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Session Law

2000

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Chapter 142 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE ONE TRIAL SYSTEM FOR CIVIL CASES IN CERTAIN COUNTIES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 358 of the acts of 1996 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 2. Section 2 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 3. Section 3 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 4. The first paragraph of section 4 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 5. The second paragraph of said section 4 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 6. The first sentence of the first paragraph of section 5 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 7. The first sentence of the second paragraph of said section 5 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 8. The first paragraph of section 6 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 9. The first sentence of section 7 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 10. The first paragraph of section 8 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 11. The first sentence of the fourth paragraph of said section 8 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 12. The last sentence of said fourth paragraph of said section 8 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 13. The fifth paragraph of said section 8 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 14. The fourteenth paragraph of said section 8 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 15. Section 9 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 16. Said 358 is hereby further amended by striking out section 10 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 10. Notwithstanding sections 3 and 5 of chapter 239 of the General Laws, summary process actions in the district courts of Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex counties shall be subject to one trial in the district court department as provided in section 8. Notwithstanding the jurisdictional limitation of $25,000 or such other amount as is ordered from time to time by the supreme judicial court under section 4, in Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex counties the district courts shall have nonexclusive original jurisdiction over all summary process actions.

SECTION 17. Section 11 of said chapter 358, as amended by section 1 of chapter 157 of the acts of 1998, is hereby further amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 18. Section 12 of said chapter 358 is hereby amended by striking out the words "Norfolk and Middlesex" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex.

SECTION 19. Said chapter 358 is hereby further amended by striking out sections 13, 14 and 15, as appearing in chapter 157 of the acts of 1998, and inserting in place thereof the following three sections:-

Section 13. The provisions of this act shall be implemented by the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court and shall be effective in Norfolk and Middlesex counties for a period of 74 months commencing on July 1, 1996. Such provisions shall be effective in Berkshire and Essex counties for a period of 24 months commencing on September 1, 2000. This act shall apply only to civil actions commenced on or after the aforesaid effective dates for the respective counties. Commencement of such actions shall be defined by Rule 3 of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 2 of the Uniform Summary Process Rules.

Section 14. After August 31, 2002, civil cases pending or initiated in district courts in Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex counties in which the parties have not elected, as of the date of such expiration, either a trial by a jury of six or a trial by a court without a jury, shall be conducted pursuant to all applicable provisions of the General Laws and shall not be subject to the provisions of this act; provided, however, that civil cases pending in said counties as of the date of such expiration in which the parties have elected either a trial by a jury of six or a trial by a court without a jury, shall continue to be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this act.

Section 15. The chief justice for administration and management of the trial court, in consultation with the chief justices for the superior court and the district court departments, shall prepare and file with the supreme judicial court and with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives and the house and senate committees on ways and means, an interim report on the implementation of this act, on or before August 31, 2001 and a final report on said implementation on or before October 31, 2002. Said reports shall provide detailed information concerning the status and effect of implementation of this act, including, but not limited to, any costs incurred as a result of such implementation as well as a statistical analysis of the disposition of civil cases conducted pursuant to the provisions of this act which indicate, for each district court and superior court in Norfolk, Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex counties, the total number of cases entered, the number of cases disposed before trial, the number of cases tried by a jury of six, the number of cases tried by a court without a jury and the average time between entry and disposition of cases in each such category.

SECTION 20. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved July 21, 2000.

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