The State Organization Index provides an alphabetical listing of government organizations, including commissions, departments, and bureaus.
Top-requested sites to log in to services provided by the state
If your problem involves an unfair or deceptive practice, which is a violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, the law requires you to send the merchant a letter 30 days before filing a claim in court. The letter must outline your complaint, the harm you suffered, and how you want the problem resolved. This is called a 30 Day Demand Letter.The merchant must make a good faith response within 30 days, or it could subject him/her to triple damages and attorney's fees.
You must send a 30 Day-Demand Letter whether your action will be brought in Superior Court, District Court, Small Claims Court or Housing Court. You do not need to send this letter if the merchant does not maintain a place of business or keep assets within Massachusetts. You also do not need to send this letter if you assert the claim in a counterclaim or cross-claim response to a merchant taking legal action against you.
To meet your legal obligations, include the following information in your 30 Day Demand Letter:
Although it is not required by law, the 30-Day Demand Letter should be sent by certified mail, return-receipt requested, so that you will have proof of delivery. Send the letter by regular mail also, and keep a copy for your files.
Once you mail the 30 Day Demand Letter, the merchant has thirty days to respond in writing. You then must decide to either reject or accept the merchant's offer. If you reject an offer which the Court later finds to be reasonable, then the Court may limit the amount of money you can collect. The Court may limit your recovery to the amount the merchant originally offered to you.
The Court may find in your favor because either the merchant never sent a settlement offer or sent you an unreasonable offer. You then may be able to recover you actual monetary damages, or $25, whichever is greater.
The Court may also find that the merchant's violation of the Consumer Protection Act was "willful or knowing," or that the merchant's refusal to settle with you was made in bad faith. In either case, you may receive between two and three times the amount of your actual damages, or $25, whichever is greater.
If the Court finds in your favor, you are entitled to reasonable attorney's fees and costs. However, the Court may not award you attorney's fees if you initially rejected a reasonable settlement offer.
If you and the merchant are unable to reach an agreement on your own, you have several options.
Mediation: This allows both parties to reach a mutually acceptable solution with the help of a facilitator. Mediation is voluntary, requiring both parties' consent. You may apply for mediation through your local consumer group, which is affiliated with the Attorney General's Office.
Court: You may also pursue your claim through the court system. For claims under $7,000, Small Claims Court is the least costly option. Larger claims may be more suitable to District or Superior Court. You should seek legal advice for all claims.
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.