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Courts in Massachusetts

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More information on Massachusetts's state courts:
Selection methods
Federal courts

Courts in Massachusetts consist of the state court system and two federal courts.

The structure of Massachusetts' state court system.

Appellate Courts

Judgepedia's Supreme Weekly: The States

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

The Supreme Judicial Court is the court of last resort. It is the oldest continuously functioning appellate court in the Western Hemisphere.[1]

Portal:Intermediate appellate courts in the states

Massachusetts Appeals Court

The Appeals Court is the intermediate appellate court.

Trial Courts

Judgepedia:WikiProject Trial Courts

These departments are managed by a Chief Justice for Administration and Management.

There are 7 departments of trial courts in Massachusetts:

These courts have exclusive jurisdiction over first degree murder cases and general jurisdiction in civil actions over $25,000, labor disputes, and all other crimes.[2]
These courts have jurisdiction over most criminal cases, including felonies punishable by less than 5 years, small claims involving less than $2,000, and civil cases involving less than $25,000. Most counties in the state have multiple district courts.[3]
These courts have jurisdiction over the use of any property that affects the health safety, or welfare of the user.[4]
These courts have jurisdiction over cases such as delinquency, adoption, and child protection services.[5]
These courts have statewide jurisdiction over the registration and disputes of property titles.[6]
These courts have jurisdiction over family matters such as divorce, child support, custody, and adoption. They also hear cases having to do with wills, guardianships and change of name.[7]
These courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the superior courts in all criminal cases that do not provide for a state prison sentence in excess of five years, and over certain specified crimes for which the maximum penalty exceeds five years. The court also has general civil jurisdiction.[8][9]

Federal courts

There are two federal courts in Massachusetts: the District of Massachusetts and the District of Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court.[10]

Appeals from these courts go to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

Restorative justice

Circle peacemaking

  • Boston, Massachusetts: An organization called Roca (dead link) uses the Peacemaking Circle as an alternative way to deal with conflict. To help maintain a healthy community, the organization helps homeless youth, gang members and teenagers solve their problems before it leads to a prison sentance.[11]

See also

External links


MassachusettsMassachusetts Supreme Judicial CourtMassachusetts Appeals CourtMassachusetts Superior CourtsMassachusetts District CourtsMassachusetts Housing CourtsMassachusetts Juvenile CourtsMassachusetts Land CourtsMassachusetts Probate and Family CourtsBoston Municipal Courts, MassachusettsUnited States District Court for the District of MassachusettsUnited States bankruptcy court, District of MassachusettsUnited States Court of Appeals for the First CircuitMassachusetts countiesMassachusetts judicial newsMassachusetts judicial electionsJudicial selection in MassachusettsMassachusettsTemplate.jpg