Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Standing Order 1-11: Probate and Family Court’s Use of Information Contained in the Court Activity Record Information (CARI) Report
1. The Probation Department shall obtain Court Activity Record Information (CARI) and Warrant Management system information (WMS) for all parties referred by a judge of the Probate and Family Court for probation services. Such services include, but are not limited to, dispute intervention, short- term investigation, full investigation, supervision and case intervention.
2. CARI includes Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI), juvenile records and civil restraining order information.
3. The Court has an obligation to obtain CARI in all cases pertaining to abuse prevention orders pursuant to Chapter 209A and domestic relations protective orders pursuant to Chapters 208, 209 or 209C. Nothing in this Standing Order is intended to restrict access that the Court would otherwise have to CORI/CARI records.
4. Prior to the delivery of any probation services, the Probation Department shall disclose to a party who is the subject of a CARI record, and his or her counsel, that the party’s CARI record has been reviewed by the Probation Department.
5. In a dispute intervention where all parties and their counsel, if any, are present, the Probation Department shall advise all of the parties, and their counsel, whether CARI information of any party has been considered. If safety concerns are raised by either party, the CARI information shall be discussed separately.
6. The Probation Department shall inform each party who is the subject of a CARI record, and his or her counsel, of the information in his or her CARI record that has been considered by the Probation Department in the context of completing the referred service. The Probation Department shall provide the party and his or her counsel the opportunity to review the CARI record.
7. A party may consent to the disclosure to the other party of the information contained in his or her CARI record in order to complete the referred services. Absent such consent, a party seeking disclosure of CARI information may request an order from the judge for disclosure of the CARI information. Subject to the judge’s discretion, including the entry of appropriate protective orders, CARI information may be disclosed pursuant to a court order to adverse counsel and/or the adverse litigant, in order to complete the referred services, including, but not limited to, dispute interventions and court hearings.
8. The Probation Department is authorized to provide the CARI record to the judge. If the judge reviews the CARI record, the judge shall explain on the record or by written findings the information relied upon and any inferences or conclusions made as a result of the review of the CARI information.
9. The judge shall afford a party a reasonable and meaningful opportunity to rebut any adverse information that might appear in the party’s CARI record, and to otherwise respond to the CARI record. Upon request, additional time to rebut such adverse information may be allowed in the judge’s discretion. The Court shall enter an order if necessary to protect the interests of a party or the child or children involved prior to the continued hearing.
10. Upon receipt of information that an outstanding warrant exists for either party, a member of the Probation Department shall notify the judge.
11. No CARI/WMS information shall be stored in the court case file. All CARI/WMS information shall be shredded unless a party or the judge requests that it be returned to the Probation Department and kept in the Probation file.
12. No dissemination or use of any CARI information obtained under this order may be used outside the context and purpose for which it was sought without further order of the court unless otherwise permitted by law.
Effective June 1, 2011.