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Massachusetts Court Records Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

Massachusetts Court System

Massachusetts Court System

The MA court system is one of the oldest in the country, and Massachusetts court records date back to the 17th century. The court system is made up of three main divisions; the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), the Appeals Court, and Trial Courts. The Old Colony State has seven Trial Court types and they are District, Superior, and Municipal Courts, Juvenile Courts, Probate and Family Courts, Land Courts and Housing Courts. All cases originate in one of the seven Trial Court divisions based on geographical jurisdiction and type of case. The state has a total of 168 courts which are listed on the website and are searchable.

This state processes roughly 235,000 criminal cases each year. More serious cases are resolved by the Superior judges, and sentences can be more than 2.5 years. District Courts handle less severe cases. During 2018, MA handled 846,833 total cases across all their courts. Of that total, 303,026 were for criminal proceedings, 74,982 were for civil cases, and 224,170 were for special civil cases, and only 468 were for appeals.

Supreme Judicial Court
Appeals Court
Superior Court Department
District Court Department
Boston Municipal Court Department
Juvenile Court Department
Housing Court Department
Land Court Department
Probate and Family Court Department

Massachusetts Court Records That are not Open to the Public

Although most court documents processed in Massachusetts are available to the general public, some information is hidden, and some records remain private. Many court dockets are available through the United State Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. Personal information such as tax ID, social security number, date of birth, minor’s information, financial data, and home addresses are removed. Certain types of cases or case information such as juvenile criminal cases, custody battles, cases where witnesses need to be protected, along with sealed and expunged records are also hidden from public view. In any case, where a victim needs protection, those cases will also be sealed. Massachusetts has an extensive law library available to attorneys.

Massachusetts State Court Case Filing Information

Filing Information

Filing court information in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has become an online process in most cases. Users must set up an account with eFileMA and then they can begin using the system to file documents, forms, briefs and motions. Filing electronically is not mandatory, but the state strongly recommends it. Plaintiffs and defendants can file online and so can their attorneys. The entire paperwork system has been automated to be more efficient and immediate. This state uses Tyler Technologies as their filing vendor. There are fees involved for civil cases, and most users will pay $7 per upload of up to 35MB. Once a user signs up for e-filing, all general court correspondence will be electronic including email notifications.

Search Massachusetts Court Records Online

Want to search for MA court records quickly and easily? Try Infotracer’s search tool to access thousands of court cases in Massachusetts, including those from Middlesex County, Worcester County, Essex County, and Suffolk County. Thanks to the MA Public Records Law, citizens have the right to review almost all criminal court records, civil cases, divorce, and other family matter records, bankruptcies and more!

You may conduct a court records search privately without needing permission or even a reason. All court records in this state will be available except those that have been made confidential by court-order or the law.

Try Infotracer today to get instant free access to Massachusetts court records from all types of courts in the state. Using just a simple MA state court search by name, you can review court cases online from MA district courts, superior courts, municipal courts, probate courts, family courts, land courts, and housing courts.

Massachusetts Court Statistics

In 2012, the Massachusetts courts received 236,997 filings. In 2016, the number of filings increased by 186.5% and counted 679,042 filings.

Total State Caseloads

YearTotal Caseload

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court TypeIncoming Caseloads
Domestic Relations12%

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Massachusetts at year end of 2016 has decreased by 1.6% compared to the last 3 years.

YearDomestic Relations CaseloadTotal Statewide Caseload

Massachusetts Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Massachusetts courts counts to 197,867, with 44,950 felony cases and 152,917 misdemeanors accordingly.

YearCriminal CaseloadMisdemeanor CaseloadFelony Caseload

State Superior Courts

Massachusetts Superior Courts have original jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases for the state. The Superior Courts employ 82 justices spread over 20 courthouses amount the 14 counties of the state. These courts rule on civil cases where the equitable relief is $25,000 or more. An example of this might be a case involving real estate. These Massachusetts trial courts also process labor dispute cases, medical malpractice suits, and has appellate jurisdiction over some cases and they may become involved in naturalization sittings in any city of the state. The Superior Court also handles serious cases such as domestic abuse and first-degree murder where the sentencing may be five years or more.

District Courts

Massachusetts District Courts, considered to be the “gateway to justice” are versatile and handle a variety of both civil and criminal cases along with matters pertaining to housing, juveniles, mental health, and other issues. All criminal felony cases with a sentence of five years or less are processed through the these courts. Additionally, “all misdemeanors, and all violations of city and town ordinances and by-laws” are handled by MA District Courts. These courts also resolve civil cases where damages are less than $25,000 and small claims cases of less than $7,000. This state has 62 Districts throughout the state. These courts work similar to county courts in other states.

Municipal Courts

The city of Boston, the Bay State has a total of eight Municipal Courts with 30 judges serving Brighton, Central (downtown), Charlestown, Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, South Boston, and West Roxbury. Massachusetts Municipal Courts handle both civil and criminal cases and also has jurisdiction over some government agency issues such as unemployment compensation and firearm license appeal. Their stated mission is to be “devoted to the rule of law through the conscientious and expeditioussup resolution of disputes, with a commitment to restoring the human spirit through correction, education, respect, and compassion.”

Probate and Family Courts

The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court have jurisdiction over things that involve families such as children, divorce, child support, and wills. They also resolve issues of guardianship, adoption, domestic abuse, paternity, marriage annulment, parental rights, as well as the administration of estates and name changes. The Probate and Family Court shares some jurisdiction with other Trial Courts in matters related to family cases. MA Probate and Family judicial tribunes also handles wills, estates, trusts, conservatorships and has 14 divisions within the state.

Juvenile Courts

Massachusetts’ Juvenile Court division oversees both criminal and civil matters that pertain to minors. Some examples are cases that involve children, youthful offenders, the care and protection of minors and delinquency. The mission of the Juvenile Court is to protect children against abuse and neglect. Secondarily, this court division also aims to help strengthen families, protect the public from delinquent and criminal behavior and rehabilitate juvenile offenders.

MA Juvenile Court has 40 locations employing 41 judges, and there are 11 divisions to the Juvenile Court system.

Housing Courts

The Massachusetts Housing Court, led by Chief Justice Timothy F. Sullivan and Deputy Court Administrator Benjamin O. Adeyinka, resolves cases involving housing issues such as eviction, small claims, personal injury, property damage, breach of contract, discrimination and other housing-related matters. Code enforcement and local zoning board issues also fall under this court's jurisdiction. MA Housing Court has 15 judges that cover the fourteen counties of the Commonwealth. There are six divisions of this court, and they are Central, Eastern, Metro South, Northeast, Southeast, and Western.

Land Courts

Massachusetts maintains a Land Court division which has jurisdiction over the registration of titles to real property. These courts also oversee foreclosures and redemption of real estate tax liens. These courts also hear cases involving local planning boards and the zoning boards of appeal. Along with being the superintendent over registered land offices for Registry of Deeds, this court hears most other property-related cases. The Old Colony State has 7 Land justices.

Massachusetts Supreme Court

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

  • Address: John Adams Courthouse,
    1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500,
    Boston, MA 02108
  • Phone: (617) 557-1000
  • Chief Justice: Ralph D. Gants

5 Safest Counties in the Area

A list of 5 counties in Massachusetts that have the lowest arrest rate

CountyCrime Rate
Middlesex County1,203.09
Norfolk County1,278.53
Plymouth County1,448.28
Hampshire County1,477.66
Essex County1,561.67
Massachusetts Court Records Search
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