Trial Court Rules
Uniform Summary Process Rules

Trial Court Rules  Uniform Summary Process Rule 9: Equitable relief

Effective Date: 09/01/1980

Note: Any provisions that are inconsistent with Housing Court, District Court, or Boston Municipal Court standing orders are suspended by Trial Court Administrative Order 21-2: Trial Court Order Suspending Certain Provisions of Trial Court Rule I: Uniform Summary Process Rules, effective June 15, 2021.

Table of Contents

Rule 9

The appointment of receivers and the issuance of restraining orders and injunctions shall be governed by applicable statutes and by Rule 65 and 66, respectively, of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure; provided, however, that the court may modify the time periods and notice requirements of those rules and otherwise fashion the relief it orders as it deems appropriate.


This rule, in effect, permits the court to analogize to the procedures for equitable relief required in regular civil actions. Thus the rules referred to can serve as a guide to the court in fashioning the equitable relief it may order in a summary process action.

Rule 9 reflects the expanded scope of summary process. For several years, the District Court Department has had equitable power in housing cases under G.L. c.186, § 14 (injunctions against interference with utilities, etc.) and G.L. c.218, § 19C (injunctive relief to order sanitary code compliance similar to the powers given to the Superior Court Department in G.L. c. 111, § 127H). Under G.L. c. 239, § 8A , the court, in its discretion, may order that funds paid into court by a tenant be expended for repair of the premises at issue; the court may appoint a receiver to supervise this procedure. Other forms of equitable relief appear to be available to a defendant by way of counterclaim. For example, a counterclaim under G.L. c.186, § 14 could involve equitable relief. In short, all courts have the authority to issue injunctive relief in appropriate cases.


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