected in the appellate court in accordance with this subdivision.

(b) Substitution for other causes.

If substitution of a party in the appellate court is necessary for any reason other than death, substitution shall be effected in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Rule 30(a).

(c) Public officers; death or separation from office.

(1) When a public officer is a party to an appeal or other proceeding in an appellate court in the public officer’s official capacity and during its pendency dies, resigns, or otherwise ceases to hold office, the action does not abate and the public officer’s successor is automatically substituted as a party. Proceedings following the substitution shall be in the name of the substituted party, but any misnomer not affecting the substantial rights of the parties shall be disregarded. An order of substitution may be entered at any time, but the omission to enter such an order shall not affect the substitution.

(2) When a public officer is a party to an appeal or other proceeding in the public officer’s official capacity, the public officer may be described as a party by official title rather than by name; but the court may require the public officer’s name to be added.

Reporter’s notes

(2019)

Rule 30 was amended by striking a free-standing parenthetical subtitle (“Applicable to Civil Cases”), and adding “in Civil Cases” to the title of the rule. The amendment was made to clarify the content and applicability of the rule and to eliminate a drafting technique unique to only a few prior rules that may have led to confusion.

Further organizational and stylistic revisions were made to this rule in 2019 in accordance with a global review and revision of all of the Appellate Rules. These revisions are described in the 2019 Reporter’s Notes to Rule 1.

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.

(1973)

Appellate Rule 30 governs the substitution of a party, whether because of death or for some other cause, and also regulates the substitution of public officers. It is based on F.R.A.P. 43; see also Mass. R. Civ. P. 25.

Downloads for Appellate Procedure Rule 30: Substitution of parties in civil cases

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Updates: Amended May 15, 1979, effective July 1, 1979 Amended October 31, 2018, effective March 1, 2019, 481 Mass. 1601
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