PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2020
Supreme Judicial Court Amends e-Filing Fees to Apply Only for Initial Case Filing
BOSTON, MA -- The Supreme Judicial Court has approved several amendments to Rule 1:25: Massachusetts Rules of Electronic Filing that were proposed by the Trial Court. Rule 1:25 relates to general procedures of electronic filing in Massachusetts trial and appellate courts. The amendments, which were posted for public comment, are intended to facilitate the system-wide implementation of e-filing, streamline court procedures, and reduce administrative burden on local courts so they can better serve the public.
As of June 1, 2020, the fee charged by the e-filing provider will be increased to $22. However, the fee will apply on a “per case” basis, rather than a “per envelope” basis. The one-time fee is paid by a plaintiff, appellant, or petitioner when a case is begun by e-filing, unless the initial filing fee has been waived.
The fee is paid through the e-filing system to the provider, currently Tyler Technologies, which developed the e-filing system used by the Massachusetts courts. For cases already initiated as of June 1, no additional provider fees will be due from any party to the case, whether the case was initiated by e-filing or a paper filing. However, other statutory filing fees and transaction fees may apply. This new fee structure will reduce the need for responding parties using the e-filing system to file indigency documentation related to the provider fee, since they no longer would need to pay that fee.
As part of the rule amendments, the Supreme Judicial Court also authorized court clerks to convert an existing paper file or filing to a digital format that can be recognized as an official court record in digital form.