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Massachusetts Court Case Search — Find Your Lawsuit

Dena Standley | August 07, 2023

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: If you are being sued for a debt in Massachusetts, you can access your records online or by visiting the courthouse where the lawsuit was filed. Reduce worry and stress by using SoloSuit to draft and file an Answer document to respond to your lawsuit and increase your chances of winning by 7x.

Do you have a pending debt collection case in Massachusetts and find yourself wondering how to keep track of it? Massachusetts gives you access to court records online or by visiting the courthouse where the debt collection agency filed the lawsuit. Accessing your case records will help you ensure the following:

  • The information filed is accurate. If not, you can use it as an affirmative defense, and the case may go in your favor.
  • Your Answer document was received and updated in the court’s system.
  • You take note of the next step and learn details such as the court date, courtroom number, the judge involved, and which documents you need to have.

This article will help you learn more about the Massachusetts court structure and how to navigate the court system to access your case records.

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Court structure in Massachusetts

When you know which Massachusetts court has jurisdiction over your case, it will make it easier to check your case status and stay informed. Since debt collection lawsuits are considered civil cases, we will focus on the Massachusetts civil court structure in this section.

The civil court structure in Massachusetts is made up of four levels: the Supreme Court, Appeals Court, Superior Court, and District Court/Boston Municipal Court. Let's briefly discuss each level:

  • Supreme Judicial Court: Massachusetts Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the state and hears a wide range of civil and criminal appeals from the lower courts. They also run the court system by making and approving rules for court operations.

  • Appeals Court: Known as the intermediate appellate court, this court has general jurisdiction over cases from the lower courts. They review judgments from Superior Court, District Court, and Boston Municipal Court and do not hold a new trial.

  • Superior Court: This trial court has general jurisdiction in Massachusetts. It also has original jurisdiction over civil actions involving claims of over $50,000.

  • District Court: This court hears all types of cases, including civil actions in which damages do not exceed $50,000 and small claims cases of up to $7,000.

  • Boston Municipal Court: This court hears civil cases arising from Boston. Cases include tort and contract issues of up to $25,000 and small claims not exceeding $7,000.

The graphic below further illustrates the Massachusetts court structure:

MA court structure

Your debt collection case will be heard in the Boston Municipal Court if you are a resident of Boston and the District Court in all counties, unless it involves more than $50,000, in which case it will be assigned to the Superior Court. You can represent yourself during the hearing, but you should research what to say or not say in front of a judge and what documents to file or bring with you.

In Massachusetts, you have 20 days to respond to a debt collection lawsuit before you lose automatically. Use SoloSuit to draft and file an Answer document in minutes. Check out this video to learn more:

How to find your case number in Massachusetts

Knowing your case number will ease the task of locating your court records in Massachusetts. Court clerks are in charge of all documents and use numbers, letters, and characters to assign a number to each case. You might be wondering, “how are court case numbers assigned in Massachusetts?” Well, the case number is made up of the two-digit year, two-digit court code, two-letter code derived from the case type, and a six-digit sequence number.

For example, 2251CV000001 is the first civil case filed into Waltham District Court in 2022. To figure out your court’s code, check out this link to Massachusetts Trial Court Codes.

If you do not know your case number, you can get it by visiting the courthouse with basic case information such as party names and the type of case. The clerk will retrieve the case number for you. You can also find your case number online by using the Massachusetts trial court case access and the name or case search option. The case number will appear with other details.

How to access your case records in Massachusetts

By now, you may already know the courthouse where the collection agency filed your lawsuit. That is usually the first step in the process of finding your records. Next, you can decide if you want to access them online or in person.

Access your Massachusetts court records in person

The in-person method of accessing your records guarantees you’ll be given all your documents. In some instances, online access only provides basic case details, and the rest of the information may follow later.

To find your court’s location, go to the Massachusetts Court System Locations page and search by city, town, or zip code. You can also go through the list until you find the District Court mentioned in the lawsuit letter.

Once in the courthouse, you'll be required to complete a request form, and the court clerk will look for the records. Some courthouses have public terminals that allow you to find your documents in their systems without speaking to a clerk. You will be asked to pay a small fee for any copies and certification.

Access your Massachusetts court records online

Online access is the quickest and easiest way to find your case documents, especially if you know your case number. The online portal contains records for the fourteen counties in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Trial Court Electronic Case Access tool is easy to use as the details required are listed for you to choose from. Once on the portal, you must first enter the court department, division, and location before the search options appear.

There are three search options to choose from for small claims cases. They include:

  • Name search: Enter the part names, case type, case status, and party types.
  • Case type search: Enter the filing date, case type, city/town, case status, and party type.
  • Case number search: Enter the case number only.

Let's look at a practical example.

Example: Peggie was being sued for a $4,700 debt with Empire Collection Agency(ECA). called the Brookline District Court to find out what action to take and was advised to respond to the lawsuit with an Answer. Peggie used SoloSuit to create a customizable Answer document on her own, which saved her the stress and cost of hiring an attorney..After reading some blog articles on debt collection lawsuits, she realized the best move was to keep track of her case by accessing the court records. Peggie went to the Massachusetts online portal and used the name search option to enter the details she knew. Instantly, she gained access and could confirm her Answer was updated in the system and learned about other vital information she needed about her case.

SoloSuit can help

At SoloSuit, we are committed to helping consumers, like you, have a winning chance in dealing with debt collectors. We developed software that customizes debt-related legal documents acceptable in all states, including Massachusetts. Our documents include a Debt Validation Letter, Answer, Motion to Compel Arbitration, and SoloSettle. Start working on your document with us today.

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