Supreme Judicial Court Rules

Electronic Filing Rules

Supreme Judicial Court Rules Massachusetts Rules of Electronic Filing Rule 13: Electronic signature

Adopted Date: 06/07/2018
Effective Date: 09/01/2018
Updates: Adopted June 7, 2018, effective September 1, 2018 (480 Mass. 1301)

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(a) Attorneys

An attorney's use of the e-filing system to file documents shall serve as the attorney's signature for purposes of Mass. R. Civ. P. 11 and for all other purposes under the Massachusetts Court Rules and Orders. In addition, all documents submitted for e-filing must include either a scan of the individual's handwritten signature, an electronically inserted image intended to substitute for a signature, or a "/s/ name of signatory" block, which shall have the same validity and effect as a handwritten signature, and must set forth the attorney's name, Board of Bar Overseers number, address, telephone number, and e-mail address. When using the "s" option, the name of the User must be preceded by an "/s/" and typed in the space where the signature would otherwise appear. For example:

/s/ John A. Smith
John A. Smith
BBO#l23456
123 Main Street
Boston, MA 02210
617-123-4567
jasmith@intemetprovider.com

(b) Self-represented litigants

All documents submitted for e-filing must include either a scan of the individual's handwritten signature, an electronically inserted image intended to substitute for a signature, or a "/s/ name of signatory" block, which shall have the same validity and effect as a handwritten signature, and must set forth the individual's name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. When using the "s" option, the "/s/" must be typed in the space where the signature would otherwise appear. For example:

/s/ John B. Doe
John B. Doe
123 Main Street
Boston, MA 02210
617-123-4567
johnbdoe@isp.com

(c) Multiple signatories

A User who submits a document fore-filing that bears more than one signature (e.g., stipulations, joint motions, joint status reports, etc.) must ensure that all signatures comply with Rule 13(a) and (b).

(d) Signature of notary; retention of original

Notarized documents containing a handwritten signature and physical seal may be submitted for e-filing. The User shall submit a scanned copy of the notarized document through the e-filing system, and the court shall maintain the scanned document as the official court record. The court may require the User to produce the original paper document. The User shall retain the original for future production, if necessary, until two years after the conclusion of the case, including any appeal.

(e) Summons and complaint

A summons and complaint, petition, or other case initiating document that is signed in compliance with this Rule bears a sufficient signature under any applicable Massachusetts Court Rules and Orders.

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