Overview of Electronic Filing at the Appeals Court

Learn about the court orders and rules governing electronic filing and what types of cases and documents are eligible.

The Appeals Court accepts all documents for electronic filing, using eFileMA.com. The Clerk's Office will post updates here that relate to electronic filing, so please check back periodically as this material will be updated from time to time.

Massachusetts E-Filing Rules

The Supreme Judicial Court published the Massachusetts Rules of Electronic Filing (SJC Rule 1:25), effective September 1, 2018, which govern e-filing generally in various courts of the Commonwealth.  Participants are expected to be aware of the provisions in these rules before registering for electronic filing.

Appeals Court Standing Order Concerning Electronic Filing

The Appeals Court has published a Standing Order Concerning Electronic Filing, effective September 1, 2018, which governs generally the scope and procedures of electronic filing in the Appeals Court.  Please review the Standing Order for requirements specific to the Appeals Court.  To the extent that any court rule or standing order is inconsistent with this E-filing Standing Order, the E-Filing Rules, or the E-filing guidance provided on this website, then the E-filing Standing Order, the E-filing Rules, and the E-filing guidance shall control. Currently all attorneys and self-represented parties are eligible to e-file in any case (civil or criminal). This includes petitions to the Single Justice.

Cases Eligible for Electronic Filing

The Appeals Court accepts e-filed documents in all civil and criminal cases through eFileMA.com.  This includes the ability to enter a civil appeal through the site, and also includes filing or responding to a petition to the single justice. 

The Appeals Court accepts electronic filing of all documents, including those that are impounded. Filing impounded documents through eFileMA.com is voluntary, and such documents must be clearly marked on the first page, as required by E-Filing Rule 11, Mass. R. App. P. 16(m) and 18. If you are e-filing an impounded document, you must also designate the document as impounded using the document "security" field on EFileMA.com.com, which shall satisfy the requirement of providing written notice to the clerk of a document's impounded status.  Impounded documents may otherwise be e-filed in the same manner as non-impounded documents.

 

Types of Documents that Must be E-Filed in an Existing Case Through eFileMA.com

  Attorneys must use eFileMA.com to electronically file the following type of documents:

  • all filings in criminal panel cases. All documents in public and partially impounded criminal panel cases (on the court's "P" docket) must be e-filed.
  • briefs and appendices in civil panel cases. All briefs and appendices in public and partially impounded civil panel cases (on the court's "P" docket) must be e-filed.
  • all docketing statements. All docketing statements, in public and partially impounded civil and criminal panel cases, must be e-filed. Filers may request a waiver of the provider convenience fee using a waiver account.
  • all motions and letters filed after panel assignment. After the Appeals Court assigns a case to a panel of justices for consideration on the merits, either with or without oral argument, all subsequent filings in the case must be e-filed. This requirement applies in all public and partially impounded civil and criminal panel cases. Filers may request a waiver of the Provider convenience fee using a waiver account.
  • all filings on the Single Justice docket. All documents in public and partially impounded single justice cases (on the court's "J" docket) must be e-filed.

Note that any document that is not identified as mandatory (e.g., impounded documents) may nonetheless be e-filed voluntarily by the attorney or party. The Appeals Court encourages all attorneys and self-represented litigants in public, partially impounded, and impounded cases, to e-file every document submitted to the court.

No Paper Filing is Required

All documents that are e-filed through eFileMA.com will be submitted electronically only.  Neither a paper original nor duplicate should be filed unless specifically requested by the Court. 

Further E-Filing Questions

The eFileMA website has a Self Help area in the lower right-hand corner with links to a variety of useful information. 

Should you need further technical assistance with efileMA, please call (800) 297-5377.

Should you need further assistance with procedural questions related to e-filing with the Appeals Court through efileMA, please call (617) 725-8725.

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