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Session Law

2004

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Chapter 252 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A ONE TRIAL SYSTEM FOR CIVIL CASES.

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. Paragraph 3A of section 9 of chapter 93A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence.

SECTION 2. Section 3 of chapter 212 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following 2 sentences:- Except as otherwise provided by law, the court shall have original jurisdiction of civil actions for money damages. The actions may proceed in the court only if there is no reasonable likelihood that recovery by the plaintiff will be less than or equal to $25,000, or an amount ordered from time to time by the supreme judicial court. Where multiple damages are allowed by law, the amount of single damages claimed shall control.

SECTION 3. Said chapter 212 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 3 the following section:-

Section 3A. (a) A clerk-magistrate in the superior court shall not accept for filing a complaint or other pleading which commences a civil action for money damages, except as otherwise provided by law, unless it is accompanied by a statement signed by the attorney or pro se party. The statement shall specify the facts on which the plaintiff then relies to determine money damages. The defendant may file with his answer a statement specifying the potential damages which may result if the plaintiff prevails.

(b) If it appears to the court, from the statement of damages by the plaintiff that there is no reasonable likelihood that the estimated damages will be consistent with the civil money damage limits of the court, as set forth in section 3, the judge, after receiving written responses from the parties and after a hearing, if requested by any party, may dismiss the case without prejudice for failure to comply with the requirements of said section 3 regarding the amount necessary for proceeding in the superior court. The filing fee in the dismissed actions shall be retained by the court; but the recommencement of the same action in the district court or Boston municipal court departments of the trial court shall not require the payment of a filing fee. If a civil action is dismissed in the district court or Boston municipal court departments pursuant to section 19A of chapter 218, and the action is recommenced in the superior court, the filing fee shall be reduced by the amount of the filing fee previously paid to attempt to commence the same action in the district court or Boston municipal court. The procedure provided herein for dismissal of an action for violation of the requirements regarding the amount necessary to proceed in the superior court under section 3 shall be the exclusive method by which the dismissal may be ordered. Violation of the requirements for proceeding in the superior court shall not deprive the court of jurisdiction and shall not be grounds for any post-judgment relief in any case.

(c) In any case where the superior court dismisses the case as provided in this section, the plaintiff may take an appeal as hereinafter provided. The appeal shall be to a single justice of the appeals court at the next sitting thereof. Upon being notified of the dismissal, the plaintiff shall have 7 days thereafter to file a notice of appeal with the clerk of the dismissing court. Upon receipt of notice of appeal timely filed, the clerk shall forthwith notify the judge who approved the dismissal. Within 3 days of receipt of the notice, the judge who approved the dismissal shall set forth written findings and reasons justifying the dismissal, which findings and rulings shall be part of the record on appeal. The clerk shall forward the pleading which commenced the civil action, all statements by the parties, specifying in detail the potential damages if the plaintiff prevails, the judge's written findings and reasons justifying the dismissal and any other documents on file relevant to the appeal to the clerk of the appeals court. Upon receipt thereof, the clerk of the appeals court shall set the matter down for a speedy hearing and send notice to the parties. The court dismissing the case may, with or without motion, issue an order or process to preserve the rights of the parties pending the appeal. The single justice of the appeals court may enter or revoke that order or process. The decision of the single justice of the appeals court as to the dismissal shall be final.

(d) Notwithstanding chapter 260 or any other applicable statutes of limitation, in a civil action under this section in which a plaintiff's case has been dismissed as provided in this section, the plaintiff shall be given 30 days after the date of receipt of the notice of dismissal or, in the case of an appeal from the dismissal, 30 days after the date of receipt of the notice of the decision of the single justice of the appeals court to file the case in the appropriate court; if, the commencement of the dismissed case was within the applicable statute of limitations. The 30-day time limit in this section for recommencement of an action following dismissal of the action shall apply only when the time permitted under the applicable statute of limitations would have expired at any time from the original commencement of the action to the end of the 30-day period.

SECTION 4. Section 12 of said chapter 212, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 1 and 2, the words "or proceeding from a judgment of a district court" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- authorized by law.

SECTION 5. Section 19 of chapter 218 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 4 sentences:- Except as otherwise provided by law, the district court and Boston municipal court departments shall have original jurisdiction of civil actions for money damages. The actions may proceed in the courts only if there is no reasonable likelihood that recovery by the plaintiff will exceed $25,000, or an amount ordered from time to time by the supreme judicial court. Where multiple damages are allowed by law, the amount of single damages claimed shall control. Notwithstanding the limitation of $25,000, or other amount ordered by the supreme judicial court, the district courts may proceed with actions for money damages in any amount in summary process actions.

SECTION 6. Said chapter 218 is hereby further amended by striking out section 19A, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 19A. (a) A clerk-magistrate in a district court or in the Boston municipal court shall not accept for filing any complaint or other pleading which commences a civil action for money damages, except as otherwise provided by law, unless it is accompanied by a statement signed by the attorney or pro se party. The statement shall specify the facts on which the plaintiff then relies to determine money damages. The defendant may file with his answer a statement specifying the potential damages which may result if the plaintiff prevails.

(b) If it appears to the court from the statement of damages by the plaintiff that there is no reasonable likelihood that the estimated damages will be consistent with the civil money damage limits of the court, as set forth in section 19, the judge, after receiving written responses from the parties and after a hearing, if requested by any party, may dismiss the case without prejudice for failure to comply with the requirements of said section 19 regarding the amount necessary for proceeding in the district court or Boston municipal court departments. The filing fee in the dismissed actions shall be retained by the court. If a civil action is dismissed in the superior court pursuant to section 3A of chapter 212, and the action is recommenced in the district court or Boston municipal court, those courts shall not require the payment of a new filing fee. If an action commenced in the district court or Boston municipal court departments is dismissed as provided herein and is recommenced in the superior court, the filing fee shall be reduced by the amount of the filing fee previously paid to attempt to commence the same action in the district court or the Boston municipal court. The procedures provided herein for dismissal of an action for violation of the requirements regarding the amount necessary to proceed in the district court or Boston municipal court departments under section 19 shall be the exclusive method by which the dismissal may be ordered. Violation of the requirements for proceeding in the district court or Boston municipal court departments shall not deprive the court of jurisdiction and shall not be grounds for any post-judgment relief in any case.

(c) In any case where a district court or the Boston municipal court dismisses the case as provided in this section, the plaintiff may take an appeal as hereinafter provided. The appeal shall be to a single justice of the appeals court at the next sitting thereof. Upon being notified of the dismissal, the plaintiff shall have 7 days thereafter to file a notice of appeal with the clerk of the dismissing court. Upon receipt of notice of appeal timely filed, the clerk shall forthwith notify the judge who ordered the dismissal. Within 3 days of receipt of the notice, the judge who ordered the dismissal shall set forth written findings and reasons justifying the dismissal, which findings and rulings shall be part of the record on appeal. The clerk shall forward the pleading which commenced the civil action, all statements by the parties, specifying in detail the potential damages if the plaintiff prevails, the judge's written findings and reasons justifying the dismissal and any other documents on file relevant to the appeal to the clerk of the appeals court. Upon receipt thereof, the clerk of the appeals court shall set the matter down for a speedy hearing and send notice to the parties. The court dismissing the case may, with or without motion, issue an order or process to preserve the rights of the parties pending the appeal. The single justice of the appeals court may enter or revoke that order or process. The decision of the single justice of the appeals court as to the dismissal shall be final.

(d) Notwithstanding chapter 260 or any other applicable statutes of limitation, in a civil action under this section in which a plaintiff's case has been dismissed as provided in this section, the plaintiff shall be given 30 days after the date of receipt of the notice of dismissal or, in the case of an appeal from the dismissal, 30 days after the date of receipt of notice of the decision of the single justice of the appeals court to file the case in the appropriate court; if the commencement of the dismissed case was within the applicable statute of limitations. The 30-day time limit in this section shall apply only when the time permitted under the applicable statute of limitations would have expired at any time from the original commencement of the action to the end of the 30-day period.

SECTION 7. Said chapter 218 is hereby further amended by striking out section 19B, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 19B. (a) Except as otherwise provided by law, all civil actions for money damages, or summary process actions, filed in a district court or the Boston municipal court shall be subject to 1 trial, with or without a jury of 6, in the district court department or in the Boston municipal court department. Any party may demand a trial by jury of 6 of any issue triable of right by a jury by serving upon the other parties a demand therefor in writing after the commencement of the action. The demand may be endorsed upon a pleading of the demanding party. The failure of a party to serve and file a demand for jury trial shall constitute a waiver by that party of trial by jury. In any case in which a party has filed a timely demand for a jury trial, the action shall not be designated upon the docket as a jury action until after the completion of a pretrial conference, a hearing on the results of the conference and until the disposition of any pretrial discovery motion and compliance with any order of the court pursuant to the motions.

(b) The district court and Boston municipal court departments may hold jury of 6 sessions for the purpose of conducting jury trials of summary process cases and of civil actions for money damages proceeding in those courts pursuant to the provisions of section 19. The chief justice for the district court department shall designate at least 1 district court in each county for the purpose of conducting jury trials; but, with the approval of the chief justice for the superior court department, facilities of the superior court may be designated by the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court for the conduct of jury trials in cases commenced in the district courts or in the Boston municipal court. If necessary, facilities of any department of the trial court may be designated by the chief justice for administration and management for trial by jury of civil cases from the district court or the Boston municipal court. The chief justice for the district court department may also designate 1 or more district courts in any county for the purpose of conducting jury waived trials of cases commenced in any district court of the county consistent with the requirements of the proper administration of justice. Persons in district courts who waive their right to jury trial shall be provided a jury waived trial in the same district court if the jury waived trial session has been established in the court. If the jury waived trial session has not been so established, the parties shall be provided a jury waived trial in a court as hereinbefore designated. Parties in the district courts who claim a jury trial shall be provided a jury trial in a jury of 6 session in the same court if a jury of 6 session has been established in that court. If a jury of 6 session has not been so established, the parties shall be provided jury trials in a jury of 6 session as hereinbefore designated. In cases where the parties claim a jury trial, the clerk shall, subject to subsection (a), forthwith transfer the case for trial in the appropriate jury session. The transfer shall be governed by procedures to be established by the chief justices of the district court and Boston municipal court departments.

(c) The justice presiding over a jury of 6 session shall have and exercise all powers and duties which a justice sitting in the superior court department has and may exercise in the trial and disposition of civil cases including the power to report questions of law to the appeals court. Trials by juries of 6 shall proceed in accordance with the law applicable to trials by jury in the superior court; but the number of peremptory challenges shall be limited to 2 to each party. Jurors shall be provided for the jury of 6 session by the office of the jury commissioner in accordance with chapter 234A. If necessary, the superior court shall make available jurors from the pool of jurors for the jury sessions in either civil or criminal sessions in the superior court. The chief justices of the district court and Boston municipal court departments shall arrange for the sittings of the jury sessions and shall assign justices thereto, so that speedy trials may be provided. Review may be had by the appropriate appellate division pursuant to section 108 of chapter 231, and thereafter by the appeals court.

(d) The justice presiding at the jury of 6 session may, upon the request of a party, appoint a stenographer; provided, however, that where the party claims indigency, the appointment is determined to be reasonably necessary in accordance with chapter 261; and provided, further, that the court electronic recording system is not available or not properly functioning. The stenographer shall be sworn, shall take stenographic notes of all the testimony given at the trial and shall provide the parties thereto with a transcript of the notes or any part thereof taken at the trial or hearing for which the stenographer shall be paid by the party requesting it at the rates fixed by the chief justices for the district court or Boston municipal court departments; but the rate shall not exceed the rate provided by section 88 of chapter 221. The chief justices may make regulations consistent with law relative to the assignments, duties and services of stenographers appointed for sessions in their respective departments and any other matter relative to stenographers. The compensation and expenses of the appointed stenographers shall be paid by the commonwealth. The request for the appointment of a stenographer to preserve the testimony at a trial shall be given to the clerk of the court by a party, in writing, no later than 48 hours before the proceeding for which the stenographer has been requested. The party may file with such request an affidavit of indigency and request for payment by the commonwealth of the cost of the transcript and the court shall hold a hearing on the request before appointing a stenographer in those cases where the party will be unable to pay the cost. The hearing shall be governed by chapter 261 and the cost of the transcript shall be considered an extra cost as provided therein. If the court is unable, for any reason, to provide a stenographer, the proceedings may be recorded by electronic means. The original recording of proceedings in a district court or in the Boston municipal court made with a recording device under the exclusive control of the court shall be the official record of the proceedings. The record or a copy of all or a part thereof, certified by the appropriate chief justice or his designee, to be an accurate electronic reproduction of the record or part thereof, or a typewritten transcript of all or a part of the record or copy thereof, certified to be accurate by the court or by the preparer of the transcript, or stipulated to by the parties, shall be admissible in any court as evidence of testimony given whenever proof of the testimony is otherwise competent. A party may request payment by the commonwealth of the cost of the transcript subject to the same provisions regarding a transcript of a stenographer as hereinbefore provided.

(e) Any party who files in a district court or in the Boston municipal court an appeal to the appellate division, in a civil action subject to this section, within 10 days of the entry of judgment or within the further time as the justice orders for cause shown allows, shall also file a bond executed by the party or attorney of record on such party's behalf, payable to the appellee in a reasonable sum and with surety or sureties approved by the appellee or by the justice or clerk or assistant clerk of the district court or Boston municipal court, conditioned to satisfy any judgment for costs which may be entered against the appellant upon the appeal. Any party, in lieu of filing the bond required for an appeal to the appellate division, may deposit with the clerk, within the time required for filing a bond, a reasonable amount to be fixed by the clerk or justice, as security for the prosecution of the appeal and the payment of costs. A certificate of the deposit shall be issued to the depositor by the clerk of the court who shall hold the deposit until the final disposition of the case when the clerk shall apply the deposit to the satisfaction of any costs awarded against the depositor and pay the balance, if any, to the depositor or the depositor's legal representative. A bond or deposit shall not be required of the commonwealth or any officer or employee thereof represented by the attorney general, or of a county, city, town or other municipal corporation, or of a board, officer or employee thereof represented by the city solicitor, town counsel or other officer having similar duties, or of a political subdivision, or of a party who has given bond according to law to dissolve an attachment or of a defendant in an action of tort arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use of a motor vehicle or trailer as defined in section 1 of chapter 90 if the payment of any judgment for costs which may be entered against him is secured, in whole or in part, by a motor vehicle liability bond or policy or a deposit as provided in section 34D of said chapter 90 and the court may, in any case, for cause shown, after notice to adverse parties, order that no bond be given.

SECTION 8. Section 19C of said chapter 218, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting before the first paragraph the following paragraph:-

The district court and Boston municipal court departments of the trial court shall have the same equitable powers and jurisdiction as is provided for the superior court pursuant to chapter 214 and the same authority with regard to declaratory judgments as is provided for the superior court pursuant to chapter 231A for the purpose of the hearing and disposition of summary process actions and of civil actions for money damages under section 19 of this chapter.

SECTION 9. Section 54 of said chapter 218, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 3, the words "all civil actions in which money damages are sought" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- civil actions in which money damages are sought pursuant to sections 19 and 21.

SECTION 10. Section 10 of chapter 223 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 4 and 5, the words ", or if the action is commenced in a district court and removed to the superior court, within 30 days after such removal".

SECTION 11. Section 19 of chapter 224 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 32 and 33, the words "in the same manner as from a judgment of a district court in civil actions".

SECTION 12. Section 59A of chapter 231 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 3 and 4, the words "an action has been removed by the defendant from a district court and".

SECTION 13. Said chapter 231 is hereby further amended by striking out section 97, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 97. Unless a written waiver of the right of appeal has been filed by all the parties, a party aggrieved by the judgment of a district court in a civil action may appeal therefrom to the superior court within 6 days after the entry thereof. In that case no execution shall be issued on the judgment appealed from. The case shall be entered in the superior court pursuant to section 101 and shall there be tried and determined as if originally entered therein. This section shall not apply to civil actions for money damages and to summary process actions brought in the district court and Boston municipal court departments pursuant to section 19 of chapter 218 and chapter 239.

SECTION 14. Section 98 of said chapter 231, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "thirty-nine", in line 4, the following words:- , or a civil action for money damages in the district court and Boston municipal court departments pursuant to section 19 of chapter 218.

SECTION 15. Said chapter 231 is hereby further amended by striking out section 108, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 108. There shall be an appellate division of each district court for the rehearing of matters of law arising in civil cases, in claims of compensation of victims of violent crimes, and in civil motor vehicle infractions. The division of the Boston municipal court shall consist of 3 justices to be designated from time to time by the chief justice therefor. The appellate division of each other municipal court shall be holden by justices for the other divisions of the Boston municipal court department, included in the jurisdiction of the central division, East Boston court, Charlestown court, Brighton court, Dorchester court, Roxbury court, South Boston court, West Roxbury court, which shall be known as the appellate division of the Boston municipal court department. The appellate division of each other district court shall be holden by justices for those other district courts, not exceeding 3 in number out of 5 justices assigned to the performance of appellate duty by the chief justice for the district courts, subject to the approval of the chief justice of the supreme judicial court, as follows: The chief justice for the district courts shall assign 5 justices of districts within the counties of Essex and Middlesex and that part of Suffolk included in the jurisdiction of the district court of Chelsea to act in the appellate divisions of the district courts within those counties and that part of Suffolk county, which shall be known as the northern appellate division district; shall assign 5 justices of the district courts within the counties of Norfolk, Plymouth, Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes and Nantucket to act in the appellate divisions of the district courts within those counties, which shall be known as the southern appellate division district; and shall assign 5 justices of district courts within the counties of Worcester, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Berkshire to act in the appellate divisions of district courts within those counties, which shall be known as the western appellate division district. The assignment may be made for the period of time as the chief justice considers advisable. In each of the foregoing 3 districts, 1 of the justices so assigned shall be designated by the chief justice for the district courts, subject to the approval of the chief justice of the supreme judicial court, as presiding justice, who shall from time to time designate those of the appellate justices who shall act on appeals in each district court in that district and direct the times and places of sittings. The presiding justice of any appellate division may call upon a justice of any other appellate division to serve in his division, and when so requested that justice shall serve therein. Two justices shall constitute a quorum to decide all matters in an appellate division; but each appellate division justice may sit as a single justice of the appellate division for the purpose of hearing and deciding appeals of interlocutory orders, as provided in section 118A of chapter 231.

A justice acting in the appellate division of a district court shall be allowed, in addition to his salary and necessary traveling expenses, incidental expenses and clerical assistance while so acting, which shall be paid by the commonwealth.

Any party to a cause brought in the municipal court of the city of Boston, or in any district court, aggrieved by any ruling on a matter of law by a trial court justice, may as of right, appeal the ruling for determination by the appellate division pursuant to the applicable rules of court. The justice whose ruling is appealed shall not sit upon the review thereof. If the appellate division shall decide that there has been prejudicial error in the ruling complained of, it may reverse, vacate or modify the same or order a new trial in whole or part; otherwise it shall dismiss appeal and may impose double costs in the action if it finds the objection to such ruling to be frivolous or intended for delay. If the party claiming the appeal shall not duly prosecute the same, by preparing the necessary papers or otherwise, the appellate division may order the cause to proceed as though no appeal had been filed and may in like manner impose costs. A trial court justice may, after decision thereon, report for determination by the appellate division any case in which there is an agreed statement of facts or a finding of the facts or any other case involving questions of law only. If a trial justice is of opinion that an interlocutory finding or order made by him ought to be reviewed by the appellate division before any further proceedings in the trial court, he may report the case for that purpose and stay all further proceedings except as necessary to preserve the rights of the parties. The municipal court of the city of Boston shall make rules regulating the procedure and sittings of the appellate division of the court, for appeal thereto, for the preparation and submission of reports and allowance of reports which a trial court justice shall disallow as not conformable to the facts or shall fail to allow by reason of physical or mental disability, death or resignation, for the reporting of cases reserved for report when a trial court justice shall fail to report the same by reason of physical or mental disability, death, resignation, removal or retirement, and for the granting of new trials.

SECTION 16. Said chapter 231 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 118, as so appearing, the following section:-

Section 118A. A party aggrieved by an interlocutory order of a trial court justice in the district court department or the Boston municipal court department issued pursuant to section 19C of chapter 218 in response to a request for equitable relief may file within 10 days of the entry of the order, a petition in the appropriate appellate division seeking relief from the order. A single justice of the appellate division may affirm, modify, vacate, set aside, reverse the order or remand the cause and direct the entry of such appropriate order as may be just under the circumstances. A party aggrieved by an interlocutory order of a single justice of an appellate division granting a petition for relief from the order, may appeal therefrom to the appeals court or, subject to section 10 of chapter 211A, to the supreme judicial court, which shall affirm, modify, vacate, set aside, reverse the order or remand the cause and direct the entry of the appropriate order as may be just under the circumstances.

The filing of a petition hereunder shall not suspend the execution of the order which is the subject of the petition, except as otherwise ordered by a single justice of the appellate division.

SECTION 17. Chapter 239 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 2, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 2. Such person may bring an action in the superior court in the county in which the land lies if the plaintiff seeks money damages and there is no reasonable likelihood that recovery by the plaintiff will be less than or equal to $25,000, or such other amount as is ordered from time to time by the supreme judicial court. Where multiple damages are allowed by law, the amount of single damages claimed shall control. Such person may bring an action in the district court in the judicial district in which the land lies.

Such person may bring the action by a writ in the form of an original summons to the defendant to answer to the claim of the plaintiff that the defendant is in possession of the land or tenements in question, describing them, which he holds unlawfully against the right of the plaintiff, and, if rent and use and occupation is claimed, that the defendant owed rent and use and occupation in the amount stated; but, subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court, the judge of the housing court of the city of Boston shall determine the form of the writ in the actions brought in his court. Failure to claim rent and use and occupation in the action shall not bar a subsequent action therefor.

SECTION 18. Section 3 of said chapter 239, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-

In case of appeal from the district court on either or both issues involved or on any counterclaim, the appeal shall be to the appellate division under section 5.

SECTION 19. Said chapter 239 is hereby further amended by striking out section 5, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 5. (a) If either party appeals from a judgment of the superior court, a housing court, or a district court in an action under this chapter, including a judgment on a counterclaim, that party shall file a notice of appeal with the court within 10 days after the entry of the judgment. An execution upon a judgment rendered pursuant to section 3 shall not issue until the expiration of 10 days after the entry of the judgment.

(b) In an appeal of a judgment of a district court, other than an appeal governed by subsection (c), the appellant shall, before any appeal under this section is allowed, file in the district court a bond payable to the appellee in the penal sum of $100, with surety or sureties as approved by the court, or secured by cash or its equivalent deposited with the clerk, conditioned to satisfy any judgment for costs which may be entered against the appellant in the appellate division within 30 days after the entry thereof.

(c) Except as provided in section 6, the defendant shall, before any appeal under this section is allowed from a judgment of the superior court, a housing court, or a district court, rendered for the plaintiff for the possession of the land or tenements demanded in a case in which the plaintiff continues at the time of establishment of bond to seek to recover possession, give bond in a sum as the court orders, payable to the plaintiff, with sufficient surety or sureties approved by the court, or secured by cash or its equivalent deposited with the clerk, in a reasonable amount to be fixed by the court. In an appeal from a judgment of a district court the bond shall be conditioned to enter the action in the appellate division at the return day next after the appeal is taken. In an appeal from a judgment of the superior court or a housing court the bond filed shall be conditioned to enter the action in the appeals court. Appeals from judgments of the superior court or a housing court shall otherwise be governed by the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure. The bond shall also be conditioned to pay to the plaintiff, if final judgment is in plaintiff's favor, all rent accrued at the date of the bond, all intervening rent, and all damage and loss which the plaintiff may sustain by the withholding of possession of the land or tenements demanded and by any injury done thereto during the withholding, with all costs, until delivery of possession thereof to the plaintiff.

(d) In appeals from a judgment of the superior court, a housing court or a district court the deposit shall not be transmitted to the appeals court or the appellate division unless specifically requested by said appeals court or appellate division. The superior court, a housing court or a district court may give directions as to the manner of keeping the deposit. Upon final judgment for the plaintiff, all money then due to him may be recovered in an action on the bond provided for in the third paragraph of this section.

(e) A party may make a motion to waive the appeal bond provided for in this section if the party is indigent as provided in section 27A of chapter 261. The motion shall, together with a notice of appeal and any supporting affidavits, be filed within the time limits set forth in this section. The court shall waive the requirement of the bond or security if it is satisfied that the person requesting the waiver has any defense which is not frivolous and is indigent as provided in said section 27A of said chapter 261. The court shall require any person for whom the bond or security provided for in subsection (c) has been waived to pay in installments as the same becomes due, pending appeal, all or any portion of any rent which shall become due after the date of the waiver. A court shall not require the person to make any other payments or deposits. The court shall forthwith make a decision on the motion. If the motion is made, no execution shall issue until the expiration of 6 days from the court's decision on the motion or until the expiration of the time specified in this section for the taking of appeals, whichever is later.

(f) Any party aggrieved by the denial of a motion to waive the bond or who wishes to contest the amount of periodic payments required by the court may seek review of the decision as hereinafter provided. If the motion was made in the superior court or a housing court, the request for review shall be to the single justice of the appeals court at the next sitting thereof. If the motion was made in any district or municipal court, the request for review shall be to the appellate division then sitting pursuant to section 108 of chapter 231. The court receiving the request shall review the findings, the amount of bond or deposit, if any, and the amount of periodic payment required, if any, as if it were initially deciding the matter, and the court may withdraw or amend any finding or reduce or rescind any amount of bond, deposit or periodic payment when in its judgment the facts so warrant.

(g) Any party to the action may file a request for the review with the clerk of the court originally hearing the request to waive bond within the time period provided in this section for filing notice of appeal, or within 6 days after receiving notice of the decision of the court on the motion to waive bond, whichever is the later. The court shall then forward the motion, the court's findings and any other documents relevant to the appeal to the clerk of the court reviewing the decision which, upon receipt thereof, shall schedule a speedy hearing thereon and send notice thereof to the parties. Any request for review filed pursuant to this section shall be heard upon statements of counsel, memoranda and affidavits submitted by the parties. Further testimony shall be taken if the reviewing court shall find that the taking of further testimony would aid the disposition of the review.

(h) Upon the rendering of a decision on review, the reviewing court shall give notice of the decision to the parties and the defendant shall comply with the requirements of the decision within 5 days after receiving notice thereof. If the defendant fails to file with the clerk of the court rendering the judgment, the amount of bond, deposit or periodic payment required by the decision of the reviewing court within 5 days from receipt of notice of the decision, the appeal from the judgment shall be dismissed. Where a defendant seeks review pursuant to this section, no execution shall issue until the expiration of 5 days from the date defendant has received notice of the decision of the reviewing court.

SECTION 20. Section 27D of chapter 261 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 3 sentences:- If the matter arises in the superior, the land, the probate or the housing court departments, the appeal shall be to a single justice of the appeals court at the next sitting thereof. If the matter arises in the juvenile court department, the appeal shall be to the superior court sitting in the nearest county or in Suffolk county. If the matter arises in the district court or Boston municipal court departments, the appeal shall be to the appellate division.

SECTION 21. Chapter 262 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 2, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 2. The fees of the clerks of the district and Boston municipal court departments of the trial court in civil actions, shall be as follows:

For the entry of a complaint, third-party complaint, petition or other action, and for the filing of a motion to intervene as plaintiff, $150.

For the entry of supplementary proceedings under chapter 224, $25, which, together with the fees of witnesses and officers in the proceedings, shall be allowed the creditor as costs.

For the entry of a claim of trial by the superior court under section 104 of chapter 231, $150.

For approving or disapproving by the court of sureties on bonds or recognizances, $50.

For the entry of a civil appeal in the appellate division of the district court department, $100.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, for the entry of a complaint, petition, appeal or other action by the commonwealth, no fee shall be paid; but, if the commonwealth prevails in the action, the fee shall be taxed against the other party.

SECTION 22. Sections 102C, 103, 104, 104A, 106 and 107 of chapter 231 of the General Laws shall not apply to civil actions commenced in the district court, Boston municipal court, and superior court departments on or after August 31, 2004, said commencement to be defined by Rule 3 of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 2 of the Uniform Summary Process Rules. In Middlesex and Norfolk counties, sections 102C, 103, 104, 104A, 106 and 107 of chapter 231 of the General Laws shall not apply to any civil actions commenced under chapter 358 of the acts of 1996, as extended by chapter 157 of the acts of 1998, chapter 142 of the acts of 2000, and chapter 70 of the acts of 2002. In Berkshire and Essex counties, sections 102C, 103, 104, 104A, 106 and 107 of chapter 231 of the General Laws shall not apply to any civil actions commenced under chapter 142 of the acts of 2000 as extended by chapter 70 of the acts of 2002. In Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Nantucket counties, sections 102C, 103, 104, 104A, 106 and 107 of chapter 231 of the General Laws shall not apply to any civil actions commenced under chapter 70 of the acts of 2002.

SECTION 23. This act shall be implemented by the chief justice for administration and management of the trial court and the chief justices of the district court, Boston municipal court, and superior court departments and shall apply to civil actions, commenced on or after August 31, 2004, the commencement to be defined by Rule 3 of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 2 of the Uniform Summary Process Rules. In Middlesex and Norfolk counties, this act shall govern in civil actions commenced under chapter 358 of the acts of 1996, as extended by chapter 157 of the acts of 1998, chapter 142 of the acts of 2000, and chapter 70 of the acts of 2002, and pending on August 31, 2004 regarding any procedures occurring on or after August 31, 2004. In Berkshire and Essex counties, this act shall govern in civil actions commenced under chapter 142 of the acts of 2000 as extended by chapter 70 of the acts of 2002 and pending on August 31, 2004 regarding any procedure occurring on or after August 31, 2004. In Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Nantucket counties this act shall govern in civil actions commenced under chapter 70 of the acts of 2002 and pending on August 31, 2004 regarding any procedure occurring on or after August 31, 2004.

Approved August 4, 2004.

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