STANDING ORDERS OF THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
MATTERS NOT DISPOSED OF IN THE
COUNTY COURT FOR MORE THAN SIX MONTHS*
1. It is ORDERED that in May and November of each year there shall be a call, in the county court (single justice session), of all petitions and suits which have remained for more than six months upon the docket of the county court, without final disposition. The clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk shall, without further order of the court, prepare lists for such calls, and shall give seasonable and appropriate notice by mail to all interested parties or their attorneys of record. The notice in each case shall state that the matter is being called for dismissal or other appropriate order, and that failure of a party or his attorney to answer may result in dismissal of the matter.
2. A copy of this order shall be filed with the clerk of Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk.
Adopted February 8, 1972.
Unless a justice shall otherwise direct, all proceedings in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk shall be recorded electronically, subject to the availability and functioning of the appropriate recording devices. Cassette or similar tape recordings of the original recording shall be available to counsel through the clerk's office on the payment of a reasonable fee and notice of the making of such request to all parties.
If a transcript of the proceedings is required by statute or is requested by a justice, unless an official stenographer has been appointed, a transcript of the proceedings shall be made under the direction of the clerk and certified by him.
A certified copy of any transcript prepared under the direction of the clerk shall be available to counsel on the payment of a reasonable fee. In his discretion, a justice of the court may order a party or parties to bear the cost of the preparation of a transcript for use of the court.
Adopted August 18, 1976.
WHEREAS the Chief Justice and the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court recognize the necessity for reasonably expeditious disposition of appealed cases, and appreciate the Court's duty of public accountability in this matter; and
WHEREAS the Justices of the Appeals Court have expressed their agreement with those views by adopting today such portions of this order as relate to the Appeals Court,
Now therefore it is ORDERED:
The following standards are adopted as administrative goals establishing a time within which cases can be expected to be determined by the appellate courts of Massachusetts. Variation from the 130?day standard set out in paragraph 2 should be permitted by vote of the quorum when necessary to accommodate special problems in individual cases. Docket entries will be made as to any such action.
1. Oral argument, or the decision conference in cases not orally argued, should be held promptly after the appellee's brief is filed or should have been filed. Cases in which the appellee's brief is due on or before February 1 should be heard or made the subject of a decision conference during that court year. (Court year: September 1 through August 31.)
2. Cases should be decided within 130 days after argument or after submission without argument.
3. Paragraphs one and two shall be applicable in the Supreme Judicial Court forthwith, and paragraph two shall be applicable in the Appeals Court for all cases argued or submitted for decision after the date of this order. Paragraph one shall be applicable in the Appeals Court as soon as possible after the additional justices authorized by St. 1978, c. 478, ' 104, have assumed their duties, with a tentative goal of full applicability not later than the close of the 1979?1980 court year.
Adopted October 2, 1978. Amended January 24,
ORDERED: That any papers, records, exhibits
and artifacts which have been filed or deposited in or which are located in any
court of the Commonwealth may be moved to the State Archives at Columbia Point
in Boston, Massachusetts provided that the Administrative Assistant (> G.L.
c. 211, ' 3A) to the Supreme Judicial Court approves. > G.L. c. 221, ' 27A.
The State Archivist shall be the custodian of all court papers, records,
exhibits and artifacts maintained at the State Archives. The Supreme Judicial
Court shall retain control of such papers, records, exhibits and artifacts
under such conditions as shall be agreed to by the State Archivist and the
Supreme Judicial Court.
Pursuant to the provisions of the order of the Supreme Judicial Court dated January 17, 1984, the State Archivist and the Administrative Assistant to the Supreme Judicial Court hereby agree to the following terms and conditions with respect to all judicial papers, records, exhibits and artifacts to be moved to the State Archives at Columbia Point in Boston, Massachusetts:
(1) Consistent with the Separation of Powers Clause (Article 30) of the Constitution of the Commonwealth, there shall be a separate judicial archives located within the space occupied by the State Archives. The Supreme Judicial Court acting through the Administrative Assistant to the Supreme Judicial Court, and the Judicial Records Committee of the Supreme Judicial Court, shall maintain control of all court papers, records, exhibits and artifacts moved to the State Archives. The State Archivist, as a member ex officio of the Judicial Records Committee of the Supreme Judicial Court, shall be the physical custodian of all court papers, records, exhibits and artifacts stored at the State Archives.
(2) Subject to appropriation, there shall be a curator of judicial records at the State Archives who shall be responsible for the administration of the judicial archives. The curator of judicial records shall be an employee of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The job description of the curator of judicial records shall be subject to the approval of the Supreme Judicial Court.
In addition to the curator of judicial records, employees of the State Archivist shall be authorized to administer the judicial archives in a manner consistent with the policies established by the Supreme Judicial Court.
The State Archivist shall periodically report to the Administrative Assistant to the Supreme Judicial Court.
(3) The procedures for processing judicial records for entry into the State Archives shall be established by the Supreme Judicial Court in consultation with the State Archivist.
Upon the completion of construction of the State Archives and Records Center at Columbia Point, the State Archivist shall designate a single location in the State Archives portion of the building consisting of approximately 12,000 cubic feet of shelving space to be occupied by the judicial archives. The space shall be discrete and continuous. It shall be distinct from the non?judicial archival collections with adequate access to the public research room of the State Archives. If at some time in the future additional space is necessary for expansion of the judicial archives, the State Archivist shall make reasonable attempts to designate such additional space as may be necessary consistent with the need to maintain a separate judicial collection. To the extent possible, the State Archivist shall attempt to designate the additional space at a single location with discrete and continuous shelving as close to the initial judicial archives space as is feasible.
(4) The judicial archives initially shall consist of the following records:(1) pre-1860 records of the predecessors of the Superior Court; (2) pre?1860 Supreme Judicial Court records and records of special courts such as admiralty; (3) cases of unique historical interest (e.g. the Sacco-Vanzetti records). Some of these records will be treated in the Supreme Judicial Court records preservation laboratory in the Suffolk County Courthouse prior to deposit in the State Archives. Other records will first be shipped to the State Archives to be stored prior to later treatment either in the Supreme Judicial Court laboratory or in the laboratory of the State Archives.
There shall be no prohibition on maintaining closed shelved materials in the judicial archives. Such materials, if any, shall be closed by direction of the Supreme Judicial Court.
The facilities of the State Archives, including the fumigation laboratory and special treatment facilities, shall be open to the judicial archives, subject to the control of the State Archivist. However, all conservation procedures performed on judicial records shall be subject to the approval of the Administrative Assistant to the Supreme Judicial Court. Endangered judicial records which cannot be treated in a timely fashion in the Supreme Judicial Court laboratory shall be given status in the State Archives laboratory consistent with the status given endangered non?judicial records.
(5) The State Archives shall maintain all judicial records in its custody with the same care and security as is provided for other archival documents held at the State Archives.
(6) This agreement may be amended by written agreement of the State Archivist and the Administrative Assistant to the Supreme Judicial Court. The Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court shall be notified of any proposed amendment to the agreement prior to the effective date of the amendment. The Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Supreme Judicial Court may prohibit or nullify any such change in the agreement or may otherwise jointly revise the terms of the agreement.
Adopted January 17, 1984.
ORDERED: The time standards set forth below for the trial, settlement or other disposition of civil cases are hereby adopted applicable to cases entered in any department of the Trial Court on or after July 1, 1988:
Superior Court, District Court, and Boston Municipal Court, all jury and non-jury cases within 24 months after filing.
Contested: within 3 months of request by any party.
Uncontested: within 1 month of request by any party.
The time standards apply only on request by any party, in order not to precipitate the finality of trial confrontation (as in divorce or separation) when no party seeks it.
Detention hearing: within the next court business day of entering any detention facility.
Adjudication (non-jury) or transfer hearing for juvenile in detention: within 30 days of complaint.
Adjudication (non-jury) or transfer hearing for juvenile not in detention: within 60 days of complaint.
NB: The standards do not address the intricacies of other cases involving children (e.g. care and protection; custody) but courts will continue a policy of expedition of those cases.
Adopted April 7, 1986, effective July 1,
ORDERED: Effective January 15, 1990, the Time Standards Order issued by this Court on April 7, 1986 is hereby amended nunc pro tunc to provide that the time standard for the trial, settlement or other disposition of civil cases (jury and non-jury) entered in the Superior Court shall be:within 36 months after filing.
Adopted November 16, 1989, effective January 15, 1990.
ORDERED: It is hereby authorized that the clerks of the appellate courts may make microform copies of transcripts in their custody. Such microform copies shall be made in accordance with standards and procedures established by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court. After the completion of a microform copy which accurately reproduces the transcript and forms a durable medium for its retention, the clerk may destroy the original transcript in the regular course of business.
Adopted July 28, 1987.
I. (a) Consistent with the provisions of > G.L. c. 211, ' 3G, as inserted by St. 1987, c. 199, ' 142, there is hereby established the Advisory Committee (hereinafter "Committee") of the Judicial Training Institute (hereinafter "Institute") for assisting the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court in matters pertaining to the policies and activities of the Institute and for assisting the Institute's Executive Director and staff in the performance of their statutory duties and of such other duties as may be assigned to the Institute from time to time by rule or order of the Supreme Judicial Court.
II. (a) The Committee shall consist of an Associate Justice of the Appeals Court designated by the Chief Justice of that court; an Associate Justice of the Superior Court Department of the Trial Court designated by the Chief Justice of that department; an Associate Justice of the Family and Probate Court Department of the Trial Court designated by the Chief Justice of that department; an Associate Justice of the District Court Department of the Trial Court designated by the Chief Justice of that department; two Associate Justices of the Boston Municipal Court, Housing Court, Juvenile Court or Land Court Departments of the Trial Court, but not both from the same department, who shall be appointed by the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court acting upon four nominations, one for each such department, made by the Chief Administrative Justice after consultation with the Chief Justices of those departments; the Chief Administrative Justice of the Trial Court, or his designee; the Commissioner of Probation, or his designee; two members designated by the Chief Administrative Justice of the Trial Court who shall each be a Clerk or Assistant Clerk, Register or Assistant Register, or a Recorder or Deputy Recorder of a department of the Trial Court; and three members who shall be appointed by the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court.
(b) When the Committee is first selected, the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court shall assign approximately one?third of its members to a term of three years, one-third to a term of two years, and one?third to a term of one year. Subsequent appointments to the Committee shall be for a term of four years.
(c) The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court shall from time to time designate a member of the Committee to serve as chairman and another as vice chairman.
(d) The Committee may appoint a judge or other officer or employee of the judicial department to serve, at its pleasure, as its secretary.
(e) The Committee may invite other persons, including but not limited to judges and members of the bar, (a) to participate in any one or more projects, studies, meetings, or other activities, or (b) to prepare and present studies, analyses, recommendations, and comments upon matters concerning which the Committee desires information.
(f) The members of the Committee and the secretary shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred incidental to the performance of their duties.
III. (a) The Committee shall prepare a statement of the qualifications, functions, and responsibilities of the Executive Director of the Institute to be appointed by the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court and, upon the approval of such statement, shall assist the Justices in recruiting and selecting a qualified Executive Director for the Institute.
(b) Upon the appointment of an Executive Director, the Committee shall confer with him or her as to the organization and duties of the Institute's staff.
(c) The Committee shall also confer with the Executive Director with respect to the policies and programs of the Institute, and the priorities among them, and shall assist the Executive Director and the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court in matters relating to the activities of the Institute, including the preparation of the comprehensive training needs assessment and program plan required by the provisions of St. 1987, c. 199, ' 2, Account No. 0321-0002.
Adopted January 26, 1988.
It is ORDERED that, except in cases in which there has been a conviction of first degree murder, whenever the clerk of this court (clerk) shall not have received the brief and appendix of an appellant (including in that term a party treated as an appellant under > Rule 5 of the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure [Rules] ) within the time required or permitted by Rules 11(g), 13(a), 18(a) and 19(a) (unless said time shall previously have been enlarged or unless, in the case of an appendix, the filing shall have been deferred or dispensed with under Rule 18[c] or [f] ), the clerk shall send a copy of this order by first class mail to the attorney of record for such appellant (and to such appellant at his last known address in a criminal case or if he is not represented by such an attorney in a civil case) and to all other parties or to their attorneys of record, together with notice in writing that the appeal of such appellant or the report, as the case may be, will be dismissed as to him for lack of prosecution unless, within twenty?one days of the date of such notice in a civil case or within thirty days of the date of such notice in a criminal case, the clerk shall receive (a) a motion by such appellant to enlarge to a date certain set forth therein the time for serving and filing such brief and appendix and (b) an affidavit of such appellant (or his attorney) which shall set forth all the facts which such appellant wishes to have considered by the single justice of this court, who will act on such motion in accordance with the provisions of Rule 15(b) and (c). If no such motion and affidavit are received by the clerk within such period, the clerk shall forthwith dismiss such appeal or report for lack of prosecution and shall note such dismissal on the docket. The clerk shall take like action whenever a particular appellant has failed to serve and file his brief or appendix (when an appendix is required) within an enlargement of time previously granted. The sending of every notice required by this order shall be noted on the docket. Unless a dismissal shall have been vacated by a single justice within twenty?one days from the docketing thereof, the clerk shall notify the clerk of the trial court that the appeal or report has been dismissed as to the particular appellant for lack of prosecution. A dismissal in a criminal case may be vacated by a single justice of this court after the expiration of said twenty?one days upon a showing of the existence of a meritorious case.
Adopted May 17, 1988, effective July 1, 1988.
It is ORDERED that in January and July of each year there shall be a call of all cases pending in the Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth (other than cases which are ready for hearing or have been argued, but including cases in which a stay of appellate proceedings has been ordered) in which there has been no activity reflected on the docket (other than clerk's requests for status) for more than six months. For purposes of this standing order, ready for hearing shall mean that the appellant's brief and, if any is required, appendix, have been filed and no stay of appellate proceedings has been ordered. The clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth shall, after consultation with the single justice who will be sitting in January or July regarding cases which appropriately might be excluded from such calls, prepare lists for such calls, and shall give seasonable and appropriate notice by mail to all interested parties or their attorneys of record. The notice in each case shall state that the matter is being called for dismissal or other appropriate order, and that failure of a party or his attorney to answer may result in dismissal of the matter. A copy of this order shall be included with the notice.
Adopted May 17, 1988, effective July 1, 1988.
(a) Contents of Application. An application to a single justice for leave to appeal an order determining a motion to suppress evidence prior to trial pursuant to > Mass.R.Crim.P. 15(a)(2) shall contain the following: (1) the docket number of the trial court case; (2) the findings and rulings by the trial court; (3) a brief memorandum of law, including an explanation of how the administration of justice would be facilitated by the grant of leave to appeal; (4) an estimate of the length of the trial; (5) the scheduled trial date or next scheduled trial court event; (6) in an application by the Commonwealth, a statement whether the Commonwealth has a viable case without the suppressed evidence, and the strength of that case, if viable. Unless requested by the single justice, a transcript shall not accompany the application. The caption of the case shall remain the same as in the trial court.
(b) Time for Filing an Application. Notwithstanding the ten day provision of > Mass.R.Crim P. 15(b)(1), an application for leave to appeal under > Mass.R.Crim.P. 15(a)(2) shall be made by filing within seven days of the issuance of notice of the order being appealed, or such additional time as either the trial judge or the single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court shall order, (1) a notice of appeal in the trial court, and (2) an application to the single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court for leave to appeal.
(c) Opposition. Within seven days after the filing of the application for leave to appeal, or such shorter time as the single justice may direct, the other party or parties to the case may, but need not, file and serve a brief memorandum in opposition setting forth reasons why the application should not be granted.
(d) Filing; Service. One copy of the application and supporting documents and one copy of each memorandum in opposition shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County with a certificate of service on all other parties in the case, setting forth the name, address, and telephone number of counsel or other persons upon whom service has been made.
(e) Hearing. The single justice will consider the application on the papers submitted pursuant to this order unless he or she otherwise orders.
Adopted effective February 1, 1997.
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