SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT Boston, Massachusetts 02108

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Mar 1, 2018 - Notice is hereby given that the Supreme Judicial Court has approved and promulgated rules as further indicated below. RALPH D. GANTS.


Notice is hereby given that the Supreme Judicial Court has approved and promulgated rules as further indicated below.

RALPH D. GANTS Chief Justice


Court Submitting Rules for Approval: Su erior Court


Date Rules Submitted for Approval: December 11, 2017


Date Approved Februar



Promulgated by the Supreme Judicial Court:

28, 2018

Rule or Rules, or Amendments Thereto, Approved and Promulgated: Superior Court Rule 20: hereto.


new paragraph 20(8), as attached

Effective Date: March 1, 2018

(The original of this notice is to be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth, and a copy to be sent by the Clerk to the court which requested approval of the rules.)






December l 1, 2017

Hon, Frank M. Gaziano Chair of the Rules Committee Supreme Judicial Court John Adams Courthouse, Suite 2200 One Pemberton Square Boston, MA 02108

RE: Request for Change to Superior Court Rules

Dear Justice Gaziano:

I submit for approval by the Supreme Judicial Court the following proposed rule change: amending Superior Cou1t Rule 20, Individual Case Management a1:_d Tracking, by inserting, as a new paragraph 20(8), the language of Superior Court Standing Order 1-17, Waiver of Detailed Written Findings of Fact under Superior Court Rule 20(2)(h). Standing Order 1-17 would be rescinded. The purpose of moving the provisions of the Standing Order into the Rule is to make access to those provisions more convenient. This proposal was posted for comment on the Superior Court's website and notice was sent to Massachusetts Lav.,yers Weekly. The Court set a deadline for submitting comments of July 31. 2017. The Colli'! received no comments. At the Superior Court's semi-annual business meeting on December 1, 2017, the justices voted to approve submission of this proposal to the Supreme Judicial Court for its approval. Below is the text of the proposed amendment to Rule 20, approved for submission to the Supreme Judicial Court.

Rule 20

**** 8. For purposes of Superior Court Rule 20(2)(h), the phrase "waiver of detailed written findings of fact" means waiver of written judicial findings with the level of detail required by Mass. R. Civ. P. 52(a). It does not mean waiver of findings that provide the equivalent of a jury verdict witl1in the meaning of Mass. R. Civ. P. 49. See also Mass. R. Crim. P. 27 (by analogy only). Therefore, when the parties agree to waive, in whole or pa1i, detailed findings by the judge in a bench trial, the following rules shall apply: a. The judge shall, at a minimum, answer special questions on the elements of each claim, al a level of detail comparable to a special jury verdict form pursuant to Mass, R. Civ. P. 49(a), unless the parties explicitly choose, or the judge expressly orders, findings in the form provided by Mass. R. Civ. P. 49(b) (a general verdict accompanied by answer to intenogatories). b. The parties waive all arguments in the trial court or on appeal that require or depend upon the existence of detailed written findings of fact. Any appellate review of the court's decision and of the judgment entered shall be according to the standard of review that would apply to a verdict by a jury in a case tried to a jury artd to the judgment entered thereon. In addition, the p'arties may agree to waive their 1ights of appeal in whole or in part.


The Superior Court requests that the SJC approve this proposed rule change effective March l, 2018. I would be happy to discuss any questions you may have, or provide any additional infom1ation. Thank you for your consideration. Very truly yours,



{ cc:



udith Fabricant

Chief Justice Paula M. Carey Hon. Douglas H. Wilkins, Chair, Superior Court Rules Committee Christine Burak, Esq., Secretary of the Rules Committee


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