Entering the Appeal (Civil)

Learn how to Enter a Civil Appeal on to the Appeals Court Docket or a Petition in the Court's Single Justice Session

Entry of a Civil Appeal

If you are appealing a lower court’s decision in a civil case, you must pay a fee to the Appeals Court within 14 days of receiving the notice from the lower court clerk in order to have your case entered into the Appeals Court’s docket. The docket fee is $300 per appealing party. Thus, if you and your spouse are both appealing, the fee is $600. The Appeals Court will accept payment in cash, check or money order, by credit card, or via eFileMA.comPlease note that if you electronically enter your appeal via eFileMA.com, the provider will charge you a separate convenience fee. Any bank check or money order is made payable to the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts." You may pay in person or mail your payment. 

If you are not able to pay the docketing fee because you are indigent you may file a Motion to Waive the docket fee along with an affidavit of indigency. The affidavit is available online or you may come to the Clerk's Office to fill out the Motion to Waive and the affidavit.

It is very important that your payment (or your Motion to Waive with affidavit of indigency attached) is either received in the Clerk's Office within 14 days following your receipt of the record assembly notice or, if mailed, is accompanied by a certificate attesting that the day of mailing was within 14 days of receipt of the notice of assembly.  Failure to docket your appeal within the 14-day deadline will require the filing of a motion, with an additional filing fee required, asking a single justice of the Appeals Court to permit your appeal to be docketed late.

After you docket your appeal, or after it is automatically entered, the Appeals Court Clerk's Office will send each party a Notice of Entry with an Appeals Court docket number.  This number will not be the same as your trial court docket number. You will be required to include this docket number on each document filed with the Appeals Court. If you call the Clerk's Office with questions about your case, you will be asked to provide this docket number.

The Notice of Entry includes important information about how your case will proceed in the Appeals Court. Read it carefully. Review the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure (Mass.R.A.P.), which will govern the progress of your case in the Appeals Court. 

Entry of Petitions in the Single Justice Session

Depending on which statute governs, some filings to the single justice require a $315 fee or a motion to waive the fee and affidavit of indigency, and others do not require a fee. 

Review the procedures for Single Justice Practice in the Appeals Court.

Using eFileMA.com to Enter an Appeal or Single Justice Case

The Appeals Court's Guide to Electronic Filing page contains step by step instructions explaining how to enter a civil appeal or single justice case both for paying the fee and moving to waive the fee, and information about the Civil Appeals Entry Form.  See the following guides:

How to Enter a Civil Appeal and Pay the $300 Docketing Fee Through eFileMA.com

How to Enter a New Single Justice Case and Pay the Filing Fee Through eFileMA.com

How to E-File a Motion to Waive the Entry Fee Supported by an Affidavit of Indigency

Feedback