Massachusetts Supplemental Probate and Family Court Rule 408: Dismissal of Inactive Cases
(1) Not less often than twice each year, once in January and once in July, a report shall be prepared listing cases of any nature for which there has been no activity reflected on the docket for more than six (6) months and there is no next event scheduled.
(2) The register of probate shall mail notice to all persons who have entered an appearance in any matter listed as having no activity reflected on the docket for more than six (6) months. The notice in each case shall state that the matter shall be dismissed by the court in sixty (60) days unless within sixty (60) days of the sending of the notice:
(a) there are further proceedings in the case; or
(b) a motion to avoid the proposed dismissal is filed and presented to the court with an explanation of what steps will be taken for the case to proceed. The motion may be presented administratively.
(3) Unless a motion to avoid the dismissal has been allowed by the court, after the sixtieth day following the sending of the notice, the register shall enter a judgment of dismissal without prejudice and send the judgment to all parties who have entered an appearance in the matter.
(4) For cause shown the court may dismiss cases at other times.
Effective July 1, 1975. Amended December 14, 2011, effective January 2, 2012.
Comment: This rule restates Probate Rule 48.
Reporter's Notes (2012): The rule is amended to provide for dismissal of any inactive Case, not just divorces. The dismissal process is to be done at least twice a year. The procedure to avoid dismissal is detailed.