Massachusetts District/Municipal Courts Appellate Division Appeals Rule 19: Filing and Serving of Briefs
(a) Time for Serving and Filing Briefs. For appeals under Rules 8A and 8B, briefs shall be filed and served prior to transmittal of the case to the Appellate Division, pursuant to Rules 8A(c) and 8B(d), respectively.
For appeals under Rule 8C, the appellant shall serve and file his or her brief within thirty days after notice from the Appellate Division of receipt of the appeal from the trial court. The appellee shall serve and file his or her brief within twenty days after service of the brief of the appellant. The appellant may serve and file a reply brief within fourteen days after service of the brief of the appellee.
(c) Consequences of Failure to File Briefs. If an appellant fails to file a brief within the time provided by these rules, or within the time as extended by the trial court or Appellate Division, an appellee may move for dismissal of the appeal, or the Appellate Division may sua sponte dismiss the appeal. If an appellee fails to file a brief, he or she will not be heard at oral argument except by permission of the Appellate Division.
(d) Late Filing and Service. For appeals filed under Rule 8A or 8B, the Appellate Division may allow the late filing and service of briefs following receipt of said appeals from the trial court, as a matter of its discretion and upon the imposition of such terms and costs as it may deem appropriate.
Effective July 1, 1994.
Commentary: Section (a) of the rule differs substantially from its counterpart in the Mass.R.A.P. For appeals under Rules 8A and 8B, it merely refers to the provisions under those rules whereby briefs must be filed in the trial court before the case is transmitted to the Appellate Division. For appeals under Rule 8C it provides specific time periods for the filing of briefs in the Appellate Division. (See Rule 13(e) and related commentary regarding filing in the Appellate Division.)
Section (b) requires six copies of briefs to be filed rather than fifteen under the Mass.R.A.P.
A new section (d) has been added specifically authorizing the Appellate Division to allow the late filing and service of briefs in appeals under Rules 8A and 8B. Those appeals must be transmitted to the Appellate Division by the trial court clerk regardless of whether briefs have been timely filed. The enlargement of a required time period may be allowed under the general authority of Rule 14(b).