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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 6: Courts and their jurisdictions; equity jurisdiction

Section 6. The probate and family court department shall have original and concurrent jurisdiction with the supreme judicial court and the superior court department of all cases and matters of equity cognizable under the general principles of equity jurisprudence and, with reference thereto, shall be courts of general equity jurisdiction, except that the superior court department shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all actions in which injunctive relief is sought in any matter growing out of a labor dispute as defined in section twenty C of chapter one hundred and forty-nine.

Probate courts shall also have jurisdiction concurrent with the supreme judicial and superior courts, of all cases and matters in which equitable relief is sought relative to: (i) the administration of the estates of deceased persons; (ii) wills, including questions arising under section twenty of chapter one hundred and ninety-one; (iii) trusts created by will or other written instrument; (iv) cases involving in any way the estate of a deceased person or the property of an absentee whereof a receiver has been appointed under chapter two hundred or the property of a person under guardianship or conservatorship; (v) trusts created by parol or constructive or resulting trusts; (vi) all matters relative to guardianship or conservatorship; and (vii) actions such as one described in clause (11) of section three of chapter two hundred and fourteen and of all other matters of which they now have or may hereafter be given jurisdiction. They shall also have jurisdiction to grant equitable relief to enforce foreign judgments for support of a wife or of a wife and minor children against a husband who is a resident or inhabitant of this commonwealth, upon an action by the wife commenced in the county of which the husband is a resident or inhabitant. They shall, after the divorce judgment has become absolute, also have concurrent jurisdiction to grant equitable relief in controversies over property between persons who have been divorced. They shall also have jurisdiction of an action by an administrator, executor, guardian, conservator, receiver appointed as aforesaid or trustee under a will to enjoin for a reasonable period of time the foreclosure, otherwise than by open and peaceable entry, of a mortgage on real estate, or the foreclosure of a mortgage on personal property, which real estate or personal property is included in the estate or trust being administered by such fiduciary, if in the opinion of the court the proper administration of the estate or trust would be hindered by such foreclosure. They shall also have jurisdiction, concurrent with the superior court, of proceedings in which equitable relief is sought under sections seven to twelve, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and seventeen and section twenty-six of chapter one hundred and twenty-three.

Notwithstanding any contrary or inconsistent provisions of the General Laws, procedure in cases in the probate court within the jurisdiction granted by this section shall be governed by the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure.