News from the Courts

Issue September 2012

Grant received to create small claims video

The Trial Court's Access to Justice Initiative is pleased to report that the State Justice Institute has granted a request for funds to create and disseminate a small claims self-help video in English and other languages. This effort will build upon work already underway through prior SJI funding to translate documents for small claims proceedings.

The Access to Justice Advisory Committee decided to seek funding in the area of small claims, since three court departments hear approximately 100,000 small claims matters each year and many
parties, both plaintiffs and defendants, 
appear without counsel.

The 15-20 minute video will depict the progress of a fictional small claims case from the dispute through resolution. It will include basic vocabulary and procedure, how to prepare for court, what to expect in the courtroom and how to comply with judgments and orders. Information on how to access additional self-help resources also will be provided.

Probate and Family Court announces new guardianship form and procedure

Chief Justice Paula M. Carey recently announced the release of form MPC 829 Notice of Intent to Admit to a Nursing Facility for Short Term Services and MPC 955 Instructions, for completing and filing the form. The form is now available for use.

The new form is a result of the recent amendment to section 5-309(g) of G. L. c. 190B (Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code). See Section 42 of Chapter 140 of the Acts of 2012.