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Massachusetts Court Records

Massachusetts court records are legal documents that contain information on civil or criminal cases. They may also include appeals or judgments from cases or any other similar information handled by the state’s various courts. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Massachusetts Public Record Law, court records are public, and anyone interested can access and copy such records as their rights. 


Which Massachusetts Courts Maintain Publicly Accessible Records?

The records available for public inspection depend on the branch of the Massachusetts court system that handles the record. Different court departments handle different cases, meaning each court handles and manages different records. 

Below are the different branches of the Massachusetts court and the types of cases that they usually handle. 

Supreme Judicial Court

This is the highest court that exclusively hears appeals for criminal cases, especially murder. They also hear interlocutory and permission appeals for administrative agency and civil cases.

Superior Court

The Superior Court hears jury trials for real property from $25,00, contract disputes, tort, civil protection, restraining orders, administrative appeals, miscellaneous civil cases, misdemeanors, and some felonies.  

Appeals Court

This court hears interlocutory and appeals by right for writ applications, civil, administrative agency, and criminal cases. 

District and Municipal Courts

These two types of courts are almost similar to the Appeals Court, except that they also hear jury trials for small claims amounting to $7,000, traffic violations, and cases dealing with mental health issues. 

Some courts handle specific cases like the following

Juvenile Court - hears jury trials for juvenile matters, adoption, and guardianship cases.

Housing Court - hears jury trials for tort, contract concerns, ordinance violations, real property, misdemeanors, and small claims not more than $7,000. 

Land Court - hears cases related to real property, mortgages, and foreclosures. 

Probate and Family Court - holds exclusive hearings related to juvenile dependency, marriage dissolution, divorce, domestic relations, civil cases categorized as miscellaneous, probate, and estate matters. 


What are the Common Public Court Records in Massachusetts?

The most common Massachusetts court records available to the public are as follows by the type of court:


Superior Court

Civil cases, including actions involving the municipality or the state, civil actions with the incarcerated party, miscellaneous civil actions, administrative civil actions, business litigation, business and contract cases, equitable remedies, torts, and real property. 

Criminal cases, including probation transfers, bail petitions, indictments, and criminal complaints. 


Municipal and District Courts

  • Small claims
  • Civil cases
  • Summary and supplementary process
  • Criminal cases
  • Administrative appeals
  • Infractions
  • Inquests
  • Marriage waivers
  • Abuse prevention orders


Probate and Family Courts

  • Guardianship
  • Paternity (managed and in equity)
  • Probate abuse, probate other, and conservator managed
  • Equity (petition, complaint, partition)
  • Wills for safekeeping
  • Special immigration juvenile status
  • Estates and administrations
  • Joint petition
  • Domestic relations, including support, custody, and parenting time
  • Change of name managed


Land Court

  • Tax lien
  • Registration
  • Permits
  • Service members


Housing Court

  • Summary and supplementary process
  • Small claims
  • Civil cases
  • Utility warrants
  • Ticket hearings


Note that court records which contain information on mental health cases, restraining orders, harassment prevention orders, and some applications for criminal complaints may not be available to the public. 


Massachusetts has a case search tool online that allows the public to access trial court dockets using a last and first name, a docket number,  or a court calendar option. Other search options are also available, and the public can perform a case search by a Lower Court, an Attorney Appearance using a first and last name, or a Lower Court Judge using a last name. 

Note that when performing a case search for criminal cases, information can only be available using a docket number. 

Some Massachusetts court records are also public using the state’s court archives. Third-party sites may also offer court record information but may vary and may be limited.

Counties in Massachusetts

Courts in Massachusetts

Marlborough District Court45 Williams St, Marlborough, MA
Middlesex County Superior Court - Lowell370 Jackson St., Lowell, MA
Middlesex County Superior Court200 Trade Center, 2nd Floor, Woburn, MA
Woburn District Court30 Pleasant Street, Woburn, MA
Waltham District Court38 Linden Street, Waltham, MA
Somerville District Court175 Fellsway, Somerville, MA
Newton District Court1309 Washington St, West Newton, MA
Concord District Court305 Walden St, Concord, MA
Ayer District Court25 East Main St, Ayer, MA
Cambridge District Court4040 Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford, MA