Within twenty days after the decision issues from the Appeals Court, any party to an appeal may file an application for leave to obtain further appellate review of the case by the full Supreme Judicial Court. Applications for further appellate review (FAR) are governed by the provisions of Rule 27.1 of the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure.
The application should be based on substantial reasons affecting the public interest or the interests of justice. Applications are decided without oral argument.
Requirements for the contents of the application, including no more than ten pages of argument, are set forth at Rule 27.1(b). An opposition may be filed, within ten days, limited to ten pages, Rule 27.1(c). The covers of the application and opposition should be white, Rule 20(b), and other requirements as to form are also covered in that subsection.
The filing fee for an FAR application is $270.00, payable to the Supreme Judicial Court. Personal checks or certified checks are acceptable. The Supreme Judicial Court Clerk's Office does not take cash or credit cards. An original and seventeen copies are filed in the Clerk's Office of the Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth, one copy is filed with the clerk of the Appeals Court, and a copy is served on each other party. Rule 27.1(d).
If the application is allowed, Rule 27.1(f) governs the filing of a new brief in lieu of copies of the Appeals Court brief, if the party so wishes. The parties on further appellate review retain the same designation (appellant or appellee) and file the same color brief as in the Appeals court. The caption remains the same as in the Appeals Court. See also Rule 19(b)(3).
The successful applicant for further appellate review will argue first, unless the court orders or the parties agree otherwise. Rule 27.1(g).
If an application for further appellate review (FAR) is electronically filed with the Supreme Judicial Court through the Massachusetts Odyssey File and Serve Site, you no longer need to serve a paper or electronic copy on the Appeals Court as set forth in M.R.A.P. 27.1(d). The assignment of a FAR docket number by the Supreme Judicial Court now triggers automatic notice of the filing and the FAR docket entry's creation to the Appeals Court. Therefore, in lieu of sending a paper or electronic copy of a FAR to the Appeals Court, please ensure that you have received a corresponding docket number from the Supreme Judicial Court. The timely filing of a FAR in the Supreme Judicial Court will stay the Appeals Court's issuance of the rescript pursuant to M.R.A.P. 23.