Massachusetts Criminal Procedure Rule 2: Purpose; Construction; Definition of Terms
(Applicable to District Court and Superior Court)
(a) Purpose; Construction. These rules are intended to provide for the just determination of every criminal proceeding. They shall be construed to secure simplicity in procedure, fairness in administration, and the elimination of expense and delay.
(1) Words or phrases importing the singular number may extend and be applied to several persons or things, words importing the plural number may include the singular, and words importing the masculine gender may include the feminine and neuter.
(2) When in these rules reference is made to a subdivision of a rule, that reference is to that subdivision and to any subdivisions thereof.
(b) Definition of Terms. In construing these rules the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings unless a contrary intent clearly appears from the context in which they are used:
(1) "Indigent" means any defendant who is unable to procure counsel with his funds as defined in Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:10.
(2) "Indigent but able to contribute" means any defendant who is unable to procure counsel with his funds but is able to contribute funds for the cost of counsel as defined in Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:10.
(3) "Capital Crime" means a charge of murder in the first degree.
(4) "Commonwealth" includes the prosecuting office or agency and all officers or agents responsible thereto.
(5) "Court" includes a judge, special magistrate, or clerk.
(6) "District Attorney" or "Attorney General" include assistant district attorneys or assistant attorneys general and other attorneys specially appointed to aid in the prosecution of a case.
(7) "District Court" includes all divisions of the District Court Department of the Trial Court, the Boston Municipal Court Department of the Trial Court, and the Juvenile Court Department of the Trial Court, or sessions thereof for holding court.
(8) "Interested Person" includes the adverse party, a co-defendant, and a witness who is to be deposed.
(9) "Judge" includes a judge of a court or one properly assigned to a court or a special magistrate when in the performance of those duties imposed and authorized by these rules.
(10) "Juvenile Court" means a division of the Juvenile Court Department of the Trial Court, or a session thereof for holding court.
(11) "Mailing" means the use of regular mail and shall not require registered or certified mail.
(12) "Prosecuting Attorney" means the attorney general or assistant attorneys general, district attorney, assistant district attorneys, special assistant district attorneys, or legal assistants to the district attorney, or other attorneys specially appointed to aid in the prosecution of a case.
(13) "Prosecutor" means any prosecuting attorney or prosecuting officer, and shall include a city solicitor, a police prosecutor, or a law student approved for practice pursuant to and acting as authorized by the rules of the Supreme Judicial Court.
(14) "Related Offense" means one of two or more offenses which are based on the same criminal conduct or episode or arise out of a course of criminal conduct or series of criminal episodes connected together or constituting parts of a single scheme or plan.
(15) "Return Day" means the day upon which a defendant is ordered by summons to first appear or, if under arrest, does first appear before a court to answer to the charges against him, whichever is earlier.
(16) "Special Magistrate" means any person who is appointed pursuant to, and empowered to administer those functions authorized by, rule 47 of these rules.
(17) "Summons" means
(A) criminal process issued to a person requiring him to appear at a stated time and place to answer to criminal charges; or
(B) process issued to a person requiring him to appear at a stated time and place to give testimony in a criminal proceeding; or
(C) process issued to a person requiring him to appear and produce at a stated time and place books, designated papers, documents, or other objects for use in a criminal proceeding.
(18) "Superior Court" means the Superior Court Department of the Trial Court, or a session thereof for holding court.