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Massachusetts Domestic Relations Procedure Rule 77: Courts and Registers

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(a) Courts Always Open. Unless otherwise provided by law, the courts shall be deemed always open for the purpose of filing any pleading or other proper paper, of issuing and returning process, and of making and directing all interlocutory motions, orders, and rules. Identical to Mass.R.Civ.P. 77(a)

(b) Register's Office. The register's office for each county with a register or assistant register in attendance shall be open during business hours on all days except Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.

(c) Filing Date of All Papers Received by Clerk. The clerk shall date-stamp all papers whatsoever received by him, whether by hand or by mail. Any paper so received, whether stamped or not, shall be deemed to have been filed as of the date of receipt. If at any subsequent time, any party disputes the fact of such filing, the court shall determine the question, taking whatever evidence it deems appropriate. Proof of mailing shall constitute prima facie proof of receipt. Identical to Mass.R.Civ.P. 77(c).

(d) Notice of Orders or Judgments. Unless an order or judgment is entered in open court in the presence of the parties or their counsel, the register shall immediately upon the entry of an order or judgment serve a notice of the order including the terms of any order of custody, support or alimony by mail in the manner provided for in Rule 5 upon each party and shall make a note in the docket of the mailing. Such mailing is sufficient notice for all purposes for which notice of the entry of an order is required by these rules; but any party may in addition serve a notice of such entry in the manner provided in Rule 5 for the service of papers. Lack of notice of the entry by the register does not affect the time to appeal or relieve or authorize the court to relieve a party for failure to appeal within the time allowed, except as permitted in Rule 4 of the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(e) Transmittal of Papers. At the direction of the Chief Judge, the registers of the several counties shall transmit the papers in any action from one county to another when a matter has been duly set down for hearing in a county other than that in which the action is pending. Pleadings, motions and papers to be filed in such case shall be filed in the office of the register for the county in which the case is pending. The register for the county in which the case is heard shall certify the proceedings had in his county to the Chief Judge of the Probate Courts and, at the direction of any judge of the court, shall return to the register for the county in which the case is pending all the papers, to be kept there on file.