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Massachusetts District Court Standing Order 2-90: Scheduling, Continuance and Administrative Policies

(Applicable to the Greenfield Division)

[Disclaimer]

I. Criminal Cases.

1. All defendants shall report to the Probation Office to complete intake on the morning of arraignment and after disposition.

Any defendant charged with an offense which carries a possible sentence of imprisonment shall complete an application for court appointed counsel before arraignment.

2. A defendant's application for court appointed counsel will be acted upon and defendant notified at arraignment. No plea except "not guilty" will be accepted on the arraignment date. All cases will be continued to a definite date for pretrial conference, trial or disposition, except certain minor motor vehicle matters.

3. On the date set for pretrial conference defendants or defense counsel shall confer with the assigned prosecutor from the District Attorney's Office. All cases scheduled for conference shall be ready for disposition, assignment for first instance jury trial, or scheduled for another date for motion hearing, bench trial or, in exceptional circumstances, for further pre-trial conference. If a further pretrial conference is requested, this must be done in writing and for good cause.

Pretrial conference reports are required to be filed in all cases. A case will not be scheduled for motion or trial until the pretrial conference report has been completed and filed with the court.

4. Defense counsel shall file an appearance and have the defendant execute a waiver of first instance jury trial prior to presentation to the court for disposition or for scheduling of motions or trial.

5. All pretrial motions will be filed on or after the pretrial conference and not before, and shall be in accordance with Mass.R.Crim.P. 13.

6. On the trial date defendants, defendants' counsel and prosecutors shall be prepared to commence trial and to continue said trial to completion.

7. Arraignments, pretrial conferences, and trials in criminal cases will be scheduled so that the period of time from the date of arrest, issuance of the citation or show cause hearing, whichever occurs first, to the date of adjudication or finding of sufficient facts will not exceed 60 days.

II. Civil Cases.

1. The trial of all civil cases, except those remanded by the Superior Court, shall be scheduled so that they will be completed within 90 days from the trial date.

III. Continuances.

1. In all criminal cases, unless the parties are in court, the Commonwealth shall notify the complainant, and the Clerk-Magistrate's Office shall notify the defendant, of the next scheduled court event.

2. In both criminal and civil cases, the parties shall be prepared to proceed to pretrial conference, trial or disposition on the assigned date, unless a motion to continue has been allowed pursuant to this standing order.

3. In both criminal and civil cases a party shall file a motion for continuance with the Clerk-Magistrate's Office as soon as the need for a continuance becomes apparent. Motions for continuance shall contain information as to:

(a) when the need for the continuance arose;

(b) what the grounds for the continuance are;

(c) the measures taken to avoid seeking a continuance;

(d) the earliest date all parties will be ready to proceed.

4. Motions for continuances assented to by all parties must be acted upon by the court.

5. Motions for continuances not assented to by all parties will be scheduled for hearing before the court.

6. No continuance will be allowed except for good cause shown. Reasonable costs may be assessed against an attorney or party who causes a case to be continued without good cause or adequate notice.

Adopted effective November 1, 1990.