Section 15: Trial of causes and questions of fact; jury trials; transfer of actions to superior court
Section 15. Except as provided in section sixteen, all cases in the land court shall be tried and all questions of fact finally determined by the court, unless a timely demand for jury trial is made. In actions which are governed by the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure such demand shall be made in accordance with said Rules. In all other actions the defendant with his answer or a plaintiff within ten days after the time limited by law for filing an appearance and answer, or within ten days after the time allowed by the court for filing an answer, may claim a trial by jury. If trial by jury is claimed, issues therefor upon any material question of fact shall be framed in the land court, and within thirty days after the expiration of the time for claiming a trial by jury, except as otherwise provided in section sixteen and in chapter two hundred and thirty-seven, copies thereof and of all other material papers in the case, certified by the recorder, shall be entered by the moving party in the superior court for the county where the land lies for a jury trial thereon. Failure to enter the copies and papers required by this section or section sixteen or by section twenty-three of chapter two hundred and thirty-seven within the times limited by said sections, respectively, shall constitute a waiver of the claim to a trial by jury, and thereafter the superior court shall have no further jurisdiction of the case. Upon the motion of either party in the superior court the cause shall be advanced for speedy hearing, but no matters shall be tried in the superior court except those specified in the issues. Questions of law arising in the superior court may be appealed by any party aggrieved by any opinion, direction, or judgment of the court to the appeals court or, subject to the provisions of section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven A, to the supreme judicial court. Questions of law arising in the land court on any decision, judgment, or decree may be appealed by any party aggrieved thereby to the appeals court or, subject to the provisions of section ten of chapter two hundred and eleven A, to the supreme judicial court. The land court, after any decision or judgment dependent upon questions of law, may report such decision or judgment, with so much of the case as is necessary for understanding such questions of law, for the determination of the appeals court.
The land court may, upon application of either party or upon its own motion, transfer to the superior court any action in which no right, title or interest to land is involved and which is not set forth in section one as being within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the land court.