Section 19: Commencement of proceedings; fees; non-willful offense deemed non-criminal
Section 19. Proceedings shall be commenced in the housing court department as follows: a criminal case by complaint in like manner as in the district court department, a civil action in accordance with the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure; provided, however, that a summary process action and a small claims action shall be commenced and administered in accordance with rules promulgated with the approval of the supreme judicial court. Clerks of the housing court department shall charge a fee of $120 for the entry of an action, for the filing of a third-party complaint, and for the filing of a motion to intervene as plaintiff, which shall be paid by the party entering or filing the same; and no other fee shall be charged for taxing costs, for issuing any subpoena or execution or for issuing any order of notice or other mesne, interlocutory or final order, rule, decree of process authorized by law, except a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction for the issuance of which the clerk shall charge $90; provided, however, that no fee for the entry of an action or for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction shall be charged to the commonwealth or political subdivision thereof.
Notwithstanding that a proceeding under this chapter is commenced by complaint, if it is found that the offense charged was not willful, intentional, reckless or repeated, the proceeding shall not be deemed criminal and no record of the case shall be entered in the probation records.