Rules of Civil Procedure

Rules of Civil Procedure Civil Procedure Rule 3: Commencement of action

Effective Date: 01/01/1982
Updates: Amended December 13, 1981, effective January 1, 1982


Trial Court Law Libraries

Rule 3

A civil action is commenced by (1) mailing to the clerk of the proper court by certified or registered mail a complaint and an entry fee prescribed by law, or (2) filing such complaint and an entry fee with such clerk. Actions brought pursuant to G.L. c. 185 for registration or confirmation shall be commenced by filing a surveyor's plan and complaint on a form furnished by the Land Court.

Reporter's notes

Rule 3, substantially enlarges Federal Rule 3, and drastically alters prior Massachusetts practice, by eliminating the trifurcation of delivery to an officer, service, and "entry." Henceforth, an action is considered commenced, for all purposes, including the applicable statute of limitations, when either the plaintiff mails to the clerk the complaint and any required entry fee, or the clerk receives the complaint and the fee. The requirement of certified or registered mail is calculated to minimize problems of proof. The phrase "proper court" means the court in which requirements of venue and jurisdiction (personal and subject matter) are met.



Updates: Amended December 13, 1981, effective January 1, 1982


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