Court and Community News

Thursday, July 25, 2019
SJC increases procedural amount for civil actions in District Court and BMC; clerk magistrate vacancies open for applications

newsfromcourts

SJC increases procedural amount for civil actions in District Court and BMC

The Supreme Judicial Court announced on July 22 that it will increase the procedural amount for civil actions in Boston Municipal and District courts from $25,000 to $50,000, effective on Jan. 1, 2020, and increase the minimum procedural amount required for cases filed in the Superior Court to $50,000. The procedural amount, last set in 1986, refers to the amount of damages sought by a plaintiff in a civil money damage action, which, if exceeded in the District and Boston Municipal courts or not met in the Superior Court, may be the basis for dismissal.

In recent years, the District and Boston Municipal courts have taken measures aimed at reducing the delay historically associated with the disposition of civil cases.

Last year, the District Court appointed civil liaisons in every District Court to serve as a point of contact for members of the bar and others with pending civil matters. The District Court also operated a successful pilot program in Norfolk County to test the feasibility of dedicated civil sessions. Notably, in fiscal year 2017, over 96% of the District Court's civil case filings were disposed of within the applicable time standards. In the Boston Municipal Court, almost 97% of those cases were disposed of within time standards. 

The SJC Order Regarding Amount-in-Controversy Requirement Under G.L. c. 218, s. 19 and G.L. c.212, s. 3 is available on the court system's website.

-------------------------------------

Clerk magistrate vacancies open for applications

The Judicial Nominating Commission is currently accepting applications for the following judicial vacancies:

Clerk Magistrate – Nantucket District Court
Donald P. Hart
(Dec. 14, 2018)

Clerk Magistrate – Newburyport District Court 
Kathryn Morris Early
(July 5, 2019)


The application deadline for both positions is Friday, Aug. 23.

Click here for application instructions.