Supreme Judicial Court Rules

Electronic Filing Rules

Supreme Judicial Court Rules Massachusetts Rules of Electronic Filing Rule 2: Definitions

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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Rule 2

"Clerk" shall refer to the clerk, clerk magistrate, recorder, or register of any court, as well as his/her respective assistants or deputies.

"Conventional method" shall refer to court rules and procedures that would apply in the absence of electronic filing. Parties or counsel who are ordered or opt to proceed "conventionally," as provided in these E-Filing Rules, must follow the appropriate Massachusetts Court Rules and Orders.

"Electronic record" shall refer to the electronic record maintained on a court's case management and document management systems.

"Electronic filing," "e-filing," or "electronically filed" shall refer to the submission of documents through the e-filing system for purposes of filing in a case. E-mailing or sending a document by facsimile does not constitute "e-filing" a document.

"Electronic filing system" or "e-filing system" shall refer to the Provider's system of electronic filing and electronic service of documents via the internet.

"Electronic service" or "e-service" shall refer to the electronic transmission of a notice of filing to the electronic mail (e-mail) address of a party who has consented to electronic service through the Provider. The notice will contain a hyperlink to access the document that was filed electronically for the purpose of accomplishing service. E-service according to these E-Filing Rules shall be deemed in compliance with the Massachusetts Court Rules and Orders that govern service and notice. Service of process or summons to gain jurisdiction over persons or property may not be made by e-service.

"Electronic signature" or "electronically signed" shall mean a signature from a User, judge, or clerk, that complies with the requirements set forth in Rule 13, below.

"Envelope" shall refer to a submission containing one or more filings to be filed in a single case by a filing User.

"Massachusetts Court Rules and Orders" shall mean the Rules of Civil, Criminal, and Appellate Procedure, the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court, Appeals Court, and Trial Court, the Rules of the various Trial Court Departments, and the Rules Governing Time Standards and Case Management, together with all Standing Orders.

"Non-Registered Participant" shall mean a party to a case who has not registered with the Provider.

"PDF" shall mean "portable document format," the file format compatible with the latest version of Adobe Reader. Types of PDFs include electronically converted PDFs and scanned PDFs.

Electronically converted PDFs are created from an electronic source (MS Word, WordPerfect, etc.) using Adobe Acrobat or similar software. They are text searchable, accessible, and their file size is small. Electronically converted PDFs are preferred.

Scanned PDFs are created from documents run through an optical scanner. Scanned PDFs have a larger file size and lower quality image and should be avoided when possible. Pursuant to Rule 9(a), scanned PDFs must contain optical character recognition of text.

"Provider" shall refer to the Electronic Filing Service Provider designated by the courts.

"Provider Notification" shall mean a provider-generated notice acknowledging activity within the e-filing system.

"Public access terminal" shall mean a publicly accessible computer provided by a court for the purposes of allowing e-filing and viewing public electronic court records. The public access terminal shall be located at the courthouse and will be available during normal business hours.

"Service Contact" shall mean an individual to be served electronically by the electronic filing system.

"User" shall refer to a participant in a case who has properly registered with the e-filing system.

"User ID" shall refer to the e-mail address provided during registration that is used to login to the e-filing system.

"Waiver Account" shall refer to a method whereby court and provider fees may be waived. The acceptance of any document filed under a waiver account shall be subject to the court's determination that use of the account is appropriate, given the nature of the filing.

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