Skip to Content

General Laws

Section 58. The Suffolk county division of the juvenile court department shall consist of seven justices, the Middlesex county division shall consist of six justices, the Worcester county division shall consist of four justices, the Franklin and Hampshire counties division shall consist of one justice, the Bristol county division shall consist of three justices, the Essex county division shall consist of four justices, the Norfolk county division shall consist of two justices, the Plymouth county division shall consist of three justices, the Barnstable county and town of Plymouth division shall consist of one justice, and the Berkshire and Hampden counties division shall consist of four justices, all of whom shall be members of the bar. There shall be 4 associate justices of the trial court appointed for the juvenile court department who shall be and perform the duties of circuit justices in the following counties, and when so assigned, they shall receive from the commonwealth the expenses incurred by them: three justices in the Worcester, Franklin and Hampshire, Berkshire, and Hampden county divisions, and three justices in the Suffolk, Barnstable and town of Plymouth, Plymouth, Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex, and Bristol county divisions. The chief justice of the district court department may, upon request of the chief justice of the juvenile court department, assign a special justice who is not serving full-time under the provisions of section six A from the district court department to sit in any court of the juvenile court department. The chief justice of the juvenile court department shall have the power to define the duties of said first justices, and shall appoint, from among the justices of the juvenile court department, a first justice for each of the divisions within said department; provided, that appropriate consideration shall be given to seniority, length of service at that particular division, and managerial ability. Each first justice so appointed shall serve as the first justice of that particular division for a five-year term, and shall be eligible to be reappointed for additional five-year terms at that particular division. Any first justice may be removed from his position as first justice by the chief justice of the juvenile court department; provided, however, that any such removal is not for arbitrary or capricious reasons. Any first justice who is removed from his position as first justice by the chief justice of the juvenile court department may appeal the removal to the chief justice of the trial court, who shall hear and determine the matter.

Citations, orders of notice, writs, executions and all other processes issued by the clerk of each division shall bear the teste of the first justice thereof. The first justice shall be the administrative head of his division; provided, however, that the clerks shall have responsibility for the internal administration of his office, including the selection, appointment, and management of personnel, staff services and record keeping. A first justice or a clerk of the court may submit any dispute that arises between said first justice and said clerk concerning the management and administration of the office of the clerk, the duties, powers and obligations of the clerk, or a member of their staff, or the interpretation of the personnel standards provided for under section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B, to the chief justice of the department. Any person aggrieved by a decision of a chief justice under this paragraph may appeal said decision to the chief justice of the trial court, who shall, within thirty days, hear and determine the matter.

In the case of the absence, death or removal of a clerk of a division of the juvenile court department, or a vacancy in the position of clerk for any other reason, the chief justice of the juvenile court department may appoint a temporary clerk, to act until the clerk resumes his duties, or until the vacancy is filled. The clerk of the court shall appoint assistant clerks and support personnel in his division, with all of such appointments subject to approval by the court administrator with respect to personnel standards as provided in section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B. In the case of the absence, death or removal of an assistant clerk of a division of the juvenile court department, or a vacancy in the position of assistant clerk for any other reason, the clerk may appoint a temporary assistant clerk, to act until such assistant clerk resumes his duties, or until the vacancy is filled.

Each division shall have a clerk, who shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the council and who shall hold office during good behavior, subject, however, to retirement under the provisions of any applicable general or special law relative to retirement systems. The Suffolk county division held at Boston shall have a first assistant clerk and said division shall have eleven assistant clerks; the Barnstable county division held at Plymouth shall have a first assistant clerk and said division shall have two assistant clerks; the Bristol county division shall have a first assistant clerk and five assistant clerks; the Franklin and Hampshire counties division shall have an assistant clerk; the Essex county division shall have a first assistant clerk and 3 assistant clerks; the Berkshire and Hampden counties division held at North Adams shall have an assistant clerk; the Hampden division held at Springfield shall have an assistant clerk; the Middlesex county division shall have a first assistant clerk and 8 assistant clerks; the Norfolk county division held at Quincy shall have four assistant clerks; the Plymouth county division shall have a first assistant clerk and two assistant clerks; and the Worcester county division shall have a first assistant clerk and two assistant clerks. Said first assistant clerks and assistant clerks shall be appointed by the clerks of said courts, with all such appointments subject to approval by the court administrator with respect to personnel standards promulgated under section 8 of chapter 211B.

The salaries of the clerks in the juvenile court department shall be 81.57 per cent of the salary of the chief justice of said department and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salaries of the first assistant clerks in said department and the salary of the assistant clerk in charge of the appeals session shall be eighty-three and one-half percent of the salary of the clerks of said court and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth. The salaries of the assistant clerks in said department shall be seventy-seven percent of the salary of said clerks and shall be paid, subject to appropriation, by the commonwealth.

The clerks and assistant clerks of the juvenile court department shall devote their entire time during ordinary business hours to their respective duties and shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the practice of law.

Each clerk and assistant clerk of the juvenile court department appointed to such position prior to January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven and serving continuously in such position thereafter shall be entitled to thirty days vacation and thirty days sick leave in each calendar year. Each such clerk and assistant clerk may accumulate vacation leave and sick leave not used in any such year; provided, however, that the number of vacation days so accumulated shall not exceed sixty and the total amount of sick leave shall not exceed one hundred and eighty days; and provided, further, that no additional such days shall be accumulated on or after said January first except in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the court administrator pursuant to section eight of chapter two hundred and eleven B. Any other clerk and assistant clerk of said department shall be entitled to vacation leave and sick leave in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the court administrator pursuant to said section eight.

The first justice of each division of the juvenile court department may, with the approval of the chief justice of the trial court, appoint such official interpreters, or enter into service contracts for telephone-based interpretation services, as he may deem necessary for the sessions of his division. Any such interpreter shall hold his position at the pleasure of said first justice, and shall render such additional services as said first justice may require. Said first justice shall forthwith discharge any such interpreter who is found by him to have requested or received, directly or indirectly, any gratuity, bonus or fee in connection with any case pending or in the course of preparation for presentation to any court. Other interpreters may be employed by the first justice when the services of the official interpreter are not available.

Error