News from the Courts

Issue November 2015

Participate in Middlesex County judicial evaluations

Members of the bar are asked to participate in the ongoing evaluation of judges in the District Court, Juvenile Court, Probate, Family Court and Housing Court in Middlesex County. The evaluation system is the best way to tell the judge and court leadership of your experiences before the judge. Every judge will sit down with his or her department chief justice and discuss their evaluation.

Members of the bar should have received an email to participate in the judicial performance evaluation for Trial Court judges.

Barnstable and Bristol county drug courts recieve federal grants

The Massachusetts Trial Court has announced that it has been awarded two federal grants totaling $1.375 million to expand services offered to court-involved juveniles in the Bristol County Juvenile Drug Court and to Cape Cod adults participating in the Barnstable Drug Court.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded a $975,000 three-year grant to the Barnstable Drug Court, while a second grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will provide $400,000 over two years to enhance services for teens participating in three Bristol County Juvenile Drug Court sessions.

Baker administers ceremonial oath of office to Kafker

On Oct. 5, Gov. Charlie Baker administered the ceremonial oath of office to Scott L. Kafker, the sixth chief justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, before an assembly of several hundred people in the Great Hall of the John Adams Courthouse.

"I'm honored that Chief Justice Kafker's appointment was the first of my administration, and believe he is well-suited to uphold the legacy and independence of the court," said Baker. "Under his leadership, I am confident the Appeals Court will be an essential partner in our work to ensure state government and the courts serve all residents equally before the law."

Supreme Judicial Court Justice Robert J. Cordy delivered opening remarks and served as master of ceremonies. Lt. Gov. Karyn E. Polito and Baker delivered keynote remarks, after which Baker administered the ceremonial oath of office.

"I believe that a chief justice must wake up every morning committed to making a difference in the lives of the people of the commonwealth," Kafker said, in remarks following his ceremonial swearing in. "The chief justice must be the court's conscience in terms of constantly comparing its overall performance with its ideals, as the chief is entrusted with the responsibility of being the daily guardian of the court's administration of justice in the public interest."

Baker nominates three to Massachusetts Appeals Court

Gov. Charlie Baker has nominated the Hon. C. Jeffrey Kinder and attorneys Vickie L. Henry and Eric Neyman to the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Visit www.mass.gov/governor/press-office/press-
releases to learn more.

Recent amendments in the SJC

The Supreme Judicial Court has approved the amendment to the Appeals Court Standing Order concerning petitions to the Single Justice pursuant to G.L. c. 231, §118, effective Oct. 1.

The Supreme Judicial Court has approved amendments to Massachusetts Superior Court Rules 7, 9A, 9C, 13, 17, 22, 29 and 30A; new Rules 19, 30A, 31, and 33; and repeal of Standing Orders 1-06, 1-07 and 1-09. Action on proposed new Superior Court Rule 17A is deferred. The amendments are effective Jan. 1, 2016.

The Supreme Judicial Court has approved amendments to Rule 1:15 of the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court effective Oct. 1.

The Supreme Judicial Court has approved amendments to Trial Court Rule VIII, Uniform Rules on Impoundment Procedure, effective Oct. 1.

Visit www.mass.gov/courts to view the amendments