The Massachusetts Appeals Court requires some pleadings to be filed electronically, rather than through hard copy. Although the Standing Order concerning electronic filings has been effective for nearly three years, it is still a confusing process that is ripe for errors.
With three exceptions (discussed below), all pleadings filed until panel assignment are required to be filed in hard copy. Such filings include:
- Motion to Enlarge Time for Filing Brief;
- All other motions, oppositions to motions, or letters before panel assignment (except the Motion to Stay Judgment of Execution of a Sentence Pursuant to Mass. R. App. P. 6);
- Record Appendix;
- Exhibits; and,
- Transcripts (although a litigant may file a CD and one bound copy).
The three exceptions that need to be filed electronically before panel assignment are:
- Registration to Receive Electronic Notification;
- Change of Email Address Form; and,
- Docketing Statement.
After the Appeals Court assigns a panel to the case, all filings are electronic. Such filings include:
- Motions (such as Motion for Additional Time or Motion to Reschedule Oral Argument);
- Oppositions to motions or letters;
- Rule 16L letters; and,
- Petition for Rehearing.
Lastly, the following filings need to be made both electronically and in hard copy:
- Anything relating to practice before the Single Justice;
- Petitions, Oppositions, and Memorandums filed Pursuant to G.L. c. 231, § 118, para. 1 (interlocutory review by a Single Justice); and,
- Motion to Stay Judgment Pursuant to Mass. R. App. P. 6.
For more information, the Appeals Court posted on its website a chart listing all of these various submissions as well as the governing Standing Orders.