General Laws

Section 10. Subject to such further appellate review by the supreme judicial court as may be permitted pursuant to section eleven or otherwise, the appeals court shall have concurrent appellate jurisdiction with the supreme judicial court, to the extent review is otherwise allowable, with respect to a determination made in the appellate tax board and in the superior court department, the housing court department, the land court department, the probate and family court department, the Boston municipal court department in criminal session, the Boston municipal court department appellate division, the juvenile court department, the district court department in criminal session, and the district court department appellate divisions, except in review of convictions for first degree murder. A report from any such department of the trial court of any case, in whole or in part, or any question of law arising therein shall be deemed to be within the concurrent appellate jurisdiction of the supreme judicial court and the appeals court.

Without regard to whether review is by appeal, report or otherwise, appellate review of decisions made in the appellate tax board and in the superior court department, the housing court department, the land court department, the probate and family court department, the Boston municipal court department and the appellate division thereof, the juvenile court department, and the district court department, and the appellate divisions thereof, if within the jurisdiction of the appeals court, shall be in the first instance by the appeals court except in the following cases in which appellate review shall be directly by the supreme judicial court without the necessity of any prior hearing or decision by the appeals court on the merits of the issues sought to be reviewed:

(A) Whenever two justices of the supreme judicial court issue an order direct review by the supreme judicial court in any case on appeal, either at the request of one of the parties or at the court’s own initiative, upon finding that the questions to be decided are: (1) questions of first impression or novel questions of law which should be submitted for final determination to the supreme judicial court; (2) questions of law concerning the Constitution of the commonwealth or questions concerning the Constitution of the United States which have been raised in a court of the commonwealth; (3) questions of such public interest that justice requires a final determination by the supreme judicial court.

(B) Whenever the appeals court as a body or a majority of the justices of the appeals court considering a particular case certifies that direct review by the supreme judicial court is in the public interest.

In each case where appellate review is not within the jurisdiction of the appeals court, appellate review shall be directly by the supreme judicial court, unless such case is transferred by the supreme judicial court to the appeals court for determination in accordance with section twelve of this chapter.