Rules of Appellate Procedure Appellate Procedure Rule 5: Report of a case for determination
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A report of a case for determination by an appellate court shall for all purposes under these rules be taken as the equivalent of a notice of appeal. Whenever a case or any part of it is reported after decision or verdict, the aggrieved party (as designated by the lower court) shall be treated as the appellant. Whenever a case or any part of it is reported without decision or verdict, the plaintiff in a civil action or the defendant in a criminal case shall be treated as the appellant. The clerk of the lower court shall serve notice of the filing of the report by transmitting a copy thereof to each party.
Rule 5 was revised to reflect notification methods include “transmitting” notice, which may include electronic or conventional mail. Minor changes were made to the final sentence of Rule 5 to remove terms rendered unnecessary by the new definition of “party” added to Rule 1(c) in 2019.
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.
This rule is amended to provide that if a case is reported by the trial court prior to a decision or verdict, the plaintiff in a civil action or the defendant in a criminal case is to be the appellant. If a whole case or any issue arising therein is reported after a decision or verdict, the aggrieved party, as determined by the trial court, shall be designated as the appellant. As to reports in criminal cases generally, see Mass.R.Crim.P. 34 (1979) and Reporter’s Notes.
No federal analogue to Appellate Rule 5 exists. Read in conjunction with Mass.R.Civ.P. 64 (Report of Case), it prescribes the adversarial framework at the appellate level for cases reported, either after an interlocutory ruling, upon an agreed statement of facts, or on a question of law reserved by a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court (see Mass.R.Civ.P. 64). Whatever the form of the report, no party need file a separate notice of appeal (compare Appellate Rule 3); the report itself serves that function.
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|Amended May 15, 1979, effective July 1, 1979 Amended October 31, 2019, effective March 1, 2019, 481 Mass. 1601