Hampden County Bar Association Serving Lawyers, the Justice System and the Public
Hampden County Bar Association
P.O. Box 559 ยท 50 State Street
Springfield, MA 01102-0559
P: (413) 732-4660
F: (413) 732-6882
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Probate & Family Court Announces New Child Support Guidelines Effective September 15, 2017

Chief Justice Carey approved new child support guidelines which will take effect on September 15, 2017.  Click here for the new guidelines and information about the 2016-2017 Child Support Guidelines Task Force review.


Parenting Coordination Standing Order 1-17 Effective July 1, 2017

The Probate and Family Court announces the approval of the Parenting Coordination Standing Order 1-17 which will be effective on July 1, 2017, and the establishment of the Category V Fee-Generating Appointment List. Click here for more information. Please contact Denise Fitzgerald for questions specifically about the Standing Order. Please contact Jocelynne Deborah Welsh with any other questions (training requirements, timeframe, applications, etc.).

Probate & Family Court Announces the 2nd Release of Revised MUPC Estate Forms

The Probate & Family Court Announces the 2nd Release of Revised MUPC Estate Forms and instructions, effective March 1, 2017. The court will extend a 2-week grace period to accept current forms for filing until March 15, 2017Click here for a copy of the notice and list of form changes.


Springfield District Court Standing Judicial Order Regarding Trial Status

Please click here for a copy of the new Judicial Standing Order for Trial Readiness from the Springfield District Court.


Belchertown District Court Standing Judicial Order Regarding Trial Status

Beginning in November 2016, for the Jury of Six Session in the Belchertown District Court, the following rules of procedure shall be in effect:

1.    All matters scheduled for jury trial shall be automatically scheduled for a final status conference in the District Court at 10:00 a.m. on a preceding Wednesday approximately one week before trial.
2.    The purpose of this status conference is to determine which cases are ready for and expected to be jury trials. The goal is to allow attorneys to focus on trial matters and the Court to avoid needlessly bringing in witness and jurors.
3.    All attorneys with a matter scheduled for jury trial are required to attend this trial status session.
4.    All defendants are required to attend this trial status session.
5.    All substantive pre-trial motions must be filed with the court one week in advance of the status date. Such motions include, but are not limited to, motions for the appointment of counsel to determine 5th Amendment rights, motions to admit excited utterances,  motions to admit prior or subsequent bad acts, and motions to admit or preclude the admission of any proposed evidence. This does not include boilerplate motions such as motions to sequester witnesses or to exclude the results of the HGN test.
6.    The status date is the last opportunity to execute a jury waiver and request a bench trial. The Court will endeavor to honor the original trial date and schedule the bench trial on that same date, or, if requested, on a different date at the convenience of the parties.
7.    If the Defendant tenders a plea on the day of trial and it is not accepted by the Court, the case will proceed to trial that day. Defense counsel is encouraged to bring such cases forward to offer a plea prior to the trial date.

By Order of the  Court,
Thomas H. Estes
First  Justice of the Belchertown  District  Court


 
 

Amendment to Rule 26 of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure

The Supreme Judicial Court has approved an amendment to Rule 26 of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure, effective July 1, 2016.  See attached.  Click here for more details.   

The amendment to Rule 26 will not impact domestic relations cases unless and until a change is made to Rule 26 of the Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure.  The amendment will impact probate and equity actions.  See G. L. c. 215, s. 6 and Rules 1 and 27A of the Supplemental Rules of the Probate and Family Court.


Holyoke District Court Notice

Please be advised that effective immediately, the Holyoke District Court will ensure that District/Municipal Courts Rule 4(c) be followed.  This rule provides in relevant part: 

“Prior to submission to the court of a tender of plea or admission or a request for other disposition, and if the proposed dispositional terms involve any probationary terms or conditions, the parties shall consult with the probation department, so as to enable the probation department to be heard as may be required by the court at the time the court considers the tendered plea or admission.”

Prior to the submission of a plea that involves probationary terms or conditions, please make sure that in advance they have had an opportunity to be consulted.  The Court will not accept tender of pleas that have not consulted with the Probation Department.  

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.  

 
 

 

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