Change to Supplemental Rules of Civil Procedure
The Supreme Judicial Court approved the repeal of Rules 116, 140
and 150 of the District/Municipal Courts Supplemental Rules of
Civil Procedure effective Jan. 1, 2010.
District Court Chief Justice Lynda M. Connolly and Boston
Municipal Court Chief Justice Charles R. Johnson proposed the
changes in October, stating that they were no longer needed because
there are no pending legacy cases to which the rules would
Visit www.mass.gov/courts/sjc/ to review the notice
Proposed amendment to Mass. Rules of Criminal Procedure
The Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the
Rules of Criminal Procedure invites comments on proposed amendments
to Rule 14 and Rule 23 of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal
The proposal eliminates Rule 23 on the ground that the 2004
revision of Rule 14 has made it largely irrelevant. It incorporates
what remains of Rule 23's discovery obligation into Rule 14 by
expanding the definition of a statement in Rule 14(d).
The proposal also updates Rule 14 in two respects to conform to
case law that has created additional discovery obligations.
Subsection 14(b)(2) has been expanded to include defenses raising
an issue of the defendant's mental condition outside of the context
of a defense of lack of mental responsibility, in line with
Commonwealth v. Ostrander, 441 Mass. 344, 352 (2004),
Commonwealth v. Contos, 435 Mass. 19 (2001) and Commonwealth v.
Diaz, 431 Mass. 822 (2000).
In addition, a new subsection, Rule 14(b)(4), has been added to
implement the requirement of Commonwealth v. Adjutant, 443
Mass. 649 (2005) that imposes a discovery obligation when the
defense intends to introduce evidence of the victim's specific acts
of violence to support a claim that the victim was the first
The committee welcomes all comments pertaining to the issues
raised by this proposal and will make recommendations to the SJC
after reviewing the comments submitted.
Comments should be directed to: The Standing Advisory Committee
on the Rules of Criminal Procedure, c/o Administrative Attorney
Barbara Berenson, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse,
One Pemberton Square, Boston, MA 02108, on or before Feb. 12, 2010.
Comments may also be sent to: [e-mail barbara.berenson].