CHIEF JUSTICE PHILLIP RAPOZA INVITED TO SERVE AS
ELECTION OBSERVER IN TIMOR-LESTE
At the invitation of the U.S. Department of State, Hon. Phillip
Rapoza, chief justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, recently
served as one of two American delegates on an international
election observer mission in Timor-Leste, commonly known as East
Timor. Timorese authorities requested that the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, in which the United
States participates, facilitate a team of observers to monitor the
July 7 election of the country's 65-member parliament. Timor-Leste
recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of the restoration of its
independence and the United Nations is scheduled to withdraw its
peacekeeping mission from the country by the end of 2012.
Over the last decade, Rapoza has played a prominent role in
Timor-Leste, a former Portuguese colony. From 2003 to 2005, he took
an unpaid leave of absence from the Appeals Court and lived in the
Timorese capital of Dili, where he served as an international judge
on an UN-established war crimes tribunal. Since then he has
returned to Timor-Leste at the invitation of the UN on virtually an
annual basis to assist in ongoing efforts to improve the country's
A Dartmouth native, Chief Justice Rapoza served as a trial judge
on the District and Superior Courts before his appointment to the
appellate bench in 1998. In 2006, Gov. Mitt Romney appointed him
chief justice of the Appeals Court.
CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES TASK FORCE SEEKS PUBLIC
Trial Court Child Support Guidelines Task Force is seeking public
comment and suggestions concerning the Massachusetts Child Support
Guidelines. Written comments may
be submitted to the task force at
[e-mail childsupport] or:
Administrative Office of the Trial
Child Support Guidelines Task Force
Two Center Plaza
Boston, MA 02108
The task force will also hold five statewide public forums, from
Sept 11-19, at which written statements may be delivered and brief
oral comments may be made. For times and locations, visit
The deadline for comments is Sept. 30, 2012.
SJC APPOINTS NEW REPORTER OF DECISIONS
The Supreme Judicial Court has announced the appointment
of Brian H. Redmond as the new reporter of decisions for the
Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court, effective July 1.
Redmond succeeds C. Clifford Allen, who retired as reporter of
decisions in June.
The reporter provides editorial support for the SJC and Appeals
Court justices, publishes slip opinions daily in printed and
electronic formats and administers a contract for the publication
of printed advance sheets and permanent bound volumes of the
official reports of the two courts.
COMMENTS SOUGHT ON MASS. CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT
In December 2011, SJC Justices established a Committee on the
Code of Judicial Conduct, and charged it with recommending
amendments to the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct regarding
judges' ability to speak to the public on matters related to the
administration of justice.
The committee is seeking comment for proposed revisions to
Canons 4A and 4B of the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct by
Aug. 31. For more information, go to www.mass.gov/courts/sjc.
Comments should be directed to attorney Barbara Berenson at
[e-mail barbara.berenson] or:
Supreme Judicial Court
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, MA 02108
ADDITIONAL COURT LOCATIONS TO ADJUST PUBLIC OFFICE HOURS
On July 2, the five permanent clerks' offices that comprise the
Southeast Division of the Housing Court -- Fall River, New Bedford,
Brockton, Plymouth and Taunton -- began operating under a staggered
schedule that closes each office for two days a week. Court users
may go to any of the five locations to conduct business. At least
two of the five locations will be open for business on any given
Last year, the Housing Court's Southeast Division opened a fifth
session at the new courthouse in Taunton after many years of
holding sessions in four locations to cover Bristol and Plymouth
counties. Staff of the division travel among the locations on a
regular basis and the new schedule will better balance the coverage
throughout the region.
The five Housing Court locations will be open as follows:
- Mondays: Fall River, New Bedford, Brockton,
- Tuesdays: Fall River, Brockton, Taunton
- Wednesdays: Brockton, Taunton
- Thursdays: Fall River, New Bedford,
- Fridays: New Bedford, Plymouth, Taunton
In addition, Lawrence District Court extended its restricted
counter and phone coverage from three days to five days between the
hours of 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. The Newburyport/Ipswich district courts
also expanded from three days to five days its restricted telephone
coverage between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
The scheduling of court sessions is not affected by the changes
in office hours and access is available for emergency matters. This
reduction in counter and telephone hours provides uninterrupted
time for staff to prepare cases for court sessions and execute
court orders, as well as to complete filing, docketing, scanning
and other case processing.
AND FAMILY COURT ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO STANDING ORDER
The Probate and Family Court has announced the approval of
Amended Standing Order 2-99, governing the "Procedure for
Submission and Disposition of Certain Post-Hearing Motions." The
changes reflect recommendations made by the Probate and Family
Court Bench/Bar Committee on Rules. Hon. Paula M. Carey, chief
justice of the Probate and Family Court Department, and Hon. Robert
A. Mulligan, chief justice for Administration and Management,
approved the changes effective July 2.
The amended standing order identifies the post-hearing relief
available in the Probate and Family Court and clarifies the
specific Rules of Civil Procedure and Domestic Relations Procedure
that are applicable to motions for post-hearing relief.