Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 102C of chapter 231 of the General Laws, as amended by section 1 of chapter 533 of the acts of 1985, is hereby further amended by striking out the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
The superior court may of its own motion or on the motion of a plaintiff or defendant, after determination by said court that if the plaintiff prevails, there is no reasonable likelihood that recovery will exceed twenty-five thousand dollars, transfer for trial any civil action pending in said court to the court from which such action was previously removed, if any, or if such action was originally entered in the superior court, to any district court, including the municipal court of the city of Boston, in which it could have been brought under the provisions of section two of chapter two hundred and twenty-three.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 231 is hereby further amended by striking out section 104, as amended by section 2 of said chapter 533, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 104. Any other party, a plaintiff against whom a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim is brought, and a defendant who asserts a compulsory counterclaim, may, provided that the amount of the claim against such other party, the amount of the claim, counterclaim or cross-claim brought against such plaintiff, or the amount of the compulsory counterclaim asserted by such defendant, as the case may be, exceeds twenty-five thousand dollars, file in the district court in which the action is pending a claim of trial by the superior court together with the fee for the entry of the claim of each plaintiff in the superior court, and, except as provided in section one hundred and seven, a bond in the penal sum of one hundred dollars, with such surety or sureties as may be approved by the party or parties not asserting such claim of trial by the superior court or by the clerk or an assistant clerk of said district court, payable to the other party or parties, conditioned to satisfy any judgment for costs which may be entered against him in the superior court in said cause within thirty days after the entry thereof. Such claim of trial by the superior court must be filed no later than twenty-five days after service of the pleading which asserts the claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim on which the right to remove is based, provided, however, that in the case of a compulsory counterclaim, the party asserting such counterclaim must file such claim of trial by the superior court no later than five days after the expiration of the time allowed to assert such counterclaim. The clerk shall forthwith transmit the papers and entry fee to the clerk of the superior court and the same shall proceed as though then originally entered there.
Removal of a case under this section shall remove any default and vacate any judgment entered thereon for failure to plead or otherwise defend in the district court, excepting cases in which the ad damnum does not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars. Cases in which no claims, counterclaims and cross-claims exceed twenty-five thousand dollars and those in which rights of parties to remove for trial in the superior court as hereinabove provided are not properly exercised shall be tried in the district court. A party who would have been entitled to remove the case for trial in the superior court as hereinabove provided but for the fact that the amount of the claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim, as the case may be, does not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars shall, if he desires trial by the superior court, file an entry fee of fifty dollars and bond within ten days after notice of the decision or finding. Such filing shall have the same effect as a request for retransfer under section one hundred and two C, and the decision shall be transmitted to and the case tried in the superior court subject to the provisions of said section one hundred and two C applicable to retransferred cases.