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Superior Court Rules

Superior Court Rules Superior Court Rule 61A: Motions for post-conviction relief

Adopted Date: 02/09/2001
Effective Date: 08/01/2020
Updates: Amended July 8, 2020, effective August 1, 2020

(Applicable to criminal cases)

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Table of Contents

(A) Contents of the motion

Motions for post-conviction relief filed under Mass. R. Crim. P. 30 shall contain (1) an identification by county and docket number of the proceeding in which the moving party was convicted, (2) the date the judgment of conviction entered, (3) the sentence imposed following conviction and (4) a statement of the facts and grounds on which the motion is based. The motion shall also contain (5) a statement identifying all proceedings for direct review of the conviction and the orders or judgment entered and (6) a statement identifying all previous proceedings for collateral review of the conviction and the orders or judgments entered.

(B) Docket of proceedings and transmission of papers

After docketing, the Clerk shall attach to all such motions a copy of the docket of the proceedings that resulted in the conviction and shall forward the motion, and accompanying papers, to the Justice who presided at the trial from which the conviction resulted and to the office of the District Attorney or to the Attorney General responsible for prosecuting the case. If the Justice who presided at the trial has retired, or is otherwise unavailable, the Clerk shall forward the motion and accompanying papers to the Regional Administrative Justice for the county in which the conviction occurred.

(C) Response to motion

Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the Commonwealth shall file a response within thirty days, or in the case of a motion for a new trial for a defendant who has been convicted of first degree murder, within ninety days, of the Clerk’s forwarding the motion to the Commonwealth pursuant to paragraph (B).

(D)  Action on motions

The court may act upon any motion in the manner it deems appropriate and as authorized by Mass. R. Crim. P. 30.  Motions that do not comply with the requirements of paragraph (A) hereof may, upon motion of the Commonwealth or the court's own motion, be summarily denied, without prejudice to renewal when filed in accordance with those requirements.  

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