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Court programs

Learn about the important court programs that are currently being conducted on an experimental basis before expanding to other departments and divisions throughout the Massachusetts Court System.

Many of these pilot programs are designed to provide the public with better access to justice and to improve the delivery of services. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback about these initiatives. 

District Court pilot program for civil money damages actions in Norfolk County

Hon. Paul C. Dawley, Chief Justice of the District Court, announced Tuesday, May 31, 2016 as the commencement date for a new Civil Pilot Program involving court procedures in all civil money damage actions in the 5 District Courts in Norfolk County: Brookline, Dedham, Quincy, Stoughton, and Wrentham. The Pilot Program will apply to all civil money damage actions commenced in those courts on or after May 31, 2016. 

The Standing Order and Civil Pilot Program will seek to improve the effective and efficient management of civil money damage cases in the District Court, from commencement to disposition, by separating these cases from other court business to provide exclusive, focused, and consistent judicial and administrative attention. The purpose of the Civil Pilot Program “is to determine whether the procedures it requires are feasible and effective in reducing costs and delay in the disposition of civil money damage actions in the District Court.” Following an adequate period of experience, the new procedures will be reviewed and evaluated. After any needed amendments, the new procedures will be considered for statewide implementation. 

Additional Resources for District Court pilot program for civil money damages actions in Norfolk County

Interim Policies and Procedures for Civil Cases: Pilot project in the Boston Municipal Court Department

The Boston Municipal Court Department (“BMCD”) will be implementing Interim Policies and Procedures for Civil Cases in connection with a department-wide Pilot Project to improve the progression and resolution of civil money damage actions and, consequently, reduce litigation costs and delays. The Pilot will be a 6-month project commencing Monday, May 16, 2016. The proposed procedures will establish changes in the handling of civil cases in the BMCD, including discovery requirements in consumer debt credit cases, the ability to waive a Case Management Conference in tort and contract cases not involving consumer debt, and the availability of a form of attorney-conducted (or self-represented litigant-conducted) voir dire. 

Civil Appeals Clinic

If you have questions about how to appeal a judgment or decision, the Civil Appeals Clinic may be able to help. At the Clinic, free attorneys can explain the process for appealing a judgment or decision and answer questions about it.  The Clinic is run by the Volunteer Lawyers Project and held at the Appeals Court Clerk’s Office on Wednesdays between 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Please be advised that the Civil Appeals Clinic is staffed by volunteer attorneys and is limited to low-income persons who qualify for services. You will be screened for income, assets, and case type, among other things, before a volunteer attorney can meet with you. For more information about the screening process, please contact info@vlpnet.org.

Additional Resources for Civil Appeals Clinic

Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court implements Discovery Pilot Project

Business Litigation Session Pilot Project

Pilot program: Requests for modification of child and/or medical support in the Bristol Division of the Probate and Family Court

Probate and Family Court Standing Order 3-11: Modification pilot program for IV-D cases in the Probate and Family Court as amended May 15, 2013

Supreme Judicial Court approves pilot program establishing modified procedure for appeals in bar discipline cases

Order Establishing a Modified Procedure for Appeals in Bar Discipline Cases

Order Extending the Modified Procedure for Appeals in Bar Discipline Cases

Order Extending Modified Procedure for Appeals in Bar Discipline Cases

 

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