Thursday, August 2, 2012

Probate & Family Court Amends Procedures for Post-Hearing Motions

Standing Order 2-99 of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court governs the proper procedures for submitting post-hearing Motions to the Probate and Family Court.  Per the Court's recent Press Release, amendments to this Standing Order, which took effect on July 2, 2012, clarify what types of motions may be submitted in these situations.

It had become common under the old version of the order for parties to file a Motion for Reconsideration or a Motion for Clarification after receiving an unfavorable Judgment or Order after a hearing in the Probate and Family Court.  The old rule made specific reference to these types of Motions.    However, there is no specific Massachusetts Domestic Relations Procedure Rule that allows for Motions for Reconsideration or Motions for Clarification specifically.  Under Massachusetts Domestics Relations Procedure Rule 60 a Motion for Relief from Judgment and Order may be brought, but only for very specific reasons.

The amendments to the Standing Order delete references to Motions for Reconsideration or Clarification and clarify that no new rights for relief are created by the Standing Order.  The Standing Order is only intended to set out the procedures by which relief pursuant to the Domestic Relations Procedure Rules may be sought.

View the changes to the Standing Order 2-99 highlighted here.

2 comments:

  1. This is very interesting! Does this mean individuals cannot file motions for clarification of a divorce judgment in Massachusetts anymore?

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    Replies
    1. Under. Mass.R.Dom.P. 59(e) there is still the ability to file a motion to alter or amend the judgment. Any request for clarification can probably fit under this rule, but there is no rule that specifically allows for a "Motion for Clarification" and the revised standing order makes it clear that it doesn't add any rights to the underlying rules.

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