Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:15: Impoundment Procedure
(Applicable to the Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court.)
Section 1. Requests for Impoundment in Appellate Courts.
Requests for impoundment in proceedings in the Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court shall be governed by the provisions of Trial Court Rule VIII with the following exceptions: This rule, and Trial Court Rule VIII when used in conjunction with this rule, shall govern impoundment in both civil and criminal proceedings. The term "clerk" shall mean the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth, the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, the Clerk of the Appeals Court and their assistants. Hearings, if any, on requests under this rule shall be scheduled by the court.
Section 2. Maintaining Confidentiality of Impounded Material in Cases on Appeal.
(a) Duties of Trial Court Clerks. When an appeal has been taken in a case in which material has been impounded, the clerk of the trial court shall notify the clerk of the appellate court, in writing, at the time of the transmission of the record that material was impounded by the trial court. Such notification shall specify those papers, documents or exhibits, or portions thereof, which were impounded below and shall include a copy of the order of impoundment, if any, or a reference to other authority for the impoundment.
(b) Duties of Appellate Court Clerk. Unless otherwise ordered by the appellate court, or otherwise provided in the trial court order of impoundment, material impounded in the trial court shall remain impounded in the appellate court. The clerk shall keep all impounded material separate from other papers in the case and unavailable for public inspection. Such impounded material shall be available to the court, the attorneys of record, the parties to the case and the clerk, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
(c) Duties of the Parties. When an appeal has been taken in a case in which material has been impounded, the parties shall protect the confidentiality of the impounded material. Unless it is necessary to do so, the parties shall not include impounded information in briefs and appendices filed with the court. During oral argument in public sessions the parties shall not disclose impounded material, provided that in cases where such disclosure is necessary the parties shall notify the clerk in advance and shall, in appropriate cases, make such disclosures in a manner which protects the confidentiality of the parties.
If material filed with the court contains impounded information, the parties shall so notify the clerk and shall identify the impounded material, which shall be unavailable for public inspection.