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Date: November 23, 1997
Location: Massachusetts Superior Courts


Rules and Regulations

SUPERIOR COURT RULES - CIVIL ACTIONS

RULE 6. (incomplete)

. . . . same manner, but only as to jurors whom he has not already hail opportunity challenge; and the parties shall] likewise exercise the right in turn, until the right of peremptory challenge shall be exhausted or the parties shall] cease to challenge. No other challenging, except for cause shown, shall] be allowed.

Amended March 21, 1989, effective April 1, 1989.

RULE 7. OPENINGS: USE OF PLEADINGS

(Applicable to all cases as indicated)

The opening statement shall be limited to fifteen minutes, unless the court for cause shown shall] extend the time.

The court in its discretion may permit, or in a civil action require, a defendant to make an opening statement of his defense before any evidence is introduced

The court may order that the pleadings be summarized in an opening statement but not he read to the jury. No reference to the ad damnum shall be made by counsel nor shall pleadings go to the Jury except by authorization of the court.

RULE 8. OBJECTIONS TO EVIDENCE

(Applicable to all cases)

In civil actions, pursuant to the provisions of Mass R.Civ.P.. 46, and in criminal actions, pursuant to Mass. R.Crim.P. 22, if a party objects to the admission or exclusion of evidence, he may if he so desires. state the precise grounds of his objection: but he shall not argue or further discuss such grounds unless the court then calls upon him for such argument or discussion.

Amended June 26, 1980, effective September 1, 1980.

RULE 8A. NOTES BY JURORS

(Applicable to all cases)

In any case where the court, in its discretion, permits jurors to make written notes concerning testimony and other evidence, the trial judge shall precede the announcement of permission to make notes with appropriate guidelines. Upon the recording of the verdict or verdicts the notes of the jurors shall be destroyed by direction of the trial judge. Jurors may also be granted permission by the trial judge to make notes during summation by counsel and during the judge's instructions to the jury on the laws.

Adopted effective May 6,1978.

RULE 9. MOTIONS AND INTERLOCUTORY MATTERS

(Applicable to all cases)

A motion must be in writing and filed before being placed upon a list for hearing, unless otherwise or ordered by the court, or otherwise provided for under Rule 61.

In civil cases the court need not hear any motion or opposition thereto, grounded on facts, unless the facts are verified by affidavit, or are apparent upon the record and files, or are agreed and stated in writing signed by the attorneys for the parties interested.

The court may require the filing of a brief, in such form and within such time as it may direct, as a condition precedent to being heard on a motion or interlocutory matter, or on the entry of a judgment upon a master's report.

In civil cases, no party moving to dismiss a pleading for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and no party moving for summary judgment in his favor as to all or part of a claim counterclaim, or crossclaim, whether he be claimant or defending party, shall have such motion accepted for filing unless, at the time such motion is presented for filing, it is accompanied by a brief containing (1) a statement of the issue or issues presented; (2) an argument in summary form; and (3) a short conclusion stating precisely the relief sought. A copy of the brief shall be served upon the adverse party or parties with a copy of the motion.

In criminal cases the court need not hear any motion, or opposition thereto, grounded on facts, un- the facts are verified by affidavit. No motion to suppress evidence, other than evidence seized during a warrantless search. and no motion to dismiss may be filed unless accompanied by a memorandum of ]law,, except when otherwise ordered by the court.

Amended May 6, 1978, effective June 5, 1978; June 26, 1980, effective September 1, 1980: amended effective March 1, 1985; amended July 18, 1989, effective October 2, 1989.

RULE 9A. MOTIONS AND INTERLOCUTORY MATTERS

(Applicable to all cases)

(a) Submission of Motions and Oppositions Thereto.

(1) Submission of Motion. The moving party shall serve with the motion a statement of reasons, including supporting authorities, why the motion should be granted. A statement of reasons may be included in the motion itself or may be contained in a separate document. Affidavits and other documents setting forth or evidencing facts on which the motion is based shall be served with the motion.

(2) Submission of Opposition to Motion. A party opposing a motion may serve an Opposition within (A) 10 days after service of a motion other than a motion for summary judgment, ((B)) 21 days after service of a motion for summary judgment or (C) such additional time as is allowed by statute or order of the court. With the opposition, the party may serve a statement of reasons, with supporting authorities, why the mo- should not be allowed and any request for a hearing the opposing party desires. Affidavits and other documents setting forth or evidencing facts on which the opposition is based shall be served with the Opposition.

(3) Additional Papers. Papers not served with the notion or opposition may be filed only with leave of court except that the moving party may file and serve a request for a hearing at the time the motion papers are filed.

(b) Procedure for Filing and Serving Motions.

(1) General. All motions and oppositions shall be filed and served in accordance with the procedure set forth in this Paragraph (b) Compliance with this Paragraph is compliance with the 'reasonable time" provisions of the first sentence of Mass.R.Civ.P. (d)(l).

(2) Filing and Service of Motions and Oppositions. The moving party shall serve a copy of the motion and the other documents specified in Paragraph (a)(1) of :his rule on every other party. Every opposing party shall serve on the moving party an original and a copy, and on every other party a copy, of the opposition and the other documents specified in Paragraph a)(2) of this rule. Service shall be made within the time permitted by Paragraph (a)(2) of this rule and Mass.R.Civ.P. 6(d). Upon receipt of the opposition and accompanying documents, if any, the moving party shall physically attach the original of the opposition and associated documents to the original motion and associated documents and shall within ten days file I with the clerk the combined documents and a separate document listing the title of each paper in the combined documents. If the moving party does not re- an opposition within three business days after expiration of the time permitted for service of oppositions. then the moving party shall file with the clerk the motion and other documents initially served served on the other parties with an affidavit reciting compliance with this rule and receipt of no opposition in timely fashion. The moving party shall give prompt notice of he filing of the motion to all other parties by serving ~ notice of filing accompanied by a copy of the document listing the title of each paper filed.

(3) Cross-Motions. Cross-motions (including, motions to strike), accompanied by the other documents . specified in Paragraph (a)(1) of this rule, shall be served on the moving party with the opposition to the original motion. Upon receipt of the cross-motion and opposition. the moving party (A) ma; serve an opposition in accordance with Paragraph (b)(2) of this rule and (B) shall file the cross-motion and any opposition with the papers and in the manner specified in Paragraph (b)(2) of this rule. After receipt of an opposition or cross motion and supporting papers, the moving party may serve on the opposing party any appropriate motion to strike. If the moving part, serves such a motion, he or she shall not file the papers described in Paragraph (b)(2) of this rule until the time for filing an opposition to the motion to strike has expired. The moving party shall file the motion to strike and any opposition thereto with. the papers and in the manner specified in Paragraph (b)(2) of this rule.

(4) Form of Motions and Memoranda. All motions memoranda of law and other papers filed pursuant to this rule shall be filed on 8 " by 11" paper. Unless leave of court to file a memorandum of greater length has been obtained in advance, memoranda of law shall not exceed the equivalent of twenty (20) typed, double-spaced pages provided that (A) the title of the case, footnotes and quotations may be single- and (B) any appendix permitted by Rule 3/)', shall not be included in the twenty-p age limit. To obtain leave of court, counsel may send a letter to the Justice presiding in the session where the motion will be filed stating the number of pages counsel desire;` and why counsel's objective cannot be achieved m twenty pages. The letter shall be served ed on counsel for all other parties. Any leave of court obtained by the moving party shall apply to all parties and the moving party shall serve notice thereof with the moving party's brief.

(5) Sanction for Noncompliance. The court need not act on any motion unless the parties have complied with the requirements of this Paragraph. aph.

(C) Hearings on Motions.

(1) Marking. No party shall mark any motion for hearing. In the event that the court believes that a hearing is necessary or helpful to a disposition of the motion, the court will set the time and date for the hearing and will notify the patties of that date and time.

(2) Request for Hearing. A request for a hearing shall set forth any statute or rule of court which. in the judgment of the submitting party, requires a hearing on the motion. After reviewing the motion opposition and request for hearing, the court \`ill decide whether a hearing should be held and, it a hearing is to be held, will notify the parties in accordance with Paragraph (c)(1) hereof. Failure to request a hearing shall be deemed a waiver of any right to a hearing afforded by statute or court rule.

(3) Presumptive Right to a Hearing. Requests for hearings on the following motions will ordinarily be allowed: Attachments (Rule 4.1), Trustee Process (Rule 4.2), Dismiss (Rule 12), Adopt Master's Report (Rule 53), Summary Judgment (Rule 55), Injunctions (Rule 65), Receivers (Rule 66), Lis Pendens (G.L. c 184, 15). Denial of a request for hearing on such motions will be accompanied by a written statement of reasons for the denial.

(d) Disposition of Motions. Motions which are not set down for hearing in accordance with Paragraph (c) hereof will be decided the papers filed in accordance with this rule.

(e) Exceptions. The provisions of this rule shall not apply to the following motions:

(1) Ex Parte and Emergency Motions. Hearings on, or disposition of ex parse and emergency motions shall be scheduled on an individual basis through the appropriate clerk of court.

(2) Motions for Reconsideration. Motions for reconsideration shall l be governed in all respects by Rule 9D.

(3) Motions Excepted by Administrative Order. Motions excepted from the operation of this rule by Administrative order of the Superior Court shall be governed in all respects by the terms of that Administrative Order.

Adopted July 21, 1988, effective October 3, 1988; amended July 18, 1989, effective October 2, 1989; December 6, 1989. effective January 31, 1990, December 17, 1991, effective March 1, 1992; December 10, 1993, effective January 1, 1994.

RULE 9B. CERTIFICATES OF SERVICE

The last page of every paper served in accordance with Mass.R.Civ.P. 5(a) shall contain a brief statement showing the date on which and manner in service of the paper was made on each other party. The statement may be in the following form:

"I hereby certify that a true copy of the above document was served upon (each party appearing pro se and) the attorney of record for each (other) party by mail (by hand) on (date). (Signature)."

Adopted July 18 1989, effective October 2, 1989.

RULE 9C. SETTLEMENT OF DISCOVERY DISPUTES

(Applicable to all cases)

Counsel for each of the parties shall confer in advance of filing any motion under Mass.R.Civ.P. 37 in a good faith effort to narrow areas of disagreement to the fullest possible extent. Counsel for the party who intends to file the motion shall be responsible for initiating the conference. All such motions shall contain a certificate stating that the conference required by this Rule was as held, together with the date and time of the conference and the names of all participating parties. Motions unaccompanied by such certificate will be denied without prejudice to renewal when accompanied by the required certificate.

Adopted July 18, 1989. effective October 2, 1989.

RULE 13. (incomplete)

. . . . prior to said filing and that he has not received any objections in writing thereto. The order shall issue as of course upon the receipt of such application. When a hospital record, or any part thereof, is received in evidence, the record shall be returned to the hospital upon the conclusion of the trial unless the court otherwise orders. If the court orders the retention of the hospital record, it shall remain in the custody of the clerk, who shall give a receipt therefor. The record shall be released to the hospital, upon the giving of a receipt to the clerk.

RULE 14. EXHIBITS OTHER THAN HOSPITAL RECORDS

(Applicable to all cases)

Exhibits other than hospital records, which are placed in the custody of the clerk shall be retained by him for three years after the trial or hearing at which they were used, subject to an order of confiscation or destruction, unless sooner delivered to the parties or counsel to whom they respectively belong or by whom they were respectively presented or introduced. If in doubt as to the party or counsel entitled to delivery, the clerk may require an agreement of parties or counsel or order of the court, before delivery. The clerk may destroy or discard such exhibits, but not earlier than thirty days after notice by the clerk to the party presenting or introducing such exhibits, requesting him to remove them, nor earlier than three years after such trial or hearing.

RULE 15. ELIMINATING REQUIREMENT FOR VERIFICATION BY AFFIDAVIT

(Applicable to all cases)

No written statement in any proceeding in this court required to be verified by affidavit shall be required to be verified by oath or affirmation if it contains or is verified by a written declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury.

RULE 16. WRIT OF PROTECTION

(Applicable to all cases)

A writ of protection shall issue only upon the application of the person for whom the writ of protection is to be issued, or some person in his behalf, and upon order of the court, and then only in case it is made to appear to the court, by affidavit and any other evidence that the court may require, (1) that the application is made in good faith and for the purpose of enabling such person to attend this court as a party or witness in some specified case pending, (2) if such person is a party, that such case has not been brought collusively to enable him to obtain a writ of protection, and (3) if such person is a witness, that he has not been required to attend as a witness by his own request or procurement to enable him to obtain a writ of protection.

RULE 17. RECORDING DEVICES

(Applicable to all cases)

No person shall use or have in his possession or under his control in the chambers or lobby of a justice or justices of the court, or in any courtroom or other place provided for a hearing or proceeding of any kind on any action or matter pending before the court, or before any master, arbitrator, or any other person appointed by the court, any mechanical, electronic or other device, equipment, appliance or apparatus for recording, registering or otherwise reproducing sounds or voices, unless prior authorization for such use or possession is granted by the justice then having immediate supervision of such courtroom or other place. Every order granting such authorization shall be upon condition that no such recording or reproduction may be used to impeach, discredit or otherwise affect the authenticity or accuracy of the record of such action or proceeding or of the transcript therein made by the official court reporter.

SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR CIVIL ACTIONS

RULE 18. COSTS AND TERMS

(Applicable to civil actions)

In allowing an amendment, removing a default or dismissal granting a postponement, or making any Other interlocutory order, costs may be awarded and terms imposed in the discretion of the court, in addition to any otherwise provided for in these rules.

RULE 19. ENTRY OF ACTION

(Applicable to civil actions)

Unless the court for cause shown otherwise orders, the clerk shall not enter upon the docket any action appealed or removed to this court unless the papers required by law are filed at the time of entry.

 

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