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Administrative Order

Trial Court Rules Trial Court Emergency Administrative Order 20-3: Temporary waiver of electronic filing fees for indigent filers as a result COVID-19

Adopted Date: 03/16/2020
Effective Date: 03/16/2020
Updates: Adopted effective March 16, 2020

Due to the extreme risk of person-to-person transmission caused by the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and which has occasioned the declaration of a State of Emergency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Order No. 591: Declaration of a State of Emergency to Respond to COVID-19;

It is hereby ORDERED, pursuant to my authority as set forth in G.L. c. 211B, § 9, that effective March 16, 2020, until a date further ordered:

I.    Waiver for indigent filers

Both court fees and e-filing Provider fees assessed pursuant to Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:25, Rule 8(a) and Rule 8(b) will continue to be waived for indigent filers, upon a certification in the e-filing system that the filing party is indigent.  In the normal course, an indigent filer would be required, pursuant to G.L. c. 261, § 27B, to file an affidavit of indigency and “request for waiver, substitution or payment by the commonwealth of fees,” however, the requirement of the filing of the affidavit and any supplementary affidavits, are temporarily waived until further notice.  

II.    Indigency documentation may be required 

Any and all documentation required by G.L. c. 261, § 27B may be requested from indigent filers, either during the pendency of this temporary Order or at a later date.  At the time of any future review, a court may determine that the filer was not indigent and issue an order for payment of the filing fee.

III.    Instructions available on eFileMA  

Instructions for both indigent and non-indigent filers will be available on the eFileMA website at http://www.efilema.com.
 

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