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SJC Issues Amended Procedural Rules

By August 16, 2023No Comments

On August 3, 2023, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court promulgated changes to Superior Court rules that will go into on September 1, 2023. The amendments largely concern the formatting of exhibits to civil motions and certificates of service. Here at Bennett & Belfort, we have kept an eye on these developments and are providing a high-level summary as non-compliance may have serious consequences for litigants.

The Appendix to Civil Motions

Rule 9A(b)(2)(iv) and Rule 9A(b)(5)(v)(A) provide additional guidance on the formatting of exhibits to civil motions. They require separating exhibits to physical filings by off-set tab dividers and separating exhibits to electronic filings with page markers. They also require consecutive numbering of the pages in an appendix regardless of whether it is filed physically or electronically. Filings with multiple exhibits must precede the exhibits with a table of contents or an index.

Certificates of Service

The amended version Rule 9B indicates that a certificate of service, which must accompany any paper served under Mass. R. Civ. P. 5(a), stating that all attorneys of record have been served will no longer suffice. Instead, certificates of service must specify the manner of service, the names and addresses of all counsel (or parties) served and the party represented by each counsel served. The amendment also identifies the following as an acceptable certificate of service:

I hereby certify that on [DATE] a true copy of the above document was served by [HAND/MAIL/EMAIL] upon:

Attorney Name [or Pro Se Party Name]

Address [mailing or email]

Attorney for [PARTY NAME]

More information about the amendments may be found here.