Why Transfer Your Case to Housing Court?
Representing Yourself in an Eviction Case
If your eviction case is in the District Court, you have a right to have it transferred to a Housing Court, if you live in an area covered by a Housing Court. Housing Courts are more familiar with landlord/tenant laws than other courts. You are also likely in Housing Court to get more assistance with your case. To transfer your case you must live in an area where there is a Housing Court and file the form in this booklet no later than the day before your trial is scheduled in the District Court. There are five Housing Courts in Massachusetts. If you are unsure whether you can transfer your case, contact the Housing Court you think is in your area and ask whether you can. The Housing Court also has a website where you can check to see which cities and towns are covered by each court. Go to: www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/housingcourt/index.html#county
Massachusetts Housing Courts
Boston Housing Court: 617-788-8487 Northeast Housing Court: 978-689-7833 Southeast Housing Court: 508-672-9716 Western Massachusetts Housing Court: 413-748-7838 Worcester County Housing Court: 508-792-0800
Produced by the Mass. Law Reform Institute with assistance from legal services offices in Massachusetts and available at www.MassLegalHelp.org. © MLRI, revised July, 2008. All rights reserved.
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How To Transfer Your Case To Housing Court
Fill Out the Notice of Transfer Form
The Transfer Form in this booklet is based on the official form which appears on the Housing Court Department's website at: mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/housingcourt/forms/noticeoftransfer.pdf Complete the form by following these instructions. The letters in these directions match those on the top part of the form. a. b. c. d. e. Write the name of your county. Write the landlord's name as it is written on the Summons and Complaint. Write your name as it is written on the Summons and Complaint. Write the name of the District Court in which your case is currently scheduled for trial. Fill in the Docket Number of the District Court case, if you know it. The Docket Number is the number the court has assigned to your case. You can ask the court for it. In the middle of the form after the words "geographic jurisdiction of the ___________" fill in which Housing Court you are transferring your case to: Boston | Worcester | Northeastern | Southeastern | Western Massachusetts Sign and date the form. Write your name, address, and phone number. Fill in your landlord's name, address, and telephone, and if your landlord has a lawyer, that person's name, address, and telephone.
Deliver the Form
When the form is completed, make 3 copies in addition to the original. Give the original to the court in which your case is currently scheduled for trial, a copy to the Housing Court to which you are transferring case, and a copy to your landlord or to his or her lawyer. Keep a copy and bring it to court. The clerk of the District Court and the clerk of the Housing Court must receive these forms no later than the day before your trial. It may be easier to submit the Transfer form with your Answer. Your case will automatically be transferred if you get copies of the completed Transfer form to the District Court and Housing Court on time. There is no hearing required to transfer the case. A transfer to Housing Court will probably postpone your case. The Housing Court will notify you and your landlord of the new trial date. However, if you do not hear from the Housing Court, call to double-check the date of your trial.
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(Please print or type) COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS TRIAL COURT
a. County e. b. Plaintiff(s) Landlord(s) vs. c. Defendan(s) Tenants(s) Docket No. Summary Process , ss: d. Name of Court
NOTICE OF TRANSFER TO HOUSING COURT
The undersigned (Attorney for) (Plaintiff) (Defendant) says that a trial has not yet begun in this originating court, that this action is within the subject matter and geographic jurisdiction of the ___________________________Housing Court, M.G.L. c. 185C, §§3 and 20, and that a copy of this transfer notice has been served upon all opposing parties as listed below.
______________________________________________ Signature and Date: ______________________________________________ Name: ______________________________________________ Address and Telephone: ______________________________________________ To: _______________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________________________________ To: _______________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________________________________
Send copy to applicable Housing Court
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